It seems like I have always been an aficionado of utility software, particularly free programs that make my computer time faster and more efficient. To that end, I have gone through hundreds of them, many of which do the same things as programs I already use (for better or worse). When I see a program that easily does something I need to do or often do but in a less complicated way, I give it a shot.
One such task I perform is to grab parts of or links on a site that also has unwanted content such as ads, gambling, or porn. A recent alpha version program I have grabbed and examined is Web-Chops. This free tool lets you share a web site with students but importantly lets the teacher remove any unwanted materials from the page. Plus, it allows rearrangement of a custom page actually to share. Students will not see the unwanted items.
To download the program requires a free and easy registration. Installation is simple and use is pretty straightforward. Since this is an alpha release, there are a few little things to overcome, but overall does what it claims to do. Check it out at http://www.web-chops.com/ if you are interested.
I think many of us regularly use Zamzar for grabbing Youtube videos for use in classes and workshops. A cool new tool I have moved to now is a simple service which grabs the Youtube video link and then gives you a multiplicity of things to do with the actual video.
Try this technique. Copy the Youtube link, such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5R2puQK5fI, and type "pwn" in front of the "youtube" as in this example: www.pwnyoutube.com/watch?v=Y5R2puQK5 and hit Enter (or however you do that action). It takes you then to another web site where you can download the video as an FLV or MP4, convert it to another format before downloading it, and even modify the video in some cool but helpful ways: cut, chop, splice, add speech bubbles, and more.
Let me know how you like this tool.
I have run across yet another way to download YouTube videos that was new to me. In addition to the "kick" and "pwn" method, you can also replace the Y in YOU with the number 3. This will allow two download options, mp4 or flv. The last time I looked, there were some glitches with it, but it seems they have discovered the error and are working. I assume everyone has their favorite method, but it never hurts to have a back up plan
Great suggestion David on the YouTube trick- thanks! The word "kick" does the very same thing- what a coincidence!
Here are some other useful picture, vidoe and file extension convertors that I use quite often to get the content I need if it is blocked in a school discrict- or if I only need a portion of the subject matter:
The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings. http://www.google.com/publicdata/home
I can imagine myself and other teachers using these data across the curriculum for discussions, documentation, and PBL with their students.
I honestly haven't used this resource in a training YET, but Google now has the following data set resources available. The visualizations could make for some excellent open-ended discussions. In fact, the types of essential and penetrating questions used in the document link to follow could be pretty valuable in discussions of these data. http://decal.ga.gov/documents/attachments/Questions_Children_Think.pdf
How do you think you could use this Web 2.0 tool (either with your students or for teachers with whom you share)?
I can see this thread going on and on forever. Thanks, Naomi for starting such a hot topic.
When in the classroom, I was always looking for creative ways to get my students to write. Even though I taught science and math one year, I still required my students to write. I feel writing is a skill that has to be emphasized in every grade level and every subject.
I recently came across this site that looks so fun. Now I have to find a class to use it with
Glypho- "the new way to read and write stories online"
Here is how it works.
1. Jot down your story idea.
2. People around the world give character and plot ideas.
3. Chapter contributions are written.
4. People review and vote for their favorite chapters
5. The story goes on...