New Learning Institute - 21st Century Skillshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog-topics/21st-century-skills enMake an Android App? There’s a Meta-App for That.http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Google Introduces SF Bay Educators to App Inventor for Android</span></p><div><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 392px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_app">Mobile apps</a> have changed our relationship with information access in the wider world. With mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers becoming more powerful and affordable, more people are regularly supplementing their experiences out in the world by calling up services like Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, <a href="https://foursquare.com/">Four Square</a>, and <a href="http://www.shazam.com/">Shazam</a> to record what they’re doing, find out what other people thought about whatever restaurant/park/business they’re at, or share their own opinion.<br /><br />Ten years ago, if I passed a statue of some historic figure and wanted to learn more, I’d have to make a note and then go visit the library. Now, I can just whip out my phone and Google the name. I can also use my phone to take a geo-tagged picture, upload it to Flickr (which will automatically highlight it in my Facebook feed), share a web link about what I learned about the statue on Twitter, and check in on Four Square. What’s that song playing at the café I just passed? Shazam! “Bossa for the Devil” by Dr. Rubberfunk. Apps are changing how we interact with the world.<br /><br />For youth, using apps to learn more about places as they experience them is second nature, and those apps can be powerful learning tools. What isn’t second nature is app development. Designing and building a working app generally requires some serious programming savvy, but youth are very interested in apps—they see how relevant apps are to daily life and how they’re being used by more people, more frequently—and this motivates those with an interest in tech to take the programming plunge. Learning programming can be a long slog through lots of information to create very simple programs. I remember taking an intro to CS class, which had us learn <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC">BASIC</a>. I can’t find my notes, but I’m pretty sure it took us a week to know enough to code the “Hello, world” program that seems to be lesson 1 for just about any programming course, regardless of language. My classmates and I found our interest in programming waning fast. And if motivated college students ten years ago lost their interest so quickly, imagine what happens with the youth of today, living at a mile a minute.</div><div><!--break--><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 170px;" /></a>Enter <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/index.html">App Inventor for Android</a>, a web-based app that allows users to both design and build apps utilizing a drag-and-drop user interface. One screen controls the UI (user interface) and builds the code using puzzle-piece like blocks that are put together to create the app. It's not foolproof, but it doeseliminate nearly all syntax errors from programming. There are a number of <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/learn/">online tutorials</a> for building sample apps that walk you through different functionality possibilities. They'renot particularly kid friendly, but adults can get through them fairly easily. Don’t have an Android device to test on? No problem: you can install an Android emulator on your computer. While not as fun as seeing your app work on the phone, it does provide faster feedback as you tweak your app. When your app is finished (the first sample app took me only about 10 minutes to create), you can save it to your Android device and take it with you.<br /><br /><br /><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-05X4xsuDKjA/TgDGg1cLeGI/AAAAAAAAALc/8ivwwvRX2Mw/app%252520inv%252520blocks%252520ed.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 146px;" />The palette for app building is large and includes a drawing canvas, password textboxes, tinyDB (tiny database) support, and a media player; and you can tap the device’s phone, SMS, Twitter camera, accelerometer, location sensor, and device orientation sensor. Google has also included tools for use with Lego Mindstorm robot controls, which should interest robotics educators.<br /><br />Our hosts at Google shared two case studies of how App Inventor's already being used by educators, both after-school programs that won the 2010 DML Competition, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation:</div><div><ul><li><a href="http://youth-lab.org/index.html">Youth Lab's</a> <a href="http://youth-lab.org/youthAPPLab.html">Youth AppLab</a>: Youth based in Washington DC get hands-on experience developing mobile apps, learning the software development cycle in the process. It's been so successful that parents are asking for workshops, too.</li><li><a href="http://www.youthradio.org/">Youth Radio</a>: Youth in Oakland are teaming up with professional developers through their <a href="http://www.youthradio.org/mobileapplab">Mobile Action Lab</a> to propose, create, and market apps that address real needs in their communities.</li></ul>App Inventor for Android is still in beta and it has its issues (mostly around phone recognition in our workshop), but it has a very active user forum with helpful folks, including a <a href="https://groups.google.com/forum/embed/?parenturl=http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/forum/&amp;showsearch=true&amp;fragments=true#%21forum/app-inventor-instructors">dedicated forum page for educators</a>. I look forward to really digging into this tool to see what it can do, as well as hearing how other educators are using it with their youth.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2750124153934379448?