My @googlevoice app has arrived! #fbImage by K. Todd Storch via Flickr

Visit the site http://google.com/voice to request a GoogleVoice account. Why? If you have a home, cell, and school phone number, but are tired of checking voice mail in all locations, you can have all go to one number. When you request an invitation to GoogleVoice, there is about a 2 week wait until you are notified. When setting up your account, Google will offer several choices of phone numbers. Think of something you want your phone number to be before setting up the account and you might get a number that means something to you. For example, you can try to get the numbers to your name: 55Martin, or hobby: 55volly or whatever, but enter the agreement prepared.
I set up my number and was prompted to order business cards with my new number on it so I did and got 25 FREE Google designed cards with my number and school information. FREE cards and FREE shipping. Now you can't beat that deal!
By the way, the picture to the right is from GoogleVoice Mobile. However, Apple has removed it from the iTunes store because it duplicates what the iPhone can do! I think AT&T was behind that one. But you can get it if you jailbreak your iPhone. I am just not ready to do that just yet.

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Bookmark SwapImage by Farruska via Flickr

There are many bookmark saving programs available for you to keep your bookmarks in order:
The best part of these services is that you can access your bookmarks from any computer and can share selective bookmarks with friends and students. Experiment and enjoy.
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I received this on purk today: The modern rules of Quidditch. Not bad really, but I would image this probably would not be played at school!


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The best Apps for iPhoneImage by marcopako  via Flickr

If you have been bitten by the ibug, you are not alone. I finally needed a new phone and waited until the 3G was released in June to feed my gadget addiction. Yes it is true. I could not believe how simple it was to order it online, and have it arrive on time, and ready to go. I made the switch from Verizon to AT&T and even that was simple. But enough on that, let's get to the good stuff, the apps. On February 5, 2009, David Pogue of the NYTimes said there were about 15,000 apps available. On April 22, 2009 USAToday reported that the billionth app download would be any day. The popularity of the apps is staggering. Stanford and MIT are offering courses for students teaching them to design and market their own ideas for apps. It is a real world experience since the paid programs produce real cash. Some people have left lucrative jobs to pursue programming these little applications. The site http://www.apptism.com/ states that they are tracking over 61,000 apps as of today's date (July 20,2009).

In addition to the confusion about which app to add to your precious iPhone, Apple is considering a rating system for apps. According to a NYTimes article by Saul Hansel in May, they are looking at four categories of rating apps. The 17+ category I assume would contain some of the more violent and racy applications. Read his article, to get some more insight on this idea of rating.

The number of apps is growing each day. There are so many to evaluate and determine their personal as well as educational value. Here are a few websites that are doing that very thing:

Leslie Fisher :iPhone Support Group Presentation

Apptism.com - new releases, evaluations

AppAdvice.com - daily rates the new releases

iSmash Phone-reviews, how to, tutorials

If you would like to contribute your opinion to a collection of good apps for education then visit this wiki: cfpmsiphone.wikispaces.com It is a collaborative effort to encourage teachers to consider using an iPhone/iTouch in the classroom. I would say one of the most popular FREE apps used at the DENLC Symposium was Bump. If you create a contact for yourself in your contact file, then download Bump. Open the preferences in Bump and find another person who has Bump on their iPhone/Touch. Simply Bump the two devices together and you will feel a shake. That is the magic of the information being transferred to the other device.

I don't think we have room or time to review the 62,000 apps in the iTunes store, but respond to this post by naming your top 5 apps below in the comments. You never know what you can learn from each other. OR contribute to this wiki that is quickly becoming a collaborative project.

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If you like to have easy and quick access to a desktop calendar, visit this site to download the software. It is transparent and you can change the colors, size and marker for the day. In addition you can move it around the desktop at any time. It is a horizontal calendar. In the photo to the right, look at the link across the bottom of the screen.
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For discussion at Wikipedia:Wikiproject OregonImage via Wikipedia






This free site, VerbaLearn, offers different ways for you to learn sets of vocabulary words.
You can listen to the words via mp3 transfer to your iPod, make puzzles like crosswords, make and print flashcards or watch a video flash card stack.
In addition there are fill in the blanks and quizzes you can take to see how you are doing with your memory skills and the words.

Of course you can always use Wordle.com to create a visual like this one to the right.
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Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

If you were thinking of creating a Skype account for use in your classroom, this might be something to start with as an activity. Visit this site: Skype an Author. You can choose an author from a scrolling list of people, set the date, prepare your students and away you go. There are some free visits and some paid conversations as stated on the page. The authors have contacted this site to get in to the database for connecting with school students. Some authors have specific requests, so you may want to read through the information completely before making a connection.
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Adult leopard frogImage via Wikipedia

If you live near a pond and want to help some researach for the National Wildlife Federation, sign up for FrogWatch. This is a frog and toad monitoring program that helps scientists with information from your backyard. Even if you are new to nature, there are guidelines to help you get started in FrogWatch. Basically you need to visit the site, register a location you will monitor, and learn about frogs and toads in your area. Simply monitor twice a week during mating season and enter the data online.
There are other species of wildlife your can monitor is frogs are not your thing, or you do not live in the proper location. Check out the site and start a new hobby!
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To view notes on the DiscoveryEducation Pre-Conference in Silver Spring, visit my DEN Blog: Center Stage at the DEN. All I can say about DiscoveryEducation is WOW. If you have not joined the DEN, then stop now and visit the site to sign up. You can have your own online professional development anytime anywhere just by reading the blogs! There are great ideas from model teachers and the discovery team of trainers. If you are from Pennsylvania, then you have FREE unlimited access to DiscoveryStreaming. Run to the phone and call you IU and get the access code to check out all of the great resources here. Summer is a good time to see what is available. By the way, August is back to school month and DES will be having FREE webinars.


