Category Archives: Resources

OER Presentation

I gave a variation of a talk I’ve given before about all the stuff on the web that ought to be considered both educational and open. My rather blurry definition of open is that I can link to it on the Internet without a password- from there it’s degrees of openness towards Nirvana.

I may be getting towards some elements that I think matter in the selfies series of links and with the Shorpy photo becoming a writing prompt randomizer thanks to interactions with Luke Neff. They both start to grow and change based on input, then interaction, and then creation.

Anyway, there may be some stuff that’s useful to someone and since I went to all the trouble of writing it down I might as well make it visible.

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TED Spreadsheet Exhibit Remix

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This Exhibit is based of the spreadsheet found here. None of the data is mine. I found the spreadsheet via this tweet by scmorgan. If anyone knows who to give original credit to please let me know1

Clearly, I have no official or non-official affiliation with TED. I just like to watch the videos.

I do want to thank David F. Huynh for making Exhibit which enabled me to make this site in about 10 minutes. Most of that time taken up by messing with the CSS2. I am an Exhibit fan which is pretty obvious if you search the site. This data just seemed to beg for Exhibit so . . . I obeyed.

In the future, I may add some additional fields based on what I see as valuable to different strands of education (leadership, planning, creativity etc.). If you want to do something similar it’s really easy to get this data out and do with it what you will.


1 I did look around for about 10 minutes but no original source presented itself- popular link though.

2 Obviously, I have only the roughest ideas regarding CSS so if you have skills it’d take you no time.

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Life Photos on Google

I’m sure this one will get blogged to death but . . . it does fit in with my earlier post so I’ll add to the noise.

Google is hosting 10 million or so photos from Life magazine in a very nice searchable way. They are really nice photos that’d work well in any number of subject areas.

Oddly, I don’t see any stated copyright information (although the largest images are watermarked with LIFE in the lower left hand corner).

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Lifehacker

Stats, Math, Data and Sociology

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Want some really interesting and topical statistics to use? Of course you do. This is a great site for math, stats, and sociology.

Seems like Zubin Jelveh is writing things that’d mix into Dan Meyer’s class pretty well.

He’s got everything from Pete Rose’s betting stats to the cost of pennies and the economic ramifications of their removal. I thought the stats dealing with the NY prostitution ring were really interesting as well but probably not suitable for most k12 classrooms. The things that’s good about these posts is that they’re all about numbers and stats but they have a real solid tie to our lives and culture. It makes room for some really passionate and interesting conversations and as a result a lot more interest in the numbers.

I can’t recall how I ended up here so apologies to whoever I stole the link from.

Just in time tech . . .

Google spreadsheets now lets you share editing by sending out a custom form. This is a huge deal. No, really. Huge.

It solves so many problems I see happening all the time in schools. This is such a great way to get large amounts of information from all sorts of people of varying technical skill levels so you have it one place to manipulate. No need for the hassle of Adobe PDF and the complications of those forms or the need to create custom web forms of various types. It’s free and dead simple.

I’m going to use it to collect testing information on programs for our upcoming Vista move. Previously, I was going to use cforms ii (awesome WordPress plug in by the way- especially if you need to fully customize the CSS- see an example I did for the NSDC here- it is real so don’t fill out fake info please). But there’s no real easy way to share that information. You could give people the password to the blog but that’s no always a good thing and the information that’s there is really just for looking at or exporting. I wanted something more dynamic. I think you could write some custom php pages and pull the info out but that’s a hassle and it takes time.

I was going to download the data, upload it into a Google spreadsheet and possibly push it out to an Exhibit front end (yes, I’m still in love with them). Major hassle for me in terms of keeping things updated as I’d have to add to the spreadsheet with each new entry to keep things up to date. Blah. I considered trying to write an Applescript to do it for me based on folder update changes but that’s more time and, if you’ve ever messed with Applescript, it’s likely to be a hassle.

Instead, I set up the spreadsheet to feed my data into Exhibit and send out a form. As you can see below it’s got the option to change the field names in the form, add help text etc. I never have to update. Anyone can use it. So very nice. I’ll post my example when I get it finished.

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The bridge between these two platforms has never seemed more interesting to me.

  1. Easy to use, free and friendly data entry.
  2. An easy to set up “database” backend – yes I know it’s not relational blah blah but it’ll do for 99% of things normal human need (and I wonder if you linked a series of spreadsheets in the right ways . . . )
  3. A visual and friendly web front end for user interaction with the data using Exhibit.
  4. You need to know NO programming to do any of this. Some html, css will help but no php, mySQL, no real languages. That’s amazing.

Now start thinking of the cool things you can do with students, how you could save your school and district hours of useless work.