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eyePlorer

    What it is:  eyePlorer is a really cool site that allows students “explore and process knowledge.”  Student type in a word or words to research.  eyePlorer pulls information from Wikipedia and puts it into a color wheel of information.  When students hover over the different areas of the color wheel, they get a sentence or two about their subject.  There is a notebook where students can drag and drop facts that they want to remember.  Students can drag facts to the notebook and rearrange them as they need to.  Students can click the “i” button under the search box to get a quick summary of their topic, click on the “+” button to add search parameters, and click on the paper button to go to a Google search.  The idea behind eyePlorer is to improve the way “users interact with knowledge and information online.”  The goal is to provide innovative, interactive, visual methods for working with and discovering facts and information.  I think the result is pretty amazing and perfect for the educational setting! How to integrate eyePlorer into the classroom: This is a truly unique way for students to research and explore new information.  Students quickly get a visual guide to their inquiry and can drag and drop what they are learning into a notebook.  This is a fantastic tool for research projects but would also be amazing for use with an interactive whiteboard.  As students are learning about a new concept, they can type the subject into the search and as a class decide which information they want to save in the notebook for later.  What a great introduction to any new material.   This site will definitely help wet students appetite for learning!  Make sure to bookmark this site on the classroom computers as a classroom research center.   Tips:  eyePlorer was created in Germany so the home page information is all in German, once you start a search you can choose to search in German or English.  When I searched “shiba inu” it automatically searched in English for me.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using eyePlorer in your classroom.

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Custom Guide

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2009

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What it is:  Custom Guide is a website that offers free quick reference cheat sheets for using technology (operating systems and applications).  The guides are two sided and remind me of Cliff Notes.  Custom Guide allows you unlimited distribution rights and they make great support handouts. References include: Microsoft Access, Excel, FrontPage, Internet Explorer, InfoPath, Office, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, Appleworks, Mac OS, Entourage, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, Elements, and Firefox.   My one problem with Custom Guide is that it is REALLY outdated for Mac guides.  I suppose that for some schools this would be okay since it can take a while to adopt newer technology and some of us are working with dinosaur computers and software, but for me it is no good.  Custom Guide also offers free online learning with interactive tutorials and you can even create your own custom courses.

 

How to integrate Custom Guide into the classroom:  Custom Guide would be very useful for the computer lab setting.  Print out and laminate the most used applications and operating system sheets.  Bind with a single ring and keep next to each computer.  As students have questions or issues, they can consult their cheat sheets for the answers first.  This is also nice for non-computer teachers who are using the computer labs or classroom computers with students.  The cheat sheets give them an added level knowledge quickly and easily.  If you are a computer teacher or a teacher who is known for using technology in your classroom, you undoubtedly get frequent questions about how to use applications from your colleagues.  I don’t always have time to sit down and give mini lessons, having these cheat sheets on hand could be a big help for those times.  

 

Tips: Even though the Mac Custom Guides are a bit outdated, the guides they do have are very handy.  When you sign up for a free account, you can ask for updates to be sent to you when they add a new guide.  In the mean time, Apple has some great support guides for their products.

 

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

Comments (2)

[…] to Kelly Tenkely and her iLearn Technology blog, I’ve just learned about Custom […]

I just checked out Custom Guide and this is a great website for people who don’t know much about the software and technology that is out there right now. It is especially helpful in explaining how to use this type of technology in a manner that is easy to understand and very clear.

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