Qwiki – Great Presentation Tool for Teachers

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Qwiki is a fairly new web tool that allows creators to make short, 2- minute presentations, incorporating many different types of web media along with a video, audio or text narration you create.

FROM QWIKI
“Qwiki is very simple to use. Sign up for an account (it will be by invitation only for the next two weeks), decide what topic you want to make a Qwiki about, and then add up to six pieces of media — images, video, a Google map, etc. You can also add text to those image-heavy assets and then record a video narration to string together a visual, multimedia story.”

I found out about Qwiki in May and started using it in some of my classes. It’s an interesting and quick way to present information. When I have used QWIKIS, students have told me they enjoyed them because they were fast and got the message across using a lot of media formats they were used to seeing online.

In the post I’ve included a three part tutorial on how to create a Qwiki. I’ve also embedded a few Qwikis I have created and how I used them in my class.

QWIKI Tutorial

Part-1

Part-2

Part-3

My Qwiki Channel

Play the Qwiki: Kevin’s Qwiki Channel

How Other Media Outlets Use Qwikis

http://www.qwiki.com/abcnews

http://www.qwiki.com/Wood?q=bmYbCN

http://staging.qwiki.com/KelseyOnTheHouse?q=GVekgt

How I’ve Used it in My Class
http://pixelclassroom.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/assignment-2-first-blog-post/

Google Drive Is Here

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Google Drive has finally be released. Didn’t know it was even coming, that could be because you aren’t glued to your computer like I am. :)

So what is Google Drive. It’s Goggle getting into cloud storage. With Google Drive you get 5 gig of space in the Googlesphere (is that a word) and can upload whatever you want using it as a hardrive in space, then share it and work collaboratively if you choose. Drive is also tied to your Google Docs account, in fact, it  actually replaces Google Docs. All your files will remain but now instead of being stored in Google Docs, its called Google Drive.

But the cool thing is, like with DropBox, you can syn all your Google Drive content on multiple machine by loading the Google Drive Application to your computer. This is great news. Say you need to edit a paper but do not have internet access…just head over to your Google Drive folder on your computer, and all your files are right there. Edit away, and then when you have internet access again, Google Drive will sync all versions of the file automatically.

So why use Drive and not just stick with DropBox or whoever you are using for cloud storage? One really powerful feature of Google Drive is that it employs Google Search when you are looking for something in your Google Drive. So you could search for a name and it will look through the files, the text in the files, or the names of the files. Very cool. Another reason I am thinking of migrating to Google Drive is that its a Google product. I work in what was Google Docs a lot, so this would allow me to move even more towards all my work and much of my personal content being in the cloud. Extra space is also cheap. For 30 bucks a year you can bump your account to 25gig, and in doing so Google gives you an additional 25gig for your mail account. As someone who gets a lot of large emails and is now using 30% of there Gmail storage, that’s another big draw. Lastly, this is Google. When someone with that much power enters a market things change, storage gets cheaper, more functions are delivered, and Google has the juice to do it.

The people over at Edumedic have one of the best how-to posts I’ve seen about Google Drive so far. Take a look for more info. 

Are you planning to use Google Drive, or switch from DropBox to Drive?

Summer Class and Technology

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Forgive the ridiculous picture, it was a part of my thesis, and it seemed to fit. For my summer media communications class we are looking into how technology has changed various forms of communication. The topics include:

  1. How do we collaborate/communicate in class this summer
  2. How has social media changed the political landscape and empowered citizens to act.
  3. Books, Newspapers and Comic Books: Ink to Pixels
  4. TV and Movies: Diversity in Viewing Habits

I plan to have the students create blogs on WordPress.com and then post on these subjects after they have gone over the material I present. We will be using WordPress, Pinterest, and Twitter for the class. There will be no book, just media that I have collected along with a video lecture I will produce. I have been dying to try and create an iBook using Apple’s new software, but that will have to wait for a Fall class I’m teaching.

For example, for the political section of the class we will be focusing on how new media has helped groups speak out and allow their voices to be heard on a global scale. I have quite a bit of material for that and have added some of the content below.

Clay Shirky: How social media can make history
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html

Clay Shirky: How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_iN_QubRs0

Clay Shirky on what the government needs to know abut social media
http://blog.ted.com/2009/06/03/tedstate_clay_s/

Small Change
Why the revolution will not be tweeted.
by Malcolm Gladwell
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell#ixzz1rHydXaQI

The Political Power of Social Media
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67038/clay-shirky/the-political-power-of-social-media
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=all

I’m excited about the class and am looking forward to sharing the experience with you on the blog. I will be posting weekly to detail how I am using the technologies and materials I have outlined above.

Your thoughts?

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

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I came across this great infographic from OnlineUniversities.com, by way of Edudemic. It shows 16 different ways teachers are using Pinterest for education.

I plan on using Pinterest in a summer mini I’m teaching and am looking forward to using such a “new” tool in the class. I’ll be sure to post often about how its working in the class.

Is anyone else using Pinterest in the classroom? If so, how?

Other Post About Pinterest.

What is Pinterest
Pinterest Legal Issues
Pinterest Updates License Agreement

Paper.li – Read all about it

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OK, maybe not all about it, not this post anyway. I am working on a much larger post to explain how to setup and use Paper.li, but I am in the beginning stages of using this interesting piece of technology and want to understand it more.

Anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account can log-in and create a paper. paper.li provides you with easy to use tools to select your content. You choose your content streams and can create queries and searches based on Twitter users, #tags, keywords, Facebook, your own Twitter timeline, Google+ users, RSS feeds and more.

So your paper is created from the search criteria you set. There are other ways to mark content you would like to see in your paper, but that I’ll leave for a different post.

Here is the paper that I am working on. I say working on because, like I said, I’m in the learning stages of how to search for the right keywords and how they appear. Its not hard, but I think to create a paper that has everything in it you want, you need to tweak it a bit.

My Paper – Digital Life

Google Docs…What to do.

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So I just read this interesting post and free ebook over on Freetech4teachers.com, about Google Docs. I respect the educator that runs the blog and so when I saw that he creates 90% of his documents in Google Docs, I started to ask myself if I should be using it more. Currently I use it very infrequently and really only to upload a file I may need to access somewhere else.

I do use DropBox quite a bit, but you don’t create content in DropBox, you just store it. Google docs lets you create papers, presentations, and even forms that can be used for simple tests that you can give your students. You can then share this content with others, or you can collaborate on it with whoever you invite.

So I decided to give it a trail run and use it exclusively for an upcoming summer mini I am teaching. I did start working on the syllabus in Word, but I just uploaded the paper to Google Docs, created a folder titled COM316, and edited the syllabus slightly to get the hang of the word processor in Google Docs. It was simple and easy.

So I’ll be creating all my assignments, presentations and whatever other digital handout I need directly in Google Docs and share them with my students in the Summer mini, which is an online class. If all goes well I’ll start using it for other classes and then maybe for all my word processing. There’s something nice about the file being right there when you need it, online, on any computer you have access to. True, you need to have internet access to get at your work, but I’m trying to remember when I was somewhere while I was working that I didn’t. The other benefit it that you can access your work through your Ipad or Ipod and update papers you are working on. No need to purchase and download Pages.

How do you use Google Docs?