Exploratree

Thanks to Thane over at Technology on a Shoestring, TeacherJay learned about this neat little tool. Having been a big fan of graphic organizers and mind maps for years, TeacherJay had long been interested in finding an application that was easy to use, multi-platform and free. Today’s post takes a quick review of this new site and suggests some potential uses for it in education. Read the rest of this entry »

Zamzar

Zamzar is able to convert documents for you quickly and easily. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Presentations

The wait is over… Google has finally released its online presentation software. TeacherJay has been using the online productivity suite for a while and wanted to take a few minutes to share his first thoughts on the newest addition to the Google family and what some of the implications may be for the world of education. Read the rest of this entry »

Whatever Happened to Carmen Sandiego?…

…did she die from dysentery on the Oregon Trail? Ever since the Apple II began making its way into homes and classrooms the software market has been making games and other applications designed to be educational. How have they evolved?, Are they any good?, and Where can I find my old favorites? are just a few of the questions that today’s post looks at, as well as handing out some gold stars to some of the early developers of this now multi-million dollar industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Jing Project

Screencasting, the practice of capturing what is on a user’s screen, is a growing trend. The technology can be used to create training videos when teaching software, or other computer-related tasks. Several software publishers have come out with some large and expensive software for this task, such as RoboDemo, Captivate and Camtasia, but TeacherJay wanted to take a moment to tell his readers about the Jing Project, and some its many uses. Read the rest of this entry »

Online Productivity Suites to Bridge the Digital Divide?

TeacherJay is working on a large post compiling links and descriptions of places to get free software, but he was so excited about a new (to him) site that he didn’t want to wait to post it. Thanks to Ionut Alex Chitu over at Google Operating System, TeacherJay has learned about Zoho.com. This site is mostly free and has online services that can be used in place of many office/productivity applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation builder, chat, planner and even a project manager (a few of the apps are limited before a subscription fee is required). This goes a little above what is offered on ThinkFree.com and even Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Although all three services definitely need some work, it is exciting to see that someday we may be able to run all of our software over the ‘net.

Why is this important to a blog concerned with education you ask? Read the rest of this entry »

PowerPoint Blackbelts

Although they are a little bit over-enthusiastic about the wonders of PowerPoint, this video pod from CurrentTV does show some good information on how PowerPoint can be used and definitely some good tips and what to do, and what NOT to do with a presentation. TeacherJay has been using for PowerPoint for about 12 years (sigh – he can’t believe it’s been that long) and could probably be termed a PowerPoint Blackbelt himself (though he would prefer NOT to be known that way). The program’s primary function is to present information in an outlined fashion with audiovisuals. Because the Microsoft empire charges some exorbitant rates for one of their flagship products, TeacherJay also wants his readers to know about a free alternative. OpenOffice.org‘s Impress is similar to PowerPoint and can do all of the functions that teachers are most likely to use. It can also save your presentation as a SWF Flash animation to make embedding into webpages a little bit easier.
 Use OpenOffice.org