Category Archives: TCEA

Writing Safari TCEA09 Notes

writing safari TCEA09
Paula Alsup and Missi Downs

journey through the development of ten narrative compositions
all 4th grade students divided into groups circulate through the stations reviewing traits of well written writing compositions
technology used to record and save the group responses, select possible topics, survey attitudes about writing and extend writing activities
ten compositions well written goal

prep survey
teachers and assistants
lunch and recess
survey monkey
list of prompts students enjoy writing about
students take survey while rotating

eg imagine you were invisible for one day – write a story about that day

gives them some ownership

also survey of student attitudes – do they think they are a good writer
most difficult part
how they feel when asked to write a story
anonymous except for by homeroom – collects data

redo survey after TAKS to see if attitude changed

Import student and teacher names from winschool – number off student into random groups

use find and replace to convert numbers to team names (eg Galloping Gazelles)
have teachers check for discipline problems that fell together (head off possible problems)
inclusion students in one group so assistant can go with them (without grouping together they found it was problematic for the assistants to jump from group to group

Printed itinerary – group names, times, destinations
printed out badges and the groups even eat lunch together

pulled in volunteers from other grades and some parents
assistants can be anybody to run a document camera, type and save to the network

teachers use a powerpoint to review traits
assistants manage the technology
homeroom teachers distribute the group assignments
campus tech – ensure all technology in place and working

tshirts and pith helmets from oriental trading for teachers and assistants
principal does a kick off so the kids know this is important enough to the principal to give up a day of instruction

1 laptop connects to doc camera and data projector
word ppt and thinking map software
may use poster for prewriting
extension cords and powerstrips
folders on network for each group and folder with writing components ppt so all can access
copy of ppt on desktop of teacher computer for faster access

homeroom teachers have a 1 hour block to do lunch and recess
students attend rotation during regular time
may need to adjust time for lunch for available cafeteria space

writing ppt
written by writing teachers and tech specialist
include district curriculum terminology and thinking maps
saved to the server

The Elephant Walk – Planning
reading prompt
brainstorm real imaginary pretend
use a bubble map
prompt in the middle
Intro and beginnings
who when where
the teachers get to move through the different pieces with each new group instead of having to teach the same thing over and over all day

Organization and transitions (Zebra Zone)

transitions phases

a couple of paragraphs of story

Voice – what is it?
fingerprint of the paper
create a movie in the readers mind
students are getting to hear things from other teachers
dead words

A cheetah conclusion
ending – draws all the story together, resolves conflicts
what did you learn from story
what do you hope or wish for because of events in the story
Lets write!
the last group – the teachers will have worked with the students writing 5 stories

all ten stories are printed out and each student will have a copy, students journal or blog about their experience
survey monkey
students use rubric to score each groups compositions, identify strengths and areas that need improvement
students write an independent narrative using strategies and ideas they have learned during safari

Everything is on their webpage – all handouts, ppts

Interview Day

Thanks so much to my friends who sent encouragement to daughter for her Honors College Interview – she texted me this morning to tell me about it so you just never know what little thing you do may have a wonderful effect!  I’m in Austin and can’t be there and my village is helping me raise my child 🙂 I will be posting more from TCEA soon!

How To Do Everything In SecondLife Notes

I actually didn’t stay for all of this because there was a conflict with another presentation I wanted to see.  I was hoping for a reason to like SecondLife but I still have difficulty with seeing how it is useful.  It gets boring to me very quickly and there is also the problem of people all over the world being in the virtual world and no way to filter the content.

You basically sign up for a free account, choose a basic character and one improvement that I saw was that you can designate an interest from the start.  You can then tweak your avatar (or character) by changing the body shape, face, hair, clothes and make it more personalized.

