We are breaking ALL of the rules for #BlackFriday and giving you 48 hours to shop at your leisure.
We're also sharing two recent (and Awesome) events that have brought some attention to what Tosca Killoran, Jeff Hoffart, Janet Hannah, Riva Zietsoff and the rest of our brilliant team has been working so hard on for you!
Black Friday Deals
Black Friday is simply an excuse to offer our community some sweet deals. Symbaloo EDU approached us, so we teamed up with them and DedicatedTeacher.com to offer you up to 50% off of our own books, along with Many…Many more sweet deals.
Check out our "Black Friday Landing page" or click the image for details about deals on our books and sweet deals from: Symbaloo, Discovery Education, Apple, Blendspace, Lego Education, DedicatedTeacher, Barnes & Noble and more!
ChangeUP Rewards Social Innovators
We are extremely excited that ED-ucation Publishing won 1st place in the Okanagan Changemaker’s Social Innovation competition! Chosen as 1 of the top 3 to pitch (out of 16 applicants) at the sold-out ChangeUP event, 325 audience members voted for us as the #1 company that they felt would make the most effective change in a positive way.
We were extremely honored to share the stage with fellow Changemakers, including some powerful youth change agents, socially-minded organizations, charities, and companies, including: Chris Priebe, who helped create Club Penguin, has led teams at Disney and now works on creating safe digital environments for kids using Pottymouth Chat tools.
There are too many amazing people to spotlight, but we wanted to Thank the Okanagan Changemakers team for creating and holding the event, all of the pitch participants, showcase participants, and applicants for their commitment to making this world a better place!
Photos from the event (Courtesy of Glen Durrell Photography)
Global Education Conference 2013
We held the most attended session on Day 1 of this worldwide Education Conference! We were EXTREMELY excited to have more than 100 Attendees from all across the globe!
Participant Feedback: "I have learned more in this session than I have in 23 years of college!" -Greg (Hazlet Township Public Schools, NJ)
Tosca Killoran and Jeff Hoffart held a session on "Students as Creators", providing a plethora of #EdTech tools that foster the development of this movement. Jeff discussed these tools in the context of his classroom, providing examples of purposeful choice for authentic audiences, while Tosca rocked the discussions and networking going on in the chat!
Blog post (Presentation slides and Resources)
It's been busy lately, but we promise that we will soon return to our series on "Tools to Create"!
The next edition focuses on Creating Avatars, Talking Photos, Games, and Apps. Get your friends to subscribe, because this one is going to be Awesome!
We challenge YOU to CREATE! This week: Word Clouds, Mindmaps, Timelines and QR Codes!
Take a look at the preview image below; if you want to learn what these are and how to easily Create them, then Read on (or pass this along to anyone else you feel might be interested)!
For the next 3 weeks, learn how to Create: talking photos, avatars, remixed videos, games, apps, podcasts, etc... and send them to us! In our newsletters, we will feature some of the great stuff YOU have Created!
Here is the breakdown of the next few week’s of newsletters:
-Create Avatars, Talking Photos, Games, and Apps (Get your friends to subscribe, because this one is going to be Awesome!)
-Create Podcasts, Vodcasts, Remixed Videos and Hold Webinars or Online Conferences
-Bring it all together and publish your content, by creating a blog or website
For this week’s newsletter, we will focus on Creating visualizations (Word clouds, mind maps and timelines), which is the top block of 10 (to the right of “Popcorn maker”), as well as the 2 brown icons (QR Code Generators).
Wordle was one of the first to rock the scene with creating word clouds. Just a heads up, that they now have an App! If you have never created a word cloud, I am sure you have seem them around in ads, stores, online, etc... Word clouds take only a few minutes to create and can be highly effective in representing data or information, analyzing data in documents/sites (seeing which words occur most frequently), appealing to visual learners, or for marketing your brand.
TIP: For each of the tools below, you will likely have to have to latest version of Java or a browser plug-in; it will prompt you.
For teachers: 108 ways to use Word Clouds (sorted by different subjects)
For business use: 3 Ways to use Word Clouds as a Business Research tool
Quicknotes: No log-in or subscription required, just use it!
Use the quick “Start now” box and create a word cloud from a website, twitter account, news item or blog. You can also hit “Create”, press “Load” and then type or paste text. Personalize your font, colors, orientation, and then save it as a JPG or PNG.
101 ways to use Tagxedo
This is very similar to Tagxedo. If you sign-up (free), you can upload your own image (e.g. your logo) and the word cloud will fit to the image! Another cool bonus is that each word in your cloud is a clickable hyperlink to a search for that term on Google.
Benefits: No sign-up required. Likely the easiest of these tools to access and use and definitely has the largest amount of pre-created symbol shapes to create your word cloud.