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nli-play" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/place-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/best-practices" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Best Practices</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/project-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/professional-development" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Professional Development</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/mobile-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:37:00 +0000Jennifer Dick112 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app#commentsTool Review: Storifyhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-storify <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BRtwn271k8c/Te6Ta7gMwkI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/qHGPdQklrTQ/storify%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BRtwn271k8c/Te6Ta7gMwkI/AAAAAAAAAKQ/qHGPdQklrTQ/storify%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 236px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br />One of the most common concerns I hear from educators when we’re discussing using social media tools with youth is the sheer number of sites out there. Using new media for information gathering requires patience. It can be really hard to make sense of how an event or topic is being played out across the major platforms: tracking topics across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, and blogs requires a real desire to see what’s happening in real time. Even if you’re a seasoned web browser tab jockey or use a social media aggregator like <a href="http://friendfeed.com/">FriendFeed</a>, events in a timeline without context or analysis aren’t being displayed to their best advantage.<br /><br /><a href="http://storify.com/">Storify</a> is an online platform that allows users to bring together disparate entries from various new media platforms and curate a story.</p><p><!--break--><br /><br /><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cMP19i7zn18/Te6Ta8zflEI/AAAAAAAAAKU/FITMnd9KzVY/storify%252520UI%2525201.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cMP19i7zn18/Te6Ta8zflEI/AAAAAAAAAKU/FITMnd9KzVY/storify%252520UI%2525201.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 381px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />It’s easy to get started; all you need is a Twitter account. Once you log in and click the “create a story” link, you’re presented with a very intuitive interface with two basic sections. There’s a “research” section that makes it simple to search Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Storify, Google, RSS, or manually insert a weblink. (If you delve into the settings, it’s also possible to enable SlideShare, Causes, and Audioboo as well.) Once you’ve found something you want to add to your story, just drag it over to the timeline on the right side of the screen.<br /><br />Text can be added in-between as many story elements as you like. This means that you can contextualize, analyze, and comment on the content, which adds a depth to the service Storify offers. This could be a great way to engage youth with providing opinions on current events and may possibly provide a more natural entree into the world of news analysis and commentary. It also makes it very easy to put different points of view right next to each other, inviting the audience to draw their own conclusions. Because all story elements are linked directly from their original source, they’re always properly attributed. (But it’s invariably a good idea to talk about the importance of citing your sources!)<br /><br />Once the story is published, it can be Tweeted (with automatic short URL, and shout-outs to some of the featured content creators) or sent to your Facebook, WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr, or <a href="http://mailchimp.com/?pid=GAW&amp;source=website&amp;gclid=CKrzs-HUpKkCFcsZQgodAHcQvA">MailChimp</a> page.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects—Experts in the Field:</span> Each student chooses an expert in the field of study who uses social media regularly and curates a new media collection story. Students should share why they chose a particular expert and discuss the works they post to the story. Periodically, the class should discuss new findings, events, and conferences as reported in their stories.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects—Research:</span> Students choose a research topic related to the content area being studied in class and keep an updated Storify page that serves as a class resource.</li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Social Studies:</span> Have students choose a current event to track in social media. Work together to develop a resource evaluation rubric, and require students to explain why they chose to add each source to their story.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Very easy to use; excellent user interface.</li><li>Simple to send stories to other media platforms.</li><li>Stories can be reorganized at will.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Still growing a user base.</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Storify with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4840281343874788920?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/social-networking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nli-play" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/mobile-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/information-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Information Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 07 Jun 2011 22:43:00 +0000Jennifer Dick115 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-storify#commentsDigital Dispatch: Biodiversity Quest in Chicago, Week #2http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-biodiversity-quest-chicago-week-2 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xGUEcgMUnFM/TdWQi_es4JI/AAAAAAAABQw/pb4AATm5beQ/s1600/BQ_week2_1.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xGUEcgMUnFM/TdWQi_es4JI/AAAAAAAABQw/pb4AATm5beQ/s400/BQ_week2_1.