28 September 2007


I've been so intrigued with this next site that I've spent more time exploring all the different timelines rather that creating one myself.

allows one to explore, create, share, and discuss a timeline about all sorts of topics from people to places to things to events. The timelines are very flexible to use. Here is a sample timeline by the creators of xtimelines which shows the variety of resources that can be used in a timeline including text, pictures and photos, links, video, and music.

I tried to embed the timeline here, but there isn't enough room to show the entire screen and it was slow.

This resource would be a very useful, visual tool for the classroom. Teachers/students could use the information in timelines for learning in a multitude of ways such as: teachers could use/create a timeline to give a brief overview of a topic; students could research a timeline in order to verify that the information is correct and up-to-date and then rate, comment, or discuss; or students could create their own timelines for class projects. I really enjoyed my exploration and I think I'll see if I can create a timeline myself.

For a really good explanation read Joyce Valenza's post about xtimelines here. She did a great job on the list of higher level thinking that can be achieved using xtimelines.

18 September 2007


is another online application that appears on the Collaborative Web pagecast that I wasn't familiar with. It's a simple application that can be used for note-taking (probably meant for college-level students) by anyone. Notes can be shared or located by school, professor, class, and content. A couple of handy features are: ability to automatically link to Wikipedia and Google ; and ability to substitute keywords for your abbreviations. Great tool for students at campuses with wifi.

16 September 2007


Another application from the Collaborative Web pagecast is Furl.
is a social bookmarking site similar to del.icio.us.
Furl also privately archives a complete copy of each page that a user bookmarks, making it accessible even if the original content is modified or removed, an antidote for link rot. This also allows full text searches to be made within the archive. Topics are used to categorize saved sites, similar to the tagging feature of other social websites. Additionally, a user may write comments, save clippings, assign each bookmark a rating and keywords (which are given greater weight while searching), and have an option of private or public storage for each topic or item archived. From Wikipedia
Sounds like furl takes bookmarking to a higher level. I've been using del.icio.us and find it meets my needs at this time.

14 September 2007


"Backpack is a simple web-based service that allows you to make pages with to-do lists, notes, files, and images. Backpack also features a Calendar and Reminders that can be sent via email or to your cell phone at predefined times."

Backpack is another application from the Collaborative Web pagecast that I hadn't seen/used. Since I'm retired I really don't need to make long or involved to do lists, so I didn't sign up to try the site out, however, the examples provided show a wide range of uses. Here is pagini's blog about how to use Backpack for taking notes.

11 September 2007


The next Collaborative Web application that I'm not familiar with is TakingITGlobal(TIG).

"TakingITGlobal connects youth around the world to find inspiration, information and get involved in improving their local and global communities. TIG is led by youth and empowered by technology. TakingITGlobal works with global partners – from UN agencies, to major companies, and especially youth organizations – to build the capacity of youth for development, artistic and media expression, make education more engaging, and involve young people in global decision-making."

Essentially, a socialnetworking site with a global perspective and mission. The site is interactive providing: information and resources on global topics and countries of the world; opportunities to express oneself through writing or blogging, art, or podcasts; and collaboration with others to develop projects and take action. Membership is free.

School or classroom use is also provided thru TIGed. The same features of TIG are provided in a structured environment which can be controlled to provide protection and privacy for students. TIGed is a content management system that allows teachers and students to work in a private area, yet use public resources. The site provides resources to help teachers get started: activities database, thematic classroom units, events, and collaboration with other teachers from around the world. There is a fee but it's minimal for a teacher license, $30.

Any teacher who is "looking for an innovative way to introduce global issues to their students, from simple, low-tech solutions to online global collaborations with other classes thousands of miles away" should explore TIGed.

08 September 2007


The next Collaborative Web application that I'm not familiar with is MindMeister.

MindMeister is an online collaborative mind mapping tool. It's similar to Inspiration, a visual learning computer application which can be purchased and installed on a computer. MindMeister is so much more! Not only is it available online 24/7 at no cost, but it allows for real-time collaboration. Colleagues can brainstorm on a project simultaneously, view each others edits, and even integrate the use of Skype for discussion.

Here is a map that I created about my learning experiences while working on the csla tutorial. If you'd like to collaborate on this mind map please leave a comment so I can add you as a collaborator.

02 September 2007


The next Collaborative Web application that I'm not familiar with is Gapminder.


Gapminder provides access to searchable public data, however, the data is very visual and more easily understood because of Gapminder's philosophy. "Gapminder wants to make data more accessible and easier to use for instant visual analysis." Gapminder is providing tools so that people, independent of their political agenda, can freely "access the already existing statistics about global development to easily improve their understanding about the complex society" and how life has changed over time.

The site includes a tutorial that demonstrates how to use Gapminder's tools. There are video gapcasts and presentations, flash animations, and other resources which demonstrate how Gapminder tools make data come alive. Hans Rosling's lectures are awe inspiring. I especially liked his presentation, Debunking the myth of the "third world".

Public statistics which include a variety of indicators from life expectancy to internet use to military expenditures are available for most countries in the world. So teachers and students in many curricular areas could make use of this site.