As we know Facebook is not safe at all and can ruin a kids life if not used properly and under adults supervision. MinorMonitor is a tool to help you control your kids activity on Facebook. It acts as a proactive measure to save what can be saved. It is a free and simple to use web service that connects with your child’s Facebook account and displays the account details to you. These details include
an activity graph,
checked in places, and alerts.
The site also automatically analyzes and identifies possible bullying, drug use, solicitation, and profanity.
Here is a video for you to learn more
- It is free to use
- It is simple and easy to use
- It allows its users to watch videos simultaneously
- It provides chat facility for users
It is very easy. Just head over to Watch2gether main page and pick up a nickname. A virtual room will be created together with its public URL that you can share with your friends. Once they visit the URL they will need to provide their own nicknames before starting to watch the same video in the room.
The right pane of the room allows you to chat with your friends while the center pane is where the video is played. You play new YouTube videos by providing their URLs.
To teach is to learn twice over. Learning becomes a life long process and teachers are forever learners. If you ever think you have reached the acme of your performance then you have to know it is the start of your end. Some teachers get lazy after a few years of teaching and others do not go beyond their text book. do you belong to any of these categories ? if so then you are not a teacher but just a hard working student.
“We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.” We as teachers are entrusted with the heaviest responsibility in the society it is that of the upbringing of educated generations. As Marcus Tullius Cicero said” What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation “. Aristotle has even gone far to honor teachers over parents when he said “ Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well “. We should do our best to live up to what our society expects from us. We need to be full of aspiration, hope and enthusiasm to be able to unsettle our students minds , flame their intellect and widen their horizons. for education is not the “filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire”.
Change and accustomization should always be among our fundamental traits. As methodologies and approaches change so do our teaching styles and habits. The way our teachers taught us could definitely not be the way we teach our students now and as John Dewy once said “ If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” We need to swim with the current and not against it and adopt the latest trends in education and be able to integrate technology into our teaching . We are innovators and aspirers after all.
After this short introduction , i am going to present to you some well- designed ideas about how we can be better teachers in our century. I know the list is not exhaustive but should serve as a springboard to a comprehensive search from your part.
1 - Be ready to accept differences and know that students are not all alike and allow each student the opportunity to shine
2 - Use different strategies in different situations . Instruction may be differentiated in content, process, or product according to the students’ readiness, interests, or learning style.
3 - Use multiple instructional strategies and a variety of representations at the same time to increase the chances of reaching all students.
4 - Acknowledge that students have different learning styles, learn at different speeds, are at different comfort levels of thinking abstractly, and differ in abilities to make connections.
5 - Make sure you integrate a varied set of activities such as skill practice, problem solving, manipulatives, games, working with technology such as computers or calculators, graphs and other visuals,
6 - Never separate assessment from instruction and make sure to focus on qualitative assessment more than quantitative assessment.
7- Use a variety of formal tests, homework assignments, journals, discussions, and presentations.use the results of assessments to continuously plan lessons on skills that are not yet mastered by your students.
8 - Never assume what students might or might not know but find out ! use pre- assessment as a first step
9 - Get to know your students; know their interests and socialize with them within the limits allowed. students will be more engaged in the learning if they feel it was developed around their interests.
10 - From time time you need to stop and reflect about your lessons , students and the way you teach. try modifications and see what works and what does not.
11- You need to realize that teaching is evolutionary and always evolving. It is a bottomless well.
12 - Hold students accountable for their own learning and let them fgeel a sense of responsibility towards what they are learning through the effective use of heterogeneous group activities.
13 - Teachers should be characterized by certain holistic and student centered features , some of them are summarized below . Gratitude and thanks goes back to Andrew Churches who has provided this diagram .
I will stop here for now but if you want to learn more you can check out this wonderful article :The 21st Century Skills Teachers Should Have.
Let me start this article with what Obama says in a speech at the Center for American Progress :
“ Let’s be clear — we are failing too many of our children. We’re sending
them out into a 21st century economy by sending them through the
doors of 20th century schools.”
