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Top 10 FREE Web 2.0 Sites for Educators (2007) April 29, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

I found this article, and even though it is dated 2007 I thought some of the sites they mentioned were interesting – especially since we are using several of them in our Masters Program.

Top 10 FREE Web 2.0 Sites for Educators (and a few honorable mentions) as presented by http://www.teach42.com

1) Del.icio.us – This social bookmarking site not only serves a very basic function with online bookmarking, but it connects people to MANY websites that are tagged, described and organized by freshness. There is also a RSS feed on every page.

2) Bloglines – With Bloglines, you can see others that are following the same blog as you and follow their blog trail also. 

3) Flickr – Flickr is a social photo sharing site. It has 2.0 features like RSS, contacts, comments, groups,and much more. It also has the ability to do searches for Creative Commons images that students actually have the rights to use in their presentations and digital stories.

4) Picnik – This image editing site is well laid out, easy to navigate, and intuitive. You can use the website without even registering, making it incredibly education-friendly. It allows you to “crop, resize, eliminate red-eye, adjust color and brightness levels, and save in a variety of formats. Throw in the ability to import directly from Flickr, and export to a variety of services including Flickr, Photobucket and Kodak Easyshare, and you have an app that integrates well into the rest of the 2.0 world” (2007).

5) Jumpcut – Jumpcut allows students to work on their digital stories from any computer in any browser. It includes features you might not expect in an online video editor, like titles, effects, and the ability to overlay audio files. 

6) GCast – Anybody can upload audio files to GCast, organize them into a single or multiple podcast feeds, and then generate a flash player that is incredibly easy to embed into a blog or web site. The flash player includes subscription links, allowing listeners to subscribe via iTunes or email. 

7) Google Docs and Spreadsheets – It’s collaborative. While editing a document, you can invite other people to work on it with you. Windows or Mac, Firefox or Explorer, Docs and Spreadsheets has everything you’d expect in a word processor and spreadsheet program.

8) Vyew – This is a free webinar solution, similar to WebEx and Elluminate. It does have features that you’d normally pay tens of thousands for, such as the ability to share PowerPoints, whiteboarding, desktop sharing. It also provides you with a phone number that you can use to host an audio conference with up to 100 people. The presentation room can hang around, even when you aren’t there, so people who couldn’t attend can still pop in to see what they missed. Great for distance learning and live demonstrations. 

9) & 10) pbWiki & WikiSpaces – pbWiki has a new point and click editor and templates that are easy on the eyes. You can also save your wikis as a PDF or create a slide show from it. Wikispaces is firmly committed to education and is in the process of giving away 100,000 ad-free wikis to educators. It has a simple WYSIWYG editor that does support embedable media (like from YouTube or Google Video).

Honorable Mentions

Stikkit – This site looks amazing, and could be great for group projects and collaborative note taking. 

Ning – Great site that lets the user create Groups for other users to join.

Skype and Google Earth – Desktop applications.

Remember the Milk – Site that helps you manage your tasks.

Dembo, S. (2007). Top 10 FREE Web 2.0 Sites for Educators and a few honorable mentions. Retrieved April 29, 2009 from http://www.teach42.com/2007/03/06/top-10-free-web-20-sites-for-educators-and-a-few-honorable-mentions.


Pop-Up Video April 26, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

So, have you ever watched Pop-Up Video on VH1?  I love it.  I thought it was so cool to read the information in the bubbles during the video and I got to listen to some of my favorite songs also.

I found a great website on Go 2 Web 2.0.  BubblePLY lets you put the bubbles in your videos.  What a cool feature!  And what do you think your students (or viewers) would say when watching a normal video and suddenly and information bubble popped up?  Add a little something to your podcasts, classroom videos, etc. to get your students’ attention.  They will be waiting to see what pops up next.

Copyright and Creative Commons April 24, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

If you are a member of this group on Ning, you should have received this information via e-mail.  If not, here is a great opportunity to learn and share information on Copyright and Creative Commons.  Since this is in our Week 3 Discussion, I thought I would use it as a Blog.