Limitations: Not the greatest for larger blocks of text from sites or documents.
Get the App
Mind maps are a cool way to organize and visualize ideas, showing connections, hierarchy, categories and sub-categories. In University, I used Inspiration and as a teacher I have used Kidspiration, but these cost money, so let us enlighten you and save you a few bucks.
Benefits: Easy to use, timewarp option to go back through the changes you have made, can embed text, photos, links, YouTube or Vimeo videos, and there is a free App , Recommended for kids and families.
Limitations: The free version only allows you to create one Popplet. The Pro app costs $4.99, but it gives you access to real-time collaboration and allows you to create unlimited Popplets.
Benefits: Beyond images and text, you can also include Google maps, excel/word/PDF documents, links and calendar events. Recommended for businesses.
Limitations: 30-day free trial, free if your mindmaps are public, but limited use of space without paying.
This tool doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it is simple. You can create mind maps using bubbles and text and export the finished product as an image, all without signing in or creating an account (But, if you want to edit and change your creation, you might want to create a free account).
Creating timelines can be boring for kids or adults, but not anymore! These interactive timeline tools bring time to life and ensures time does not stand still! These are great tools for kids to look at school topics over time, understanding the development of an idea, invention, biography, etc... For businesses, this is a great way to show your progress and milestones.
"For anyone creating an online resume or portfolio, these tools show you are a Tech All-star, while communicating your resume-portfolio in a creative and innovative way." (Tweetable moment)
This is super easy to use, simple, and free (but you will have to put up with some banner ads on your pages - no biggie). Add events on a timeline with descriptions, dates, an image and a link. Once published, you can embed these timelines on a website or blog.
Capzles takes this same idea and has advanced capabilities (add videos, music, Excel/Word/PDF documents, background music) and there’s an App!
QR CODE READERS
I have never understood why companies charge people to create QR codes for you, when you can do it yourself in seconds for free! QR codes have taken off a little, but it is actually quite amazing the cool and creative ways you can use these things.
TIP: For you or others to scan these, you will need a QR reader.
APPS: “Scan” is the most common, but I find “RedLaser” to be the most dependable.
QR Code Readers for:
-Mac Laptops / Desktops (Uses built-in iSight camera)
-Windows Laptops / Desktops (Uses built-in webcam)
-QR Code Reader Website (Access from ANY computer, with no need to download)
QR CODE GENERATORS
Get creative! A few years ago, I had my parents work to get their Christmas present as they were sent on a QR code scavenger hunt around the house! For marketing, you could put these in your window, on your vehicle, on your merchandise, or on your clothes; the options are endless.
If you choose “static”, there is no log-in required. This means that the QR code will go to the website you entered. If you upgrade to Dynamic, you can log in and change where the QR code goes (e.g. people scan it to see your facebook profile, and a week later you can change it to go to your website).
This generator has a few more options (e.g. scan QR code to send a tweet, add your contact info. to their phone), but the key benefit here is that it turns your boring old QR code into a visual code using a library of background images, or upload your own.
QR Code Generator Website (Audio Message)
SnapVu: Create a QR Code, Track its Use, and Change its Navigation as needed
Remember: Send us any of your creations from last week's tools or from this newsletter!
In the next week, we will see how you great subscribers get on and may hold off an extra week to allow you to play and create!
That being said, the next newsletter is, by far, the most fun and interesting one we have ever created. Learn how to Create Avatars, Talking Photos, Games, and Apps! Help us add new subscribers because you will not want to miss this!
We challenge YOU to CREATE! For the next 5 weeks, learn how to Create: comics, animations, infographics, word clouds, timelines, avatars, talking photos, games, apps, podcasts, etc... and send them to us! In our newsletters, we will feature some of the great stuff YOU have Created!
THEME: It’s time to re-think our perspective on Technology from nouns (tools) like Powerpoint, Wordle, GoAnimate, to Verbs (skills) like Communicating, Presenting, and Telling stories!
I know, I know, the newsletter is late. Well, let me explain. I started compiling resources for this one newsletter on tech tools to Create, and then BOOM, Pandora’s box was opened! I realized that it was not for “A” newsletter, there was enough great sites and tools for 4 or 5 newsletters! I know many of our past newsletters have been biased towards only educators, but these resources are fantastic for Anyone: parents, grandparents, accountants, actors, construction workers, nurses, dragons, mythical beasts, unicorns, literally anyone.
Just a heads up that most of these tools require you to sign up; don't be deterred, they are free and only take a minute to sign-up.
Here is the breakdown of the next few week’s of newsletters:
Are you a visual learner? We’ve created a Symbaloo webmix, which provides links to ALL of the resources over the next 5 weeks. If you are ambitious, play around! For this week’s newsletter, we will focus on the first 3 columns on the left.