Jamey Osborne
LaPorte isd
Jamey Sismondi in sl

go online and be in a virtual world
not mission based like video games usually are
like first life – do whatever you want
presentation is to shorten the learning curve
wear a thick skin in second life
things can happen that will offend you, crazy weird things walk away
virtual world that has people from all over the world in it.
can be an intensely absorbing experience
you login and say you will on for ten minutes and three hours later…
owning land costs money
(slurl is a link to a location in secondlife)
secondlife about the size of boston (they say)
there are live concerts
each square represents a server somewhere  sim or region
parcels are sims broken down
you can buy those premium account 77 dollars a year
the more land you buy you have to acquire land tiers
you find or acquire things and they are stored in your inventory
landmark is a bookmark of a place in secondlife
world menu – create landmark here
create things and set permissions to no transfer so others cannot just take them
you friend someone
search panel – how to find someone = click people tab and type name
groups (e.g. sailing community)
can create own group
search for places e.g iste – click teleport and go there
search land sales
events – like live music
classifieds for things like scripts
you can customize body shape, skin, clothing, and hair and shoes
right click on yourself and click appearance
create and save a shape
you can put all the outfit together and click make outfit button
green amount in upper right shows the money you have
there is an entire economy in second life

can learn scripting

Randomly Speaking Excel TCEA09 Notes

There was so much so fast here but she does have the links to the instructions on her website at

This was all about using the randbetween function in excel to generate random numbers in a range you designate to create flashcards, graphs, ordered pairs and more.  She shows you how to use autoshapes and this function to create dice.  I will play with this some more but wanted to get the link posted.  Excel rocks!

Critical Thinking and TEKS Science Content Via Online Activities

TCEA session 3 Notes
blog has handouts and links

java applets

World of Goo – trial download
demonstrate basic relationship between force and motion using simple machines

Spore – trial but you can download Creature Creator e.g. of class use – have students create a carnivorous organism that lives in water.  Have students evaluate each other and vote on creature most likely to survive.  Change the environment to hot and dry – what are the results?
genetics, structure and function

Adaptive Curriculum (not free)
intended for a once or twice solution

Peter Rillero Ph. D

Dare to Use Audacity TCEA Session 2 Notes
Resources and Links all on their google site Yay!
Audacity is opensource – free – links are on their google page for downloading
Make sure you download the lame encoder so you can export as mp3s

Classroom uses (they showed several examples)
Book talks
Substitute Instructions
Speech Pathology
Create Interviews (you can do it yourself and use audacity to change one voice so it sounds like two people – historical character. book character etc)
(files can be brought into movie maker and powerpoint
record reading a textbook for student
record students reading aloud so they can hear themselves
audio book reports
book promo for library

Headphones with mics attached helped to record without picking up background noise

Sound resource freeplaymusic

demonstrated creating three tracks – two had the music and stepped down and then back up and the “speaking” track was placed so that it fell between the steps so you had music introducing, then speech, then music for the ending
Can edit out words (uh, and like)

Can add words

Audacity saves the file as a .au (this is where all the behind the scene stuff happens – do not touch this file and you can edit it later)

When complete you have to export as an mp3 or wav file

resulting mp3 can be used as background audio, podcast, embedded in a blog, imported into powerpoint or moviemaker

Technology Staff Development Strategies TCEA09

Session One Notes

Technology Staff Development Strategies
Kaye Moore Hurst Euless Bedford ISD (HEB)
What they did – went from Windows 98 and Office 2000 to xp and office 2007 over the summer

Discussed the usual closed doors of staff dev
Time, schedules, childcare, reluctance to use personal time, facilily usage and software problems

Unlocking the doors

Went from face to face to techno tv
Borrowed a dedicated channel that was not being used
Instructional video each week plays all the time so teacher can access whenever
They do have “best of” weeks
Fun project weeks (before Christmas they showed teachers how to create a calendar or personalized notepads (use glue you buy and apply at the top of the pages to create notepad?)
At strategic times the broadcast can be gradebook instructions

Videos created using Camtasia

Also utilize a departmental website with instructional docs available to download – no login or password needed so things like gradebook are NOT found here

They also have HEBonline (blackboard) with online courses and curriculum info.  Constantly being updated.

