‘Practic-All’

Pragmatic tools and ideas for the classroom

Digital Magic #17

Photos and Bookmarks

Tagging and Storing them online!

Digital Magic was about the K12Online Conference two weeks ago, and Digital Magic featured Del.icio.us last June.

Well I’m combining those and featuring Chris Betcher‘s K12Online presentation called “I Like Delicious Things: An Introduction to Tagging and Folksonomies”.

He talks about saving and storing photos and bookmarks online, as well as the use of a really cool tool called Wordle. He focuses on ‘tagging’ which is like sorting into folders stored online.

Like all other K12Online presentations, this presentation is just 20 min. long and so it is a really quick way to get some Pro-D on using tech tools.

Also, if you are interested in storing all of your bookmarks online, so that you can access them from any computer at any time, (one of the most useful things technology has done for me), then ask our resident expert Stan to help you out. He just recently presented on del.icio.us at CUEBC. Or, go back to Digital Magic #9 to find out a whole lot more and to explore my bookmarks.

—–

Things that make you go hmmmmm…

How can you use Wordle in the classroom? Words used most frequently show up larger. I used my Statement of Educational Philosophy to create this wordle.

Statement of Educational Philosophy

Statement of Educational Philosophy

How could you use this with provided texts or student work?

November 2, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., del.icio.us, digital magic, Pair-a-Dimes, technology, tools, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #17

Digital Magic #14

Creating a Wiki Page with Sharon Vanderhook

Thanks to Sharon for doing a great job breaking down the steps for those who may not feel totally comfortable with this great tool. Teachers can learn more about signing up for ad-free Wikipsaces here. I know these kinds of steps are just what my wife needs to get going on a wiki, and Sharon and I both hope that they will help you out too!

_____

To Create a Wiki:

* Go to Wikispaces.com and sign up for a new account
* Sign up for the education plan – it’s free! You need to get a free plan first and then request to change it to an education plan so you get no ads and it’s FREE!
* Make sure you don’t leave any spaces in your name (you can leave a space by using an underscore – ex: Ms_Smith)
* Create your Home page (you will attach all your other work pages to this one)

Settings

* name your Home page
* If you specify you are using the wiki for educational purposes they will delete the ads that run along the side of your wiki

Under Look and Feel:

* you can choose the Theme
* background, text, links, and menu colors. Note that not all themes support all color options (I use original which allows my choice of background color).
* Choose a logo for your page

Permissions:

* Here you can specify who you want to view your site (public, private, or protected (where others can view but not edit your page).
* When you have people signed up on your site then you can also view who is a member of the wiki and delete or invite people here.
* You can specify whether messages are allowed from non-members
* It’s best to keep only you as the organizer with the ability to add/delete people from the wiki

Recent Changes

* You can see the history of the changes made to the site (which page, date, time and name of editor)
* If you click on the page or date/time it will show you what was deleted (red highlight) or inserted (green highlight)
* You can click on the name and see how many edits they have done and how many messages they have posted

New Page

* You can create new pages here to attach to your wiki
* New pages can also be created on the edit menu
* If you want to create a subpage (like personal spaces for students to do work) from your main page you can do this by going to edit this page and then highlighting the word (name) you want to link to the new page and then clicking on the web link icon (chain on world) then type in the title for the new page where it says wiki link. This will link the word to a new page that is a subpage (it won’t show up on the navigation bar on the left) of the one named on the wiki link.

Manage Space

* Located on the left bar
* Can access the settings where you can change the setup of your wiki, changer permissions, domain name, look and feel, as well as see what pages are attached
* On list pages you can print, lock, unlock, or delete pages. You need to lock the page if you don’t want anyone else to edit it.

