Too Cool

March 6

Learnosity Voice - Assessment and Learning

Learnosity Voice
Learnosity Voice
Learnosity's Voice-based assessment and learning use a unique combination of telephone and web based technologies to enable students to practice and be assessed on their oral and aural skills. The technology is suitable for use in “High Stakes Exams” as well as for practice and general assessments.


  • Practice and assessment of Oral and Aural skills
  • Allows teachers and students in geographically diverse places to work together
  • Efficient and effective use of teaching resources

Product Components

Feature Comparison

Voice Response
Aural Multiple Choice
Student to Student Conferences
Student to Teacher Conferences
Zero learning curve for students
Access via Phone (Mobile, Land or VOIP)
Suitable for High Stakes Assessment
Suitable for Homework assignments

Suitable for "In Class" assignments

Automatic marking


Human marking

Allows for "Double Marking"

Graphically highlight speaking participant in marking interface

Podcast student responses

Feedback provided in web interface/ RSS/ email/ SMS

February 27
This is a little gem I found if you are into YouTube. Just go check out It allows you to take your YouTube videos and place them here and then you can add text, called a nib, to support the video. You have to check it out...I think it has real potential.

February 20 Courtesy of Chad DeWolf and Kevin Smith
Record your podcast via a toll-free call from any phone. Never even touch a computer!
external image phone_ss.gif
Introducing the easiest way to record a podcast. Just call 1-888-65-GCAST, enter your ID and PIN code, and start recording!
After you record, you'll have two options:
  • Save & publish: your recording will be automatically added to your podcast channel.
  • Save without publishing: your recording will appear as a new audio file in your Master Playlist, where you can move, mix, and publish it later.
Start a phone-based audio journal of your life. Record your new baby's voice. Podcast jokes, tips, deep thoughts, or whatever. Record a "voice intro" before a song. If you're a musician, leave phone messages for your fans to share stories from the road or new lyrics from the studio. Your imagination is the limit!

February 6
This is just a nifty little site for people who love books, want to read books, want to write a book. It is the ultimate sharing spot for aspiring authors and just folks who like to read...

January 22
I really like this can make your own personalized home page out of this puppy and it is easy. Founded by Tariq Krim in 2005, Netvibes pioneered the personalized homepage as alternative to traditional web portals. Netvibes lets individuals assemble their favorite widgets, websites, blogs, email accounts, social networks, search engines, instant messengers, photos, videos, podcasts, and everything else they enjoy on the web - all in one place.
Today, Netvibes is a global community of users who are taking control of their digital lives by personalizing their web experience. Netvibes is also a widget platform that is used by thousands of publishers around the world. Netvibes (

January 8
Okay, you probably got something for the holiday that you had to return. These are my top 5 suggestions as to how the money could be better spent. These gifts are not only reasonably priced—with only one a smidgen over $200—they're cutting edge. Many of these gifts can be found at electronics stores.
Aluratek Internet Radio
Aluratek Internet Radio
Aluratek Internet Radio
Spot Satellite Messenger
Spot Satellite Messenger
Spot Satellite Messenger
Pulse Smartpen ($150)—This pen does more than just record audio as you take notes. It also keeps track of where the audio is in your notes. Later on, you can tap your notes, and the pen will play the related audio. That's impressive, but you'll be even more impressed when you can explain how it works using paper that's covered with tiny dots.
Hauppauge HD DVR ($210 online)—This little box turns a PC into a high-end digital video recorder. The device records HDTV to your computer and to a TV source, whether antenna, cable, or satellite. When it gets unwrapped, laud the eye-popping 1080p resolution, the power of its H.264 recording codec, and bemoan the lack of an HDMI port.
The Spot ($150 after rebate)—Does your loved one like to boat or hike, particularly to distant, remote spots? The handheld Spot talks to satellites anywhere in the world to signal trouble and location. The price includes a year's service, which lists for $100 a year but is often discounted. In fact, sign up before December 31 for Yahoo's Fire Eagle location-tracking service information, and get a free year of Spot service. Then explain how Spot uses the "Globalstar Simplex" system and its one-way data signals, so that you'll have no way to bother them in their solitude.
Aluratek Internet Radio (about $120 online)—This radio picks up thousands of Internet stations with no PC needed. The radio uses Wi-Fi networking to get the signals from a home-router. The sound quality won't blow you away, but the set up is fairly straightforward and the streaming works well. All that and an alarm clock, too. To show off a bit, mention that it supports either 802.11 "b" or "g," and that it has a USB port for adding a music player.
Eye-Fi Explore ($120)—This little memory card not only holds hundreds of high-resolution photos, but it also tags them with data on where each was taken. That makes it relatively easy to put up a map annotated with photos of your travels at online sites like Flickr, Picasa, and Smugmug. The card will also download photos wirelessly from your camera to access points. Just be ready to throw around terms like "geotag" or "goecode."

