Free Xbox 360

Image representing Xbox as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Wow, Microsoft is offering a free Xbox to any student who purchases a new PC. To get this deal you must the purchase a PC priced $699 or more and prove that you are a student with a photo ID or an .edu email address online.  This is a great promotional tool for Microsoft.  It even got me thinking about purchasing a new PC.  For more information check out the following address.  http://edudemic.com/2011/05/microsoft-students-xbox/ If you have not bookmarked Edudemic yet it is a great informational website for education and I highly recommend it.

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A Vision of the Future and the Importance of Education

I was reading Charlie Barrow’s Blog the on Sunday and came across a great video that I have not seen before.  It was created and produced by Microsoft and displays possible future technologies and communication tools. Check out the embedded video below.

This really captivated my students attention and got them thinking about other technologies that we might see in the future.  As they pondered the possibilities I asked them if they would like to be part of creating these type of new technologies.  The overwhelming answer was yes. As an educator I saw my opportunity to discuss the importance of a college education and took it.  The great thing was they were more responsive and seemed to make the connection that if you really want to create these types of technologies and enter this field you must go on to college.  Either way this video opened up some great discussion. Try it out with your classes and let me know what they thought.

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Making PowerPoint INTERACTIVE Easliy With ActiveOffice

Microsoft PowerPoint

Image via Wikipedia

I have always been a big fan of cross platform integration.  Many times I have worked with programs and wished I could blend applications together seamlessly to create projects and lessons. Well, finally there is an integration that just makes sense.

Promethean is now offering  what they call an ActivOffice application that will integrate their software, ActiveInspire/ActiveStudio with Microsoft’s PowerPoint.  This feature will place a toolbar within PowerPoint that will allow you to access many of the features of the Active software.  With this extension in PowerPoint you will be able to incorporate Promethean LRS student devices to assess learning by quickly and easily by  adding questions and importing questions for assessment. This software also allows you to display these results within PowerPoint. ActiveOffice will also provide you the ability to annotate on PowerPoint slides and save them for later presentations. ActivOffice will provide instructors the ability to create interactive presentations within PowerPoint.

For more information on this great application take a look at Promethean Planet at the following links.

 

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How to Create Online Games with KODU a Free Course!

Kodu Game LabStarting March 1st Kodu is offering a free five week course to teach people how to use Kodu to create fun interactive games for kids.  “Kodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games.  It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.”    If you are interested in creating games in an online environment this seems like an incredible opportunity.  How much you participate is up to you and all of the materials are free.  You can download the program at this link: http://fuse.microsoft.com/kodu/ .  The only thing that they do not provide is a computer to run the actual program.  To find out more information aboout this class check out this link: http://planetkodu.com/course/2010/02/24/before-we-begin/.  You can find an overview of the course at this link: http://planetkodu.com/course/overview/ and decide for yourself if it is worthwhile.

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Augmented Reality with Bing Maps The Wave of the Future?

Saw this video and the ideas for augmented reality uses for kids in the classroom and thousands of ideas exploded in my head about the potential uses in education.  This is a fascinating video that will get you thinking about the use of this technology in the classroom.  Must see if you are looking at augmented reality games for students to learn from.

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Converting your files into PDFs for free

Over the past few months I have had a lot of people ask me what is the best way to convert word and other text files into PDF files.  So, in this post we will look at a few online resources that will convert your many word files and other text files into PDF documents to post on the web.

As we all know the PDF file format is very convenient for posting online.  The fact that it has a free reader and that it is a self contained application really make this the easiest way for your readers to obtain and look at your documents.  Often in school and other areas we create our documents in Microsoft Word and other applications leaving us with the daunting task of converting these to a PDF format.  Well here are a few free resources that you can use to easily convert your documents into PDF files.

 

If you have another resource that you use and it is not mentioned in this post please let me know by posting it in the comment section of my blog.

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