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 400px; height: 267px;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5608547841789976722" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-size: 85%;"><span style="font-family: verdana;">The second week of the Biodiversity Quest program at Bouchet Academy in Chicago exposed the middle school participants to the concepts of biodiversity and conservation biology. Merove Heifetz and Liana Vitali, from the ARKive team, visited the class and led them in <a href="http://www.arkive.org/education/resources">several activities</a> to help them understand the importance of maintaining a diversity of species around the world, as well as the many threats that species and their habitats encounter. The ARKive team took the students on a “safari” through the ARKive website that taught them more about threatened animals and plants around the world, but also required the students to learn the many ways you can search for species on the ARKive website, including by their threatened status, habitat, or geography. The students were excited to learn about animals they'd never heard of before like the <a href="http://www.arkive.org/tennents-leaf-nosed-lizard/ceratophora-tennentii/">Tennent's leafed-nosed lizard</a> from Asia and the <a href="http://www.arkive.org/atlantic-royal-flycatcher/onychorhynchus-swainsoni/">Atlantic royal flycatcher</a> from South America. The young people were also intrigued to find out new facts about species they were already familiar with, like the <a href="http://www.arkive.org/koala/phascolarctos-cinereus/">koala</a>. The ability to immediately access videos and photos of these species on the ARKive website helped the students become excited about the research they will have to do on the species highlighted in their quests.

<br /><br />The Biodiversity Quest participants were also able to use Skype to interview a conservation biologist from the <a href="http://www.janegoodall.org/">Jane Goodall Institute</a>. Lilian Pintea called the class from Washington, DC and talked about the importance of conservation of chimpanzees and why he became involved with this work. The students were eager to ask him questions about what he does and the species he works to save. One student asked, “What made you interested in Conservation Biology?” Lilian replied, “After learning so much about different species, I realized the impact that we all have on many levels - social, economic, political – on the well-being of a species and the responsibility we have to take action.”<br /><br />

Stay tuned for the next update from the Biodiversity Quest program at Bouchet Academy! </span> </span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-3231719521220233032?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/design-studio" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Design Studio</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/project-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/mobile-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Thu, 19 May 2011 21:38:00 +0000Nancy Chou118 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-biodiversity-quest-chicago-week-2#commentsTool Review: Looplabshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-looplabs <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe2sCKbI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/7bV5vkZTFtg/looplabshome.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe2sCKbI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/7bV5vkZTFtg/looplabshome.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 372px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_loop">Music loops</a> have long been a staple of electronic and experimental music and have since worked their way into rock and roll, hip-hop, techno, and other musical genres. As with so many of the tools we’ve looked at, creating loops from a series of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_%28music%29">samples</a> – once a painstaking process for all but professional music producers with special equipment – is now easy thanks to applications like Audacity and GarageBand, which make home recording and mixing fairly simple if you want to create your own audio. What if you just want to play in someone else’s musical sandbox? Then <a href="http://looplabs.com/">Looplabs</a> is for you. In-browser editor? Check. Pre-loaded samples? Check. Easy publishing? Check.<br /><br />Loop creation just got as easy as drag-and-drop.<br /><!--break--><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />Looplabs has a number of sponsored remix studios from popular artists (2 AM Club and Willow Smith) in which users can remix the featured song. Users can also opt for the more generic Myspace-themed Music Studio.<br /><br />Once you choose your studio, the web interface opens to show a timeline in the main section of the browser window and a list of musical genres on the right side. Each genre has a list of samples that can be sorted by instrument. Samples can be previewed before being added to the timeline. Once you drag and drop a sample, it creates a new track in the editor. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, there are a few things the Looplab people have done to make sophisticated loop creation simple for those of us who don’t have a formal music background (or are too lazy to listen to a loop and determine the time signature and beats per minute, like me).<br /><br />First, tracks are subdivided by beat-related increments. Depending on the track’s tempo and aural density, it might be subdivided by measure, by half-measure, or by quarter measure (or more!). When the track is added to the editing timeline, all sections are muted and are “turned on” by clicking on the subdivisions. Users can have the entire sample play by clicking and dragging to activate multiple subdivisions at once, or they can elect to have the sample play only during selected sections of their loop. This allows for the creation of very rich and varied soundscapes when different sections of multiple tracks are layered on top of each other and activated at different times.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe71VehI/AAAAAAAAAJ4/gka7xdocfa8/looplab%20ui.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/Tb8Oe71VehI/AAAAAAAAAJ4/gka7xdocfa8/looplab%20ui.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 322px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects:</span> Have students create brief loops to accompany class multimedia presentations.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts and History:</span> Students create loops that communicate the mood and tone of a text or historical event.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Math:</span> Students create musical fractions using the beat subdivisions in the samples to demonstrate addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions. Some samples will have one subdivision to another sample’s four subdivisions to yet another sample’s eight. This gives students a visual and auditory way to experience fractions.