Posts filed under ‘Personal’


· What is it? What does it do?

o Chatmaker is a site that allows you to make your own chat rooms and easily invite others.

o Chatmaker’s chatroom is extremely easy and instantaneous, which means that people might use it for quick and private communications.

o Plus I really liked that it doesn’t require registration.

o Just type the title of your chatroom in the box on the homepage, and then send the link that is provided in the lower box to the people you want to join. My title was “JHU Cohort.” I then instant messaged my colleagues who looked like they were logged on to elc, but no one got back to me…So needless to say at that time of night, I was the only one in my chatroom, chatting to myself…so sad.

· What are the infrastructure and technical requirements for this tool?

o As long as the site Chatmaker isn’t blocked and you can copy and paste a link, you can chat with anyone!

· How can you use it effectively in instruction?

o This could be so fun for the students to have mystery chatpals either in our own school, another local school, or a school in another state or country!

o I could see a chatroom for students who are all trying to perform the same type of science experiment for the bcps science fair. They could chat about failure, success, and etc.

· What are other education applications for this tool?

o Teachers could create a chatroom with parents, collegues from other schools in the same content area, or even cohort members to discuss numerous topics, concerns, etc.

· What are the limitations and cautions related to use of this tool?

o Not sure if this is blocked on bcps.

o Can’t find any cautions, since one has to be invited to come into the chatroom.

· What are the management considerations for this tool?

o Making sure all invitees can be online at a certain specific time.

o Teaching students proper language and manners when in a chatroom.


June 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm 2 comments

MediaMax/The Linkup

What is it? What does it do?

Media Max is now called The Linkup. The Linkup is a social network for file sharing. According to The Linkup homepage, it is a place to easily send and receive files with friends and store massive amounts of files. Uploaded files can be public or protected files. Basic accounts are free and uses can subscribe (starting at $5.95/month) for accounts with more storage.

What are the infrastructure and technical requirements for this tool?

Uploaded files can be public or protected files. Basic accounts are free and uses can subscribe (starting at $5.95/month) for accounts with more storage. I tried to set up a free account. It was easy to do – all that is needed is a user name, email address, and password. To activate the account, the user has to check her email and click the activation link. When I tried to do this, I got the following message:

We’re sorry but an error has occurred. This error has been logged and The Linkup support has been notified. Please go back and try again to see if the error still exists.

I continued to try, but received the same message each time. I set up a different account using my home email address instead of school address, but I received the same message. Perhaps a paid account would work better.

How can you use it effectively in instruction?

If this site was working properly, teachers could certainly use it to work on common projects and share lessons or resources with each other. At school, it would probably be easier for students to use the shared folder on the BCPS server. If students were working on group projects outside of school, they may be able to use this; however, I do not see it as practical at the elementary school level. Other tools are more readily available and easier to use. Also, we cannot assume at this point that every student has functioning internet access at home. The Linkup may be useful for our group project for this class; however, the site is not working properly at this time. It would be a good place to store videos and photographs because it has a lot of storage capacity.

What are the limitations and cautions related to the use of this tool?

Presently, the obvious limitation is that an error message occurs when trying to activate an account. I think this tool could be very useful for teachers and administrators more than for students.

What are the management considerations for this tool?

One consideration is that this tool requires users to pay monthly fees after the free trial period. The fees would have to come from the school budget unless it was district funded. Other free sites are available such as Write Board that seem more practical.

June 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment


Voo2do is a free advanced task and priority management tool. It tracks priority, due date, and time estimates for each task entered. Organization is the identified property of voo2do that claims to make it a step above other online to-do lists and, currently in the development phase, is the feature that allows multiple users to view and edit multiple projects together. It is designed for those who work on many different projects, constantly jot down ideas to work on later, have a need to prioritize and to know where projects stand and what needs attention next.

