The Jet Set Show recently posted a project entitled “Brandon’s Pitch”. Brandon has developed a basic set of characters and some conflicts between them, and he would like the general public to suggest possible story lines. He will take the suggestions into consideration when writing the script. This might be interesting to follow as well as a possible model for collaboration in a number of your classes.
I’m teaching my students how to post to a blog this week (so far they have only commented). Tom showed me OmniDazzle last spring, which makes guiding my students to specific links or pages unbelievably easy. OmniDazzle has plenty of plug-ins that create highlighted windows, flashlight focal points, and other fun attention-getters at the tip of your pointer. As I was thinking of my first day of working with The Outsiders Blog, I realized I would need to walk them through step by step. “But how will I make sure the kid who doesn’t know how copy and paste keeps up with the class?” I asked myself last night, and followed up with this thought: “If only I could display keystrokes on my screen.” Enter KeyCastr. A simple program that places a small translucent screen on your desktop that displays every key you hit. So, you want to teach someone how to take a screen shot? Start up KeyCastr, take a screenshot, and the keystroke combo is displayed for all to see. I used the OmniDazzle/KeyCastr combo today with amazing success. Both programs are for Mac. Sorry PCers, but if you use something comperable, please share!
I don’t believe I have publicly professed my devotion to Mac here, so this will make it official. After a week of tweaking our blogging presentation, I finally sat down in front of NewsFire to dig through my subscriptions. I found a few jems I would like to share in the software department: First is Think from Freeverse. I realize our students love to multi-task, but there is value in being singularly focused at times. Think is a little app that blackens everything on your screen but the window you are working in at the moment. My first thought when I encountered this program is that it would be great for freewriting in the classroom. No distractions, just write. It may also be a tool to keep you kids from jumping between programs when you are not looking (seems harder to hide a screen while running Think). Next is Pukka, a Delicious client. This little jem is my new favorite app. Pukka is an alternative interface for posting to Delicious. It gives you the freedom to manage multiple accounts (thank GOD), and caches all the tags from ALL accounts. If you highlight a section of text before clicking to post, the text is automatically copied into the description window. I modified it with Growl so I’m notified of the successful […]
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.