Create an rss feed with magic
It took a while but I put together a fairly lengthy tutorial on how to make an Exhibit site that gets its info from a Google spreadsheet feed. It’s complete with tutorial files and a number of screencasts. I’m not sure it’s out of beta yet but I’m inviting anyone who’s interested to check out the tutorial and let me know if I’ve done anything stupid or made absolutely no sense in any portion (which is likely when trying to describe how the different view options work). I tried to include a rationale for using the project with Millennials as well as step-by-step directions to get a basic working copy up and running. The customization piece was a lot harder to do w/o specific requests to cover. If you want to know how to do anything I didn’t cover feel free to contact me and I’ll throw up some more video. The link is here. I’d appreciate any feedback- good or bad. Thanks, Tom
Shareology.org– A free resource made available by the Nicholas Foundation. There are a number of things going on there but the one I was really interested in is designed to enable large scale resource sharing, communication and cooperation among teachers. We were starting to cobble together a way to share, tag, rate, and review lesson plans and resources between our Instructional Technology Trainers. Shareology is offering a hosted package designed to help teachers do exactly this. It also supports variable levels of security, easy to set up user groups, blogging and discussion boards. There’s an example site for math teachers in a district similar in size to HCPS (50,000 or so). It’s a little locked down in terms of privacy but that’s one option some people will like. The fact that it’s free and hosted would make it ideal for a lot of places with over stretched IT departments and tight budgets.
I saw this Wednesday on Wonderland, Thursday on MetaFilter, and was reminded of it again on BoingBoing late Friday night. You get others to sign up and assign experience points (XP) for completing chores. I finally asked the “How would this fit in a classroom?” question the third time I saw it, and I came up with two ideas. 1. Use it as a creative homework incentive program. Students get XP for completion of work. “Prizes” are awarded for the best performance. You know, the usual, but within a “gaming” framework. 2. Use it to map out a group project. Teams get to map out the tasks necessary for completing the assignment. Tasks are giving point values based on difficulty or time commitment. Once a student completes a task, they give themselves credit. The XP becomes a gauge for individual participation levels. Clearly, there would be issues with this site, as there are fight scenes that you would find in any role playing game which might not appeal to all students/parents. But the idea of integrating gaming, organization, and accountability in a classroom has appeal. Chore Wars