My amazing student's work

When you encourage your students to go outside of the box of the usual projects..they can amaze you.. this is one my student groups from Psychology of Consumer Behaviour

Greenwashing from Andrew Lauder on Vimeo.

Rainbows and Unicorns- Engaging Students Online

Some people think that teaching online means just posting their lecture notes.

The video below is funny but sadly true many times..

"I spew spectacular fountains of wisdom in their general direction.."

Creative Commons Search

If you or your students are looking for images, sounds, audio and videos that can be legally used in projects, try Creative Commons Search

Search by usage rights, or website hosts.

Please note, however, CCSearch is not a search engine. It provides access to other search engines that will search for creative commons license materials. Always verify that the returned results are covered under CC license terms. If in doubt, contact the copyright holder or the site where the content was found. (Image by oddsock flickr)

I Want to Offer an Online Course

I little humour

....I think some of us know this guy

Copyright-Friendly Wiki

Here's a great wiki with links for copyright-friendly and copyleft images, sound, pages, blogs and wikis.

A great resource:

Copyright- Friendly Wiki

And here's a bit about Copyright and Creative Commons

Watching Information- Qwiki

Something to Watch

Qwiki at TechCrunch Disrupt from Qwiki on Vimeo.

See more on

Jane Hart's Top 100 Tools for 2010

He gets people pregnant with ideas!!!!

and now something completely different...ha ha

Zorap- Testing Testing Testing --We like it!

I can't remember where I came across Zorap even though it was recent. It might have been when I was checking out people who had favourited one of my videos or posts, or it could have just been one of those blog hopping excursions that I often go on. Because I was in the middle of doing something else, I just plunked the video on it into my blog here so I'd remember to come back to it.

A few days later I was showing my colleague at work Tagxedo, and I asked her to navigate to my blog. While we were getting all excited about the fun we could have with that app, I noticed the Zorap video, so I showed my friend that one too whereupon we got even more excited. What can I say, is it simple minds and simple things or are we just nerds? Whatever...I was itching to try Zorap.

As part of a techsploration, I first went to the application and fooled around in a room by myself trying all the tools in the app outside of facebook. I noticed that the tools in Zorap work better in Safari on a Mac than in Firefox. Probably on a PC all browsers would be fine. Next, I invited my colleague Debbie to join me in Zorap.

First we tried the Zorap application outside of facebook. I recorded the session using Camtasia. We found that the video ran well, we were able to share pictures and video, but the audio was a bit distorted.

Next we tested out the application inside facebook. Here's a short clip of our exploration.

We were able to share pictures and watch videos together. We also discovered that we could share documents. By posting a PowerPoint or document, the other person or persons could download it to their computer and make changes. We couldn't make changes to a document together however. Another thing that isn't possible is to share a website.

Generally, we loved this application, and we both felt that it would be a great tool to use to collaborate on a project! Our next group meeting will be in Zorap!

Check it out for work or just for fun. The outside link is here Zorap or if you are in facebook, do a search for Zorap.

This will definitely be a tool I turn my students on to. I think they may like the facebook application because many already are collaborating on projects there. This app makes it a little easier and certainly adds a personal touch when you can see who you are talking to and when you can react to media at the same time.

All the Web 2.0 tools really do expand our learning networks. Many today are talking about personal learning networks and how important they are in our digital future. Our students will have more than one career so networks are key. But it's not just students who need networks-- we as teachers must continue to be learners or we will find our selves on the sidelines watching the world go by. These Web 2.o tools provide the foundation for extensive personal learning networks.

I love information; I have to admit that. But the quest for all that is new and the discovery of what the new can do and the challenge of the search through the vast network is just downright exciting!

Hotseat- Another one to investigate!

more here

Zorap- Worth Investigation

More Fun than Wordle: Tagxedo

What's a little like Wordle, just as free and you can make the words fit an image-

Here are a few I created for our Education 2020 wiki. I took a bunch of the words from our initial proposal, found an image of a light bulb and then tweek a bit here and there..voila!

In the next one for Curriculum, I did the basic tag picture in Tagxedo, then brought it into Photoshop and added a few words to emphasize a few key concepts.