This is a true statement issued from the lips of a political person rather than an educator. There is a profound disconnect between what students are being taught and what the actual world is demanding of them as adults. It sounds like there exists two worlds one inside the school and the other outside. This double faced situation has a direct impact on today's educational landscape and therefore the workplace leading to “ the right person in the wrong place “ dilemma.
There is a huge need for a total reformation of school systems and curriculums to better fit in the 21st century education. Fortunately enough , some countries especially in the developed world have already taken the step and the results are quite reassuring, others are lagging behind but will soon join in for they can not stand against the current.
I have already talked in an earlier post about the 21st century education and skills teachers need to have and have clearly explained the correlation between those skills and students performance and today i am going to introduce you to a teaching ,or better say, instructional method that is called Project Based Learning. I hope you have already heard about it but if not then this is your chance to know it all.
Project Based Learning or PBL as they refer to it is
“ an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.” taken from PBL Online
Projects and activities are the keys to a better understanding of PBL. They are no longer tasks that students need to finish after a traditionally-taught unit but rather a set of learning experiences and tasks that guide students in inquiry toward answering a central question, solving a problem, or
meeting a challenge. Research has clearly proved that projects that are well-designed and based on students experiences improves students motivation to learn, help them see how school connects to the outside world by making learning relevant and meaningful, and promotes greater civic participation and global awareness.
As a teaching method, PBL is the best means for educators to meet the objectives of the 21st century education that can be abridged in the 4Cs equation ( critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity).
Some features of PBL
Here is a list of some features that characterize PBL as stated in bie.org :
PBL makes students focus on significant issues, debates, questions and/or problems through a central driving question or challenge.
It contextualizes learning and gives students driving motives and reasons to learn and understand the information and concepts before they apply them.
It requires inquiry to learn and/or create something new.
It requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication.
IT teaches students how to :
- use higher-order thinking skills
- learn to work as a team and contribute to a group effort
- listen to others and make their own ideas clear when speaking,
- be able to read a variety of material,
write or otherwise express themselves in various modes, and make effective presentations.
PBL increases students’ educational engagement by allowing them to make their own choices and take responsibility when doing so.
It lets students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project
Rigorous projects help students build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning
These are in brief the main features of PBL . i hope you have grasped a general idea of what PBL is all about. Just remember that unless we incorporate the PBL method into the 21st century instruction we will never reach the 21st century educational goals.
if you want to learn more about PBL then here are some further links :
Billions of people are using Google search services everyday but not all of them know how to harness Google search algorithm to suit there queries and some even end up wasting time in some seamy sites. As educators you should never be one of these people who just type in a couple of words in its search bar and hit “ i am lucky” to start sifting through results which can sometimes be completely irrelevant. This is a cyber age , time counts so much and we have other things to do instead of just sitting in front of a computer for hours searching terms in such a broad way that even Google robot gets mad at. Believe it or not , Google robot can know the type of person you are and how smart you are just from the keywords of your search query and if he realizes that the searcher is stupid then he would automatically provide stupid results , this is just as simple as this. Search robots do not read our intentions but analyze what we offer them. There are thousands of WebPages related to your search terms and unless you know exactly what to target in your query than expect the worse.
Today i am introducing you to the best Google search tips that you need to be aware of in order to conduct relevant searches. All the tips mentioned here are included in Google Inside Search.
If you want to search using terms that you are not sure how they are spelt then don’t fret over this , Google spell checker automatically corrects your spelling.
Use unique words
The more unique your words are the more specific your results will be for example celebrity ringtones’ is better than ‘celebrity sounds’
when you type in a term do not worry about cases because search is not case sensitive therefore ‘time magazine’ is the same as ‘Time Magazine’
Web history is a webpage where all your previous searches are collected you can access this page and have a look at all the search queries you have conducted anytime. Just log on to www.google.com/history
Always try to keep your search terms as simple as possible for example if you are looking for a hotel in a certain place then you need to type in the name of the hotel along with the town or zip code. You should also keep your search terms as short as possible two words are better than a bunch of irrelevant terms.