Members can:

  • Organize tasks by project
  • Track time spent and remaining
  • Add tasks by email
  • Publish task lists
  • Access on web 24×7
  • Work asynchronously
  • Improve personal productivity

Voo2do works on Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox 1+, and Opera 8+. It works imperfectly on Safari. There is nothing to install. It is implemented using Perl, Apache, the Apache::PageKit web framework, the PostgreSQL database server, and copious amounts of client-side Javascript. (The last part of this description is far over my level of understanding.)

I signed up and found voo2do relatively easy to navigate. For my trial run, I entered information associated with this course as far as organizing tasks. I then tried to imagine an effective use of voo2do in relation to instruction. This is where it seemed cumbersome to me. I use the calendar feature on Outlook as my tech source for reminders to supplement my old fashioned pencil to date book method. From a student point of view, I entered information from this course on my voo2do account, as well. That was even more cumbersome to me, perhaps because there was so much more to organize. Using the resources provided on CTE (especially the activities organizational grids) serve me well. I found the added time to use voo2do, even though it was easy to enter the data, seemed redundant, considering my current satisfactory organizational methods. Accessing it on line seemed to be yet another extra step to me.

While I can not believe I am expressing this next statement, perhaps I don’t have enough various things to make voo2do an asset for me! I know I feel that as far as using it in my capacity as a teacher. However, I had a thought of using it to allow parents to access time line requirements and reminders related to long term projects, homework, etc. Families would simply need a password and remember to check the site. Perhaps it could be an additional support to the traditional paper reminders and/or teacher web page reminders. My perspective as a student in this and future courses is different if all members were using it, but I still struggle with grasping the need if we are using CTE, D2L, Black Board, etc.

Allowing members of various groups to edit and revise projects is currently limited to just allowing online access to the original document with the use of a password. Changes would have to be made in a word document after copying and pasting the original and sending the revisions as an email attachment. However, consideration is being given to updating that feature if there is enough demand expressed. (Writeboard, which I reviewed earlier, is a perfect tool for that group document application.)

Perhaps those who use the computer more often than I would better appreciate the functions of voo2do in helping them organize responsibilities and timing in their personal and work lives, but I think voo2do may be better served in the business world.

June 15, 2008 at 9:17 pm 6 comments


What is it? What does it do?

WiZiQ (read Wiz IQ) is a FREE web-based platform for teachers and students. It contains a state-of-the-art virtual classroom, as well as the ability to create and share online educational content and tests, as well as make connections with others who have similar subject interests. Options within the virtual classroom include:

  • Ability to post images, PowerPoint presentations and documents
  • Audio and video sharing
  • Live chat
  • Control Privileges over the session

According to the WiZiQ website, “the Virtual Classroom allows the participants to communicate using video and audio with a headset or through text chat, and to share whiteboards, presentations, documents and images.”

WiZiQ has been compared to Elluminate, but prides itself in having additional features that make it a unique (and free) Web 2.0 tool.

All the synchronous sessions on WiZiQ are automatically recorded so users can revisit and also search for a certain topic at their convenience.

WiZiQ also lets the user create content online and then convert it to a sharable format.

On WiZiQ, users can enter a subject and locate other WiZiQ users who share similar interests. The site also allows individuals to contact other members to exchange knowledge, ideas and content. While I was exploring the site, I came across a user I knew and was able to send her an email, asking her thoughts about the WiZiQ platform.

What are the infrastructure and technical requirements for this tool?

Signing up for an account to WiZiQ is easy and, most importantly, free! Individuals are required to enter an email address, and a password, along with their name to activate an account. To get started, the user follows a set of simple directions:

  1. Invite contacts to join WiZiQ or search for members who share your subjects on WiZiQ and invite them to the virtual classroom.
  2. Schedule online sessions with your contacts or fellow members.
  3. Meet in the virtual classroom to share and exchange knowledge live and online.

How can you use it effectively in instruction?

WiZiQ houses a large collection of presentations for the teacher to access. These presentations are categorized by instructional levels as well as content/topics. Teachers can also find professional development presentations as well. Within the members section of WiZiQ, teachers can connect with hundreds of other members and browse content or questions about a variety of topics to expand their knowledge and understanding, while gleaning ideas and strategies from other educators around the world.