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Libraries almost invariably contain long aisle...Image via Wikipedia

There are over 250 categories of books, audio files and resources to FREELY use an download here at the E-Books Directory. The resources are limited, but may include something your students could not find otherwise. Biographies include George Washington and Erwin Romel. There are technology books about programming and books like Anna Karenina along with some other great books. It is worth the search for this FREE resource. Be aware, as there are some inappropriate books for young children. You should preview the source before allowing students to search.
From: eSchool News, June 2009 edition, p48
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Become a member of the Classroom2.0 ning site and have access to many free webinars. Many of them are archived for your review. Some of the programs that have been posted include Jean-Michel Cousteau; Ocean Adventures, Looking for Lincoln, Remixing Shakespeare for 21st Century Students, and Using 21st Century Resources to enhance Math Teaching & Learning.

If you have not become a member of this ning network, you should take time to explore. There are thousands of resources you can link to on this and many other ning networks.
From: eSchool News, June 2009 edition, p48
Above image from http://www.classroom20.com
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NOAA has a series of games to help students learn. The games are geared for students in grades 4-7 and use a series of animations to help explain a number of concepts. In the games, students learn about predators, food webs, recycling and trash clean up. They must move obstructions to make the waterway healthy and battle pollution monsters. There are 17 different simulations for students to try. For additional information, your class can follow Oscar on Twitter by clicking the link above.
From: eSchool News, June 2009 edition, p48
Image from games.noaa.gov
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Smithsonian CastleImage by ehpien via Flickr

From the article: "The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies is offering a series of free online tours that invite educators, families, and students to learn about America's diverse cultural heritage by examining objects drawn from the Smithsonian's vast collections." By using these objects, the visitors can examine the information to a deeper level of information. Using art and historical objects visitors can learn more about African American and Latino history. Examine items such as Mohammed Ali's red boxing gloves, portraits of George Washington Carver and Mary Chruch Terrell. There are activities, downloadable images and standards based information within the site. To find out what educator resources are current, subscribe to their free newsletter on this page: Education Newsletter.

From: eSchool News, June 2009 edition, p48
Image by ehpien via Flickr

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The Ancient LibraryImage by Stuck in Customs via Flickr "The Ancient Library"


The United Nations education agency coordinated libraries from a dozen countries to put some of their ancient works into digital format for use online. The World Digital Library has documents, files and more in seven different languages. You can view maps of the New World from 1562, or a map of Ancient Arabia from Christoph Weigel from 1654. The library also contains audio tracks, video and photographs.




From: eSchool News, June 2009 edition, p48

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr "The Ancient Library"
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June 24Image by rmom352 via Flickr

These ideas are from Patti Duncan from the DiscoveryEducation Leadership Council Seminar.

Patti uses wikis in her class to create assignments for her 9th grade science students. Kids are paired with kids from another class and must complete all conversations online through the discussion boards. All rubrics are on the wiki as are the handouts for kids to print on their own after they lose the first one they are given. You can also lock the wiki editing at 11:02 so no more changes can happen. Then you can give points for their contributions. She also has “How to” on the wiki as well.

Scramble and Write: Find images in DES print, laminate and put with students on a table. Kids must put the photos in order and write about it. Example: frog life-cycle. Notes for Smartboard - put vocab on side and image in center, kids put words on right part of the image. Can use as pre-assessment or post assessment.

Teach with music: from DES next to the search box choose audio. Find songs for frog life cycle, water cycle, Mendelev, and Marsh.

Play the sounds of a biome as kids enter room and have them guess what biome and why. This can be a writing activity. Create a PPT show as PPT show then they will not be able to edit or change the preso as it is online. This is good for differentation lessons or deliberate learners who want a LOT of time to process information. Give them a note guide to fill in as they watch the video.

Frog Glog: Create a Glogster about the frog cycle and kids can click to different activities to learn each section. You can put a voki widget into a builder. You can create a voki of yourself reading the directions for the writing prompt. You can also create an avatar get the html code and embed it into the builder assignment.

Overall Patti has a ton of ideas to incorporate into using DiscoveryStreaming resources. She suggested getting a green shower curtain from IKEA ($3.99) to use as a green screen when making videos. So I stopped at White Marsh Center and bought 5 for our school! Don't get bogged down with just using streaming video. Take a look at the clip art and songs. You just might be surprised at what you find there.

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