This is not an issue here because search ignores all of them
Use web-friendly words
Search robots use a matching algorithm to render the results , they mainly match your search terms to pages with the same words so instead of typing my tooth hurts its better to write toothache
Find related pages
If you find a page and you want to look for similar content in other pages then use the related: operator.
Track Your Packages
If you want to track your UPS, FedEx, or USPS packages just type in its serial number in Google search box and you will get its status.
If you want to get a definition of a word just type in define: followed by the word you want to define
If you want to make a calculation just enter the the equation and you ll get the results
To search the time of any country just type in time followed by the name of the country or city you want
To get current exchanges just type in currency 1 in currency 2. for instance i want to convert 10Euro into Dollars then i have to write 10 euro in dollars.
Search By File Type
To search for specific kinds of files then all you have to do is write your search query followed by : and and the 3-letter file abbreviation. for instance i want to look for a pdf about mobile learning i will type in Mobile Learning: pdf.
Find Related Pages
To find related pages to a website you like just type in related: followed by the url of the website you liked
Search for An Exact Phrase
to search for an exact phrase you just need to put quotation marks around the words example; “ to be or not to be “.
Search within a specific site
Precede your query with site: if you know you want your answer from within a specific site or type of site (.org, .edu). For example: site:edu or site:nytimes.com
If for instance you are looking for the ingredients of a recipe and you want to highlight some parts you use + followed by the items and if you want to exclude other items you just precede them with minus sign – example ; salsa recipe +avocado –tomatoes
Advanced Image Search
To search images by their size, color, style or type you just need to use the tools on left panel
Search The web in all Languages
When you're searching, click "More search tools" on the left panel of your results page, then select "Translated foreign pages." The feature will choose the best language in which to search and deliver results translated back in English.
Search for Recipes
To search for a recipe you need to use the tools on the left panel and select recipes
Search for zip codes and area codes
Just type it in the search box and you will know where it belongs to
Shop and compare across the web
Use the "Shopping" link on the left panel on the results page to shop for products and compare prices across the web
Search with location
If you want to look for example for a restaurant near you just type in the name of the restaurant followed by the zip code of the city and you will get instant results
Search on a movie name or just movie to see theater locations and showtimes in your area
Check the Weather
To check the weather of a certain place just type in weather followed by a zip code or the name of any city in the world to get the current weather and forecast. Example ; weather chicago
Get Flight Schedules
To see flight schedules to or from a particular destination, type flights from or flights to followed by the city or airport of interest. You can also add another location with to or from and view the schedule for a specific route.
Map your Location
To get the location of any city in a map just type in the city name or zip code followed by the word [map], and you'll see a map of that location. Click on the map to see it on Google Maps. for example : New York map.
Filter results by reading levels
Sort your results by reading level by clicking on Advanced Search and filtering the results into basic, intermediate and advanced reading levels.
These were some of the best Google search tips you need to know in order to better use Google search engine. I hope educators and students would put to practice some of what they have learnt here. Remember the ultimate goal is to enhance learning through the use of technology.
Now with Application Protection you will forget about all these worries for your mobile will be completely protected.
Some features that Application Protection offers to its users ?
Here is a list of some of the main features that This tool offers to its users:
- It is free
- It is easy to use
- It has a user friendly interface
- It allows its users to lock their mobile applicationson their devices
- It offers amethod of authentification consisting of four digit code
- It sends you an email containing your unlock code in case you tried ten times to log in with no success
- It does not consume so much battery
I would really recommend this app to you . Just remember there are bugs sometimes and the app is not yet fully developed so problems might occur.
The second feature is that Google Docs app is now available in 45 additional languages
To learn more check Google Docs Blog.
How can i get started using Gmail star system ?
