Timeline JS – open source timeline tool

timelineBelow is an example of a timeline I made using Timeline JS. TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually, rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet.  For my sample, I created the images in Haiku Deck.  Then I exported them to PowerPoint so I could save each as a jpg.  Then I uploaded them to Flickr so I could get a specific URL for each image (I tried Google Drive but it didn’t give me an URL that ended in *.jpg).  This is a lot of steps so you might consider just using online images instead.  This is what my original Google spreadsheet looks like.

Step One:  Create your spreadsheet

Build a new Google Spreadsheet using their template. Drop dates, text and links to media into the appropriate columns.Note: Don’t change the column headers, don’t remove any columns, and don’t leave any blank rows in your spreadsheet.

Step Two:  Publish your spreadsheet

Under the File menu, select “Publish to the Web.”  In the next window, check “Automatically republish when changes are made.” Uncheck all other boxes. Click “start publishing.” This will give you the URL to embed in your HTML file.

Step Three:  Copy/paste spreadsheet URL into the generator box

Make sure you have published the spreadsheet first, then paste the URL at http://timeline.knightlab.com/ .  Feel free to customize then select PREVIEW.

Step Four:  Embed the code into your website

It will look like this when you are done or you can view it in a new browser:

Resource Management Tools

Keeping track of resources when doing projects can be time-consuming and challenging in a collaborative environment. A simple sortable spreadsheet can be used to track member’s progress, schedules, resources, assets, and contacts.  Each member can refer to the document to know the next steps, click on links to shared documents or document their own contribution.  Teachers can easily refer to the document to check progress or leave comments to the whole team.  Google Sheets or Zoho Creator are two great options – each with their own strengths and purpose. Younger students might find using a wiki easier for managing groups projects or even Edmodo because they can have conversations and include links at the same time. Another great option for organizing online resources is using an online bookmarking tool.

Social Bookmarking is a method for users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata or tags and then share ideas with others.  These tools work great for collaborative projects because each member of the project can locate online resources and easily share them with group members through tagging.  When you sort your bookmarks by tags you can also see other popular bookmarks made by others who used the same tag. These curated links can help you discover new resources such as websites, pdfs, videos and images. Member of group projects can invent a special tag for their project or send their bookmarks directly to team members or by setting up a group. The two main social bookmarking websites that are used in education today are:  Diigo and Delicious.

DiigoDiigo is social bookmarking plus has features like adding sticky notes and highlighting on the web. Special premium accounts are available for K-12 and higher education at Education Diigo with these features:

  • You can create student accounts for an entire class with just a few clicks (and student email addresses are optional for account creation)
  • Students of the same class are automatically set up as a Diigo group so they can start using all the benefits that a Diigo group provides, such as group bookmarks and annotations, and group forums.
  • Privacy settings of student accounts are pre-set so that only teachers and classmates can communicate with them.
  • Ads presented to student account users are limited to education-related sponsors.

Pinterest is a popular tool to use for organizing online resources but students may not consider using it in an educational setting. Since you can create new boards, move pins from one board to another, and even subscribe to boards made by others, students might find it to be a fun and creative way to gather resources – especially visuals – for a collaborative project. Example of a Pinterest board:  New in Young Adult Fiction. Other related resource gathering tools worth checking out are:  Scoop-itLiveBinders, and Symbaloo

 

Picasa Web AlbumsPhotographs online – Flickr and Picasa Web Albums (which has been incorporated into Google+ Photos) are two photosharing web services. Both have tagging and sorting functions that encourage collaboration and community building. This is a  great place to share images for collaborative projects and determine whether you want to make the albums public or private. Don’t forget to review your school’s Acceptable Use Policy before you start allowing students to use online photo sharing.

Here are some ideas for using online images in the classroom:

  • Web albums can be embedded into other Web 2.0 tools like wikis and Google Docs and that streamlines the process of adding images to projects since the images are already online and don’t need to be re-uploaded (saves time and bandwidth).  Plus any group member can contribute to the album.
  • Another feature of online images is that they can be geo-tagged so that the location of the image can be tracked or be combined with a map.
  • Online image albums are a great way to document each step of a collaborative project.  Put one student in charge of taking photos along the way so the images be used when students are reflecting on their own learning during the evaluation process.
  • Images in web albums can be used for story starters, collaborative books, scrapbooks, photo journals, maps, screenshots, or capturing the notes on a whiteboard.

Other options for storing images online:  Upload directly into Google Drive for storage, embed them into project notes created with Evernote, or add them as attachments by email, on a Google Site or wiki.

Other Media:  Often students will want to use a variety of media during collaborative projects.  While it would be challenging for students to edit videos and audio files in the same program at the same time, many options are available for broadcasting or embedding media to intended audiences.  Media files can simply be stored online for sharing with group members using Google Drive or DropBox.

