Infinite Campus




Central Bucks Media Resources

For teachers in Intermediate Unit #22 (Bucks County), you can search Discovery Education streaming, PowerMedia Plus, Safari Montage, and the IU's physical and streaming media collection through the Web/MAX catalogue.

BCIU Web/MAX login

(use your BCIU user name and password)

What to learn more about implementing technology into your instruction? Join the Discovery Educator Network and connect to thousands of other educators and tap into powerful professional development and classroom integration resources.

HotChalk



netTrekker



Discovery Education streaming

(formerly known as unitedstreaming)

Use your BCIU user name and password to access DE streaming.


Safari Montage


This link will only work from within Central Bucks.

Use your AD user name and password to access Safari Montage.


PowerMedia Plus



Thinkfinity


Thinkfinity.org is the cornerstone of Verizon Foundation's Literacy, Education and Technology initiatives. Our goal is to improve student achievement in traditional classroom settings and beyond by providing high-quality content and extensive professional development training. This free, comprehensive digital learning platform is built upon the merger of two acclaimed programs Verizon MarcoPolo and the Thinkfinity Literacy Network.

NoodleTools


NoodleTools provides innovative software that teaches students and supports teachers and librarians throughout the entire research process.
  • Sign-In
  • Create a new NoodleTools account (NOTE: You must register from within Central Bucks so that your subscription can be authenticated, though you will be able to access NoodleTools from outside the district.)
  • Learn more about the NoodleBib teaching, researching, and learning resources
  • Take a tour of NoodleBib
  • external image pdf.png noodlebib_users_guide.pdf
  • Learn more about NoodleTools other resources
    • NoodleBib Express - Just need one or two quick citations and not an entire source list? NoodleBib Express includes all of the citation forms (MLA and APA) available in the subscription version. The difference? Your citations are not compiled into a source list and cannot be saved -- you'll copy and paste the citation you create into your document.
    • NoodleBib MLA Starter - NoodleBib MLA Starter is designed for students in grades 1-5, introducing our youngest scholars to the basics of citing a source. The tool gives the student clear, color-coded examples of how to cite the sources they are most likely to encounter (printed and online books, reference sources, magazines, newspapers, etc.). Once a 5th grade or ESL student is familiar with the concepts introduced in NoodleBib MLA Starter, the transition to using the advanced versions is simpler. NoodleBib MLA Starter has a limited set of citation types, and does not include the notecards feature.
    • NoodleTools Knowledge Base - We've answered thousands of your questions since NoodleTools was created in 1999. We've sorted through those e-mails and included the ones that we feel would be useful to other users in this knowledge base. Chances are that if you have a question about how to cite a source or use NoodleBib, we've already answered it and you can find it here.
    • NoodleQuest - The Internet is a great place to find information about your research topic, but with hundreds of search engines available, its often difficult to know which one to use! NoodleQuest is a wizard that helps you get started down the right path. Just answer a few questions about your research topic and NoodleQuest will reveal some of the best search strategies you can use, and even explain why! NoodleQuest is an interactive version of Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need.
  • Teacher Resources - Debbie Abilock's award-winning Web projects:
    • 21st Century Literacies
    • The Curriculum Collaboration Toolkit
    • The Ethical Researcher


Reaching 21st Century Students

21st Century Technologies


Online Parent Consent Forms









wikispaces for teachers



Best Practices



Free Online Tools for Every Curriculum



Tech Tip Thursdays - 2006-2007 School Year Archive


Download one of these documents to easily print all the tech tips for the 2006-2007 school year. The second version includes all the linked PDF files.

March 8, 2007 - Box


Are you frustrated with accessing your files from school at home? Do you wish there were a secure way to share files with your colleagues?
Box.net is the answer. Box.net is a secure online file storage service. Users can create both private, public, and shared folders to house their important documents.
  • Box.net offers 1GB of free online storage and 5GB for $4.99/month.
  • I use Box.net to share large files that cannot be sent through e-mail.
  • For example, I have shared some learning activities about Pearl Harbor with my colleagues through a public folder at http://www.box.net/public/r26rx92s0y that I have linked to the Social Studies page of the Holicong wiki (https://holicong.wikispaces.com/SocialStudies). I have also used it to house media I use in presentations, such as http://www.box.net/public/vdllrya77c, that I post on me personal wiki (https://jdorman.wikispaces.com/Conferences). Julie Micklos and I have a password-protected shared Box.net folder for Team 9 materials. Box.net is a secure way to share those files that you would feel uncomfortable posting for anyone to see on the Holicong wiki. You and your department members could use a common password to access those shared folders. It is also a great resource to use to back up your files.
  • If you would like more information, please visit http://www.box.net/info.


