Tonight was the second monthly Unmeeting and probably my last time to attend in person. Actually, I was the only one who did attend in person with Burt in the “fish bowl” room at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. Everyone else was online and connected via Elluminate. We had participants from all over central California and even one from England. I guess people are really following me on Twitter! 😀 Thanks for joining us @joedale.
Before I talk about resources, let me first address Elluminate. This software is supposed to be a pretty decent webinar tool. I have to say, at this point I am not a big fan. It was kind of clunky for this Mac user. My understanding is that it worked a little better for the Windows folks, but at one point my computer completely crashed! On top of that none of the Mac users could type in the text fields on a website where we were trying to demonstrate resources for the rest of the crowd. From what I could tell Elluminate wouldn’t easily let you share your whole screen like you can in iChat. In spite of the technical clitches I did pick up a nice collection of resources. I have listed a few below, but all of them are on the Unmeeting Wiki.
- Dipity: Burt Lo shared this resource. Dipity is Web 2.0 timeline creator that incorporates images, embeddable videos and RSS feeds. You can also search for timelines created by others. Personally, I liked the ones related to history.
- Google Survey: A second resource shared by Burt, Google Survey, allows you to create a survey using Google Spreadsheets that can be easily shared out via a link. People taking the survey do not need a Google account to submit information.
- Revolution: John Patten demonstrated Revolution, a fairly easy to use program that lets you create custom web browsers among other things. Check out his post on Edutonica to see some of his Revolution creations in action.
- Evernote: Brian Bridges shared Evernote last month, but tonight he talked a little more about how he actually uses it. Unfortunately, Elluminate wouldn’t let him actually show us, but he talked about it. I am hoping soon he will put together a little screencast for the visual learners (like me), but from what I gathered Evernote is a handy way to keep track of various screenshots all in one place. It also has text recognition, so users can search the content of the images they collected. I have an Evernote account and 20 invitations should you need one to check it out yourself.
- Ask 500 People: Brian also shared Ask 500 People. Submit a question and people all over the world will start answering them. Its a simple and straight forward idea, but very interesting to watch.
- Acrylic Times: This one was submitted by me. I love RSS aggregatiors for reading blogs and websites that are updated regularly. However, I have never really gotten comfortable with the idea of reading news through Google Reader or Bloglines. I’m a creature of habit and I like the format of a newspaper. I am happy to spend Saturday mornings with the newspaper at the Midtown Peet’s Coffee. Unfortunately, I can’t spend every morning there and I have found Acrylic Times to be a good substitute. Acrylic Times allows you to create your own “newspaper” using RSS feeds from news sites. I did feel quite old, though, when I read that the software creator is only 19.
- R2D2 Projector/DVD Player: This one was also submitted by me and really serves no educational purpose, but it is SO COOL! If I had an extra $2900 the R2D2 LCD Projector (and more) would be running around my classroom. Before you roll your eyes watch this video. The kid in you will love it! If you don’t think its nifty check your pulse.
After everyone logged off Burt and I continued to geek out in person. I showed him a little Unmeeting secret I have. As I stumble across good Unmeeting things I tag them in my Del.icio.us account with “unmeeting.” Here’s a link to my current Unmeeting listings. As Unmeeting attendees will notice I had a few other fun things to share, but I ran out of time. I am sure many of them will show up here. I know Burt like the Free Mac Classroom and Go2Web20. If you have a Del.icio.us account invite me to be your friend.