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Online Crossword Puzzle Creator

Greetings,

Crossword puzzles can be a great way to engage students and make learning fun. Finding a good and free crossword puzzle maker on the other hand, is not fun. Few downloadable programs are both good and free. Fewer yet are good, free and online. Imagine my excitement when I found this site.

Called, “Crossword Puzzle Maker”, this application certainly fits the bill. Not only is it web based and free, it’s also easy to use and makes nice puzzles. As a bonus, it can also create puzzles in several different languages and formats such as, basic ASCII text (should you be one of the few people left on the planet still using a dot matrix printer), PDF or HTML which you can incorporate on your web site. How cool is that?

In case that’s not cool enough, the site also has links to similar programs for creating word searches, word scrambles and math worksheets.

If all that is still not sufficient (I can’t imagine what more anyone could want), the site creator has also included links to other puzzle creation web sites.

Yes Virginia, you definitely have to check out this site at:

     http://www.armoredpenguin.com/crossword/

(Thanks to the tireless Davis Dillard for this link)

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca

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iBerry: Open Courseware Directory

Greetings,

Here’s another directory/portal/gateway for open courseware. This one is called iBerry. It’s describes itself in this way, “iBerry is a non-profit making, private website. Serving the international academic community since 1999, we provide information and resources for educators, self-learners, researchers and others with an interest in Higher Education (HE).”

iBerry’s mission is to, “provide a comprehensive and up-to-date directory to open source courseware”.

As far as I could tell, iBerry lists the same open source content found on many other indexes, that is, content from the “usual suspects” such as MIT, Open University, University of Utah, etc. .

While the initial layout of the site is quite pleasing, trying find anything can be challenging. In one area for example all course notes are listed in one section, all video assets in another, assent in another rather then grouping all the resources for one course in one place. I’m not sure what the point to that is.

You can check it out at:

     http://iberry.com/cms/index.htm

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca

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Linux Games List

Greetings,

The Linux Gamer’s Game List is a reasonably comprehensive index of games (freeware, open source, shareware and commercial) that are available for the Linux operating system.

As I looked through the list, I was amazed by the number of commercial products such as Quake, SimCity, Railroad Tycoon and Doom which were available. If you’re like me, when you think Linux, you think free or open source and there’s certainly no shortage of those apps on the list but – commercial titles? Who knew?

In all, the list contains 373 titles and there’s a space to submit more titles if you know of one that’s not on the list.

Check it out at:

     http://www.icculus.org/lgfaq/gamelist.php?license=free

Enjoy,

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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Google’s Summer of Code, Student Opportunity

Greetings,

I love Google. It seems to be one of those companies that even though it has grown very large still seems to do everything right. Here’s an example. It’s called the Google, “Summer of Code” and it’s the fourth year for the program.

In short, Google pays for student to work on open source projects. The company will pay the students a stipend and connect them with open source organizations such as Ubuntu. Talk about win-win. Students get experience programing, the community gets some good software and Google gets a sneak peak at the available talent pool.

If you know a student who might be interested, have them check out the link below. Student applications are being accepted from March 24 – 30.

     http://code.google.com/soc/2008/

(Thanks to Mashable to this link)

Enjoy,

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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BricaBox: Social Content Platform

Greetings,

If you haven’t found a home on the web yet here’s a place you might want to consider. It’s called BricaBox. Think of it as a blog on steroids or a blog built from lego blocks.

Like any other blog, BricaBox allows you to post your thoughts and ideas which other can comment on. In addition, you can easily add modules or components which will increase and enhance BricaBox’s functionality and utility. For example, you can add a component to upload and share pictures, just like Flickr, or you can add a component which will allow you to upload and display video clips just like YouTube or you can add components for Google maps, a discussion board a voting system or many other functions. Adding components and customizing BricaBox is very easy.

Check it out at:

     http://bricabox.com/

(Thanks to Mashable for this link)

Enjoy,

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca

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SurveillanceCam Screen Savers

Greetings,

I’m not sure whether to files this one under “uber-cool” or “uber-weird”. I’ll let you decide.

I think this service comes from Google. That’s where the software is located. Called “SurveillanceSaver”, it’s a screen saver program that taps into over 400 network surveillance cameras from all over the world and displays the live feed through a screen saver. There are versions of the program available for Mac and Windows.

So, if you have lots of time on your hands and inclinations of the voyeur, check it out at:

     http://code.google.com/p/surveillancesaver/

(Thanks once again to Mashable for this link)

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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Blogged: New Speciality Search Engine

Greetings,

A new speciality search engine was launched today, Called “blogged”, it’s stated mission is to search out brave new blogs and go boldly where few search engines have gone before. What makes this site different is that it does so much more.

Besides search for blogs, Blogged also lists or indexes several thousand blogs which it has found already. Indexed much like Yahoo, the blogs are categorized by broad subject headings then further divided in to subcategories. Even if you are not sure what’s available, Blogged makes it very easy to browse.

Their index however, is certainly not comprehensive. For example, this blog wasn’t listed. A grievous oversight indeed but that’s where the search engine part comes in. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the index, do a search.

Check it out at:

     http://www.blogged.com/

(Thanks to Mashable for this site)

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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OzProjects: Online Collaborative Learning Projects

Greetings,

Are you looking for a neat project or learning opportunity for your students. This site might just fit the bill. Called OzProjects, it’s listing of projects started by teachers in Australia which welcome and encourage participation from teachers and students in other parts of Australia, the southern continent and the world. So far there are projects involving Possums, Antarctica, Book Clubs, Sanitation and Disease and Visual Story Telling.

Check it out at:

     http://www.ozprojects.edu.au/

(Thanks to David Dillard, Educator-Gold for this link)

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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EHow: Tutorial/Self-Help Site

Greeting,

EHow is another in the growing list of self-help web sites that have emerged over the past year of so.

I like this one because of it’s simplicity. Most other self-help sites rely on video clips to deliver knowledge or information. EHow does too but most of its content is text; good old fashioned, “Step 1, do this. Step 2, do that.”. In some cases there are pictures to help illustrate the steps while in others, not so much.

Unfortunately all the content on the site is subject to copyright so linking to the site is okay; copying from the site is not. For that, permission of the actual creator is needed, which brings up another interesting aspect to the site. All the content is created by users – people like you and I. When users contribute a how-to piece they are paid – maybe. How much depends on the number of times the article is viewed.

There’s not a lot of educational content on EHow – yet. Most of the titles deal with more mundane topics such as, “How to Tie a Tie” or “How To Fix an Extension Cord”. Nevertheless, there is a large section on computer hardware and software so a visit is definitely worthwhile.

Check it out at:

     http://www.ehow.com/

(Thanks to David P. Dillard for this link)

Enjoy

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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Web 2.0 Expo

Greetings,

If you live in British Columbia (Canada) and teach on-line then you probably know about the Spring Conference in Vancouver hosted by the Virtual School Society (VSS). The theme is, ” Learning: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime and the dates are April 22 to 24.

I’ve submitted a couple of presentation proposals but have yet to receive word on whether they’ve been accepted. Apparently notification was supposed to have been sent out last week. Perhaps this is one of those situations where no news is really not good news.

To learn more about the conference go to:

     http://www.learnnowbc.ca/educators/Conference2008/

If your professional development budget is a little more affluent, there is another conference that’s going on at roughly the same time. Called the “Web 2.0 Expo”, it sounds like the place to be for anyone involved in the Web 2.0 world. The conference is in San Francisco from April 22-25, 2008.

Check it out at:

     http://en.oreilly.com/webexsf2008/public/content/home   

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca  

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