Here are few media resources worth reviewing:

  • YouTube is blocked in many schools but educators are now finding so many useful resources there that many schools are reconsidering their policies or considering YouTube for Schools. Here you can access or upload educational videos on YouTube in a controlled environment.  Note: YouTube EDU is a sub-section of YouTube that contains high-quality educational content. YouTube for Schools is a network setting that, when implemented, allows your school to access the educational content on YouTube EDU while limiting access to non-educational content on YouTube.com. YouTube.com/Teachers is a how-to site that shows you how to use YouTube in the classroom.
  • Podcasts are audio files that are uploaded online and shared through programs like iTunes or Juice.  An excellent Podcasting resource is from Wes Fryer at:  http://www.speedofcreativity.org/resources/podcast-resources/.
  • VoiceThread is a multimedia platform that encourages discussions about images, video and documents.

2009/365 Photos

I’m really enjoying participating in the 2009/365 photo-a-day project.  It has already completely changed my vision around me.  Just this morning I was driving to school and I noticed the dark image of the trees against the early morning sky.  Hopefully it will stop raining so I can grab a few shots this week.

Over at Opening Doors to Digital Learning, Martha Thornburgh has a cool slideshow of her 365 photos.  So, I grabbed the embed code for my Flickr set and decided to post my 1st week’s accomplishments.

My goal right now is to just play with the photos and try to take a variety of shots.  I am also trying to use a couple of different cameras – depending on the situation.  Here is week one – and I plan to embed this slideshow once a month.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

“I am here for the learning revolution” contest

I know everyone is waiting until the VERY last minute to enter the NECC button contest by Scott McLeod and Wes Fryer so they can check out the competition but I can’t wait to submit my ideas – plus I won’t have time between now and May 1st to do much work.

So here’s my take on … I am here for the learning revolution. I’m still not sure if I can attend NECC or not so I am hoping that someone will feel sorry for me (since I actually took the time to enter!) and vote for ME. Plus I’m going to start a “sponsor Colette to NECC” contest soon and the lucky winner will get to hang out with ME – now that’s worth something!!!

#1 – Original button made by CCassinelli
Photo from Courosa: http://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/2311845824/

#2 – Original button made by CCassinelli

#3 – Original button made by CCassinelli
Photo from Woodly Wonderworks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/440672445/

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Vanity search reveals gem

learning-how-to-learn2.jpg

 

Every so often I google my name to make sure my public profile accurately represents me.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that miffdesigner used a quote from my blog on a flickr mashup she made for a school project.

 

Thanks!  It made my day! 🙂

Top Ten Tools 2008

Colette’s (updated) Top 10 Tools

  1. tool.jpgGmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
  2. Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
  3. iGoogle Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
  4. del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  5. flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  6. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglinesand I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
  7. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
  8. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that Wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  9. Voicethread – A great tool for encouraging collaboration in your classroom. Upload photos and add text, audio or voice comments with a web cam. My new personal favorite way to get students to share comments with each other.
  10. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING – SPRING 2008
as collected by Jane Hart

 

2007 Top Ten Tools: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/colettecassinelli.html (my current list is pretty similar to the 2007 list. Hey – I like what I like!)

Photo Credit: http://flickr.com/photos/cayusa/2221656599/

Instructional Technology Strategies Conference (ITSC) – February 17-19, 2008

Engaging Students with Authentic Technology Projects – Sun, 2/17/08, 7:30-8:30 pm

Handouts located at: http://edtechvision.wikispaces.com/ITSC

Embrace 21st century strategies to create an instructional learning environment that moves away from teaching isolated computer skills towards an integrated thematic approach. Come learn how you can combine everyday productivity tools with Web 2.0 to support curriculum integration and collaboration.


The National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) recommends that educators establish new learning environments that provide real world opportunities for students to utilize current information and technology resources (ISTE, 2000).

According to The American Youth Policy Forum (2000) instruction in today’s high schools must change. Disengagement from the learning process is a widespread problem in high schools as students do not perceive how lessons are relevant to their lives.

The American Youth Policy Forum reports that lecture style classes continue to dominate classroom instruction and content is divorced from the real world. Schools need to embrace new strategies for learning based on current research of how students learn, implement effective uses of technology in the classroom, and develop “21st Century Skills” while maintaining a rigorous academic curriculum (Burkhardt et al., 2003 http://www.ncrel.org/engauge).

It takes vision and planning to engage students in authentic learning experiences. Teachers must identify which instructional strategies are most effective and understand how to infuse technology into lessons with real world applications.


Instead of asking the question “What technology skills must students have to face the 21st century?” should we not be asking “What thinking and literacy skills must students have to face the 21st century?” These skills are not tied to any particular software or technology-type, but rather aim to provide students with the thinking skill and thus the opportunity to succeed no matter what their futures hold.” Justin Medved, Dennis Harter
Curriculum is designed from the best practice approaches to teaching and learning found in Understanding by Design

The Essential Questions for the 21st Century Learner are:

  • How do you know information is true?
  • How do you communicate effectively?
  • What does it mean to be a global citizen?
  • How do I learn best?
  • How can we be safe?