What are other education applications for this tool?

Using the virtual classroom features found within WiZiQ, a teacher may be able to conduct synchronous meetings with other teachers, parents, or students. These chats could be saved on the WiZiQ site and accessed by individuals at other times that are convenient for their own viewing purposes. WiZiQ does provide a privacy feature that can limit the viewing of recorded chats to only individuals invited to the presentation. Teachers could do a “Back to School Night” recording, showcase student work, or provide parent training regarding such topics as science fair projects, special education procedures, or volunteer training sessions.

What are the limitations and cautions related to use of this tool?

In the near future, WiZiQ will be offering some advanced features for a monthly subscription fee, but the basic features on WiZiQ will continue be free.

Within the WiZiQ Terms of User Agreement, services are listed as not available to minors under the age of 14. If a teacher wanted to conduct an online synchronous chat with younger students, parent membership would be required, as well as adult supervision of the minor participating within the online experience or accessing recorded chats on the WiZiQ site.

What are the management considerations for this tool?

According to the WiZiQ website; “WiZiQ puts learners and teachers together regardless of the boundaries and enables live, online teaching for absolutely no cost to the teacher or the student.”

Scheduling online presentations for your students, colleagues, or students’ parents may require significant management and planning. It would also be important to address technology access for individuals attempting to access the information presented online. For individuals who lack technology at home or broadband internet connections, alternative access may need to be considered.

Teachers using the WiZiQ site for resources and collaboration with other members may want to explore several of the synchronous training presentations that have been recorded and stored on the site. These presentations will provide the viewer with additional information regarding the variety of features found within the WiZiQ platform and its virtual classroom.

June 15, 2008 at 9:17 pm 1 comment

Zoho Show 2.0

What is it? What does it do?

Zoho Show is an online presentation tool similar to Microsoft Powerpoint.

It is a free presentation tool that can be accessed anywhere, any time, by anyone.

You can upload presentations into Zoho Show or you can create original presentations on the site.

Zoho Show offers a complete editor with many presentation features such as text formatting, background themes, color, bullets, and clipart.

What are the infrastructure and technical requirements for this tool?

The advantage of using Zoho Show is that it is browser dependent and does not require the purchase of a software program.

Zoho Show can be accessed on Windows and Macintosh computers. All you need is a computer with internet access.

How can you use it effectively in instruction?

The program is useful for working collaboratively on presentations and students can easily share their work.

Like Powerpoint, Zoho Show is another fun way to present information in a graphic manner.

Teachers can use Zoho Show to have students work on projects at home and school without worrying about access or home computers lacking software.

What are other education applications for this tool?

The presentations you generate in Zoho Show are private and are accessible only by you.They are protected by your Zoho ID/password authentication. However, presentations can be shared with others or made public if you choose.

You can save a Zoho Show and play it even if you do not have internet connectivity.

Remote presentations can also be created.

What are the limitations and cautions related to use of this tool?

At this time Zoho Show presentations cannot be printed.

Transitional effects cannot be inserted between slides.

What are the management considerations for this tool?

The user needs to have an account and password. Therefore, students would need to be capable of logging onto the site. Aside from that, Zoho Show is readily available via an internet connection. So, it can be easily used within a lab situation.

June 15, 2008 at 9:16 pm 7 comments


What is it? What does it do?

Scrapblog allows users to create scrapbooks by importing photos. The scrapbook pages look beautiful, just like regular scrapbook pages that someone might spend hours creating. On Scrapblog, you can simply drag and drop photographs into shapes and boarders. Users can choose a theme for each page or use blank pages. elements suchs as shapes, borders, transitions, and music can be added. It is very easy to use.

Wat are the infrastructure and technical requirements for this tool? An internet connection and your digital phots are all that is needed.

How can you use it effectively in instruction?