Date: Sat., Apr. 25, 2009
Time: 9:00am Pacific/10:00am Mountain/11:00am Central/12:00pm Eastern
Location: Elluminate Link – 
http://tinyurl.com/clu6ua (Links to other time zones and meeting room can be found at http://live.classroom20.com/)
This SaturdayApr. 25th, Peggy George, Lorna Costantini and Kim Caise will be hosting another Classroom 2.0 LIVE web show. As an extension to the Classroom 2.0 Ning community, Classroom 2.0 “LIVE” shows are an opportunity to gather with other educators in real-time events, complete with audio, chat, desktop sharing, and sometimes even video.  A Google calendar of shows is available athttp://live.classroom20.com/calendar.html. If you haven’t used Elluminate before, we encourage you to view this tutorial to prepare for the Elluminate session: Elluminate tutorial video.
The topic 
this Saturday is: “Copyright and Creative Commons”. Our special guest will be Kristin Hokanson, author of the “Connected Classroom” blog. Please join us to share your ideas and questions. Links for more information can be found at http://live.classroom20.com. We strive to make our shows beginner-friendly although they are designed to be conversations around using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. If you’ve never participated in a live web meeting, don’t be afraid to come and observe. ‘Dip your toes in’ the conversations until you feel comfortable enough to “jump into the conversations with both feet”! We want to encourage “experienced Web 2.0 users” to join us by contributing and extending the conversation by sharing real-life examples and tips/suggestions.
On the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! site (
http://live.classroom20.com) you’ll find the recordings from our recent “Digital Storytelling” show with guest Rushton Hurley. Click on the “Archive” tab.
Special thanks to our sponsor, Elluminate, for providing the forum that allows us to do this!
Visit Classroom 2.0 at: 

Now, looking at what I have copied, not sure how to reference this information since it is from an e-mail.  However, I am researching that and will correct it in an Edit at a later time – hopefully today.

Copyrights, especially with on-line content, music, art, is becoming a huge topic.  What should be copyrighted?  What types of usage breaks the copyright laws?  Is it time we look at the copyright laws and re-write them?  These are questions that we are hearing?  Do we need to be specific and say, if you alter my material in anyway does not make it your material, so you are breaking Copyright laws?  Maybe these will be discussed in the Classroom 2.0 Live session.

Will You Continue to Blog? April 19, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

As Emergent Technologies in a Collaborative Culture is about mid-way through, I wonder how many of us will continue our blogs.  I have thought about and come up with reasons why I would want to continue.

  1. My blog is a place where I can think, reflect, and plan
  2. I am forced to read most, if not all, of the information in order to write my blog entry
  3. I am able to get feedback from peers and others about the information that I include in my entries
  4. I surprise myself with the information I am able to locate
  5. It’s just plain fun sometimes

I was checking out information on what is a blog, how to blog, etc.  Wordpress actually has an informative page that answers those questions.  Introduction to Blogging answers the question “What is a “blog”?”  It also lists some tips to follow when blogging.  For example, 

  • Post if you have something worth posting about, but try to post on a regular basis
  • Stay with a few specific topics to talk about.  Don’t be all over the place in your blogging posts

So, instead of the usual informative blog where someone may post a comment for me, I have a few questions for anyone who reads this to answer:

  1. Do you plan to continue blogging after this class?  What about after we graduate?
  2. What are some reasons why you plan to continue to blog?
  3. If you were trying to convince a colleague that a blog would benefit him or her, what would you tell them?

Entrepreneurial Game for Business April 19, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

Anyone who teaches about Entrepreneurship should check out this game.  Hot Shot Business is a game where the player gets to choose a business to open.  They name the business, choose to use their own money or take out a loan to start the business, and set the prices.  The player goes through each week either producing or providing a service (depending on the business).  At the end of each week, the financials for the business are shown.

Business options are opening a Pet Spa, Custom Skate Shop, Candy Factory, Pro Landscaping, and a Comic Shop.  The business owner gets to choose advertising methods (at a cost) and how long to advertise. 

It’s a great way to break up a unit and give students an opportunity to “play” and learn a little more about running a business.  I have students print out the end of the week financials and write a summary paper when the game is over.  For teachers, there is a packet of information about the game and how to teach with the game.

I have even caught myself playing the game when my students are playing.  Sometimes it’s just fun to be a kid.  🙂

Facebook in the Classroom April 17, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

I have been working on my paper for the Changing Minds assignment.  I decided to focus on using Facebook in the classroom.  

First, I came across a group in Facebook called Educators Using Facebook that anyone can join.  You can access the group by clicking Educators Using Facebook.  There are currently 942 members in this group.  Teachers are posting on the discussion board asking and answering questions, sharing ideas, and even great videos.  They are showing how they use Facebook in their classrooms as a learning tool and a communication tool.   

Here is a video that was posted on the group’s page that shows examples of how to use Facebook as an Educator.  Video of examples of how to use Facebook as an Educator.  Excellent video content!

I joined today and have already found a lot of information that will not only give me some information for my paper, but has given me ideas for my classroom.

I encourage anyone interested in learning more to join the group on your Facebook account.

Smiley Award Winner April 13, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.
1 comment so far

Smiley Award Winner 

What if there was a tool through Twitter that tracked various parts of our lives?  A Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. students, Ian Li, has developed such a tool.  It is called the Grafitter. 

According to Ian Li (2009), “I have applied my research on motivating physical activitiy, increasing mood awareness and office activity awareness.  Grafitter is only as useful as you make it.  If there is something about your life that you are curious about, start recording it and study your graphs.”

