Saturday, April 24, 2010

Follow the Electric Archaeologist

Posted on/at 2:54 AM by Sheryl McCoy is a unique web application, and Shawn, the electric archaeologist explains it well. – A newspaper format for your twitter feeds

Twitter is useful. It keeps you connected. But it’s a pain to read. is a new service, still in alpha no less, that takes all of your feeds, searches, groups, tweets, etc, and analyzes them once a day to create a newspaper-style presentation. Videos referenced in a tweet? will present them to you. Photos, media… it’s all there. I quite like this! Here’s the Electric Archaeologist Today

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday DIY: Text 2 Mind Map

Posted on/at 10:42 AM by Sheryl McCoy

While there are many mind map web applications available online, they are not always easy to use. Many are little more than an online poster board.

That has changed.

One of the latest mind map web applications, Text2MindMap beta, leverages the true force of the semantic web and sorts text into a series of clusters or nodes ranked and categorized. I want to thank my colleagues on PLURK for sharing this web application. Many of them have blogged and plurked about this web application over the past few months.

You control the text and the organization levels, and the web application, Text2MindMap, does the rest.

As with any web application, its effectiveness increases with its ease of use and portability to a variety of other media that you need to use. Text2MindMap shines in this area also.

Once you make your mind map, you can immediately save it as a .jpg file which can be uploaded anywhere a picture can be used. For instance, you can add your finished Text2MindMap image to your blog, wikis, Flickr account, profile pictures, .nings, and other similar online venues.

I took the sample Text2MindMap, saved it and inserted it here. I'm happy to show you how easy it is to use this mind mapping web application. There was no need to make a screen print and no need to do any editing. The mind map becomes a digital image with all the simplicity and ease of use that busy people need.

So, you say: "HOW do you make a Text2MindMap?"

Go to the Text2MindMap website. Look over the sample Mind Map. As you look over the website, you will notice the directions and hints below the sample Mind Map. Read them.

Text2MindMap works best if you have your text in an outline format, without numbers. Paste your outline in the text box on the left and click on the Convert to Mind Map icon.

Here is a sample outline that I used.

Effects on the Individual

Family Problems

Custodial: Non-custodial Conflicts
Extended Family
Adolescent's Age

Economic Problems

Child Support
Women's Job Training
Lower Standard of Living
Possible Relocation

Poorer neighborhood
New School

Peer Problems

Loss of Friends
Relationships with Dates

I used this outline to create a Mind Map.

This Mind Map was good, but I really thought it needed some enhancement to make it more effective. I used the various tools available to change font size, text color and box color to make the Mind Map better. Here is the resulting second Mind Map.

Another important criterion for effective web applications is speed of use. How long does it take to make a Mind Map using Text2MindMap? If you have the outline already created, it will take approximately three to five minutes.

Enjoy using another excellent web application that can help you make graphic organizers for your classes. I think you will like Text2MindMap so much, you will share it with your students, so they can use it to make their own mind maps to improve study skills, enhance reports and organize projects.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Interactive White Board in Your Projector

Posted on/at 6:16 AM by Sheryl McCoy

The answer is... by Mrs eNil
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Do you want an interactive whiteboard, but there is no money in the budget for this type of technology?

Well, now you can own a projector that has the capabilities to make any surface an interactive white board, all for a cost of $2,000 or less.

Epson and Boxlight are the two companies who have combined a computer projector with the interactive capabilities of the IWB technologies.

This would be an excellent value for schools that need a projector and want an interactive whiteboard.
clipped from

Epson's new BrightLink 450Wi ultra short-throw projector eliminates the need for a separate IWB.

In a move that could shake up the interactive whiteboard (IWB) market, two projector manufacturers have just released new products that can turn virtually any surface into an IWB.

The development means schools no longer have to buy separate hardware to enjoy the benefits of IWBs, whose interactive surface and ability to engage students have made them quite popular in classrooms.

“We would certainly consider this projector a game-changer,” said Claudine Wolas, project manager for Epson Electronics’ BrightLink 450Wi. “It’s not just the newest and latest in projectors, but in whiteboards as well.”

Epson and Boxlight aren’t the first companies to come out with technology that can turn any flat surface into an IWB.
But to use these other systems, schools will still need a digital projector—whereas Epson’s and Boxlight’s solutions are self-contained.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Teacher Tech DIY: Screen Shots 101

Posted on/at 9:41 AM by Sheryl McCoy

How would you direct someone to copy the computer screen, if they want to but have never done it before?

The first step in making an image from something you see on your computer screen involves PRINTING THE SCREEN. It is a relatively simple procedure, once you learn the basic steps. I always like to find instructions that anyone can use, and I have.

One of my Professional Learning Network colleagues, Cyndi Bowman, created a wiki that includes several tips for teachers starting to use technology in their classroom. She covered topics such as Blackboard basics, Safe Assignments, Online photo editing and the Print Screen (Fn Prt Sc).

I'm so impressed with her efforts, because the topics Cyndi has included are those that all teachers want and need to know, especially in the beginning. She also provides instructions in a downloadable format, as .pdf files. If they choose, a teacher can print these instructions and follow them for success.

What are your favorite websites, blogs or wikis that provide support for the teacher learning how to use technology in a helpful, not stressful manner? Let's make a hotlist.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Turn of Phrase Will Make Your Day!

Posted on/at 6:17 PM by Sheryl McCoy

Coin That Phrase was a 2009 finalist for the Chicago Innovation Award. It's a social interaction and networking service that brings cool phrases to the attention of others.

While some of the phrases are classical ones, others are new. If you look the phrases over, you can vote on them or do other interactive activities.

Do you have a phrase that is just about you? If so, try out this service. You can get T-shirts and other stuff to commemorate your cool turn of phrase.

Coin That

Coin That Phrase, LLC

Coin That Phrase (live beta up now at is a service that brings together social media, crowdsourced intellectual property, and merchandising. It's a means by which users may register and own phrases which can then be affixed to merchandise (coffee cups, tees, etc.) and sold, with Coin That Phrase providing manufacture, fulfillment and shared revenue.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New e-Reader

Posted on/at 5:05 PM by Sheryl McCoy

A fantastic e-reader.
he Skiff reader is noted for being the slimmest eReader device in the market. The Skiff Reader is a fully touchscreen capable device that features a large, high-resolution electronic-paper display measuring in at 11.5″ (diagonally) and a resolution of 1200 x 1600 pixels (UXGA).
This device is also the first to feature “Metal Foil” e-paper technology, amking it unusually flexible.
This may be the only eReader the publishing world will get excited about—its claim-to-fame being its direct correlation with Hearst Corp. Newspaper, magazine and blog publishers will also be able to sell and integrate display advertising alongside the content that Skiff delivers, presenting a new feature to the e-reading mainstream market.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday's Simple Subject: Tweet Cloud

Posted on/at 1:59 PM by Sheryl McCoy

Are you reviewing the year 2009? If you microblog on Twitter, you can use this very simple tool, Tweet Cloud, to analyze what topics you tweeted about. That is an excellent way to determine which topics prompted you and your colleagues to discuss on Twitter.

Using a simple web application like Tweet Cloud can clarify your past ideas, so you can think of what you would consider important in the future. Nonlinguistic representations are very informative learning strategies. Do you use Tweet Cloud? How has your user experience been?

If you've never used Tweet Cloud before, how did you use it? How did that work out? I hope you like using Tweet Cloud. It's fun and you can learn something of yourself in a non-threatening manner. Enjoy!