Software central where manuals can be downloaded

They do an end of year video and instruction sheets for backing up to server

Podcasts and Vodcasts – ability to blog /wiki, or subscribe in itunes

Create a plan
do preliminary training with key people – instructional and support
Timeline for installation – support
timeline for training – instructional
timeline for implementation

They outsourced the training for their key people
Then, key instructional staff dev in house
Key instructional staff to use model that has been created and adjusted to train staff

Trained admin staff first

Information blitz entire district – IT staff provide 15 minute overview for every staff. vodcast available

Summer Training

Result of all this – fewer calls for help,
Requests for upgraded training

Used PDSA model
Plan Do Study Act
Plan – analyze
Did training using small steps to start controlled environment
Analyzed – what worked, what didn’t, revised and adjusted or standardized process
Check, Study results
Get buy in

Off To Weird Austin!

Tomorrow I am off to TCEA in Austin.  I am leaving behind a million things that need to be done yesterday and my daughter who has her interview at the Honors College while I’m gone (and who got her official ranking in her class – 7, excuse me for mama bragging a bit), my husband who begins attending a Ministry class tomorrow night.  No, he isn’t studying to be a pastor, though some who attend the class may go on to plant churches.  He is wanting to learn more about how to share his faith and about what God wants him to do with this gift of life that he has been given.  Number one son is heading to three different places to judge debate tournaments.  He is here tonight but will leave before I do in the morning.

I’ll do my usual stressing right up until I am in the car and on my way.  Then there is no point because it is beyond my control so I will relax and enjoy the trip.  I plan to go to work in the morning and get my walk in and get the computers in the lab logged in and ready for the counselors to do scheduling and then back to the house to get Dale to take me to Paula’s.  That’s the plan though I may try to get home a bit sooner and spend a bit of time with hubby before I go.

I’m excited about going but not quite as enthusiastic about the presentations as I have been in the past.  I’m hoping to learn something new or if nothing else spend some time looking at things I already know in a fresh way so I can bring something useful back to my district.  I also hope to take a step back from everything and come back rejuvenated.  I’ve been feeling crabby and mean-spirited lately and I’m ready for a break.  I’ll blog it all while I’m there and I will still get my walking in, because it never fails that any two consecutive presentations I want to attend will be on opposite sides of the conference center and often on different floors.

I’m ready for the ride – I have two books, my laptop, my mp3 player, and camera and some papers I need to go over.  A quick trip to the drive-through at Paris Coffee Company and I’ll be set.  Next post will be from Austin!

P.S. To the commenter on my previous post – thank you so much for the nice words.  It’s such a cool thing to come visit my blog and find a hug waiting 🙂

TCEA 2008 Let’s Go on a Writing Safari! Paula Alsup and Missi Downs

I didn’t get to attend this presentation – it was one of those time-slots when I needed a few clones to attend several sessions at the same time. Through the magic of technology I can still hear and “see” the presentation! After “attending” online I am very excited about the real event!

If you will go to Mrs. Alsup’s web presence there is a link on the sidebar to 2008 TCEA Presentation which will let you download the entire PowerPoint. You can view the PowerPoint and listen to the presentation at the same time -there is also a Podcast online – just click this link and put on your headphones – the Podcast lasts about 40 minutes. Writing Safari Podcast

Commercial Break – Eating in Austin

I have more TCEA notes to post but thought it would be fun to take a little time out to tell you about some great places to eat in Austin. I’ve been fortunate to travel there with a friend and colleague who lived in Austin and ever meal is an adventure!

Here are some of my favorites!

**** Flip Happy Crepes

Serving delicious hand-made savory crepes, sweet crepes, and Saturday breakfast crepes. To compliment we serve fresh French pressed coffee and other assorted beverages.

