Podcasting in the classroom

21 02 2007

Glen Bledsoe

Podcasting in his classroom.
Podcasting back and forth with classes elsewhere in the country… and world.

Here’s the website. 





Blogging in the classroom

3 02 2007

Should you have your students blog?

Could you have your students blog?

Yes. And yes.

Here’s a site where professors discuss blogging the classroom

Pros:

  • The tool (computer and internet) keeps students engaged
  • Free (if you have internet access)
  • Easy to use and set up. You (yes, you) can set up a blog, add content, and monitor the comments.
  • Students can continue discussion outside of class. Make it a homework assignment(!): “Please post one thoughtful response to this week’s topic -or- to a classmate’s response”.

Cons:

  • Can you think of any?

How:

  • Blogger
  • WordPress

WordPress even has special blogs just for education. The only difference is the domain name, but still. It’s a nice gesture.

Here are my class pages… built with blogs. I can update and monitor them from any computer connected to the internet–I don’t have to rebuild an HTML page, log into a server, and upload my new page.





Breathe new life into old computers

3 02 2007

Don’t throw away those old PCs. And don’t just let them sit there unused because Windows crapped out.

Linux, baby. I’m a big fan.

Old processor? Little RAM? Small harddrive? No budget? With Linux, you just won the lottery.

Pros:

  • Very fast, even on older hardware.
  • Runs on almost any hardware:
    • From a Pentium, or PowerPC, 300MHz up to the latest hardware. That = anything from 1999 or newer. Linux will run on even older machines, it will just be slow.
    • Can boot (run) from the CD! You don’t even need a harddrive.
    • Can boot from a USB drive. If the computer’s BIOS allows USB booting
  • Free!
  • Tons of excellent software… not cheesy crap. Good stuff. Photoshop equivalent, MS Office equivalent, Illustrator equivalent, audio apps, video apps, whaddaya need?
  • The apps are free, too!
  • Powerful. More than you will need. Linux is one of the most popular choices for gigantic network serving.
  • Pretty. The GUIs (graphic user interfaces) that Linux can use are very cool (and infinitely customizable. Almost too customizable)
  • Infinitely customizable… if you speak Linux.

Cons:

  • Some Administration-level tasks can be VERY frustrating. I have gone nearly mad (or was it “finally mad”?) trying to format a harddrive and then install Linux… a task a dead man could do with MacOS and a patient, intelligent person could do with Windows.

My two favorite “distros” are, in order:

Ubuntu
dyne:bolic





NaNoWriMo

30 01 2007

November is… NaNoWriMo
National
Novel
Writing
Month

Check out the official site. This November, start writing… and get your students writing!