Fun with words for every age!

Learning Spaces

Couldn't agree more with Don Marinelli

Howard Rheingold-Social Media, Participative Pedagogy and Digital Literacies

Update on QR Code days

Well, I did my QR code lesson with both of my classes this week. ( see previous post a few posts below) I asked students to download the QR code reader during the break, so we were ready to go in the second half of class. Before I started I had my video ready to play, and the first image had the QR code of the course video. Before we began one student had already figured out how to access the code and had triggered the video.

A good time was had by all and I think it provoked some interesting discussion about why some ideas become memes and some don't. Both classes concluded that the things that stick and go viral generally fall into these categories

  • just plain silly or stupid
  • funny
  • crazy
  • strange/weird/odd
  • short
  • easy to send
  • cute ( as in babies, puppies, cats, animations)
  • can be watched over and over
We also discussed whether marketers would be able to create memes.

As for the QR code part. There were enough smart phones in the room for students to form groups. Phone types included mostly iPhones, then Blackberry's and a couple of Androids. Predominance of iPhones is definitely related to the fact that both classes are made up of mostly graphic design students.

When I asked them if they would be using QR codes in their projects, I heard a lot of yes..yes..yes.

At the end of one class, a student shouted out, "Thank you!"

These groups are pretty technologically savvy, but I think I managed to turn them on to something!!!

Crowd Accelerated Innovation

Chris Anderson of TED. (Not Chris Anderson of Wired and Free)
"You have to open up and share your stuff with the world." How radical openness works.
"What if the coming crowd of nine billion could learn enough to be net contributors instead of net plunderers? That changes everything! ....You're part of the crowd that may be about to launch the biggest learning cycle in human history."

Snappy Words!

Who doesn't need a snappy word once in awhile?

Picture This! is a free visual online dictionary. To use it simply type a word or words into the search box. Words will be displayed in a web of branches. Hover over a word to see its definition or double click to create new branches for a word.

It's a little bit like an instant brainstorming session.

QR Codes- Fun with Smart Phones and Learning

The Horizon Report, a joint report by The New Media Consortium and Educause identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry on college and university campuses within the next five years. A number of the trends in the 2010 report relate to augmented reality and the use of mobile devices.

Augmented reality is an environment that includes both real world experience and virtual experience creating a mixed reality. These types of environments can be immersive and engaging for learners.

QR codes are examples of very simple augmented reality. Widely used in Japan and Europe for several years they are beginning to be seen and used all over North America.

In education, QR Codes can be used in a number of ways that involve no cost. The simple QR codes can be created easily; code readers can quickly be downloaded to smart phones. And with a large number of students owning smart phones, there will undoubtedly be enough in a classroom already to enable a group interaction. A teacher could design a series of codes to create opportunities for critical thinking, collaboration and discovery.

The codes can trigger text, images, videos and URLs. Students could also easily create their own tasks by creating the simple codes and having their classmates discover information.

In my Psychology of Consumer Behaviour class this week, I will be posting QR code around the room. The codes will trigger internet memes- the often parodied viral videos that become wildly popular.

Together as a group, the class will learn how to download and activate a code reader on a smart phone and how to create QR codes. In groups students will access the codes posted around the room and discuss the particular memes, and try to analyze why they became popular. By understanding what makes ideas stick, students will have a greater understanding of why some marketing efforts work and why some don't. I'll also be asking them to brainstorm on how they could use QR codes in their group projects.

View the video I created below that explains QR Codes:

I'll also provide them with the links and information below:

The Tokyo N Building covered in QR codes is designed so passers-by can read the changing codes and get information via sites like Twitter. More in depth info like specials available in stores, who is tweeting and what they are tweeting comes from an iPhone app.

N Building from Alexander Reeder on Vimeo.

Cutting off Social Media on Campus...Count me OUT!

The University of Harrisburg will blackout all social media on its campus next week, not for a day but a whole week. Sites cut off from every internet access point on campus will be Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and more.

The idea is the brain(?)child of the university provost. Those deprived will include 570 students and 65 faculty.

