Apr 16

What would a good PBL planner look like …on the Internet?

That’s the question that started to form in my head as I watched one 21st-Century teacher’s project take shape and grow over the past few weeks. She used at least 3 or 4 “Web 2.0” applications, gathered relevant resources from diverse sources, and tied it together with a Google doc. She used social media to engage parents and experts. It’s an impressive and organically evolving body of work, and I can’t help but think a mashup? of easily obtainable freely available open source tools could make it even easier for more educators to design and execute such rich and engaging learning experiences.

So what have I got?

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Apr 12

Mobile blogging

Synopsis I was pretty excited when I found the WordPress smart phone app and saw it gives the user the ability to shoot and add images and video instantly, straight from the phone. My excitement quickly faded though, when I viewed the post in Firefox from my desktop. The app will upload a QuickTime .mov file, which can only be viewed in Chrome and Safari. Even with a browser that can view the file, if it’s rotated then you have a sideways video.

I also learned a great deal about the HTML5 video tag — and its limitations. You see the post pretty much as it was delivered by WordPress iOS, but I also added one of my custom rollovers containing a better video produced from screencasting (Camstudio 2.6) with an overdubbed narrated script (Audacity 2.0) and some text overlays (Vegas Movie Studio 10.0), uploaded to YouTube and embedded as an iFrame. YouTube will convert and serve the right video format for the device requesting it, which is reason enough to choose this method, but it also lets you upload your narration as a plain text “Transcript file” and it will convert it to subtitles. Very cool!

This post is from my iPhone using the new WordPress iPhone app. It’s set up for an account on WordPress.com by default, but you can easily change it to a self hosted one if you have one… and if you’ve “enabled XML-RPC publishing protocols” Say what!!?? Continue reading

Apr 08

Instant WordPress, A WordPress Development Server To Go

Instant WordPress was designed for developers to build Plugins and Themes for WordPress. I ask, “What might creative 21st century classrooms do with it, say for a project?”

  • You can do all kinds of things with the blog itself that aren’t even directly computer-related, e.g., social networking, submitting homework, cooperative work, projects… what if you ran the classroom as an internet news publishing organization, with roles and competing organizations maybe?
  • can be used to deploy develop and deploy full-fledged web presence if so desired;
  • as Project Based Learning platform offers some advantages
    • access can be limited to 1 computer, a classroom network, a school, etc.
    • on the internet can lead to powerful collaborations
  • thoroughly private when used in self-contained network;

Your ideas welcome! Please leave a comment!

I’m using my Instant WordPress to develop a WordPress plugin to help teacher plan and deliver projects. Wanna help? Here‘s some more about the idea, and I’m revealing more each day until the tent comes down.