Questions for Oz

I can't wait for Google's bombardment

From December 8-10 of this week I’ll be in Washington D.C. attending the Google Teachers Academy. From all I’ve heard, I can expect to be bombarded with a full host of Google based services teachers can use in the classroom to promote 21st century learning (not learning OF the 21st century, that would be a history teacher’s job, and as it happens….).  I’ve never been more excited to be bombarded.

Many I tell about the GTA respond with, “How are you going to use Google in the classroom?  Kids need help figuring out how to search for stuff on Google?”  To the former, I usually respond with something to the effect of, “well I use maps and docs for so-and-so project to achieve such-and-such learning objectives”.  To the latter question, I respond with, “Yes.”

While students do need help effectively searching the web, when it comes to students utilizing the web for learning, search is really only the tip of the iceberg.  There are so many resources on the web for teachers to use, a gold panning sifter is needed to properly sort through them to find which resources are worth a teacher’s time, and which are worthy of an Internet blacklist.

While I’m there I’ll be soaking up everything like a sponge, but there’s no reason why I can’t help teachers who won’t be there.  So, if you have any burning questions for the The Great and Mighty Googs, what are they?  Are there any particular Google services  you don’t understand or can’t see using in your classroom?  Thinking of a particular unit coming up in your curriculum and would like to implement a web-based utility?

Leave a comment below and I’ll provide updates and replies with what I learn at GTADC.

Googs, The Great and Terrible is now open for questions

This Magic Moment…

Seeing as how I’m a history teacher, seeing a really great time line is like seeing Earth from space. Buffoonery aside, it might be similar to the common bond created between a science teacher and a really well done version of the periodic table of elements.  I’m guessing.

thismoment So when I stumbled upon thismoment, I instantly thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread wrapped in dual layers of plastic (regular sliced bread isn’t that exciting to me anymore, I’ve upped my expectations).

Thismoment allows  users to create multiple moments in the time line of their lives and insert an array of media to prove to the general populous that it actually happened.  Naturally, for a history teacher, the implications of a service like this are huge.

You can view a moments I’ve made in a tech integration time line beginning with Activboard acclimation by David Freeburg.  From there, just click on over to view the rest of the moments in the time line, or view the time line at the top of the page.  The higher the bar is at the top, the more important the moment is.

The thing I like about This Moment is the user interface of it, and the fact that it can link with other web 2.0 services you have, such as Youtube, Flickr, Picasa, etc.  You can log in with your Facebook account via Facebook Connect, and if you have an iPhone, yes, there’s an app for that.

The cons, with using this with a class, is that it might take a while for students to grasp the process of how to add to their time line in a coherent sense, and then share it with others.

Another time line I’ve heard of being good is TimeGlider.  Mark Garrison over at GarrisonSites has had success with it and posts a review there.


My favorite periodic table….

Period Table of Controllers
The way science should be studied.

From Pixel Fantasy’s Flickr stream