What a way to keep track of….anything and everything.  Want to lose weight, no problem.  Want to keep track of how many hours your children, or you, spend in front of the television or on the Internet, just record and graph it using Twitter.

A Twitter-Based Graphing Tool. (2009). Retrieved on April 13, 2009, from http://www.cmu.edu/homepage/computing/2009/spring/smiley-award-winner.shtml.

WOOHOO! IT and I Agree! April 13, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

No documentation, articles, blogs, etc for this post.  I just needed to shout that IT agrees with me!  They want to unblock a large majority of sites  (all SNS – Social Networking Sites) and let the students take responsibility for their choices.  He (we only have one person in IT) is going to start releasing some of the sites over the next few weeks.  I am going to have students test some sites I want to utilize and anything that is blocked will be sent in as a request to unblock. 

I am so excited.  Now if I can get Admin to allow me to have classes where cell phones are utilized then life is going to be GREAT!

So I have Facebook now.  Twitter is blocked for students, but not teachers.  I have to get students to check Ning, Netvibes, and various others.  If you are reading this and have ANY suggestions that would be useful in business or computer classes, just let me know!

Teaching Harassment in Social Networking April 10, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

I know in a previous post I said this blog was going to provide resources for Social Networking and Web 2.0.  However, I felt this issue was important when discussing both topics.

I have always felt that proper online etiquette needed to be taught to Middle School and High School students.  I try to teach it with what little “extra” class time.  I have also thought about the harassment side of social networking, but never really went into detail in class.  You hear about adults seeking minors for sex or other inappropriate means.  But how often do you think about your teenager being harassed by a classmate on Facebook or MySpace?  After today, I will be thinking about it quite a bit. 

My daughter came home from a friend’s house today and showed me two videos on YouTube and some posts on her MySpace account from a couple of girls in her grade.  One of the girls liked a boy.  This boy asked my daughter to be his girlfriend and she said yes.  They had been on the same hockey team this season and are really good friends.  This other girl and one of her friends decided to post videos on YouTube calling my daughter names, including a few choice swear words.  They also posted comments on MySpace, including ones on my daughter’s MySpace page, calling her names and saying inappropriate things about her.  I reported the issue to YouTube and my daughter blocked her from her MySpace.  But it doesn’t seem enough.

Students need to be educated about bullying and harassment on-line.  They need to be aware that their actions, even if it is on-line, will result in consequences.  I have a call into the Principal at the Middle School and am hoping we can set something up as a demonstration or seminar for the students so they are aware of this issue.

I monitor the Internet activity for both my children.  I have their usernames and passwords into every account they have, even Nick Jr.  They know that I visit those sites on a regular basis to make sure they are not being inappropriate.  But I admit I usually only check their personal messages, not the comments on some pages.  That will change immediately.

According to a study by Anirban Sengupta and Anoshua Chaudhuri (2008), reports of internet abuse involving teenagers is growing at at a startling rate.  “One in seventeen were harassed or threatened and only a fraction reported these cases while more than 63% reported being upset, embarrassed or stressed as a result of the unwanted contacts.” (p. 3).  “Social networking sites have been blamed for an increase in the incidences of cyber-bullying and therefore there are calls for restricting teen access to social networking sites” (p. 5).

When using or teaching Social Networking or Web 2.0 in the classroom, we need to make sure to address the issues of etiquette, harassment, bullying, etc.  We need to keep our students and our children safe while teaching them the most current technology tools.

To view the working paper click harassment-in-social-networking.

Sengupta, A. and Chaudhuri, A. (2008). Are Social Networking Sites a Source of Online Harassment for Teens? Evidence from Survey Data. Retrieved from http://www.netinst.org/Sengupta_Chaudhuri_08-17.pdf.

Using Technology as a Formative Assessment Tool April 6, 2009

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.

Using Technology as a Formative Assessment Tool to Improve Instruction and Engage Learners

The above link is to an article in the April 2009 newsletter from CESA 5 (Cooperative Educational Service Agency) for the district where I teach.

This article addressed using cell phones as a tool in formative assessment.  Teachers can have students use cell phones to answer questions, complete a poll or survey, and other classroom activities.

The articles give a couple of websites that allow the utilization of cell phones in the classroom.  Imagine what your students would say if you told them they needed their cell phones for the next day’s class.  Not only will you be able to gain the attention of your students, but they will learn in the process.  Isn’t having an engaging lesson what we want to provide our students.


Dredske, J. (2009). Using Technology as a Formative Assessment Tool to Improve Instruction and Engage Learners. CESA 5.  Retrieved from http://web.cesa5.k12.wi.us/site_uploads/news/newsfile1274_1.pdf.