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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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FeedCrier: RSS Notifications by Instant Message

Greetings,

I’m not a big fan of Instant Messaging and the technology as a whole seems to be on the wane. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of die-hard IM fans and to them, I offer this application. It’s called Feed Crier.

Feed Crier an RSS Aggregator with a difference. Most traditional RSS Aggregation applications receive notifications of a web page changes and store that information in one spot. When the user starts or launches the application, all web page changes are presented in a nice, neat list, much like an e-mail program.

Not Feed Crier. Whenever a subscribed RSS feed is updated, Feed Crier will sent the user an IM message. It’s a way to get instant notification of a change or update rather then having to check an RSS Aggregator from time to time.

To use Feed Crier, you need an existing IM account through MSN or some other service but Feed Crier itself is free.

Check it out at:

     http://feedcrier.com/

(Thanks to Jane Hart for this link)

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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CinchCast: Pod Casting Made Easy

Greetings,

CINCHCAST is a free web service for easily making pod casts.

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60 Open Courseware Courses for Web Designers

Greetings,

Fellow blogger, Jessica Hupp has compiled a list of 60 Open Courseware courses to help novice and expert alike learn more about web page creation and design. There truly is something for everybody here with titles ranging from “Basic HTML” all the way up to, “Java programing” and “Dynamic Content Development”.

All course are Open Courseware content meaning the universities and colleges which created them are making them available to anyone at no cost.

As with all Open Courseware, quality and usefulness may vary. Some courses may consist of little more then a syllabus and some lecture notes while others are the “full meal deal” with lessons, projects and quizzes. Most of the courses I looked at from Ms Hupp’s list seemed reasonably complete – or at least complete enough to be worth downloading to my personal learning library.

To check them out, go to:

     http://www.learnbydoing.org/?p=117

(Thanks to ZaidLearning for this link)

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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12 Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials

Greetings,

Anyone who has taught online knows the power of screen casts – those short video clips which demonstrate how to something or illustrate a skill such as, how to attach a document to an e-mail, how to access a particular web site or a 101 other skills which really need to demonstrated to be understood. There are many such tools available. Most are programs which are installed on a computer. The most well known on the Windows side is Camtasia and for the Mac, it’s Snapz Pro . Neither program is cheap.

Fortunately, there are some pretty good screen capture programs on the web. My favourite web site, “Mashable” has rounded up 12 web based free screen capture programs. Some, such as the “Jing Project”, “Screencast-O-Matic and Wink have been mentioned here before while others such as Copernicus and Aviscreen seem relatively new.

You can check them all out by going to:

     http://mashable.com/2008/02/21/screencasting-video-tutorials/

Enjoy :-)

John Goldsmith
cyberjohn@detools.ca
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