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Music:</span> Using their knowledge of music theory and composition, students create a loop that reinterprets one of the pieces they’ve practiced or studied in class, paying attention to tempo, mood, rhythm, and phrasing. Advanced students can record their own samples.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Physical Education:</span> Have students research optimal beats-per-minute for warm-up, aerobic, and cool-down exercises. They use this information to create music loops to accompany a workout they design themselves.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><ul><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure: </span>Free</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Pre-populated with lots of samples</li><li>Very quick and easy to start creating a loop</li><li>Easy to see how the rhythms of samples match up through marked clips</li><li>Can share via email links, social media, or blog-embedded Flash player</li><li>Encourages users to build off the work of others</li></ul></li></ul></ul><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Had some trouble saving loops the first few times I tried the application over two different days; application timed out. May require wired Internet connection</li><li>Music genre samples aren’t terribly accurate; for example, many of the funk samples were actually closer to hip-hop</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Looplabs with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2554648426149955404?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/social-networking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nli-play" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/work-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Work-based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Mon, 02 May 2011 20:10:00 +0000Jennifer Dick120 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-looplabs#commentsBiodiversity Quest Program Launches in Chicagohttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/biodiversity-quest-program-launches-chicago <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C7TXPveT7xk/Ta9vKQuBwBI/AAAAAAAABQY/gZ3jf55B0do/s1600/P1040476.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-C7TXPveT7xk/Ta9vKQuBwBI/AAAAAAAABQY/gZ3jf55B0do/s400/P1040476.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 400px; height: 300px;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5597815083922210834" border="0" /></a></p><div> </div><div><em>Young visitors at a zoo run from exhibit to exhibit fascinated to see animals up close they've only seen in pictures or on TV. They pause to watch an animal for a minute or two and then are off to the next one. A placard or an encounter with a member of the zoo staff offers them some more information about the animals, but would it be possible to use mobile technology to help these young visitors learn even more by making connections between the exhibits they visit? </em></div><div> </div><div><a href="http://newlearninginstitute.org/">New Learning Institute</a> has partnered with several organizations to create the Biodiversity Quest program in Chicago to challenge young people to create mobile experiences, also known as quests, at <a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/">Lincoln Park Zoo</a>. Designed in collaboration with <a href="http://www.rootsandshoots.org/">Jane Goodall's Roots &amp; Shoots </a> and the <a href="http://www.arkive.org/">ARKive project</a>, these youth-designed quests will aim to educate other young visitors about endangered species, as well as show them how they can take action to help save the planet's threatened and endangered species.</div><div> </div><div>Biodiversity Quest is an eight-week afterschool program held at Bouchet Academy on the South Side of Chicago. Over the course of the workshops, sixth and seventh grade students from Bouchet will design the mobile quests to be played at Lincoln Park Zoo. The quests will each have a theme that leads other young visitors around the Zoo and helps them draw connections between exhibits. As an example, a group might design a quest that guides visitors to the exhibits of several species that share threatened status because of common threats to their habitats.</div><div> </div><div>NLI has worked closely with partners to design a program framework that provides an engaging, hands-on experience for the youth participants. Jane Goodall's Roots &amp; Shoots program helped structure the workshops with their <a href="http://www.rootsandshoots.org/aboutus/model">model</a> of moving young people from knowledge to compassion and into taking action, making a difference for people, animals, and the environment around them. The students in the Biodiversity Quest program begin by learning about biodiversity, conservation biology, and how species become threatened or endangered. They then connect their new awareness to their own interests by choosing species that they find most intriguing to use as the focus of their quests. Then the young participants take action by conducting research and including in their quest how a visitor to Lincoln Park Zoo could help the cause of a threatened or endangered species which may be found across the globe or as close as their own backyard.</div><div> </div><div><a href="http://www.arkive.org">ARKive</a> brings to the Biodiversity Quest a wealth of endangered species media, biological information and <a href="http://www.arkive.org/education/resources">educational resources</a>. This unique global initiative is leading the 'virtual' conservation effort by finding, sorting, cataloguing and digitizing threatened species multimedia into individual species profiles. ARKive.org is a user-friendly and searchable treasure trove of professional wildlife photos, videos, and biological information for over 12,000 threatened species (and still growing!). The participants in the Biodiversity Quest workshops will build their quests using ARKive biological information and will have access to over 80,000 stunning wildlife photos and videos from the ARKive website. Adding this rich media to the quests will allow the young designers to enhance the experience of zoo visitors.</div><div> </div><div>The Biodiversity Quest program launched in Chicago on March 22nd. Working in a collaborative environment, participants will engage in project-based learning that includes an authentic outcome : mobile quests that will be shared with other visitors at Lincoln Park Zoo. Over the next few months we will post Digital Dispatches describing the workshops and the progress the young participants are making on their quests. Check back for an update on their first two weeks soon!