March 15, 2007 - SlideShare


I recently came across a fantastic web application called SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/.
  • What is SlideShare? SlideShare is a free service for sharing presentations and slideshows. You can upload your PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Keynote or PDF presentations, tag them, embed them into your blog or website, browse others' presentations, and comment on individual slides. What's more, the transcripts of your presentation will be indexed by internet search engines and show up in search results. It's a great way to share your ideas with others, or to learn from other people. And it's free.
  • What is the maximum presentation file size? 30MB
  • I have used SlideShare to post presentations that accompany workshops, meetings, and other events.I have embedded presentations in my blog (http://cliotech.blogspot.com/2007/02/slideshare.html.com) as well as on the Holicong wiki (https://holicong.wikispaces.com/New+Teachers). You can also share presentations via URL (http://www.slideshare.net/cliotech/podcasting-for-secondary-teachers/1) without being restricted by file size. I can envision posting presentations for Back-To-School-Night, team activities, or classroom instruction for parents and/or students who were unable to attend. I can also see the value in using SlideShare as a method for students to share their work with classmates. Since the material is housed online, it also provides teachers with a great object lesson to highlight intellectual property and fair use practices with their students. In addition to being able to share your presentations, you can also search existing presentations on the main site by topic, title, and author.
  • A quick caveat - all materials posted with SlideShare are in the public domain and accessible to anyone on the Internet. Student-created content should never contain student last names or information that would allow someone to contact the student directly. I would also suggest that teachers post student material as opposed to students posting the material independently.

March 22, 2007 - Digital Video Editing


The skyrocketing popularity of online video (often referred to as viral video) has sent ed tech geeks into overdrive to find ways to tap into that excitement as a way to engage students in rigorous and relevant ways. Though we have had the ability to edit digital video at Holicong for a number of years, teachers and students have lamented that the technological capability to create and edit digital videos was limited to a handful of machines. Thus, making it nearly impossible to integrate into our classes. The open-source revolution has generated several free online applications as alternatives to the expensive licenced-based programs to which we were formerly limited. Introducing the next wave in digital video editing:

All three applications allow users to upload photos, video, and audio. The project can be edited for content and duration and special effects, transitions, and text can be added. The final rendered video can be downloaded to a Flash drive or computer. The video file can be incorporated into PowerPoint and hyperlinked to from Inspiration, SMART Notebook, or other applications. These applications run entirely online - so, there is no need to download anything other than the final product to your computer. To get started, sign up for a free account and take the "new users" tour.

If you are interested in the ways that I am using digital video as a rigorous student assessment piece, visit the Digital Storytelling page of my wiki at https://jdorman.wikispaces.com/digitalstorytelling.

If you would like to learn more about open-source alternatives for digital video editing, TechCrunch magazine wrote a fantastic comparison review of six different open-source editors at http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/02/21/cuts-launches-amidst-online-video-editor-war/.

FYI - We will be running a full-day summer workshop on digital storytelling this summer.



March 29, 2007 - TeacherTube


Last week I suggested a few open-source online digital video editors. While those sources may address the problem of accessibility to video editors, they do not tackle the problem of safely sharing original videos, stories, and/or documentaries.

Welcome, TeacherTube (http://teachertube.com/). Think of TeacherTube as YouTube for educators. TeacherTube launched on March 6, 2007, as an online community for sharing instructional videos.

With TeacherTube, community members can:
  • Upload, tag and share videos worldwide.
  • Browse hundreds of videos uploaded by community members.
  • Find, join and create video groups to connect with people who have similar interests.
  • Customize the experience by subscribing to member videos, saving favorites, and creating playlists.
  • Integrate TeacherTube videos on websites, blogs, or wikis using video embeds or APIs.
  • Make videos public or private - users can elect to broadcast their videos publicly or share them privately with those they invite.

TeacherTube is a safe and easily accessible way to share educational videos. It is an open-source community that actively solicits feedback from its members so that it will continue to evolve and provide quality video content created by teachers and students for teachers and students.

So, register for a free teacher account today.

April 5, 2007 - ZAMZAR


The last two weeks, I addressed digital video issues. I have one more such resource. We have noticed a huge increase in the past year of students and teachers wishing to incorporate digital videos from online services (YouTube, GoogleVideo) into their class presentations. Besides the obvious limitations of streaming video during the school day, other limitations exist: the inability to download videos from certain providers or not being able to open a video in school because we do not have the necessary players.

