Dec 24, 2010

Top Ten from 2010...What would you add to this list?

Here is a list of 2.0 tools that were awesome in our school in 2010.

1. Imagination Cubed: Draw pictures with friends (anywhere). This is a great tool for anticipatory sets and closures.

2. Tagxedo: It is similar to wordle and imagechef, where you can create a word collage but with tagxedo you can add awesome images to bring more meaning to your collage.

This tagexdo was made to introduce our staff to our school community. Here is a tagexdo of one of our teacher's.

3. Wallwisher: A collaborative way to share thoughts with virtual sticky notes.

Our school community used this wallwisher to share our thoughts on hope after reading the book "Ruby's Hope".

4. Prezi: A presentation tool that uses a map that has multiple layers and interesting ways to layout text, image and video. It is a non-linear way to present information.

This prezi was made to deepen our understanding of the 7 Habits at our school. Grade 3 students then made their own prezi on the habits.

5. Glogster EDU: This is a virtual poster. You can add images, videos and graphics to present information.

This glog was made to introduce our computer club on our school wiki.

6. Domo-Animate: You can create mini movies with domo.

This is made by a Grade One student.

7. Tag Galaxy: You can find lots of great images on tag galaxy.

8. I moved from Delicious to Diigo this past year. I love the collaboration with research, the highlighting and sticky notes.

9. Twitter is definitely a favorite. This is a place where I reflect with my PLN on Web 2.0 and 21st Century Learning.

And one that I just discovered and will begin playing with to see how I will use it in the classroom is:

10. Museum Box: You can showcase images and present information in a unique, multi-layered way.

Look at this museum box on the inner planets:

Click a box and it takes you to a cube with information that a student has added:

Whew! That is a cool tool! I can't wait to try it with my class in the New Year.

What was your favorite 2.0 tool that you used this past year?

Dec 3, 2010

How does google really work?

I heard about googlebots a while ago and began to wonder if they really do help make my searches more efficient.

I went to one of my favourite networks (youtube) to find answers to my wonderings. The video below does a fine job of explaining how the google search engine works. It discusses the "spiders" or google bots, which are sent out and go to websites to collect data. One type of data that they collect include the number of people that visit a site. When you search for something, know that the sites that appear first for you have been ranked by the bots based on how many hits (visits) it has had.

There are certain "tricks" that you can learn to refine your searches and to get more of what you want. It would be important for students to research ways to effectively search and to find tips and tricks for their research assignments. They can use simple tricks discussed below and search for "google + operators" where they will find google cheat sheets and guides to help specify searches. I typed in "google + operators" and came up with some quick, easy tips (and cheats) to refine my searches so that I get what I am searching for.

Here are 5 quick tips to begin efficient searching:

1. By adding "intext" before key words in a search, you get a search for the word in the main body of the text.

2. By adding "inurl" to a search will give you terms within just the url (uniform resource locator-the web address). If you want to see what the website you searched for looked like the last time the bot visited the page, just add the term "cache" before the url in the search.

3. By adding "info:" to the search, you will get just the information on the subject.

4. To find sites that have keywords in the title of a page add "intitle:" or "allintitle"

5. To find links to a particular webpage add "link:" before the url in your search.

Don't forget about the google advanced feature!

Students and teachers can save time and get great information when they know how to find it and understand how it found them!

Happy surfing!