</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2648119031854286599?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-integration" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatwork" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/design-studio" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Design Studio</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/project-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Wed, 20 Apr 2011 21:15:00 +0000Nancy Chou122 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/biodiversity-quest-program-launches-chicago#commentsTool Review: Figmenthttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-figment <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ470vmPD6I/AAAAAAAAAIg/OSdox1nwbgs/figment%20home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ470vmPD6I/AAAAAAAAAIg/OSdox1nwbgs/figment%20home.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 261px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br />Popular culture would have us believe that writers work alone in a silent room, perhaps with a precisely placed picture window in front of the desk, and that their text emerges Venus-like--wholly formed, perfect and complete.<br /><br />Would that this were so.<br /><br />As a former English teacher, I know how hard it is to convince students that writing is a process that requires community. Writing the first draft is hard enough, and when kids know that no one but their teacher is going to see what they compose, it can be difficult to motivate them to go through rewrites. “After all, it’s just a school writing assignment,” they may think. “No one’s going to see how good or bad it is.” Without any exposure to the world of professional writing, students may fail to see the authenticity of the writing process; that yes, real writers do get feedback, revise, get more feedback, revise again, and so on. Teachers have tried to cope with this by incorporating writing circles into their classroom practice, but this presents challenges as well. Students know their classmates. While some will want to try to impress their peers, others may feel so comfortable with their friends (and their friends’ opinions) that they won’t take the task seriously. What’s a teacher to do?<br /><br />Well, the web 2.0 and social media revolutions have changed this by providing us a global audience and free platforms to share our work with anyone who cares to follow the conversation. We’re all content creators these days, as <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=T1i_nQrg-vkC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=henry+jenkins&amp;hl=en&amp;ei=X-idTdfwK42Ttwe9j_nHBA&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=book_result&amp;ct=result&amp;resnum=5&amp;ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=fals">Henry Jenkins</a> says. Blogging can be a great way for students to get their writing published, but there are a few tacit assumptions about blog posts: they are meant for the entire world to see, and they are polished pieces of writing. So using a blogging platform as a means of collecting feedback about one’s writing isn’t always the best solution to recreating the writers’ circle concept online.<br /><br />Enter <a href="http://figment.com/">Figment</a>, a free online community designed for writers to share their works in progress, read what other authors are writing, and share their thoughts.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ471fxU4oI/AAAAAAAAAIk/cSFyGInCFaQ/figment%20text%20homepage.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TZ471fxU4oI/AAAAAAAAAIk/cSFyGInCFaQ/figment%20text%20homepage.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 342px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />The Figment writing interface is very simple: text window with buttons for boldface, underline, italicize, strikethrough, and numbered and bulleted lists. There is no auto-save, so be sure to click the Save Edit button often. You add details about your work, including a description, keywords, summary, and genre. Figment provides seven covers to choose from (you can also upload your own image) and two possible page designs. Works can have multiple chapters, which can be reordered by dragging them up or down in the left-hand margin.<br /><br />The fun starts once you’ve published your first draft. Figment has a lovely dashboard for each of your works that displays your book cover, name, chapter and word count breakdown, book description, and a preview of your text. The dashboard also shows how many people have “hearted,” commented, and reviewed or shared your book via Twitter or Facebook. Readers can also award your book various responses to a “This story made me…” question: wow, blush, shiver, cry, laugh. All of these features provide quick and easy ways for people to respond to your work. After knocking out a (very) brief foreword and the beginnings of a first chapter for my test text, I confess, I’m actually feeling somewhat motivated to continue my personal writing, despite the fact that I’ve been writing a lot for work lately. If it motivates me, I expect it will also motivate your students.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts:</span> Have students post their narrative, fictional, and/or autobiographical writing assignments on Figment, and then give them class time to read and review each other’s work.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">History:</span> While studying a specific event, ask students to write a brief fictional first-person narrative of someone experiencing that event.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Science:</span> Ask students to write a short story from a molecule’s or atom’s point of view, tracing its journey throughout a specific process. For example, students might pretend they are a water molecule traveling through the water cycle.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Allows authors to work on their project anywhere there’s an Internet connection (or cell signal, for those with smart phones).</li><li>Authors retain full copyright of their works posted to Figment, but Figment has the right to display the work for as long as the author keeps it stored in Figment.</li><li>Participation badges provide incentive for users to increase their participation in the community.