Edit your page

* Holding your cursor over top of the button on the menu bar will tell you what the button does
* On this page they give you directions on how to edit your home page (by clicking on the edit this page button at the top)
* The first 3 buttons are bold, italic, and underline
* The next button, A, will allow you to change the font, color, and alignment (and sometimes the background color)
* The Normal button is for the type of heading you want.
* The next 2 buttons are for numbered or bullet lists
* The next button with the AlA allows you to put a horizontal line across the page to separate the sections
* The next 2 globes with a link are the add link and remove link buttons to link to other sites or to link pages within your wikispace
* The palm tree box is the add images or documents to the wiki
* The TV is used to inbed widgets (RSS feeds, video, audio, calendar, documents, polls, other Wikispaces, slideshows, maps, bookmarks, and other HTML (which is what I used to insert my cluster map)
* The table is used to insert a table

Inserting a Table of Contents

* In Edit This Page put [[toc]] at the top of the page and a Table of Contents box will be created on the right side of your wiki.
* Then you need to highlight text and change it from Normal to Heading 1 for the main headings
* For subheadings highlight the text and choose Heading 2

Changing your Profile

* You can add a picture or avatar to your profile
* You can send and receive messages. This will also allow you to send messages to everyone in your membership group. If you have messages, a letter with a red circle and a number to show how many messages you have, will appear next to your name at the top of your wiki page.

Discussions

* You can post discussion items here and respond to other people’s posts.
* You can see how many people have viewed the posting as well as how many replies they have had.
* By clicking on the discussion item you can see what was said, who said it and when. You can also delete items (if they are inappropriate).

Notify Me (on top menu bar)

* Here you can set your monitoring ability for the pages. You can receive RSS Feeds for page edits and page discussions but this will load up your email so I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s easy enough to go in yourself and check the edits done on the page history.

Navigation Bar

* You can edit the navigation bar on the left side of your WikiSpace by clicking on the bottom link – edit navigation
* The Navigation Bar will allow you to move between the pages on your WikiSpace.

Inserting a Clustr Map

* You can add a thumbnail world map that will count show the location of all the visitors to your page. By clicking on it you can zoom in to a big world map, and even zoom in on continents
* You can get a free cluster map from http://www.clustrmaps.com/.
* You need to register to get one and they will send you a password to your email. On the registration page you need to type in the URL of where you want the clustrmap to go. Then type in your email address twice.
* Go to your email to retrieve your password. Make sure when you log on to your ClustrMap you change your password right away.
* When you go to your ClustrMap file then copy the url
* On your wiki click Edit This Page and then click on the add widget button and then other HTML and paste in the URL.

_____

Thanks again Sharon! Want to learn more about wiki’s? Ask Sharon, Lawrence, Stan or I and we will be happy to share more!

Here is another introduction to wikis that I first linked to in Digital Magic #1.

Did you see how Lawrence used his wiki for Digital Storytelling in last week’s Digital Magic?

…And finally, here is a wiki I did for Grade 8 Science (the front page is my daily agenda), and a reflection that I did afterwards.

_____

Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

October 13, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., David Truss, digital magic, feature, Pair-a-Dimes, teaching, technology, tools, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #14

Digital Magic #12

Digital Magic #12 :: Big Thinking

Google is sponsoring a contest:

Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.

May those who help the most win!

– – – –

Also, here are a few people making a difference:

Students here in our district are using: Kiva.org.

Craig and Mark Kielburger: Free the Children.

Sarah McLachlan: World on Fire.

 

Click for World on Fire Video

Click for World on Fire Video

– – – –

Things that make you go hmmmmmm…

Are these ideas worth talking about with students?

How can you use one of these links/ideas in your classroom?

Do our students believe that they can make a difference in the world? 

– – – –

Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

September 28, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., David Truss, digital magic, education, learning, lessons, Pair-a-Dimes, social responsibility, Social Studies, teaching | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #12

Digital Magic #10

A Brave New World-Wide-Web

Last February I did a presentation to student teachers from SFU. It was done on Powerpoint and I wanted to put it on a wiki so I added it to a service called Slideshare. By adding it there, others could see it as well as the SFU group. I was shocked at the response, here are the current stats:

3676 views  |  4 comments  |  17 favorites  |  105 downloads  |  40 embeds

A number of people suggested that I make it into a video. I decided that I would do this for the end of one of my presentations at BLC08 this summer. So I added to the Powerpoint some details about how I am a networked teacher, as well as some music, and here is what I came up with in video format:

(It loads faster on the web site here. Or click below and be patient while it loads.)