Erik Sass in an article in Media Post writes, "Wouldn't it be interesting to spend a week without email? I would also add TV, computers and phones to the list -- but why stop there? That's why I'm proposing a week without electricity, a literal nationwide "blackout" (get it)? ...Haven't you ever wondered "What if all this [electricity] wasn't there?" I know I have! To really underline this point, I think the blackout should be implemented randomly, without warning or preparation, maybe in the middle of winter."

I'm with Eric here..count me out of any dumb blackouts. My social media is not just for's what I teach and sometimes how I teach.

Read Erik's Media Post Article here

Be Funky: Photo Effects

Have you ever wanted to quickly edit a photo, add an effect or and a speech bubble to a picture? At befunky, you can do all that online by simply uploading a photo and playing with the effects. You don't even need to sign up.

I started with a photo of my puppy Sheba standing on my Macbook. I had already manipulated the screen of the laptop to say "Who owns Knowledge" in photoshop.

Here's that photo

Befunky Effects:

I uploaded the above photo to befunky and chose UnderPainting.

Below is the effect

Here's another effect

A little bit of funky fun!

Environment: The Majestic Plastic Bag

Shoutomatic- Audio Twitter

Tired of tweeting, typing all 140 characters? Well now there is Shoutomatic a place where you can shout, say or sing your status update on twitter, facebook and blogs. You can also buy personal shoutouts "from select Artists & Celebrities." ( read that celebrity as B, C and D list celeb)

Shoutomatic Facebook

Crap Detector 101

"Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him." Ernest Hemingway, 1954.

These days with more and more information available, you'll have to agree with Hemingway here. How do we sort out what is good from bad and how to we share the tactics with our students?

Howard Rheingold writes in Crap Detection 101,"Some critics argue that a tsunami of hogwash has already rendered the Web useless. I disagree. We are indeed inundated by online noise pollution, but the problem is soluble. The good stuff is out there if you know how to find and verify it. Basic information literacy, widely distributed, is the best protection for the knowledge commons: A sufficient portion of critical consumers among the online population can become a strong defense against the noise-death of the Internet."

Some of his recommendations include using to check
who owns a website, checking whether sites have .edu or .gov endings, looking for references for facts, using debunking sites like Snopes and fact checking information on sites like and

Read more here: Crap Detector 101, Howard Rheingold

World Images! For educational use

I've just come across an interesting source of 80,000 images available for non profit educational use.

The site WorldImages, is a database created by California State University. The categories of images include art & architecture; cities; social & cultural interactions; history, politics and warfare; music, drama & literature; natural world; people & portraits; religion, myth & magic; women; science, technology & mathematics.

There's also a page for course materials that includes images for Introduction to World Culture, Elementary School Art & Science, Art Studio, Art & Architecture Surveys.

It's Going to Take More Than a Few Tools - Education 2025

Before we think about the future of education, it might be a good idea to look at what's not exactly the way we as students and educators would like it to be.

In colleges and universities today, we see varied student experiences. Dan Brown, a 19 year old, recent drop out of University of Nebraska and YouTube video blogger passionately speaks in his Open Letter to Educators about educational institutions. He asks, "What has education done to reinvent itself?

His answer, " In my experience, Nothing. Sure you've started using email, online databases, services like Blackboard. And if it were 1999, I'd be saying- Great! But it's not 1999 and if institutional education wants to survive in the information age, then institutional education needs to do more than adopt a few tools."

Dan talks about professors who stand in front of class lecturing with no student interaction, spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks that are never opened while newer and free information is available on the internet, and writing tests that are simply regurgitation of facts. Dan believes, "Society no longer cares how many facts we can memorize because in the information age facts are free....Education isn't about teaching facts. It's about stoking creativity, and new ideas. It's not about teaching students to's about empowering students to change the world for the better."

Dan dropped out of university because as he says, "My schooling was interfering with my education." Unable to get the interaction he desired, he is now focusing full time on his YouTube work. Currently, he is working on his Dan 3.0 channel where he has turned his life over to his video subscribers who will plan his life for the next year.