400 Jessie Street
Austin, TX 78704

Wed – Fri 10:30am – 2:30pm
Saturday 9am – 3:00

I had roasted chicken, mushrooms, gruyere, carmelized onions and my friend and I shared a dessert that was crepes with Nutella and bananas. They also have veggie crepes if you like.
Flip Happy is a little Airstream trailer where you place your order, retrieve your beverage from a cooler sitting in front, and sit at a picnic table under the trees to eat.

The food is incredible and it is located right next to the trailer park where Matthew Mcconaughey keeps his trailer. Who knows – you might get a peek!

**** If you are “rumbly in your tumbly” there is a wonderful place to satisfy the growlies – freddie’s. There is a playground outside for the kids and dogs are welcome.

I ordered the texitarian portabellas – 2 large portabella mushroom caps handbreaded and deep fried to a golden brown with cream gravy. Add to that garlic smashed potatoes and spinach-artichoke casserole and it was heaven! The portions are huge, the atmosphere definitely South Austin. WWFD (What Would Freddie Do) – whatever his wife tells him to do!

**** Another great place is the Magnolia Cafe. The specialties are omelets and pancakes. There are all kinds – they are all good, the portions are huge and come with cottage fries – yum!

**** After you have filled your tummy with Austin goodness you can stop and have coffee at Mozart’s (and dessert if you have room left) There is a plethora of wonderful desserts to choose from including cheesecakes, cobbler, tiramisu and enough chocolate to make you want to cry.If they are roasting beans when you arrive there the aroma will greet you in parking lot. If the weather is nice you can sit out on the deck with your coffee and enjoy the weather and view of the lake. There is free wireless and often entertainment. Mozart’s is one of my very favorite places in Austin.
3825 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin TX 78703
512 477 2900

Developing an Exemplary Writing Program with Digital Storytelling 8740

Presenter Shaunna Buck

The best parts of this session for me were the student presentation examples. It was truly exciting to see the quality.

7th grade writing program meant to grow beyond writing well enough to pass
Develop writing portfolio
Folders for
Rough drafts
Final drafts
Reflective place – higher order thinking

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” John Jakes

Collections and reflections
Organizational pattern akin to true writer’s notebook
Student’s papers that received a “4” were blown up poster size, a picture sometimes added, laminated and put up on the hall wall
Student’s goal became creating a “wall worthy” paper
Slowed the traffic pattern in the hall but it was kind of hard to get on to a student who was slow moving when the reason was that they were reading.
Reaction “ so and so’s up there?? How did they get a paper up there??”
Students no longer convinced that their first draft is their best work”
Motivation through competition

Students recorded reading their papers using audacity then uploaded as podcast

Incorporated Photostory 3 video to create digital stories enhanced the program
“Photostory like PowerPoint on speed”
Easy to learn and use
Students were motivated to rewrite

“Revision no longer a dirty word”
“Public recognition key”

Public presentation skills – students who were not comfortable getting up in front of class presenting had success in a room alone recording.

Save ppt slides as jpeg and import into Photostory, add music and audio – insert
Reading students used their class novel
Project – two word sentences – subject,verb – subject verb
Great for inclusion kids

Student went to district – made people cry
Photostory presentation about mom being killed in a car wreck – not true just a story but made me cry anyway
“if you make people cry you almost always get a 4!”