We told you that this newsletter is not only for kids, and here is proof in the pudding! Infographics are fantastic for businesses, marketing, researchers, and more! In a world with so much data and information (most presented as text-heavy stimuli), infographics allow you to visualize data in a fun, interesting, and engaging way, especially for visual learners! Here are 2 great tools. We have personally used Piktochart with grade five students and they were amazing, so you’re never too young, and both sites have How-to videos, or you can check out YouTube.
Piktochart: http://piktochart.com (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
Infogram: https://infogr.am (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
Interactive Images / Poster
Glogster is a little older and is pretty cool for an interactive digital poster, which you can embed in your website or blog. Thinglink rocks! It is super creative and allows you to embed video, music, links, and much more in an interactive image!
Glogster: http://www.glogster.com (30 Day Free Trial)
ThingLink: http://www.thinglink.com (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
Fake profiles for historical figures http://www.classtools.net/FB/home-page
(No sign-up or sign-in required)
This might be more for teachers, but is definitely a cool tool. For example, you could create a fake facebook profile using this tool for one of your heroes who lived over a hundred years ago. What would their Facebook status say? Who were their friends? Ditch the author biography and rock this new alternative!
I am not going to go into detail for each and every tool here. Essentially, these are all online tools for telling stories through animations, comics, videos, etc... Spend a few quick minutes clicking the links and see what you think.
Animate / Present
BOO to Powerpoint, YAY to engaging new tools that make Presentations more exciting!
GoAnimate: http://goanimate.com (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
Above is an example of the capabilities of what you could create using GoAnimate.
PowToon: http://www.powtoon.com (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
Above is an example of the capabilities of what you could create using GoAnimate.
Tellagami App (Animate your life!) https://tellagami.com
StoryBoard That! http://www.storyboardthat.com (Sign-up required)
I am a little bit biased towards BitStrips because I have used it for years. The reason I love it is that it truly gets kids thinking critically about every last detail. You can zoom images in and out, change the body language of characters, facial expressions, there is so much freedom! It’s fantastic for looking at all of the essential elements in creating a great visual story!
BitStrips: http://www.bitstrips.com (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
What is really cool about BitStrips is that they have recently created the BitStrips app for Facebook, which allows you to create status updates using your own avatar, and let’s you create comics that include any of your other friends who have created an Avatar using this app, in your comics.
If you are a teacher, check out the free class trial, where all of your students can create their own avatars and it groups them in an old-school class picture...very cool!
Pixton: http://www.pixton.com/ca/ (Facebook log-in or sign-up required)
Witty Comics: http://www.wittycomics.com (No Sign-up or sign-in required)
Pop-up 3D Book
ZooBurst: http://www.zooburst.com (Sign-up required)
StoryBird: http://storybird.com (Sign-up required, and has a safe sign-up option for kids under 13)
Now, keep in mind that in a few weeks, we will offer free tools where you can make screencasts, edit video, remix video and more. This is one simple tool that allows you to make animation-type videos.
ZimmerTwins: http://www.zimmertwins.com/movie/create (No sign-up or sign-in required)
Museum Box: http://museumbox.e2bn.org/index.php
Note: Students can't directly sign-up for this, but you can grab a teacher's account and then you are able to give students access to their own accounts)
Virtual tours http://edtechguro.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/virtual-tours-via-google-presentations/
This is a video that teaches you how to use PowerPoint to create Virtual tours. You could also use the same skills learned from this video, and instead of making a Virtual tour, you could create a “Choose your own Adventure” book!
Digital Storytelling Apps
33 apps for digital storytelling and creativity
If you want to tell stories using technology, but want to do it on your tablet, rather than your laptop or desktop, check out this list.
Start creating and send us what you’ve created so we can show it off in next week’s newsletter!
TECH Month continues and spills over into October....with Social Media!
Nick Chater: Where Quality and Quantity of TECH tweets meet!
Free Tech 4 Teachers: We featured Richard Byrne’s Twitter account a few months ago, but this might be a better place to follow if you prefer Facebook!
Med Kharbach: Fantastic TECH boards (e.g. Free Tech for Teachers, Google Guide for Teachers, YouTube Tools, 21st Century Education, Free iPad Apps, and Great Web Tools)
Teachers on Pinterest: Great boards for Pre-School to Grade 6 and Subject boards (more of an overall teaching resource, but some TECH interlaced)
We may or may not agree with these opinions, but these are perfect for inspiring some great discussions between staff.
Article 1: Should Schools Implement Social Media Policies?
Article 2: How (And Why) To Try Twitter Teams In School
Article 3: 10 Reasons we Need Social Media in Education
See you next week!
ED-venture #1: Welcome
#2 Take Action / Social Good
#3 TECH Websites
#4 TECH Apps
#5 TECH PD
#6 TECH in Social Media