I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!
Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.
A while back I did a Faculty Lounge Episode about Wikispaces and how it could be used in the classroom. But now Wikispaces has branched out. They have developed some unique and specific features for Classroom use and one of the options in your settings on your Wiki is to make it a classroom.
This enables several new features:
These features functionally turn a wiki for collaboration into a Learning Management System for course delivery. Allowing any teacher to deliver content, make assignments, create calendar events and provide feedback with assessment. Just another great tool in the teacher toolkit.
Geocaching is a worldwide hide and seek treasure hunt game. It allows people to hide a cache, which is nothing more than a box full of clever trinkets, and share the Latitude and Longitude of the cache on a website. There are several websites out there that do this including GeoCaching.com and OpenCaching.com. One of the must enjoyable types of caches are multi-caches that allow you to go from one point to another along a preset route. Each cache then has the coordinates for another cache, but it can be challenging to get the coordinates entered into your device correctly. If you have a high end Garmin GPS unit you can now do more. The Garmin Chirp is a small wireless device that will communicate with other GPS devices. Currently it only works with Garmin GPS units, and one app on the Apple App Store: GeoBeacon There are admittedly very limited and specific applications for this, but the reason I wanted to share this is because of the potential it might have. Imagine that within the next year or two you could place these beacons around sites you wanted students to go to and to learn things. You could create a field trip that they could get your specific tips and tricks for. There are several different ways two device can communicate like this and it could be that in the very near future the same technology that allows Android users to checkout at the grocery store with their Google Wallet by waving their phone at the cash register might allow mobile devices to act as a cache register.
Social bookmarking has been around for quite a while, and it can be a wonderful resources, but it isn't always very pretty. That's why Visual Bookmarking has become the latest and greatest. Sites like Pinterest allow users to use the images of their favorite things to keep track of and share those things with their friends. The latest site that I have found allows you to go a couple of steps beyond regular visual bookmarking and social bookmarking.
PearlTrees allows you to create Trees around a topic with various Pearls as the leaves. The Pearls can be web pages, images, or notes. These can then be connected further. This gives us the Visual bookmarking but what takes it beyond the other visual bookmarking tools is the ability to group and organize the Pearls. Essentially you get a tree which organizes your thoughts. It's a Mind Map. Socially, you can share, tweet, and embed these PearlTrees but where PearlTrees went beyond in Visual bookmarking it also goes beyond in Social Bookmarking. You can view the PearlTrees of others and then add items back to yours by "picking" a pearl.