Think about their writing visually

Project – study origin of their name – not just definition but what it means to them, who they are.
Beyond thinking literally

Digital camera to make their own pictures , google images, scans
discussion about copyright
template for storyboard (looks like filmstrip)
require storyboard and script

Note what images go where
Import pictures into photostory
They used the headphones with mic attached
Pairs – one to talk, the other to click buttons, then they switch places
Photostory has a lot of built in music clips
Resource :

Suggested book “Mechanically Inclined” Jeff Anderson

TCEA 2008 Crispen’s Guide to What’s New and What’s Next 8934

Patrick Crispen takes a sneak peak at what’s just over the horizon. Site:

Thanks to my guest Paris ISD teacher Nancy Bratteli for these notes on the session! This presentation was lightening fast and fun – I was scribbling so fast I could barely read my writing!
Polaroid Zink printer – zero ink – thermal, permanent, $149, about 30cents/print, available 12/08

new hard drives; SSD SATA 5000 1.8” 72GB; uses about 5% of the power of old drives; in 5 years, all will be this way; no spinning platters, less hard drive crash

USB3 is on the way; uses fiber optic cable, ridiculously fast (10X faster than 2)

Wireless USB (short range – speed relative to distance); Belkin has one now;
connects device to device

Eye-Fi SD memory card 2GB for camera; available now for $99; card transfers pics wirelessly to computer, filesharing sites, automatically

802.11n – (IEEE—guys who set global standards) new version of wireless coming April 2008; 540 megabits/sec; look for DRAFT 2.0 (some products out too early)

WiMax (802.16) metro area network – 70 mb/s;
it will be everywhere like cell phone service?

RFID – now in all U.S. passports (concerning?), toll tags, etc.; in 5 yrs. will replace bar codes

LEDs – last so long they will replace light bulbs in 10 yrs.

OLED see how stuff works for explanation – organic light-emitting diodes; bright, thin displays on electronic devices using less power

Recordable media – as of January, Blu-Ray has won, HD is gone

AACS – Advanced Access Content System – if signal is broken anywhere (hacked), may not play HD in the future

Distributed Computing – e.g., PS3 folding at home

508v2 and WCAG 2.0 – Web Content for Accessibility (504s)

IPv6 – new system large enough to assign an address for every atom in the body of every person on earth

Presentations 2.0 – Crispen used today; cleaner alternative to PPT

TV – original color standard set in the 1950s; showed great diagram of difference between interlaced and progressive signals; 1080p is gold standard, but nobody does it; digital-to-digital connections: cables aren’t important, so get cheap ones (good cheap source: (get converter box vouchers for schools!)

Also posted at PHS computer Project Lab

Dynamic Powerpoint – Beyond Basics By Cindy Cohen 8035

This was a good session that gave some basic common sense tips on using PowerPoint.

Why would we want to use it (well)?
• This generation has little tolerance for delays or mistakes in delivery of information
• It’s an easy way to get information across in a short time period


  • Too much information – on each slide
  • Color choices (may depend on lighting in presentation location)
  • Can be “eye catching or eye watering”
  • Presentation often not test driven to catch problems

If well used can be extremely engaging


  • Proof read
  • Don’t include all information
  • Practice test run
  • Don’t over-use the software in the classroom

Key – Keep the focus on the presenter

Start with the basics

  • Know your information
  • What are the key points or concepts
  • Make an outline (enter basic information on blank slides)
  • Order is important
  • Add relevant materials (diagrams, images, audio, video)

Consider approaches for presenting

  • How is the slide being used?
  • Ask a question on the slide (stop for discussion)
  • Break up with a related activity (stop presentation, do short activity, go back to presentation)

Adjust style elements (easy place to waste time)

  • Visual interest is key but remember to keep focus on the presenter
  • You can use WordArt to make notes on each slide to remind you of details, changes, and additions – what needs to be done to each slide
  • Do test run
  • Prepare your oral presentation (this is the part that many people omit!)
  • To prepare you can take your original outline and print it out or print slide handouts.
  • 3 slides to a page and you can have lines on the right side for notes

Presentations without a presenter

  • Podcast presentation
  • Save each slide as a jpeg
  • Insert into MovieMaker
  • Create audio voiceover using Audacity put together audio and movie – Podcast

*They did a Distance Learning Day at Good Shepherd. They submitted lesson plans, students stayed home and did assignments via internet. This type of podcast presentation was part of her lesson.