Enter, ZAMZAR - ZAMZAR is a free online file conversion tool. It converts document, image, music, and video files into other supported formats. It even converts videos from online services (YouTube, etc.) into a downloadable format that can play at school. Visit http://www.zamzar.com/conversionTypes.php to get an complete list of supported file formats. For example, it can convert an AAC audio file into an MP3 or a Google Video into an MPEG. Supported formats are added frequently.

So, if you or your students would like to access a YouTube or Google Video at school, ZAMZAR can be used to convert it to an MPEG that will play at school. Or, if you find a great Real Player video that needs to be played at school in Media Player, ZAMZAR can accommodate.

Cool factoid: The name "Zamzar" is based on a character from the Bohemian author Franz Kafka's book "The Metamorphosis". In the novel Kafka describes the extraordinary story of a young man who is transformed whilst sleeping into a gigantic insect. The man's name - Gregor Samsa - was used as the basis for our company name because of its' powerful association with change and transformation.


April 12, 2007 - Fauxto, Picnik, Phixr (Online Image Editing Applications)


I know that a handful of Holicong teachers have taken graduate courses on image editing using Adobe Photoshop and imaged myriad classroom applications for same. Those teachers wish that Adobe were more realistically priced for general classroom use.

I empathize with them and, thus, have researched some alternatives to Photoshop.

Here are few open-source (a.k.a. FREE) online alternatives:
-Picnik
-Phixr
-Fauxto

I have to say that I like Fauxto (pronounced "photo") the best. It offers some really advanced image editing functions like layers, filters, fills, saturations, text, etc. that are not included with the other applications. Layers are particularly interesting. For instance, layers allows users to place characters from one photo into the landscape of another. Fauxto allows a nearly unlimited number of layers.

Fauxto allows users to edit photos that are uploaded from a local drive (computer, flash drive, etc.) or images that are housed online. Fauxto users can share images with others online and also (importantly) keep some images in private online folders.

If you are not looking for such advanced features, my recommendation with be Picnik. Picnik boasts a really easy-to-navigate interface and also allows users to access photos from similar locations to those of Fauxto. Phixr is a more basic version of Picnik.

If you want to read a more detailed review of Fauxto, visit Jen Dorman's blog.

April 19, 2007 - Swivel


I spend a lot of time working with my students to help them better analyze data in various forms. While searching online for good data resources, I came across Swivel (http://www.swivel.com).

Swivel:
  • uses farms of powerful computers and algorithms at the Swivel data centers to transform a lonely grid of numbers and letters into hundreds - sometimes thousands - of graphs that can be explored and compared with any other public data in Swivel
  • has ratings and comments and publishing shortcuts (widgets) for blogs/wikis/web sites, so folks can share ideas, talk about insights and understand data together
  • transforms the sometimes tedious task of reading someone else's spreadsheet into a fun experience of clicking through a Web site full of images, graphs and color.

Swivel's mission is to make exploring all the world's data fun and insightful. The primary actions on Swivel are: explore, compare, share, and upload. Users upload data sets. They tag (categorize) their data sets. The data can be viewed in table or chart format and with one click can be compared with other data sets in Swivel. When users view a data set, Swivel lists related data sets and correlations. The data set can be embedded on a wiki, blog, web site, or a unitedstreaming activity or quiz.

Household Net Savings Rates, % (U.S. vs. Australia)
You can take an interactive tour of Swivel to familiarize yourself with this amazing open-source application (http://www.swivel.com/tour/intro).

So, whether you are looking for greenhouse emissions plotted with natural disasters, obesity rates in developed countries, or global GDP charted with average global temperature check out Swivel


April 26, 2007 - "Free" Music

As more students and teachers create original multi-media presentations, many encounter the problem of finding background audio that is legally licensed for modification and/or redistribution.
There are thousands of sites that host audio. What makes these sites particularly useful for classroom and student use is that they all house audio that is licensed under Creative Commons. CC licenses make it really easy to determine how an artist's audio can be used.
For an explanation of the various CC licenses, visit http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses.