These questions speak to thinking, critically evaluating, analyzing, and communicating. They emphasize the value in responsible behavior and knowing yourself as a learner. http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/


Career Unit – Based on John Holland’s six personality traits

Goals: critically evaluating, analyzing, communication

Work Samples:

 

Make a PhotoShow Full Size

Career Resources:


Lunch Nutrition and Recycling Unit

Goals: analyzing, communication, evaluating

Work Samples

Nutrition / Waste Recycling Resources


Other Classroom Activities:

TOP 100 TOOLS FOR LEARNING 2007 – http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/toolbox2007.html

  • Valiant Pride: New student edition – a newspaper that my students designed for new incoming students (samples:
  • Search Engine Extravaganza – PowerPoint presentations to teach our school community about unique search engines
  • BE SAFE ONLINE! Projects made by students to discuss online safety (including chat rooms, cyber bullying, online profiles, photo sharing, etc)
    • Wiki to store document sources used in projects
    • Samples of projects made on blogs, Flickr, and Google presentations (work in progress)
  • Curriculum Review Quizzes – Note: action buttons and hyperlinks do not work on slideshare – you must download the PowerPoint first

Note: Some of the lessons in this session are based on activities that I designed for my Action Research Project for my MA in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. Three complete thematic units are located at http://cadres.pepperdine.edu/ar/c9/Cassinelli/arp.htm

 


Works Cited

  1. American Youth Policy Forum http://www.aypf.org/
  2. Best Jobs for the 21st Century, 4th Edition by Michael Farr. ©2006 JIST Publishing, Inc.
  3. Curriculum 2.0 http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/http://newliteracy.wikispaces.com/
  4. enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age (Burkhardt, G., Monsour M., Valdez, G., Gunn, C., Dawson, M., Lemke, C., et al., 2003) North Central Regional Educational Laboratory and the Metiri Group, http://www.ncrel.org/engauge
  5. National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) http://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.htmlhttp://cnets.iste.org/students/s_stands.html

Thematic units in Tech class

I still teach a basic computer application course (as opposed to working with HS teachers to integrate technology into their curriculum) and my goal is to make sure students have the tech skills necessary to be successful in class.  I don’t, however, want to just teach “computer skills” – and teach technology just for the sake of  learning technology.  The past few years I have redesign my computer application course around themes, such as career exploration, teen issues, nutrition/recycling, and CSI (computer scene investigation!)

holland_code.jpgThrough out each theme. we use the tools of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Web 2.0 tools to investigate our topic.  For example, during the career unit we took a personality tests based on Dr. John Holland’s theory that people and work environments can be classified into six different groups:  Social, Artistic, Investigative, Enterprising, Realistic and Conventional.  We created tables in Word to describe the attributes of these personality traits and listed careers for each group.  We collected data about annual earnings, percent of growth and number of annual openings and analyzed the data in Excel and created graphs to display the information.  We made online slide shows, cartoons, and magazine covers using favorite Web 2.o tools like toondoo, polldaddy, photo show and flickr toys.  For a final culminating project, we are designing kiosks (using science board type displays) to display all of our information.  We will host a career fair to help other classmates discover their strongest personality trait and which career options are best for them.

While I feel that the students are much more engaged in the thematic units, it does require careful planning on my part to make sure that all the required skills are introduced, reviewed and mastered throughout the term.

Top Ten Tools

Top Ten ToolsThanks to a comment by Larry Ferlazzo I have been checking out the various lists of top ten favorite tools that are listed on Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day.

You can submit your top ten list of favorite tools (only 10???) and then Jane is compiling all the tools mentioned into one master list – the Top 100.

I especially enjoyed looking at the list by guest submitter Jay Cross. Hearing how and why different folks liked their chosen tools intrigued me enough to spend way too much time checking them all out.

Here are my favorite tools (in no particular order).

  1. Google Products:
    • Gmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
    • Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
    • iGoogle and Google reader. Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
    • Googlemaps, Google Earth, SketchUp …. I love ’em all!
  2. Del.icio.us. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s del.icio.us name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their del.icio.us account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  3. Flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  4. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglines and I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
  5. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
  6. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis earlier in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  7. Skype. I use skype more for IM and group chatting than Internet phone calling but it’s easy to use and really catching on.
  8. Flock and Firefox. Both of these browsers are excellent and have cool extensions. Most browsers have built in RSS but you can also access your Flickr pics right from the Flock toolbar – kewl!
  9. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.
  10. YouTube. YouTube is great when you need a few laughs or want to share short family video with loved ones across the country. I also love the idea of TeacherTube. Educators need a safe and secure place where our students can particpate in the social aspect of video sharing and engaging students with video responses.

So, there’s my list. I didn’t include software tools like MS Office, Dreamweaver, Inspiration, InDesign and all of those productivity tools that I use everyday.

What is your top 10?