One thing to understand is that this was not an easy process for me! I had a really hard time converting my Powerpoint presentation with timed advances into the video you see above. In fact, I didn’t have it ready until I had some help from my network this weekend. (I had to show it in Powerpoint format in Boston). You can see this video in very poor quality, here on YouTube, but it is crystal clear above thanks to another free service that was pointed out to me, called Blip.tv. I’m by no means an expert, but more than ever I’ve become connected to people who can help me! 🙂

The student quotes in the video are real quotes from feedback that I got on my first blogging and wiki experiences with students. These experiences really changed my thinking as a teacher.

My other blog Pairadimes for Your Thoughts has been a chronicle of what I’ve learned from engaging students with web2.0 tools online.

So there is a story about me and some of the things I’ve done online. I hope to feature some of you with your experiences. It can be as simple as describing a link you really like, or a lesson you’d like to share. Or it can be a story about how you’ve used technology to really engage a student or a class! Let me know what your thinking and I’m glad to help you out with it!

– – – –

Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

September 14, 2008 Posted by | About Me, across the curric., David Truss, digital magic, education, feature, learning, Pair-a-Dimes, teaching, technology, tools, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #10

Digital Magic #8

Welcome to Dave’s Digital Magic #8

Here are 5 links for you to explore.

1. THE FEATURE OF THE WEEK!

Wikimapia

A world map that you can add information on.

Our school is on there, but it could use an update… the local 7-11 is labeled too.

You can add pictures and information anywhere on the map.

– –

2. Fun with Blocks

CUBESPACE

Your own digital landscape

Ever wanted to create your own isometric pixel picture, but didn’t know what the word isometric meant? Well, now you can fulfil your wildest dreams with Cubescape!

– – –

3. More Artistic fun…

Kaleidoscope

Not sure how you would use this with a class, but I had fun with it!

– – –

4. Science Galore

James Linzel’s Science Links on U Tech Tips

Astronomy, Simple Machines, Chemestry, Biology… and more!

– – –

5. THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMM…

The Three E’s

That brings me to the third E, “Empowerment”.

In this approach students are part of the system itself. They participate in decisions about what is taught, what they would like to learn, and what strategies and tools they would like to use in the learning process. Some may decide to work more independently, some in groups; but they are part of the process of deciding what goes on in their own learning.

I attempted something like this with my ScienceAlive Wiki. I reflected on the project and how I would improve on it here: Wikis in the classroom: a reflection.

As we head into June, what can we do to help students leave our school feeling like they are empowered learners?

– – – –

Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

May 25, 2008 Posted by | Art, David Truss, digital magic, Pair-a-Dimes, Science, tools, web based | , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #8

Making a Difference

[Cross-posted with my Pair-a-Dimes blog]

Here is a great thing to do with your online students:

Donate Free Rice to help end world hunger… (and improve your vocabulary while you are at it!)

Free Rice Screenshot (Main Page)

Here is a news article about it, in case you would like to use it for current events.

Free Rice Screenshot sycophant

Advertising at the bottom of the screen changes with every question to promote the companies that donate the rice.

Level 50 is all but impossible to get to without a dictionary, which I encourage… After all, what is the harm in having students looking up words in the dictionary? This is also a good time to introduce using Google as a dictionary.

Google as Dictionary


– – – – –

On a similar (Social Responsibility) topic, check this out:

Make Your Difference is a contest to empower youth to impact the world through creating a new possibility in their school, community, city and beyond into positively impacting the world.”

– – – – –

We really can make a difference, especially if we help our students recognize that they can make a difference!

November 14, 2007 Posted by | learning, Pair-a-Dimes, social responsibility, Social Studies, teaching, web based | Comments Off on Making a Difference

Multiplying Integers: Why is -3 x -4 = +12?