It is very easy to use. Just head over to your gmail inbox and right at the top bar you click on Settings then General and scroll down to the “Stars” section.
Select which star icons you want to use and drag the stars to the appropriate spot in the lists.
You can even look for messages with specific stars by using the search box gmail has at the top bar. Just enter the following queries and all the emails marked with that colour will show up;
If you want to learn more head over to Gmail blog and read their article.
TwitTV is a cool video site . It allows its users to watch trending videos that are being shared on Twitter. Just imagine how hard it can be if you want to select a video from the thousand links that are daily shared on twitter. It is almost next to impossible to get pertinent results. TwitTV has been designed specifically to solve that problem.
Once you visit the site TwitTV automatically begins the playback in a video area that expands according to your browser’s dimensions. It allows you to either filter videos based on the tweets of a particular region or country or you can filter them according to hash tags ( A tag embedded in a message posted on the Twitter micro blogging service ). It also lets its users skip video topics or move on to watch other videos of the same topic.
What i really like about TwitTv is the fact that once you start playing it you just sit back and watch , you do not need to do anything , videos are being played by themselves giving you a totally different Tv experience you might have never felt before.
Here is a snapshot of what it looks like:
It is actually a search engine designed specifically to gather the best websites around a certain niche. It uses a sophisticated unique algorithm to manage its directory. Its results are based mainly on sites popularity, traffic and many other factors.As for the purpose behind the creation of this kind of search engine, TopWeb engineers has clearly stated that
“ The need for top website list has been there because there are so many websites on each subject that the person becomes confused as to which one to visit for his need. As the internet has grown , many suspicious sites have also come around in popular niches which aim to infect the computer of the visitor.”
How can i get started using TopWeb ?TopWeb just like most of the other search engine is very easy and simple to use and does not require any sing up or registration. Just head over to its main page and start your query. There is a search box in the middle as shown in the picture , enter the name of the topic or subject you want to search for and hit find top site. for instance , when i entered Mobile Learning as a topic for my search here is what i got :
You can also check Popular Top Ten Sites Tab which is at the top of the page. Here you will be offered a list of the top sites about several subjects here are some of the them:
I hope you would try this website and see if it can be of any help to you and your students.
taken from Google Student Blog;
When I started out at Trinity University, I didn’t know much about Google Docs and relied heavily on desktop word processors. As I became increasingly frustrated with these programs crashing mid-sentence, I thought I’d give Google Docs a try. But what started as an experiment to test Google Docs for group projects and class notes quickly became a permanent solution for all of my schoolwork, and I haven’t looked back once. Here are a few of my favorite uses of Google Docs in college:
Google Student Blog: How I use Google Docs as a student
Bundlr is a cool web tool. It allows its users to curate, clip, aggregate, and share web content easily and instantly. Now you can create your own network where you can broadcast specific information and URLs about a certain topic.
With Bundlr you can collect content from different web pages and organize it into bundles. You can either be the creator of your bundles and do the work by yourself or you add other Bundlr users to collaborate with you in adding sites to your bundls.
Bundr can be a great tool for educators. They can use it to gather research material for a project or presentation. They can also share whatever they have prepared with their students or colleagues. i do recommend it for teachers and students.
Some features of Bundlr
Here is a list of the main features that bundlr offers to its users:
- It is free
- It is easy to use
- It does require a sign up , use your twitter or facebook account to log in
- It has a user friendly interface
- It lets you create virtual bundles of webpages
- You can add other collaborators to your bundles
- You can also share your bundles through a direct URL
- It lets you generate an embeddable code for your bundles
How can i get started using Bundlr?
It is very easy to use. Just head over to Bundlr main page and sign up for a free account or sign in using Twitter or Facebook. Once logged in, you can then create your own bundl and name it. Grab the bookmarklet and put it on your browser, this way you can instantly attach web pages to your bundles. When you are done use a public URL to share your bundles with your friends. Happy bundling!!!!!