Keeping Up with the Googlebots: What’s New at Google (Patrick Crispen) 8940

If you go to TCEA 2008 and click on Sessions and Workshops, list free sessions you will see the entire list and the session I attend will have the session number in the post as well.  You will be able to look for handouts there in a few weeks.

I like Patrick Crispen’s presenting style.  He starts on time, tells you what he will cover, moves through the presentation like an east Texas wind.  Before you know it he is saying we have to hurry because there are only three minutes left, ties is all up and sends you out as the next group comes in.  He must have an incredible amount of energy or sleep for a week after a conference like this.

His website is NetSquirrel and if you go there and click on PowerPoint Presentations on the side you will have access to all his handouts.  They are licensed under Creative Commons (he was the first person I heard even mention Creative Commons yesterday) so you are free to download his material. The presentation for this session will be udated in a few days.
Some new things I learned yesterday:

  • Google free business directory assistance 1 – 800 – 466 – 4411
    • Voice, directions, maps on your cell phone.  Google wants to do voice search – this is there start at getting voices saying words
  • Google Notebook now datestamps your entries
  • has added discovery videos

This morning I found a new little snippet in my reader about Google docs – they have added a new little tool. When you share a spreadsheet you now have three choices – collaborator, viewer, and now “to fill out a form”. You can create a form in Google spreadsheets, share it with people and as they respond to the form, the data is automatically added to your spreadsheet.

Arrival In Austin

We have arrived in Austin after a deluge near Sulphur Springs. We made a potty and Starbucks stop and ate supper at Freebird’s.

We got to the Omni and there was a mistake so they didn’t have a double occupancy room and they ended up putting us in a suite. suite This room is a smoking room so there is a bit of a smell (the ex-smoker said a bit sarcastically) but it has two full bedrooms, three baths, two walk-in closets, a spa tub, a kitchen, two balconies, a bar, and three tv’s. We had to use our room key just to get on the right elevator. Not too shabby for a couple of country girls. They are supposed to move us tomorrow but we wouldn’t complain if they just left us alone.
view from 17th floorWe took a walk down on Sixth Street just to see what it’s like on Fat Tuesday. We found Mardi Gras beads, tons of people, a group of drummers in a circle playing in the street, music pouring out of the doorways and children dressed like grown-ups. There were grown-ups acting like children, a street artist using spray paint to create fantasy spacescapes, an Irish pub where a man was playing and singing country music, police on foot, horseback, and bicycle and an atmosphere of friendly fun. I don’t know if that atmosphere remained later in the night because we headed back up to our hotel to rest up for our first morning at the conference.

sixth streetAddendum – First day was fun – I learned a lot and as soon as I get notes typed I will start adding them to the blog so keep checking back!!

TCEA 2008

tcea08.jpgNext week I am planning on attending TCEA 2008 in Austin. Dale is doing well and I will be a cell phone call away. I am looking forward to learning some new things and meeting some folks that I have till now known only through blogging.

I plan, as I did last year, to blog my notes. If you do not blog and are going to be attending this year from PISD, I would love to have you as a “guest blogger”! Just let me know if you are interested and we can arrange for your notes/reflections on the conference to appear as a guest post by you to share with the rest of the district.

If you are a blogger I have a few tips for you. Take good notes making sure you have the session name, presenter name, and school district if applicable. Check out HitchHikr – a site that will aggregate posts that are tagged for specific conferences. There is no tag yet so you might want to check back – it will be something like TCEA08. If you tag our post with the HitchHikr tag it will make it easier for people who didn’t attend the same sessions to find your notes. As conference attendees start posting and tagging, the posts will show up on the HitchHikr site and there will be an RSS link so you can subscribe if you like and read other posts. This is a great way for all of us to get the most out of the conference and share the information with folks in the district who couldn’t attend.

There is a great post at Lunch Over IP on tips for conference blogging with links to other articles if you are interested in reading more about this. They have even created a PDF booklet you can download. There are two versions and I have included one here.