</li><li>No anonymous comments: conversation tends to stay civil.</li><li>Has a <a href="http://figment.com/educators">bi-monthly newsletter</a> for educators.</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons</span>:<ul><li>No automatic saving.</li><li>No built-in spell check.</li></ul></li></ul><p> </p><p>Do you use Figment with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-8971343068844890302?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-integration" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/social-networking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Thu, 07 Apr 2011 22:22:00 +0000Jennifer Dick124 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-figment#commentsTool Review: Diigohttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-diigo <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MVLE5iI/AAAAAAAAAHY/p8_LJP01o5U/diigo%20home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MVLE5iI/AAAAAAAAAHY/p8_LJP01o5U/diigo%20home.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 346px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br />One of the joys of surfing the Internet is stumbling across new websites and interesting information through the course of normal web reading. And while you can save interesting pages to your browser’s bookmarks, your bookmark folder can get cluttered really quickly. Sure, you can create sub-folders to try to organize things a bit, but it takes longer to save them and it’s harder to see how your different resources relate to each other. A number of web apps (many with desktop and mobile versions as well) fill the need to keep our bookmarks, notes, and other miscellanea stored at one place in the cloud. Some services, like <a href="http://www.evernote.com">Evernote</a>, are more note-oriented; while others, like the much-loved <a href="http://www.delicious.com/">Delicious</a>, focus on the bookmarks and sharing. <a href="http://www.diigo.com">Diigo</a> offers a convenient middle ground, providing social bookmarking, notes, and image storage in one place.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />At first blush, Diigo’s feature set seems pretty standard: Save bookmarks, notes, and pictures in one place. Tag entries for easy sorting. Because this is Web 2.0, other users can comment on whatever entries you’ve saved publicly. Because this is 2011, you can follow other Diigo users, invite your friends, create groups, and maintain a profile. The Community page shows which pages are most linked by users (lots of education technology links here).<br /><br />What really caught my eye as I was poking around their About page was the Diigo Educator Account. These people have thought about features that teachers and students need, and they’ve provided a way for teachers and classes to share and annotate information. Educators can batch-create student accounts, which automatically creates a Diigo group that includes forums.<br /><br />Student accounts default to high privacy (only teachers and classmates can communicate with them), and only education-related ads get displayed (it’s a free service, after all). You can read the <a href="http://help.diigo.com/teacher-account/faq">FAQ about Diigo Educator Accounts here</a>.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MFlYnsI/AAAAAAAAAHU/dlLhk6Hidwo/diigo%20view%20all.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TXa6MFlYnsI/AAAAAAAAAHU/dlLhk6Hidwo/diigo%20view%20all.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 474px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All subjects</span>: Have students create topic-based groups of bookmarks for websites that pertain to subjects discussed in class. Pick a different student-selected site twice a week to evaluate together as a class for content, bias, and relevancy. This will increase student information literacy (a skill our youth today <a href="http://www.districtadministration.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=2529">sorely need</a>)</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All subjects:</span> When students are working on a project or paper that requires online research, have them bookmark all of their web resources using Diigo. Require students to write a brief abstract for each source using the note feature to help them remember why this source may be useful to them.</li></ul><p> </p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free &amp; Premium</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros</span>:<ul><li>Educational upgrade available!</li><li>Can sort all entries by tags</li><li>Group functionality allows for collaboration</li><li>Can install toolbar in web browser for even faster indexing</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>The note feature’s text editor sometimes pastes html code if you cut and paste from a Word document</li><li>Can’t display pictures in notes</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p>Do you use Diigo or other cloud-based social bookmarking sites with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-3190653382511298724?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-integration" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/social-networking" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 08 Mar 2011 23:12:00 +0000Jennifer Dick128 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-diigo#commentsTool Review: Cacoohttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-cacoo <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVxG0Q_ziKI/AAAAAAAAAG0/sgkjnFMtxos/cacoo_home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVxG0Q_ziKI/AAAAAAAAAG0/sgkjnFMtxos/cacoo_home.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 444px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br />What’s the first thing you do when you’re trying to figure out how to think through a complicated problem with lots of information and steps? I don’t know about you, but I tend to reach for pen and paper to visually organize my thoughts. Drafting a flowchart can be a really helpful way to work out what tasks are dependent upon others, where you need to get your information from, and other factors. Sometimes in the middle of your chart creation, you realize that you forgot an important step – and it’s back to the drawing board. Literally. Unless you used a digital tool like <a href="http://cacoo.com/">Cacoo</a>, that is.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />Cacoo is a web app that makes many kinds of diagram and charting tasks as simple as drag-and-drop. Their menus include basic shapes, call outs, room floorplan items, site maps and wireframe tools for webpage design, and iOS and Android app design elements. The interface is very intuitive and user-friendly. You can change an object’s properties, such as line and fill color, using a simplified inspector window that will make sense to Adobe CS users and neophytes alike. In addition to drawing from the vast library of shape options provided by Cacoo, it’s very simple to add your own images from either your computer or elsewhere online.<br /><br />Because Cacoo is a Web 2.0 application, they’ve also made it very easy to collaborate with others. Sheets can be shared with team members, and if they’re logged in at the same time, you can IM them through the in-browser chat window. You can also share entire folders.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">All Subjects:</span> At the beginning of a project, have student teams create a chart of what steps they need to go through in order to complete the project. This helps them learn backwards planning and deal with project management in the future!</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Computer Science – Programming</span>: As part of the program design process, have students create flowcharts showing the flow of data and operations required in the finished program. They share their flowcharts with each other (or actual programmers if possible) to get ideas for improving their design prior to coding.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Computer Science – Networking:</span> Cacoo also has quite a few icons for charting a computer network, so if your students ever have to design their own network for a real or imagined client, they now can quickly create a polished network diagram.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Digital Media:</span> Cacoo makes storyboarding films and wire-framing websites easy!</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts:</span> Students chart out their essay arguments starting with the thesis and adding support and analysis – good for helping visual learners construct a strong argument.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Math:</span> Have students create a flowchart to model the process of solving a particular type of problem.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVxGSsHy4RI/AAAAAAAAAGo/rE-YjocKnjo/Cacoo.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVxGSsHy4RI/AAAAAAAAAGo/rE-YjocKnjo/Cacoo.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 298px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free &amp; Premium ($4.95/month or $49/year for unlimited sheets, unlimited collaborators, and increased file-type export options)</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Very easy to create clean and polished-looking diagrams</li><li>Can export final diagrams (PNG format only for free accounts)</li><li>Lots of useful templates</li><li>Ability to collaborate with other people on your project</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>If you choose to buy a premium account using PayPal, it will automatically renew, so mark your calendar. At least they’re upfront about this, though.</li></ul></li></ul><p> </p><p>Do you use Cacoo or another diagram creator with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4695002762125773815?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-integration" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/web-20" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Thu, 17 Feb 2011 17:54:00 +0000Jennifer Dick133 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-cacoo#commentsDigital Dispatch: The National Postal Museum Teacher Leaders Programhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-national-postal-museum-teacher-leaders-program <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51820118@N03/5405999555/" title="Brainstorming by MLI-SI, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5093/5405999555_aac94749e6_o.jpg" alt="Brainstorming" class="feature top" width="600" height="450" /></a></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><em>What does it mean to be a learner in the 21st century? How can teachers reach their students in new and meaningful ways?</em></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">In the popular imagination, the perception of the American classroom is tinged with Normal Rockwell-style images: the image of a classroom with neatly lined rows of desks facing the teacher; the rosy-cheeked student sitting up perfectly straight and attentive to every word the teacher speaks.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">Whether or not these images are truthful representations of America's educational past, one thing is certain: to be a Teacher Leader in the future will rely very little on being the expert in front of the classroom. Rather, being a Teacher Leader will require a shift in philosophy and approach <span style="font: 12.0px Calibri;">– </span>an ability to ask students to problem solve, teach each other, and become the experts.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">The Teacher Leaders Program kicked off at the <a href="http://postalmuseum.si.edu/">National Postal Museum</a> during the fall of 2010 with two teaching cohorts: one group of elementary teachers and a second group composed of high school teachers. Each teacher has been challenged to create a learning unit plan that incorporates both the Postal Museum content and new media tools. Their challenge is to connect these components in a meaningful and authentic way <span style="font: 12.0px Calibri;">– </span>providing their students with new resources and tools for learning.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">Teachers began the program by considering the four primary skills identified in the <a href="http://www.p21.org/">21st Century Skills Initiative</a>: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Reading this list of skills, I always chuckle a little. Certainly, good teachers have taught these things since the beginning of time. The distinction is that <em>how</em> people communicate, collaborate, create, and think critically is rapidly changing in the 21st century. New media gives students the ability to connect and share with the world in real time. A video posts to YouTube, a photo uploads to a Flickr group, a post is written to a personal blog <span style="font: 12.0px Calibri;">– </span>immediately these creations are widely shared and put out for the world's response. Thus, the heart of being a Teacher Leader is to take advantage of the learning opportunities available in a world that already gives their students opportunities to be experts and teach others.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">In upcoming workshops at the Postal Museum, teachers will begin planning and building out learning unit plan concepts. Stay tuned for future posts which will follow some of these Teacher Leaders as they create a learning plan and engage their students in meaningful activities, ultimately encouraging young people to become creators and teachers themselves.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-8589451445395865253?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatwork" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/communities-practice" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Communities of Practice</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/technology-education" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/museums" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Museums</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Wed, 02 Feb 2011 13:30:00 +0000Tiffany McGettigan138 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-national-postal-museum-teacher-leaders-program#commentsDigital Dispatch: Digital Youth Leaders Program in Los Angeleshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-digital-youth-leaders-program-los-angeles <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_DOyueg3VhQA/TUhT8kP2leI/AAAAAAAABNE/cFQipIpeX1g/s1600/FKHS%2BInterns.egg_e9f84.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_DOyueg3VhQA/TUhT8kP2leI/AAAAAAAABNE/cFQipIpeX1g/s400/FKHS%2BInterns.egg_e9f84.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 400px; height: 299px;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5568793239231043042" border="0" /></a></p><p class="MsoNormal">The <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/real-world-learning-at-frida-kahlo-high.html">Digital Youth Leaders Program</a> has officially launched! The Digital Youth Leaders Program provides high school students from Frida Kahlo High School in downtown Los Angeles with an opportunity to develop their skills and share their expertise as digital media interns at Nightingale Middle School. Interns will work (1) with teachers to integrate digital media as innovative, engaging learning tools in their classrooms and (2) with students to develop creative media artifacts, including blogs, mobile video, and podcasts, that enhance their connection to learning.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Working in pairs, interns met with the teachers that they will be working with and visited the classrooms that they will be advising.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Want to hear more about the interns’ experiences?</p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Check out these blog posts from the Digital Youth Interns</strong>:</p><p class="MsoNormal"><em><strong>Erika</strong>: Today I was given the opportunity to visit the class I would be helping, and I can sum up in one word my experience: "AMAZING." I really enjoyed walking around watching the kids really becoming engaged and having so much fun. I really love the fact that all the students already know so much about movie production. I am here to teach but I can also learn from them as well. These kids love what they were doing. Not only was it actually said, but their actions show that as well.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em>Never was I given the opportunity to construct my own video when I was in middle school. Therefore, I let the students know that they are very fortunate.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em>Ms. Mason is a spectacular teacher. It's quite evident she loves what she does and loves working with kids. I only spent an hour with Ms. Mason and can tell she is a very patient, outgoing, fun, exciting teacher. I anticipate working with her each week.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><em>Kelly</em></strong>: <em>Today I got to meet the teacher that I am assigned to. At first, it was a bit scary and I think I was nervous. But, it was a great experience to meet Mr. Carrillo. He seems to be a real hands-on teacher and is very passionate about his job. . . He invited us to sit down to talk about our project and our goals. . . Mr. Carrillo also asked me about what I want to do when I graduate. I told him that I am looking forward to teaching American Sign Language and that I’ve know my alphabet in sign language since I was small. I also mentioned that I have a boyfriend who is deaf and he has inspired me to learn more and teach others. Mr. Carrillo was shocked in a way, and he said that I should invite him to teach the students a bit of sign language. I was very happy at the end of the meeting. I didn’t feel nervous anymore. I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Carrillo and Jaira.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">And, finally, click </span><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: Verdana;"><a href="http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=3302969&amp;height=267&amp;width=200"><span style="color: windowtext; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">here</span></a> to watch the avatar that <strong><em>Natalie</em></strong> made to describe her experiences today.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Keep an eye out for the Digital Youth Leaders Profile series to learn more about each of the interns!</strong></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="font-weight: bold;"> </p><p>{C}<!--EndFragment--></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1892410672858634211?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatwork" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/leaders" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/work-based-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Work-based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/civic-engagement" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/21st-century-skills" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Mon, 31 Jan 2011 15:53:00 +0000Nancy Chou140 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-digital-youth-leaders-program-los-angeles#comments