Students Answer Visually with Jing a Great Learning Tool

Over the past few weeks, I have started having students use images to explain concepts on their blogs.  This has been a stretch for them, since they had to find just the right image to post to their blog to answer the question.  One of my students began using the free version of Jing to capture and share his images, which worked very well for him.  Since then, all the computers in our lab now have Jing on them and students are using this application to capture and share partial and full images from the web in their blogs.   They can even edit the images that they have captured.  I have found that having students present answers in alternate ways really pushes my students to gain a true understanding of topics.  Also, it leads to great conversations about the subject, as students discuss each others images.  I have found this to be a win-win for me in the classroom.  I thought that this was a great exercise and Jing was a great free tool for students to use in this situation.

Check it out at: http://jingproject.com/

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YouTube A Bandwidth Problem? Try This!

In our school district YouTube has been the source of many different conversations and debates.  The amount of good content and the inability to use this content has had many of us teachers frustrated.  So our district unblocked YouTube on teacher computers only.  We were excited about using this resource in our classrooms and promptly began using YouTube.  This brought up another issue within our district and that was bandwidth.  As more teachers began to use this resource we found our bandwidth was often maxed out and the district wide slowdown of our internet service became a big problem.   This became a huge frustration for many teachers wanting to use their new resource.  The answer was simple and only took a little time to decimate the information to teachers to fix this problem.

The workaround was to download the video in the morning and keep it cached or download the video for the day on to your computer.  This solved the problem in our district for now.  Obviously, our hope is that our district will improve our bandwidth, so in the future this will not be an issue.  Until then however this will suffice and keep our teachers moving in in the right direction with technology.   Here are a list of programs we recommend to our staff to download YouTube videos.  (We did tell teachers to only keep them on their hard-drive for the day they were using the video in class and we also discussed copyright laws.)

Get your YouTube Video here!

  1. 3OUtube: http://3outube.com/
  2. YouTube Video Downloader: http://download-youtube-videos.org/
  3. aTube Catcher
  4. YouTube Downloader
  5. Orbit Downloader: http://www.orbitdownloader.com/
  6. KeepVid : http://keepvid.com/
  7. VideoDownloader
  8. DownloadYoutTubeVideos.com
  9. VideoDL: http://www.videodl.org/
  10. YTD YouTube Video Downloader

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