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Phile: Create a crowdsource guide around any passion

What it is: Phile is a fantastic new way for communities to “create a useful, lasting body of knowledge just by talking about the stuff you love.”  Phile makes it easy for groups of people work together on building collections and discussions based on shared passions.  Phile turns knowledge, opinions, and discussion into useful websites.  Turn any passion into a community of collaborators by creating one place for them to gather.  Phile lets you structure your site to gather the information that matters to your community of learners. Phile does an outstanding job of keeping your site organized as people add to it.  Phile is truly as site all about conversation and sharing information.  Phile automatically keeps all information organized and easy to find.  A group creator creates and customizes the “stack” (site) design.  Group members add and edit pages in the stack. Members can share resources, discuss in forums, on stack pages, etc.  Recent activity is populated on the home page including new pages, reviews, comments, etc.  Phile is currently a free service, the plan is to keep a portion of the service free with ad support and a paid service that has additional functionality. For now, Phile is in beta and completely free.  Phile is fairly easy to navigate and has an intuitive interface. There are helpful hints and tips on ever page directing you in the use of Phile (great for those of us who are too busy to endlessly play!).  I created a Phile for edreform, feel free to join me in collecting resources, article, videos, etc. relevant to the education reform discussion! How to integrate Phile into the classroom: Phile is a great way for teachers to collaborate and share information.  Phile could be used for starting a variety of groups that would help organize information in one, easy to access, place.  Phile could be used to start a Children’s Literature group where members submit children’s books along with reviews, ratings and comments (any book-a-day people want to jump in and create that?). Older students could join the group and add their own reviews, ratings, and comments on the books they are reading.  This could become a place where teachers could quickly find literature that has been reviewed by other teachers, students, and parents. Phile would make an excellent directory for ed conferences (and virtual conferences) held around the world.  Because many of these conferences happen year after year, it would be a great place for new teachers to learn what is available to them and for veteran teachers to continue conversations and learn which conferences are rated as the most worthwhile and why. Phile would be a great place for teachers world-wide to share, collaborate, and rate lesson plans, websites, videos, etc. in their area of specialty. Phile is ideal for sharing iDevice apps for education, with the built in rating system and excellent organization it would make sharing and finding educational apps a breeze! How about creating Phile’s for the discussions that happen in our education chats on Twitter every week? The Phile could contain information and links about the chat, important ideas and information that was shared during the chat, and give us a place to expand the conversation beyond the 140 characters when it was over.  I’m imagining this for #edchat, it would be wonderful to have a place to send those who are new to #edchat to get a feel for the topics that we cover. The possibilities with Phile are really endless, it is a fantastic platform that is like a mashup of a Ning and a wiki.  The interface is really well designed, it makes information so easy to find and sort through. As I said above, I created a Phile for edreform to be a collection of resources, articles, links, and discussion.  Feel free to join and help me add to it.  A Phile is only as good as its community! Tips: Phile does require an email address for sign-up, it may not be appropriate for use with elementary students unless you are accessing it as a class. Please leave a comment and share ideas for how you might use Phile in education.  Anyone want to start a Children’s Literature Phile? I think it could be great! Let me know if you are interested and I will be happy to pass your name onto the developer of Phile.

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myHistro: timeline/story/map/picture mashups created by you!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Virtual Field Trips, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 23-10-2012

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What it is:  myHistro is a really great site (and app!) that lets students combine maps and timelines seamlessly into one great presentation of information and understanding.  myHistro is more than just data collection, it is a way to share stories.  With myHistro, students can create a rich timeline/map mashup complete with additional text, pictures and video.  The result is truly incredible!  It is easy to get started, just create an event and associate it with a time and place.  Events can be gathered together and turned into stories.  Stories, in turn, can be used together to create a collection.  Stories can be viewed in multiple ways, by events on a timeline, in chronological order with a page flip feature like an album, or as a story summary of chronological events.  Create as many events as you would like and add as many photos as you like, all for free!  The finished product can even be downloaded into Google Earth format for offline storage. Completed Histros can be embedded in other blogs and websites for maximum usability.

How to integrate myHistro into the classroom: myHistro has SO many uses!  At Anastasis, we just completed an inquiry unit on who we are.  myHistro was a perfect tie in for students exploring family histories, heritage and tradition.  Students could add pictures, and stories along with the interactive map of where events were taking place and a timeline where they could see it all unfold chronologically.  This is like a family tree on steroids. Pretty outstanding.  Even better? It ties directly into Geni (blogged about here).  

myHistro isn’t just for family trees.  It could be used for students mapping out history chronologically, mapping out a fictional story, creating a story map for their own writing, mapping how ideas and invention spread, looking at explorers, migration, etc.  As I said, the options are endless!

myHistro is collaborative, students can create projects together and even invite parents to join in the learning.  Pretty cool!

As a teacher, you can ditch the text book and help students really visualize that history in new ways.  A completed myHistro can be embedded in your class blog or website for students to access without having to visit multiple sites or login.

There are a number of fabulous myHistro stories that you can borrow to share with your students.  They can view these to learn more about events in history, or they can go on a fact checking mission to double check the validity of the stories created by others.  Definitely worth doing!

Tips: myHistro also happens to be an app.  Find it in the iTunes store.  This can be your first download on your new iPad mini ;)

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  myHistro in your classroom.

Help me personalize education for EVERY child!  Donate (even just your coffee money!)  and spread the word about the Learning Genome Project.

Comments (2)

Dear Mrs. Tenkely,
I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I actually went and checked out the website. I felt as though it was really help through matching the maps. I have a lot of trouble with geography in general and I feel like this would really help me. I cannot wait to try and incorporate this into my classroom. I feel like it will be interesting and fun for students to learn to use and find out where they came from. I may actually get the App on my phone.
Thank you for your great post and I enjoyed reading it!

Dear Mrs. Tenkely,
I have really enjoyed reading your blog post and find it extremely interesting. I feel that this site will be very useful to me due to the fact that I will be taking Geography coming up. I have already gotten the App and I am ready to try it out. I find that this will also be useful in my classroom. I feel as though this will show students that history is fun to learn and it is all related to us. They can also do fun things like find their heritage. Thank you for this great post and I look forward to using it.

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