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Archive for the ‘Tools to Try’ Category

There are two things I’ve been trying to wrap my head around lately.  The first is gaming.  (That’ll have to wait for another post.)  The second is mobile learning.

Today, I came across a video demonstration of QR codes.  This is a QR code for this site.

qrcode
If you take a picture of it with a cell phone that has the right software installed, it will generate a link to this site (or phone someone or send a text message depending on the link you’re creating).  You can generate your own QR code in a few seconds.

I was listening to a podcast the other day (sorry, can’t find the link but it came from a conference in Australia).  It was done by a teacher who tags plants with these codes and then sends learners out to study them in their natural habitat.

Or how about embedding QR codes in PowerPoints to give a convenient link to the handouts for a particular presentation?

The mind boggles.  Do you have experience using QR codes?  I’d love to hear about it.

UPDATE: Roger Smolski sent me a link to his site, 2d code.  Roger has a fantastic collection of news, art, marketing and discussion related to QR codes.  If you find QR codes, send them along to Roger.  If you have something to say, 2d code is the place to share it.  Thanks, Roger!

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If you teach live online, I bet this feels familiar.

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In our office, we’ve started using Twitter to stay in touch with the people we work with but whose offices are at other campuses. Our college is made up of 13 campuses spread throughout Nova Scotia so Twitter can come in handy. It helps us know when we’re busy or free, what projects we’re working on, or when we’re heading towards a place where we might meet up. With our group, we’re getting there but we haven’t reached the tipping point quite yet.

If you haven’t used Twitter, Common Craft has produced another of their unique videos to explain what it is and how to get started. If you’d like to try Twitter, share the video with a few friends. Like a lot of social media, it’s the most fun when you try it as a gang.

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Tangler … a very Web 2.0-y discussion forum

A Very Short List … a daily mailing list about pop culture (proof positive that the good ol’ mailing list is still alive & kickin’)

Dopplr … a place to share travel plans & connect with others

Icon Buffet … a trading site for icons

Spock … search organized around people

How about you? What’s new in your web world?

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In my hometown of Fredericton, NB, the public transit system uses Google Maps to help you map out your bus route. How cool is that?

google map for Fredericton Transit

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Twitter on CSI

First, CSI took on Second Life. Now Twitter?

“Some people just don’t value privacy.”

“They don’t EXPECT privacy. They value openness.”

“Whatever.” 🙂

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Tech tool talk

No Conference on Information Technology would be complete without the latest & greatest in technological playthings. Some of the most engaged learning is happening these days with simple tools that are freely (or almost freely) available online. Joseph Hostetler and Steven Combs of Ivy Tech Community College and Give Us One Minute shared their favourites. They’re both really fantastic presenters and the hour I spent in their session was well worth it.

Steven also showed us an assignment he gives using Google SketchUp (images posted on Flickr slideshow & process walked through on YouTube) — very seamless.

Here are a few more they suggested were worth checking out …

I notice a couple of things about the list. First, it’s amazing how many of these are owned by Google (Gtalk, Blogger, Picassa, YouTube, Google Docs & Notebook). My friend, Ian, wrote about a great session we attended on using Google Apps for Education. It used to be a Microsoft world. It’s fast becoming a Google world.

I’m also surprised that there are no wikis here because there are certainly lots out there including pbwiki, wikispaces, and wetpaint, which recently announced ad-free wikis for educators (and wetpaint wikis include nice little discussion boards). I notice that Ivy Tech uses wikis for its faculty sites.

Another popular tool these days is Ning. Ning is used to create social networks (see Classroom 2.0, Vid Snacks or The Global Education Collaborative). Ning also makes a great quick ‘n dirty learning management system. Maybe these are tools that may make the list next year? 🙂

Incidentally I attended the session with Jonathan Ross, a digital media instructor at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Jonathan was one of the presenters at the first session I attended at CIT. The session offered a useful collection of tips & tricks, and Jonathan created a web site that offers another fairly impressive list of tools to check out.

How about you? What are your favourite tools? How are you using them? Any tips or advice you’d share?

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