Today i am going to share with you some tips about how to better use Gmail. There are many features and services that Gmail offers for free yet only few people know about them and use them. Being educators, we do need to be aware of these freebies. They can save you so much time and make your electronic mailing experience way better than you have ever thought. believe me when you read and apply those tips you would just sit back and wonder how on earth i missed all of these things all this time !!!. But it is never too late to discover and there is always somebody to do the painstaking search for the info and in this case it was me who did it for you lol.
All of the tips here are taken from Google Apps website and all the title links below will direct you there, i encourage you to subscribe to the RSS feed of this website. It will help you a lot .
1 - "Sorting" Google Mail messages using Keywords
2 - Dragging and Dropping Labels and Messages
3- Enabling and using Keyboard Shortcuts
4- Using Nested Labels
5 - Working with Conversations: Part 1
6- Working with Conversations: Part 2
Working with Conversations: Part 3
7 - Dragging and Dropping Attachments
8- Dragging and Dropping Attachments
9 - Using Quick Links
10 - De-cluttering Your Desktop Using Tabbed Browsing
11 - Working with Gmail Tasks
12 - Creating a Strong Password
13 - Creating a Simple Filter
14 – Increase Your Productivity with Priority Inbox
15 – Reduce Inbox Bloat with SmartLabels
16 – Cure Your Inbox of Inbox Bloat by Archiving Old Email
17 - Responding to or composing messages in a New Browser Window
18- Working with Gmail Tasks
19 – Enhance Your Email Rich Text Signatures
20 - Setting Message Priority Using Canned Responses and Filter
Here are some other articles that you might like to read :
Become a Gmail Master
Become a Gmail Ninja
Hack Attack Gmail
"Whether you’re organizing a trip overseas or a picnic at a local park, knowing the weather forecast is a crucial part of the planning process. Today, we’re adding a weather layer onGoogle Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe, and will hopefully make travel and activity planning easier. "
(Cross-posted on the Commerce and Mobile blogs)
"For years, shoppers have enjoyed flipping through glossy print catalogs to be inspired, discover new trends and find great products. Today, mobile technologies can make catalog shopping more engaging, social and creative. With that in mind, we’ve created Google Catalogs—a free app for tablet devices that enables you to browse all of your favorite catalogs and interact with new layers of rich-media content".............
- Are you an undergraduate or graduate student in the U.S. with new ideas about news?
- Have you already created original journalistic content with computer science elements?
- Do you find yourself brainstorming different ways of telling stories and covering your community news using technology?
Scholarships for aspiring journalists from Google, the AP and ONA
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.
Today i am introducing to you a set of the best music sharing web tools. All these tools are free and easy to use. They can allow you to listen and share music with your friends through a real time listening. Educators can use these tools to educationally share and study songs with their students as well.
Here is the list of the music tools:
Wavelenght is a great web application that allows its users “to play songs, watch videos and chat live”. It does not require any sign up and it is very easy to use. With this tool you can listen to the same song together with online friends and create playlists and edit songs as you like.
This app is different than the others in the sense that it allows its users to store music on PC and listen to it on iPhone / iPad.
ListeningRoom as its name implies is a web application that allows its users to share music in real time.
Tape.tv is a great music channel that features high quality music videos from your favorite artists. It lets its users to search for similar music using criteria such as genbre and artist name.
Outloud is a great web tool that allows its users to share music in real time. There are many tools that let you share music with your friends and colleagues either using emails or other social sharing buttons , but with Outloud you can add the ‘ real time’ features to your sharing
Songza is a great musical web2.0 site .It allows you to search and listen to any song or brand you like . It is a collection of radio stations that ordinary users like you and me together with some experts from songza site have created
Listen Music is a music site that lets you search, find and listen to music online without having to download any software. It does requie a sign up to create your free account where you can organize songs into playlists.
Mugasha is a cool online application that lets its users listen to music sets online.. It displays music songs from DJs alla round the world.