One important note - please don't confuse the word "free" with "I can do anything I want with this music." All the artists who share their audio on these and other hosting sites have licensed their intellectual property. It is still important for you or your students to assure that the license is being properly followed. In the age of consumer contribution on the Internet, the definition of intellectual property has become murky. Many students assume that if it can be accessed/downloaded it is free. Many Napster users as well as hosting sites, like YouTube, learned a painful and expensive lesson that this is not the case. When our students compile or create multi-media presentations we are afforded a terrific object lesson in intellectual property. We can use their searches for media to illustrate how to understand the media's licensing agreements. Luckily, CC is very easy to understand.

May 3, 2007 - Do You Diigo?


Perhaps, you've already shared and commented on your bookmarks with Furl, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, and other social bookmarking sites. They are pretty fantastic ways for individuals and groups to share the resources they have found online or to create an instant hotlist for colleagues and students.

Diigo http://www.diigo.com/ (dee' go) takes the social bookmarking to a new level. Diigo is all about "social annotation."

With Diigo you can (copied from the Diigo site):

Highlight and add sticky notes:
  • With a virtual highlighter and digital sticky notes, now you can highlight & jot down your comments directly on any part of a webpage and scan through all your research findings quickly.
  • Easily extract and compile all your highlights across multiple pages for a given subject.
  • Keep your annotations private, share them with groups you belong to, or make them public for everyone to view.
  • Store and organize your online favorites:
  • Keep all your bookmarks online and access them from anywhere, using any browser.
  • Tags and full-text search on everything make it extremely easy to organize and find stuff - no need to fumble with folders and subfolders.
  • Instead of simple bookmarking, you can "clip" the highlights and store them with your bookmarks. So now you can do full-text search on only "clipped" or highlighted contents to find what you want more quickly, in addition to searching in tags, titles, comments and the entire pages.
  • Your bookmarked pages are archived to insure they are always available as originally seen.
  • Not just web pages, you can also bookmark your favorite pictures on the web into albums!
  • You control the settings that determine what can be seen by the public, what will be shared with each group you belong to, and what will be kept private.
Share and interact with others:
  • You can forward a webpage with your highlights & Sticky notes. For further interactions, your friends or group members can append their comments under your notes right on the page.
  • With our "Enhanced Linkrolls", add an instant collaborative platform right on your site by sharing your latest Diigo bookmarks and annotated pages with the world, and further inviting discussions with your site visitors, all perfectly within context.
  • Find other people who also bookmarked or commented on the page, interact with them on or off the page.
  • To share findings on a specific subject, you can forward multiple bookmarks (each with highlights and Sticky notes) at once.
  • Bookmark lists, either by tag(s), or by a specific user, or any combination, can be subscribed on the website or through RSS. Contents can be easily syndicated to other websites/blogs through RSS, linkroll and tagcloud.

Diigo has great toolbar add-ons for Firefox and IE7 that make it really easy to create, access, and add to your collection.

I think Diigo would make a fantastic collaborative research tool for my students. In fact, I was so excited about the service when I first learned about it that I started my classes the next day with an introduction to Diigo. My students were thrilled and lamented only that they didn't know about the service earlier, when they were working on their National History Day presentations and 9th grade assessment.
So, take a virtual tour of Diigo (they have a great series of Flash tutorials at http://www.diigo.com/help/flash_tutorial) and post comments about other classroom or professional applications for this service. You can also post the URL of any Diigo groups you would like to share.

May 10, 2007 - AutoSummarize



May 17, 2007 - Video in PowerPoint (Three Ways)



May 24, 2007 - Scrapblog



May 31, 2007 - Video Downloader 2.0


  • A few weeks ago I sent out a tech tip about www.zamzar.com, an open-source web application that can convert media files from one format to another.
  • My tech tip for today is similar and was prompted by numerous inquiries from teachers.
  • Video Downloader 2.0 (http://javimoya.com/blog/youtube_en.php) is another free service. It allows users to download files directly from online video host sites (YouTube, TeacherTube, Blip.tv, Google Video, and dozens of others).
  • The videos will download as a Flash video (.flv). These can be played in the free Flash video player that can also be downloaded from this site. FYI - Flash is the only video format supported by SMART Notebook, the software that accompanies SMART Boards and SMART Airliners. All of the presentation stations came with the SMART software suite installed.
  • If you would prefer to play the video in QuickTime or Media Player, the Flash videos can be converted to .MPEG or .MOV formats using Zamzar.


June 7, 2007 - Intelligent Searching

This week's tip involves two intelligent meta search engines, KartOO (http://www.kartoo.com/) and UJIKO (http://ujiko.com).
Download this document to learn more about these two intelligent search engines.

June 14, 2007 - Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers and Students