December 21
Milk cartons exist aplenty in our world..think of what we could do!

Turn Anything Into A Speaker With The Yorozu Audio Kit

external image yorozu-audio-speaker.jpg
By Luke Anderson
I’ve got a nice pair of Logitech speakers sitting on my desk (plus the sub underneath), which I picked out because they were of decent quality and looked pretty good. However, if you don’t mind something a little less classy, or just enjoy turning everyday objects into something more, you’ll enjoy this Yorozu Audio kit.
This kit has a little device which uses vibrations to create sound from almost any object. You’ll get a paper milk carton to start off with, but what you end up using is limited only by your imagination. Granted, not all objects carry sound as well as others, so you’ll probably want to play around with a few different things. Of course for $80, I’ll stick with my nice Logitech set.

December 14
I don't know whether I am appalled or fascinated but you have to go to this link and watch this.

Amputations via SMS - Doctor Gets Instructions for Surgery in a Text Message
Amputations via SMS - Doctor Gets Instructions for Surgery in a Text Message
Amputations via SMS - Doctor Gets Instructions for Surgery in a Text Message

Sometimes we all need to phone a friend. A British surgeon in the Congo did just this when he needed to remove a gangrenous collarbone and shoulder blade from a teenager.

November 21
Check out the molecular site they reference in here. Definitely too cool

Tipping Point for "Content"--Dynamic Interaction, Not Static Stuff

By Trent Batson
The word "content," as used in education, is troublesome for many educators today who see education as a constructivist process, an interaction between knower and learner, and as a student-centered activity. The reason it's troubling is that "content" implies something that is static, finished, contained and owned by the knower. Learning theories these days instead see learning as a dynamic ongoing process that is a collaboration, owned both by the teacher and the student. Digital technologies accelerate this sense of dynamism: The Web is nothing if not dynamic and ever-changing. Now, the traditional throwaway word "content" (as in "delivering content") seems very strangely out of place.

Michael Korcuska, Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation, wrote in his blog a couple of months ago, "...with some publishers it is pretty clear that their highest value content is becoming more and more interactive and immersive. Engineering simulations. Math workbenches. Molecular modeling tools. That sort of thing." (

Korcuska was at a conference and talking with publisher reps, who explained the change in their own view of content, and how their view was changing.

An interesting example of the molecular modeling tool that Korcuska mentioned is at At this page, just click on "start application," and when the application has downloaded to your computer, open one of the pre-loaded files and see how you can manipulate the molecular model to see different aspects of the structure. The "content" here is really the interaction between the student and the data with which the student creates different views of the 3D model. It is interactive and dynamic.

A step further from a traditional concept of content is, say, a group discussion in Facebook. Or, an interactive science exhibit in Second Life built by students. Or a class discussion carried on in a chat room (while in a real classroom) so students can interact with each other as much as with the teacher.

The list of examples could go on endlessly. Content is now augmented content. The disciplinary knowledge has been made more accessible. Students engage with content converted into an image, or with content that has been deployed as a series of problem-solving activities, or with content that is raw out in the field.

This constructivist "content" no longer has a container: It's not between the covers of a book or within the walls of the classroom, so the word seems even more inappropriate. What is the 21st century equivalent of the word "content"?

Trent Batson, Ph.D. has served as an English professor, director of academic computing, and has been an IT leader since the mid-1980s. He is currently Co-Lead for the Web2ePortfolio Initiatve (W2eP), a Senior Associate with the TLT Group, and Editor of Campus Technology's Web 2.0 e-newsletter.