FlavorTunes is a little bit different in that it allows its users to send interactive invitation to their guests which provides them options to select their favorite songs for the party. so if you are planning to organize a party then FlavorTunes is your solution.
Soundsleeping is a great music website. It offers relaxing and nature sounds that can help in reducing stress levels and make you sleep easily. It also allows its users to mix tracks such as bonfire, creek, bird song, rain, ocean… etc with drums, flute or vibe.
Puniz offers over 500 million audio tracks all of which are legal to download. Most of these songs are availabe on youtube and are in the form of a video. You can listen to the song on the website or download it as FLV, MP4 or 3GP which are ideal formats to be used on portable devices.
Soundzit is another great music site that lets its users search, listen and embed music online. It is consedered as the audio version of Youtube and claims to list over 300 millio
NoteRec is a cool Android mobile app. It allows its users to take notes at meetings. It also enables them to record audio versions of meetings they attend. Before we used to use diaries to jot down notes but when we want to revise these notes it becomes hard to distinguish which notes belong to which meeting. With NoteRec, you can record the audio of your meetings and take notes during the recording using your phone.
What are the notes for when there is an audio recording? Good question , the notes act as textual annotations to the recorded audio. Yes you can now listen to the audio and read the text you have written. I think this app is really very important and educators need to consider using it in their work.
Some features of NoteRec
Here is a set of the main features that NoteRec offers to its users:
- It is free
- It is easy to use
- It has an intuitive interface
- It allow users to record audio and take notes of meetings they attend
- It lets you trace back meeting notes to their source.
- It is compatible with Android devices.
check out Free Android Apps to explore other useful apps.
SMS Corrector is a cool mobile app. It ,as its name implies, automatically corrects mistakes in incoming messages to improve their readability. This mobile technology boom that the 21st century is living has brought with it a completely different language. One that is full of abbreviations and acronyms and most of the time not conventional. I personally find it hard to understand my students when talking to me on facebook. They usually use abbreviations that are hard to guess the meaning of. For instance : 4u ( for you), b4( before), ttys( talk to you soon) and many others. With SMS Corrector you can now have all these abbreviations “ deabbreviated'” AND misspelled words corrected.
This app focuses mainly on SMS jargon and misspelled words. So whenever someone send you an email containing for example an abbreviation like b4 it will automatically be displayed as before.
Some features of SMS Corrector
Here is a list of the main features that SMS Corretor offers to its users:
- It is free
- It has a user friendly interface
- It automatically translate and auto detect SMS language
- It also corrects upper case words
- It supports both French and English
- It is compatible with most SMS Applications (Chomp SMS, Handcent, ...)
- It requires Android: 1.6 and up
If you want to explore other Android Apps that are free and good to use then i invite you to visit Free Android Apps.
It is all about music today. This is the fourth post about a musical tool i am introducing to you. This app is different than the others in the sense that it allows its users to store music on PC and listen to it on iPhone / iPad.
iPhone and iPda users always complain about storage capacity on their mobile devices. They have only a limited space which can not take in all the songs and videos they want to upload. With Tubemystuff, storage capacity is no more an issue.
What is great about this app is that you can store music on different computers and synchronize songs on your computer to your iPhone and iPad.
Some features of Tubemystuff
Here is a list of the main features that Tubemystuff offers to its users:
- It is free
- It is easy to use
- It has an intuitive interface
- It allows users to store music on their pc and listen to it on iPhone/iPad
- Sync songs on your pc to your iPhone
- Listen to songs even when your computer is offline
How can i get started using Tubemystuff ?
Just head over to Tubemystuff main page and download a little application from there. You need then to specify the folders containing music on each computer. Tubemystuff will sync all of these so that you can listen to music even when the pc is offline.
”You can also create a playlist that you can listen to from your iPhone or iPod. No need to move songs from multiple computers to your iPhone, just sync them with TubeMyStuff.”
Check out Free Music Tools to learn more about other similar tools.