Scrapblog can be used in many of the same ways as PhotoStory. Students can create on-line scrapbooks of field trips, school projects, or special activities and send them to their parents or do class presentations. Students could also use Scrapblog to create scrapbooks of different periods in time, geographical regions, or settings from a story. Many classroom applications are possible.

What are the limitations and cautions related to use of this tool? Check the policy regarding posting students’ photographs. Make sure students did not opt-out.

What are the management considerations for this tool? It is very easy to use. Teachers will need to monitor students’ photographs, help them download photos on the computer, set up blog or projector for sharing.

June 13, 2008 at 11:38 am 6 comments

What is it? What can it do? is a social bookmarking site. It allows you to keep and share favorites with friends, family, coworkers, etc. It also allows you to discover new things which have been posted by others. Your bookmarks are stored online which allows you to access and store websites from anywhere. It can be browsed by anyone, however, you need to register for an account in order to save bookmarks. To register all that is needed is a username and password. It is a completely free service and you can multiple accounts, I.e. personal and work. The site was created in 2003 by Joshua Schachter as a hobby. In December of 2005, Yahoo! acquired Although this is a public site, bookmarks can be marked private which are only viewable to you. Bookmarks can be searched by keywords and tags (a one-word descriptor that you assign to a bookmark). is an open-ended system.

It can be used to:

Conduct research

Create a Wishlist


Plan a Vacation

link log

Save recipes in a Cookbook

Collaborate with others through a shared account.

Infrastructure and Technical requirements:

In order to access it all you need is browser and an internet connection like: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Flock.

Suggested ways for effective use instruction and other education applications:

David Muir in “Simply listed the following educational possibilities:

Web sites for research or projects

Books recommendations

Professional research

List of books you would like to read

Placing web links on your school web page

Students can find resources at home and access them at school and vice versa

Share what you are reading or view what your peers are reading on the web

Web site collections tagged by school topic

Other ideas:

Create a personal dictionary

Network with other educators

Create a school or grade level bookmark account

Collaborate and share bookmarks with colleagues

Send or highlight bookmarks to specific users

Create a special tag just for a class project

Create a list of resources for students that can put on a course website

When previewing the site, I did several researches and found that like all searches the more defined topic the more specific sites are given. For example:



Other information

Spreadsheets – to teach a lesson on graphing


Types of sites: Create a graph; Graph types for kids; graphing with excel;

Use of technology in the classroom


Various sites which tell how you could use technology and the value of technology



Related tags: reading, books, education, literature, literacy, reference, productivity


1, 7888

Graphic organizers, lesson plans

Lesson Plans


Elementary Lesson Plans


Elementary Rdg. Lesson Plans


1st Grade Reading Lesson Plans


What are limitations and cautions:

There are limitations and cautions related to all social bookmarking sites. The Educause Learning Initiative article, “7 Things you Should Know about Social Bookmarking” states:

By definition social bookmarking is done by amateurs. There is no oversight as to how resources are organized and tagged. For example, if a user saves a bookmark for a site with information about greyhounds but only tags the site with the term “greyhounds” and not also with “dogs” or perhaps “dog racing,” that resource might never be found by someone looking for information about breeds of dogs. Because social bookmarking reflects the values of the community of users, there is a risk of presenting a skewed view of the value of any particular topic. For example, users might assign pejorative tags to certain resources, in addition, social bookmarking means storing data in yet another location that you have to maintain and update.”

Other cautions:

Inappropriate websites could be posted

Not all information may be reliable or true

There are no standards for tagging – teachers could provide a list of acceptable tags for a project

As can be seen from chart above – students must be given guidelines as to what to search for

Need to be registered to be able to mark bookmarks

Teachers would need to review websites that students could access

Management Considerations:

Blocked by BCPS

Registration required to mark bookmarks but not to search

Need to agree to Terms of Service

For general questions there is a FAQs and help pages. If answer is not found there, you need to email your question. No phone number is given.

June 13, 2008 at 2:19 am Leave a comment

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