February 28

Skype Getting Serious as a Networking Tool for Teachers

skype

Skype has introduced their new Skype in the Classroom initiative aimed at helping Teachers using Skype connect in a new social networking feature on their website.

While it has been around for over seven years, and many of us teachers have used Skype for a while as a means of connecting with each other in a variety of ways, Skype has not offered an easy method for teachers to connect. Previously, teachers have had to rely on education blogs and forums for finding colleagues and subject area experts for their link-ups. With Skype in the Classroom, finding fellow teachers in similar areas is now quite a bit easier.

Click here to signup for the beta version of Skype in the Classroom.

February 6

Real-Time Collaborative Diagram Creation

cacoo

Cacoo is a web-based diagram drawing tool that allows real-time collaboration for three simultaneous users with their free account.  The offer a paid account with more features and more users.

If you are looking for an easy to use diagram drawing tool that allows real-time editing from multiple users, check out Cacoo here.

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February 6

Is it time to say goodbye to Moodle?

instructure

This week, I have been playing with the “Canvas” Learning Management System (LMS).

I have 5 years of experience with using Moodle in my classrooms.  For what I needed at the time, Moodle was fairly sufficient.  However, Moodle’s development seems to have slowed the past few years.  In fact, Moodle’s integration of “Web 2.0” seems non-existent.  On the other hand, Canvas seems to embrace the “Web 2.0” features (collaboration tools, conferencing options, Google Doc Integration, Social Network Integration, etc).  In addition, Canvas’ User Interface seems cleaner and smoother than Moodle’s interface on the frontend and the administrative backend.

 

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February 4

Wetoku – Free Web-based Conferencing

wetoku

Recently, I was asked to help a colleague broadcast her class to a group of teachers meeting at another location.  The leader of the off-site group preferred using Skype, so we went with that option, but I decided to look into better choices for future broadcasts.  Skype is a great tool for a two-way conference, but it required the teacher to either have someone man a the computer with Skype and the camera to make the call or to accept the incoming call, or to stop teaching to personally go to the computer to do the same.

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February 2

LucidChart – Online Flow Charting Tool

lucidchart-14wgnq9

Lucidchart is a web-based Charting Tool for creating Flowcharts, Wireframe Diagrams, UML Diagrams for blueprint drawings, Network Layout Diagrams, Site Maps for website planning, Organization Charts, and even iPhone Mockups for Programming.  Lucidchart even offers a collaboration feature that allows to users to work on the same diagram.

Lucid offers several pricing levels including a free option that is comparable to the feature found in Microsoft’s Visio.  Click here to give it a try.


February 2

Visuwords – Online Visual Dictionary

visuwords-screenshot

Visuwords is an online dictionary and thesaurus with a twist.  Enter a word in their search box and in a few seconds, your screen will be filled with a visual map of definitions of verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, antonyms, synonyms, causes, derivations, and several other categorizations.

The amount of results will vary by the word searched.

 

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