connecting educators & enhancing learning
Visuwords.com is so cool! I typed in some words that were in stories that we had recently read and talked about in my Freshman English class and the webs were very interesting. I can't wait to use this with students. I read some other posts about it and I agree it does have a Prezi feel to it. It was very interesting to see the limited web of a word like "fastball" (I'm watching a baseball game) and the expansive web of a word like "draft" a word used in reference to taking a drink in a story we read in class today. One idea I have is to have a group of students take a vocabulary word and present its web to the class, with different students explaining parts of a words meaning. I have been looking for good dictionary related activities for my classes and I thank you for this site...it has opened up a myriad of possibilities!
I found www.studyblue.com today. They are digital flash cards that can be used on-line and with smart phones. StudyBlue allows users to use the data as flash cards, quizzes or study notes. Users can create their own flash cards or use others – including teachers that can be easily looked up by school. I have already built in a set of flash cards and recommended this site to my staff and wife. I am sure to be using this resource soon!
The idea of cloud computing is remarkable. I had heard of cloud computing, but never really thought much about it. After reading about the cloud and watching videos on it, it seems to be a very cheap, secure, and easy to use computing method. Before now, I never thought about gmail as cloud computing. Before CEP 810, I always used Microsoft Word to create new documents. However, after using google documents this semester and realizing how easy it is to share the documents with others I will not go back to use Microsoft Word. Also, my documents do not get saved onto the computer. I can locate them anytime I log into gmail. Using google docs has been the best discovery for me this year.
Don't forget Lisa that saving more things in the Cloud, saves space and speed on your computer. Not only does it save paper, ink, and money, but also time in speed on your device, which in my opinion is much more valuable.
Today in CEP 810 we covered "The Cloud". Though it isn't a new concept, I am ever expanding my use of it. First, in Google Docs I find myself relying on it more every day. I am in charge of the mentoring program and in the past we would have students turn in bi-weekly logs of what they are doing in their mentoring class and have the classroom teachers fill out their grades and then sign the sheets as well. This would consume great amounts of paper, time, ink and cabinet space. This year, students submit all forms and papers via email attachment and its stored in the Google Doc group "mentors". Also, we created a spreadsheet that all teachers with mentors have, enter their grades for the students' performance. At the end of the semester I'll print the 4 page spreadsheet to have them sign and date. We just turned one case of paper (5,000 sheets) into 4! Second, I can enter grades and store their logs anytime, anywhere. Third, our school has their own "ISD Cloud" that when we save anything to our directories (which I never do, b/c of Google Docs) it saves it to the cloud. This is a great idea, however it must be said that the trick is to convince the entire staff to jump on board.