Stop by Lunch Over IP blog and leave a thank you comment if you find this useful. I’m excited about the conference and can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Also posted at My school blog – PHS Computer Project Lab

Reading Blogs

Scott Mcleod of the Dangerously Irrelevant blog has been responding to a challenge by Miguel Guhlin to find “new voices” and has been showcasing educator bloggers for the last week. I have been reading and growing my feed list with each addition. Tonight I read the blogs of Dave Sherman and Pete Reilly. Mr. Sherman talks about “developing self directed learners” and ties it together with the kind of “what if?” questions that kids ask.

Mr. Reilly challenges each of us with this premise:

What would happen to our schools and our world if every teacher, administrator, and staff member lived and acted from his purpose each day? A purpose rooted in the deepest parts of his mind, body, and soul.

He also spoke of his own learning experience as he reacted to a post of Mr. Guhlin’s and in another post he listed the items he would include in the technology plan if he were leading a district. He also has a wiki for technology planning.

There are so many voices to listen to, to reflect on, react to, and include in our “circle of wisdom” The amazing thing is how many of these voices resonate with the same truths. These bloggers are not necessarily on the “A” list of bloggers. We are all so busy and tend to read the blogs that are easy to find or are written by faces we recognize, who have presented to large groups of educators and maybe have published books but as I try to achieve some kind of balance with the amount of reading I do I will definitely be including some of these writers. They challenge me, humble me, and make me thankful for a technology that allows me to hear their thoughts and learn from them. Thanks to Scott Mcleod for sharing.

One way we can find these voices is through the use of wikis. David Warlick uses a wiki page to embed blog posts from people who attend his presentations. Using the read/write tools that are available we can model the collaboration skills we need to be teaching our students be collaborating in becoming life-long learners ourselves and discover the bloggers and educators in each individual’s way is trying to find the best ways to prepare their students for the future.
Another wiki I visited this week is The Thousand and One Flat World Tales project. The premise is that an alien race has come to earth and angry that they are not finding humans doing any of the things they expect they send a message over the internet for countries to send their best storytellers and they then hold them hostage on their ship while they tell their stories and if the aliens find them interesting they will not destroy the human race. Different grades and schools from anywhere can participate and build this wiki by adding the stories of their own cultures.
I also learned of a new online tool. It converts videos like the ones you find on YouTube to AVI, MOV, Mp4 and several other formats that you can then save to your computer. It can be found at – this will be a useful site!

“Presently” – New Google App?

Internet rumors say Google is working on a new application – “Presently” their presentation component. I will be excited to see it in action. I use Google Docs (Writely) occasionally and I love Gmail and Google Notebook. I’m fairly new to Google Notebook and am in the process of learning more about it. I saw several presenters at TCEA who used it for their presentation pieces and I have seen some examples of public google notebooks. I watched as Wes Fryer reorganized prior to his session. I see it as a very useful tool that I have not paid enough attention to.

I also use my personalized google page for the blogs I read most often. My bloglines account suffers from serious bloat and I seem to do better with the visual approach of having the blogs I read most often laid out on the page showing the most recent posts. I tend to move the feeds around so the ones I find myself returning to most often end up at the top of the page. I also have them arranged with tagged pages with a page devoted to local friends, one for education, and so on. My home page has my email, calendar, local weather and TV guide – things of that sort. It also contains a widget for Google Notebook so I have a constant reminder of what I’m working on right now.

Google has an extension for Firefox which allows you to select something on a webpage, right-click and get an option to “note-it” which puts the clip or page directly on your Notebook. As you research on the internet you can save pictures and snips of information along with the url for citing your sources.
I hope there will be compatibility between Notebook and Presently – what a powerful tool that will be! A cross-browser, cross-operating system presentation tool that would allow you to pull images and text from your notebook to give you the pieces you need anytime as long as you have an internet connection.

Technorati Tags: