Monday, December 06, 2010

Blogging on Twitter

The reason I have not been posting anything new to this blog for some time is because I have started to post my news on Twitter.  I have found that it is much easier to share the things I shared here on Twitter.

If you are interested in seeing what I have been posting lately go to


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Using games in teaching Chemistry

I am making a presentation today on how to use games to teaching chemistry.  Go to to access the hand out of links and resources.

Rod Corbett

Monday, September 06, 2010

Easy Annotator for your Presentation

If you don't use PowerPoint, or even if you do, to make presentation, check out this little freeware gem. It is called Pointofix and it allows you to capture any screen during your presentation, annotate it, print or save it for archiving or sharing with your audience.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Features to Mention

I just received three significant new features on some of the tools I used that you may be interested in.

Gmail:  You can now add multiple signatures with Rich Formatting and images for each of your email addresses.  I have been waiting for this as I use Gmail for at least three email addresses regularly including my work email address so now I can set up a signature line that is specific with my work contact information.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Creating Books from Wikipedia

Most of us all know a bit about Wikipedia but did you know that you can create your own books from Wikipedia pages?  And since you can add to existing pages or add pages yourself, this is an interesting and new way to create and publish books.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Free eBook on Teaching with Web 2.0 Apps

Here is another free ebook on how to use free Web 2.0 or Cloud Computing apps to enhance your teaching.  This ebook is by Ana Maria Menezes

 Very interesting.  Some of the tools were covered is the two books by Michael Zimmer but there are always new ideas to be gleaned.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Two free eBooks about teaching with new Web 2.0 tools

I ran across two very good ebooks about teaching with some of the newest Web 2.0 tools. These tools are actually Cloud Computing based tools that are free to use, as are the ebooks.  Michael Zimmer is the author of both books. The ebooks are short and only take a few minutes to flip through. They are hosted on a site called, another cloud app that allows you to publish ebooks like these.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Open Ed Disc

If you haven't heard of the Open Education Disc or Open Disc read on.  There is an overwhelming volume of open and free software applications available for anyone to explore out there but what educator has the time or experience to harvest that effectively.  The people behind the Open Disc have done a great service to all educators.  Basically, they have surveyed what open software applications are out there and selected the best that could be used to meet the needs of students and teachers and assembled them on one Disc, which is now a DVD. And the list of free applications is great.  You can see the list at

iPad Review

The Apple iPad has been available in Canada for a week now but I have had one to try out for about three weeks.  I have had a lot of people ask me if I would buy one and No, I would not. For the following reasons:

  • Too expensive - for the low end price of $550, you could get a real pretty computer real computer. Or get an iPod Touch for less than half of that. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

EtherPad Clones

Etherpad is a very interesting tool for collaboratively writing on the web without anyone having to register and set up accounts.  It has some wonderful features to make this easy but Google has decided to take it off-line.  But Google has allowed its code to be shared and so there are several clone sites appearing on the web.  Click here to see a list of clone sites.

Mashpedia - The Real-Time Encyclopedia

Here is another gem that Leon shared with me. Mashpedia claims to be a real-time encyclopedia.  What it really is is a meta search tool.

On the front page you can see what are current news items, trending topics, people and brands. And you can see links to the current movies out.

When you enter a search string in the search field what Mashpedia does is searches the following sites with that search string, which is also what is does if you click on any of the links on the front page:

Big Huge Labs (Education Edition)

I have been playing around with Big Huge Labs site for a bit now and it is worth a deeper look.  If you are using digital photography in your teaching and you are looking for some fun things to do with your photos, this site provides an array of tools that you can use. And there is an educational feature that makes it easier to work with your students as they use it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Brainstorming in the Clouds - Edistorm

Here is a gem I just found and I am eager to use in class and a workshop on Tuesday.  It is called Edistorm.   It is a brainstorming tool that using the metaphor of using different coloured sticky notes on a wall to collect, share, sort and rank ideas.  What I like about it is:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I just recently discovered this gem. is a free (has a free level of use) cloud based file backup and retrieval tool. But it does a lot more:
  • You get 2 GB (or 2,000 MB) of storage space to start with.  I only have 10 MB on this Blog site.

Presentations with

Prezi is a new kind of presentation tool. It is quite different from PowerPoint and slideshow based presentations tools. It allows you to approach preparing and giving presentations in very different way.

What I like about Prezi:
  • It is free.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cloud Computing for Your Classroom

There are many useful cloud computing applications that are emergingthat you can easily use in your classroom to engage your students and supportcollaborative learning. Cloud computing applications are tools that reside totallyon the Web and you can access through any computer with a Web browser andInternet connection. Many of these tools can be used with very little investmentof time to learn and set up -- and, most of them are free. In this session, we willreview several of these resources and how you can employ them to enhance your teaching.

If you are using a free cloud computing app in your teaching, share it with us. Post a comment.
Rod Corbett

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Beginner's Guide to Mahara

I have reviewed a brand new book from Packt Publishing that is a very good beginner's guide to how t use Mahara 1.2. Mahara is an open source e-portfolio system coming out of New Zealand. Go to to learn more about it.

We are just finishing a pilot project at Mount Royal University using Mahara 1.2 as an e-portfolio and e-journalling system. I have been the lead on this project, which means I had to learn how to use the software fast. I found this book to be a great resource for an faculty and students that need to get up to speed on using Mahara quickly.

I like the book for the following reasons:
  • It is an easy read. I have used several Packt books before to learn software and this one works very well.
  • It has several examples, hints and tips that will help anyone get comfortable with Mahara.
  • The book is also organized in a very logical way so it can be used a reference book for looking up how to use features when you need it.
  • I really liked how it explained how to set up your views. This is probably the most challenging feature of Mahara to grasp, but the screen shots in the book are view useful.
  • You can acquire the book electronically as a lower cost. E-books have the advantages that you can carry it around on your computer or USB drive and you can search the text electronically with the search function on your PDF viewer.
  • There is also a demo site that you can use with the practice activities in the book if you don't have access to a Mahara site.
  • For the techy people there are also appendices about how to plan to install and install Mahara.
If you are at all interested in learning more about Mahara, I highly recommend you acquire this book. Go to for more information about it.

If you would like to download a preview a sample chapter click here.

Rod Corbett

Friday, March 05, 2010

Using Games in Class

Games can be used for many aspects of teaching but they can be great for reviewing content. Here are a list of free web-based resources that will make it easy for you to create a game for doing a review activity.

Jeopardy Labs: Make Your Own Online Jeopardy Game

I just ran across this cool cloud-based tool. It is a website where you can create your own Jeopardy games to be used in class.

Jeopardy Labs: Make Your Own Online Jeopardy Game is a post about it but you can go directly to the website at And if you don't what to build a template yourself, there are several there already to choose from.

Things I like about it:
  • It is free to use,
  • it is very easy to use,
  • no software installation required,
  • no registration required and
  • you don't need PowerPoint.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Innovating the 21st-Century University: It’s Time! (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE

Innovating the 21st-Century University: It’s Time! (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE

Here is an interesting article that describes several very interesting ideas for creative innovations that we could implement at our institutions.

Many of the ideas are not new and focus on the value of collaborative learning and teaching. The authors do emphasize the importance of re-inventing our universities or they will become obsolete.

Check it out and post comments.

Rod Corbett