If we look at Dan's comments we can see a number of areas that need to be considered. The first area is the nature of students. Today's students have grown up in a digital world where collaboration and social interaction is natural. They are no longer passive; they have become creators and contributors; they want to participate. Their world is full of open and free resources and information. Sitting and listening to a teacher using a chalkboard or Powerpoints for hours on end, just isn't appealing when their world is full of interactive media. Memorizing readily available facts, as Dan points out, just doesn't make sense.

If we walk around a college or university today we may walk by a number of different types of classes. Although the rooms may mostly be equipped for multimedia, a percentage will look as they may have looked a century ago. More and more students today are demanding online classes. Again, if we examine the different online courses, we would see a wide difference from extremely interactive to paper-based correspondence courses masquerading as online courses.

And it's not just Dan who sees the problems. Don Tapscott sees many of the same problems. He points out that a person frozen in time from a century ago would marvel at the changes in most professions, but if that same person entered a university it would look much the same because the model of education has not changed. Tapscott believes that the digital natives will force a revolution in education because they are so different.

Today and in the future, education will need to be more interactive and customized. Students need to be active in creating their own learning. Teachers will need to be more like facilitators or guides who present learning opportunities for students to investigate. The interaction will need to make use of more multimedia. The interaction will also need to be more social and collaborative. Today's students are connected to each other on social networks and they are used to collaboration, so opportunity for collaboration is, and will be, necessary.

Instead of a focus on printed textbooks that soon will be out-of-date, learning materials will need to be more current and more available digitally. Students today are used to free and available information 24/7; therefore, there should be more use of freely available open source materials. Learning tools of the future will include mobile and smart devices that can make use of augmented reality where students can interact in live environments with augmented reality characters and multimedia.

As students move more to alternate delivery models like online courses, there will need to be more options for anytime-anywhere ubiquitous learning. Online courses, blended classes and face-to-face classes will need to be more individualized, so that students can focus more on the specific parts they need. Assignments will need to be more authentic and related to real life experience. Students will still need to learn foundational information, but there will need to be more focus on self discovery. Faced with an overload of information students will need to learn valuable critical thinking skills.

It's going to take more than technology and tools to change education. There has to be a recognition of how our world is evolving and how that evolution is affecting our students. Sir Ken Robinson (see my blog post of May 25) talks about the need for change in education. He believes that an evolution is not enough; we need a revolution. Robinson sees current models of education much like standardized fast food.(Not too tasty or healthy, from my point of view.) Robinson believes that education needs to be more of an organic process where we create conditions under which education will flourish. To do this we must customize and personalize education where "people develop their own solutions but with external support based on a personalized curriculum." (Robinson, TED Talk)

I'm hoping and working for that revolution. The tools will help, but there's a mindset that needs to shift.

"A little revolution now and then is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson

Blogs, Wikis or Docs: Which is for you

Interesting chart comparing Blogs, Wikis and Docs and which might be right for a lesson

Augmented Reality in Education- Authorstream!

My AR presentation with sound

Augmented Reality in Education

See more presentations by k3hamilton | Upload your own PowerPoint presentations

This audio Powerpoint was posted to Authorstream. It's a fairly large file because of the audio 128MB. So far Authorstream seems like a good place to host Powerpoints with sound.

According to their site, "AuthorSTREAM is a powerful online presentation sharing engine that not only allows you to upload your PowerPoint presentations online for free, but also assists you to share them with your friends, students or co-workers located across the globe. authorSTREAM is a great online community that gives you access to numerous presentations on varied subjects uploaded by community members. You can find exciting presentations on just about any topic, rate them, post a comment and even embed them in your blog."

The site offers free membership for basic services and of course a premium option.

Some of the other sites that allow you to up load Powerpoints change the file format to post them, and as far as I know none allow you to host large files unaltered with right now Authorstream is a recommend!

Google Search Cheatsheet

vacation hawaii
the words vacation and Hawaii .
Maui OR Hawaii
either the word Maui or the word Hawaii
"To each his own"
the exact phrase to each his own
virus computer
the word virus but
NOT the word computer
Only the word sock, and not the plural
or any tenses or synonyms
~auto loan
loan info for both the word auto and
its synonyms: truck, car, etc.
definitions of the word computer
from around the Web.
red * blue
the words red and blue separated
by one or more words.
I'm Feeling Lucky
Takes you directly to first web page
returned for your query.
45 + 39
45 – 39
45 * 39
45 / 39
% of
percentage of
45% of 39
raise to a power
(2 to the 5th power)
Search only one website
(Search Stanford Univ.
site for admissions info.)
Search within a
range of numbers

DVD player $100..150
(Search for DVD players
between $100
and $150)
linked pages
(Find pages that link
to the Stanford
University website.)
Info about a page
(Find information
about the Stanford
University website.)
Related pages
(Find websites
related to the Stanford
University website.)

ScreenToaster to Shut down

***UPDATE. According to Free Tech 4 Teachers, Screentoaster will be shutting down July 31 and all materials posted there will disappear. Free Tech 4 Teachers offers some alternatives here.

To read about how to use screencasting to enhance learning see Using Screen Captures to Enhance Education

Google Guide for teachers II

Google for Teachers II -

Web Tools Applied to Teaching

online e-book with interesting tools for teaching and how to use them

Augmented Reality in Education

Talkin about a Revolution Sir Ken Robinson

An open letter to educators

Creating your own Google Search Engine

Did you know that you can create your own search engine with customized content to your subject area? Well, yes you can! Not only that you can invite others from your college or around the world to join in the collaboration.

Google's Custom Search let's anyone with a Google account build a specific search engine. Here's the link

To Learn more and download a PDF Guide see November Learning

Learning English with Captioned Videos -22frames

22 Frames is a website in beta version that aggregates captioned videos. The site was initally to service those with various hearing abilities, but they are also interested in helping those trying to learn English through the use of captioning.
The site also includes English Learning Activities.
According to the website,
"We've been busy building some of the features that many users have emailed us about. The first ones we are releasing can help you use videos to learn and teach: commonly mispronounced words, idioms, and slang phrases. We processed thousands of videos and found ones that illustrate these kinds of phrases. On each page for a video that uses a phrase we provide menus that will even take you to the approximate times the phrases are spoken. Watching an entire video is not necessary. "

Zooburst- 3D Augmented Books

Here is my first augmented reality books on what else augmented reality.

In beta trials Zooburst will allow you to create a 10 page pop-up book that can also be viewed as an AR book. To sign up send them your email and name and tell them why you want to try the application

Readability- Make that web page readable!

Readability is a free web tool that allows you to "remove the clutter" on a web page, select a style, font size and margin width. Readbility
This could be a great resource for anyone who wants to concentrate just on written content, or for those with visual issues.

QR Codes- Trigger This

Currently, I'm working on a wiki on Augmented Reality in Education.
Check out the wiki for lots of interesting information. Shirley L turned me on to some great resources on the use of QR codes to trigger interactions.
Here's a bit from my wiki

To start creating a very basic application of simple augmentation, first download a QR Code Reader for your smart phone. For most iPhone users NeoReader works well For a list of readers for most smart phones see Mobile-Barcodes Once a reader is downloaded, access the application and point your smartphone camera at any QR code and you will be able to receive whatever information is triggered. To create a simple QR Code, there are a number of online generators. One simple generator is QR Code Kaywa At this site simply choose what kind of interaction you would like. You can trigger the code to send the viewer to any URL, send text, text message or trigger the users phone to make a phone call to a number. After you've done that, click to generate your QR Code.
To test that it works, just access your reader on your smart phone, point camera view and watch the action that is triggered. Once you are satisfied, you can print your QR Code and post it for others.

Now here is your task: Download one of the readers and point it at my QR Code in this post and see my favorite meme!

100 Best Blogs for Teachers

Lots of great info here

Don Marinelli of the Entertainment technology centre

Guide to Google Apps

Free 33 page guide Google for Teachers

MovieStorm -Conflict Mediation Scenario

My colleagues Debbie and Carla and I worked together on this conflict mediation scenario. To create the video, I used MovieStorm, a free animated movie producer, iMovie, and image editing software.

MovieStorm is an interesting application. In the free version you have lots of options. To begin you create your set and customize it; next choose and customize your characters.

In the next stage you put the characters on stage and choose their actions, gestures and interactions. Once that is done then you move to the filming stage where you choose the various camera angles to shot the scenes.

It's a little bit like filming a real movie. Once you are done you publish your movie. The way I used it was to create scenes. I took the scenes into iMovie and added sound and edits there.

Conflict Mediation- PSY490 March 2010 from k3hamilton on Vimeo.

Fake Newspaper- Foday

Create a fake newspaper story with Foday's Newpaper Clipping Generator.

Create simple animations of a Talking Tomato or Talking Squirrels

Neat Chat

Here's a simple little online application that easily sets up group chat sessions.

Simply click on Neat Chat, enter a nickname. You'll be given a URL that you can send to your group through email, twitter of facebook.

Bibliography Tool EasyBib

Here's a site ( thanks Brian R) that would be good to help you or your students document sources using MLA or APA

25 Places for Educational Videos

Jane's 25 Places to find instructional videos

1. 5min Life Videopedia - instructional and how-to videos
2. Academic Earth - Thousands of video lectures from the world's top scholars
3. - next generation TV network
4. Google Video - videos on all topics
5. Graspr - The instructional video network
6. Howcast - How-to videos
7. iCue - A fun, innovative, learning environment built around video from the NBC News Archives
8. Instructables - Make, HowTo and DIY
9. iTunes U - Faculty are using iTunes U to distribute digital lessons to their students, e.g Stangord, Trinity College Dublin, etc.
10. John Locker - Documentaries and educational videos
11. MindBites - Video instructional marketplace and publishing platform (Some free)
12. MonkeySee - HowTo videos
13. neoK12 - free educational videos and lessons for K-12 school kids
14. Research Channel - 3,500 video titles available
15. SchoolTube - provides students and educators with a safe, world class, video sharing webiste
16. Sparkeo - a flexible video platform
17. SuTree - learn virtually everything by watching how to videos from all over the web.
18. TeacherTube - educational videos
19. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) - a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
20. TV Lesson - How to videos
21. Ustream - watch live broadcasts, explore networks ranging from music, talk shows, sports and politics and/or review our past broadcasts.
22. Video Jug - Life explained. On film.
23. Vimeo - a thriving community of people who love to make and share videos
24. YouTube - videos on everything under the sun
25. YouTube EDU - aggregates all the videos from more than 100 institutions of higher education around the US.

Digital Nation PBS Documentary 90 minutes

On learning, students today, multitasking, video game addiction and learning. Watch it online

Vidinotes- Capture stills from Video

This looks likes it might be an interesting application.
Do you have a video that you would like to capture stills from to perhaps create a printed summary?
Upload your video at Vidinotes and they will capture up to 30 images that you can add titles and descriptions to. The result can be printed to your computer or you can create a PDF.

Great for how-to videos, or creating a study guide.

Sputnik Observatory- Study of Contemporary Culture

From Jane's Pick of the Day

"This is the first endeavour of Sputnik Observatory, the non-profit institute dedicated to the study of contemporary culture. The site is free for everyone. Sputnik means "fellow traveler."

The central premise of the Sputnik Observatory is that everything is connected to everything else, and that topics and ideas that may seem fringe and even heretical to the mainstream world are in fact being investigated by leading thinkers working in fields as diverse as quantum physics, mathematics, neuroscience, biology, economics, architecture, digital art, video games, computer science and music. Sputnik is dedicated to bringing these crucial ideas into the learning arena, so that the world can begin to understand them."

Sputnik Observatory

Here's a sample: Earth is the Place to Be

The Horizon Report 2010

The Horizon Reort identifies emerging technology and it's potential impact on teaching and learning. This year's report includes descriptions of 6 technologies:

  • Mobile Computing
  • Open Content
  • Electronic Books
  • Simple Augmented Reality
  • Gesture-based Computing
  • Visual data analysis.

Download the pdf report here

Educational Video Sites

Here's a link to 25 of the best educational video resource sites

Guide to Internet Searching