Category Archives: edutech

Playing with Infographics

My First Infographic

My First Infographic  Just messing around with Piktochart.


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Filed under edutech, personal, tools

Death by Powerpoint

I’m attending an IT conference. This is the problem. I’m enjoying the wireless connection on my laptop but my session is not inspired. I am a slide presentation snob. I do not want to read a presentation, I want to see the visuals which tell the story. Best advice I ever received was from a math colleague, Power point is not “Tell and Tell”, it is “Show and Tell”.

That is not to say that he isn’t sharing good ideas but it could be so much more powerful if he showed what he was saying. “I’ll show you later”. Why? You could show us at the same time.

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Filed under curriculum, edutech

What Counts Wordle

In response to Paul, at quotereflections, I am adding to the meme which makes a Wordle from your RSS feed.  I am actually kind of pleased with it.  I wish I knew a bit more about the numbers which make different colours in html so I could make a custom coloured Wordle but time doesn’t permit that exploration today. I’ve been able to reduce the word count and embed the code. That’s enough learning for the day! Like Paul, I’m finding them rather small. I wonder how to change that. hmm.  If you click on it, it will take you to a page view or you can see it at Wordle.

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Filed under blogging, edutech, learning, meme

New Things

I’ve been trying out some of the applications that I heard about in the last year and didn’t have time to play with during the writing, reading, class taking of the academic year.  I must admit I haven’t a deep knowledge of the finer uses for these tools but I have had a chance to make a first impression which I thought I’d record here for my own reference later.  If you happen to be reading along, you are welcome to share with me your experiences.  I’d be happy to expand my understanding, without the involved hours of playtime.

Zoho Notebook 

This is a totally cool application.  It reminds me of a wiki page but I think the interface may be even easier.  You can share a whole notebook of pages, a single page or a single object in a page.  I can see the collaboration value of having a shared notebook as a classroom while working on a theme.  I have typically had my walls covered with chart paper brainstorms, the results of experiments and the vocabulary but imagine a shared notebook page containing a diagram of the lab set up, a Flickr pic with notes showing the vocabulary and student comments on the content.  Cool.


Sorry guys, not as impressive.  Ok that tool itself may well be impressive but as far as I can tell  I only get 5 documents in the trial version and I can’t figure out how I get out of trial if I want a free version with more documents to play with.  It wasn’t otherwise hard to use but if I have to pay, it’s not happening for school.  It’s an online tool which makes it possibly more accessible on the school network.  I haven’t had much of a chance to check out the limitations of the system in my new school.


Very interesting search tool.  Seems to have a free version.  I love the mapping tool.  I have a standard search on spiders that I do when I can’t think of anything else.  I was pleased with the ‘meta’ functions.  At least that’s what I want to call it when it does the categorization for me and maps it out.  It only searches with Yahoo and Wikipedia in the free version which is a little disappointing.  Good for a quick and dirty search if you are in a hurry.  

This is a pretty simple looking tool.  I like the possibilities for mindmapping with younger children.  It would have limitations for more advanced uses I think.  I wish I could change the bubble shape but it can change the colours.  I think it might be a good starter tool for kids just new to things.  Simple interface.


I didn’t spend much time here but I like the look of this tool.  I looked at the demo documents and I like the variety of options for bubble shapes, lines and organization.  It would be helpful as a sharing tool to be web-based which is where it would be an improvement on Inspiration.  It has a free basic version.  Seems worth trying. I think I would try this over Gliffy and as a step up from

Amazing things to speculate on using.  School is just around the corner.  Whee!


Filed under education, edutech, tools, web 2.0

Excellent small steps

Good news on the homefront.  Through the combined efforts of our administration and teacher librarians, there is now a link on every schools home page to an e-library page.  Not only that the teacher librarians are going to be a part of developing a new look for the e-library page.  Very cool.  I am so proud of our teacher librarian team.  I know there has been some behind the scenes work before this change was announced.  I can’t wait to see the new look of the page.  I remember reading some work by Doug Johnson on successful school webpages.  Might be helpful for the people doing the work. It is hard to sit on the outside and just watch when you want to be in there and getting your hands dirty.  C’est la vie.  For now I’m with the farmers, maybe next year. I wonder if I’ll be able to work on my school’s site.  Hmm, I can tell my brain is ready to work on next year.

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Trouble with Liveblogging

I tried to live blog today. For some reason when I went to save my post it was lost. I don’t know if it was a server problem or a connection problem or an error on my part. It is frustrating though. I think I would probably just open up in word next time and at least have a digital form or my notes. But I can’t directly copy from Word into WordPress, a small but understandable frustration with the difficulty translating between applications and clearly a problem with being a ‘slave’ to business controlled apps. I am not savvy enough as yet to navigate the world of open source and find a solution to my problem should it exist. But it is something to consider in the educational forum.

I don’t personally want to figure out coding from all the possible angles but on the other hand, I hate being strung up by the limitations of not coding for myself. For instance with my website – which I created with Dreamweaver. I don’t know enough code to add and take away things without doing it from the University where I have access to Dreamweaver software and in fact, I don’t know if I even can get at the code which was created with Dreamweaver from ‘outside’. More reasons to know more. I wish I had a handy-dandy thirteen year old at my disposal. Maybe my son will turn into one of those kind of thirteen year olds. Only 7 years to go!


Filed under edutech, personal, web 2.0

Children’s Literature – Introduction to the Project

I’m taking a course on Canadian and Aboriginal literature for children and young people this term. My professor and I are going to be using my blog as our key point of information transfer. I have been mulling over the appropriateness of this use of a blog – basic one to one communication. I could be doing my work via email but we are going to stick with the blogging piece of the program. I think it offers a couple of advantages. I can get the word out to the world at large about some wonderful books that I am reading and I can help my professor improve her comfort level with blogs, feed readers and RSS. She wants to go here and needs a good reason. I am hoping that some of my 25 or so regular readers will participate in the discussion at least intermittently but I’m not sure how many links I will have in my posts so it could be a bit of a battle to find an audience. Welcome one and all, let us know if you are listening.

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Filed under blogging, children's lit, edutech, learning