Here are

‘The Rules’ and ‘The Reasons’,

‘The How’ and ‘The Why’

for Multiplying Integers.

I uploaded a couple pages of my Math Model Book for a ‘Pair-a-Dimes’ post, “Assessment & Rote Learning: Math Conundrums“… and thought I would share these very practical resources here.

The first page has The Rules for Multiplying and Dividing Integers.

Rules for multiplying & dividing integers

Next, using counters, I look at Why the Rules for Multiplying Integers Work*. I call this lesson “Why is a negative times a negative a positive?” and slowly build up to this at the end of the lesson. I enjoy seeing the a-hah moments in students when they finally understand this concept.

*It is very important to have pre-taught the concept of zero before this lesson, (the same negative and positive number together cancel each other out: together -4 and +4 = 0).

But what about division you might ask? I find this harder to show with counters so I usually explain that every multiplication question has two equivalent, related division questions:

If               3 x 4 = 12       Then        12 ÷ 4 = 3         and         12 ÷ 3 = 4

So if,     -3 x -4 = +12     Then     +12 ÷ – 4 = -3     and     +12 ÷ -3 = -4

This makes further sense to students when they realize that multiplying two integers with opposite signs = negative, and they can see that the same rings true for division as well.

March 24, 2007 Posted by | David Truss, lessons, Math, Pair-a-Dimes, teaching, tools | 18 Comments

Numeracy Task 2 – Flipping Hidden Cups

Four CupsA round table has four deep pockets equally spaced around its perimeter. There is a cup in each pocket oriented either up or down, but you cannot see which. The goal of the game is to get all the cups ‘up’ or all the cups ‘down’. You do this by reaching into any two pockets, feeling the orientation of the glasses, and then doing something with them, (you can flip one, two, or none). However, as soon as you take your hands out of the pockets the table spins in such a way that you can’t keep track of where the pockets you have visited are. If the four glasses ever get oriented all up or all down a bell rings to signal you are done. Can you guarantee that you will get the bell to ring in a (maximum) finite number of moves, and if so, how many?

– – – – –

You can find out more about Numeracy Tasks in my ‘Pair-a-Dimes’ blog.
I will tag all tasks like this with Numeracy so that they are easy to find in one location.

Please feel free to post questions or your best answer in a comment… but do not ruin the challenge for others by explaining how you got to that answer here! If you feel compelled to share your method, please do so by contacting me. Thanks!

January 27, 2007 Posted by | contact, David Truss, lessons, Math, Numeracy, Pair-a-Dimes | 1 Comment

Numeracy Task 1 – The Glass Orb Drop

 

'Sphere_2720' by doviendeYou have two glass orbs of equal strength and a 40 story building.
Your task is to determine the highest floor from which you can drop an orb without it breaking.
What is the least number of drops required to do this?
Both orbs may be broken in order to determine your answer.
– – – – –


You can find out more about Numeracy Tasks in my ‘Pair-a-Dimes’ blog.
I will tag all tasks like this with Numeracy so that they are easy to find in one location.

Please feel free to post your questions or best answer in a comment… but do not ruin the challenge for others by explaining how you got to that answer here! If you feel compelled to share your method, please do so by contacting me. Thanks!

Image: ‘Sphere_2720’by doviende

January 27, 2007 Posted by | contact, David Truss, lessons, Math, Numeracy, Pair-a-Dimes | 1 Comment

Basic Blog Rules: Respect, Inclusion, Learning and Safety.

I posted my “Blog Rules- Just the basics” on my ‘Pair-a-Dimes for Your Thoughts’

blog just now and realized that this could be ‘Practic-All’ too.

Details are on the other blog… but the simple basics are right here.

Basic Blog Rules Post

January 9, 2007 Posted by | across the curric., David Truss, education, learning, Pair-a-Dimes, social responsibility, Social Studies, technology, web based | Comments Off on Basic Blog Rules: Respect, Inclusion, Learning and Safety.