Cite this Site

Trent Batson, "Tipping Point for "Content"--Dynamic Interaction, Not Static Stuff," Campus Technology, 11/19/2008,

November 14
Shazam! A Projector Is Shrunk
Come on, admit it: is there anything more awesome than miniaturization?
The Walkman put a stereo system in your pocket and changed the game forever. A modern digital watch has the computing power of a roomful of 1950s computer gear. And people are watching TV shows these days on iPods about the size of a business card.
Enormous feats of shrinkage like that don’t come along very often, though. So when they do, you sit up and take notice -- as you will the first time you see the Optoma Pico Projector ($430 list price). It’s a long-awaited, much-rumored projector about the size of a cellphone: 2 by 4.1 by 0.7 inches, weighing 4.2 ounces.
A pocket projector? Are you kidding? This isn’t just a new product -- it’s a whole new product category.
Regular projectors, of course, are big, heavy, expensive, sometimes noisy machines. They’re standard equipment in corporate boardrooms where PowerPoint jockeys hold sway, in classrooms or auditoriums, or mounted to the ceiling in home theaters, where they provide extra-large movie-watching goodness.
But there are lots of times when a 100-inch screen is overkill -- and yet a 2-inch iPod screen doesn’t quite cut it. Those are the times when you need something in between. In those situations, a completely silent, ridiculously simple micro-projector like the Pico really shines.
You’d have to be a jaded gizmophile indeed not to be impressed the first time you turn on this tiny, shiny black box. In the center of the short end, there’s a very bright light-emitting-diode lamp. Inside, there’s a miniaturized Texas Instruments digital-light-processing (D.L.P.) chip, similar in principle to the ones that drive some full-size HDTV sets. Together, they produce an astonishingly bright, clear, vivid video or still image. That’s right -- from a projector you’ve pulled from your jeans pocket.
There are no footnotes for that jeans-pocket statement, either (like, “not including enormous power brick”), because the Pico can run on battery power. Each charge lasts for about 90 minutes -- longer if you use the lower brightness setting or when you’re playing video without sound. You can recharge the projector either from its power cord or from a computer’s USB jack. A spare battery comes with the projector, and so does a little drawstring carrying bag.
A pocket-size, self-contained projector changes all the rules. An iPod and a Pico -- that’s the entire setup. Now, for the first time, a tent wall can become a movie screen when you’re out camping. (So much for roughing it.)
Now, let’s be clear: no pocket projector is going to produce as much brightness as tabletop projectors 10 times its size. The Pico manages 9 lumens (that’s how they measure the brightness of things like projectors), compared with, for example, 2,000 lumens for a $900 tabletop projector. That may not sound like much, but it’s plenty bright at the Pico’s shorter distances and smaller “screen” sizes.
The minimum distance for this projector is eight inches from your “screen”; the maximum is 8.5 feet away, at which point you get a 65-inch image. And it really, really helps if you dim the lights or use a properly reflective movie screen.
You can sit this little gizmo on your airplane tray table and project onto the seat back in front of you. (Yes, I tried it.) You get a dazzlingly bright, sharp, vivid video image about a foot across, so that you and your immediate seatmates can all watch.
(Or shine the projector onto the plane’s ceiling. The three-foot movie image completely baffles everyone within several rows; nobody can figure out where it’s coming from. I tried that, too. It was fun.)
Or you can park the projector on a little tripod -- it comes with a tiny, screw-in tripod adapter -- and project tonight’s dorm-room Wii marathon onto a bed sheet or someone’s T-shirt.
Or you can lie in bed and point the thing straight up. In a dark room, you’ll have yourself a huge, bright movie playing on the ceiling.
There’s no keystone adjustment to compensate for when the projector is facing the screen at an angle. The 20,000-hour bulb is not replaceable. And the picture resolution is only 480 by 320 pixels -- on paper, much coarser than the 1024-by-768-pixel (or higher) resolution of a tabletop projector.
But you know what? Pixels are overrated. Nobody will complain about the sharpness of the Pico’s image, especially after you find just the right spot on its little Focus dial. Over all, the Pico does surprisingly well.
So what can you watch on this thing?
It comes with a special composite cable. On one end, there’s a special, tiny audio-video pin that goes into the projector. On the other end, you’ll find the familiar three-headed, red-white-yellow RCA cables. These are female jacks, made to mate with the male composite cables that come with just about every DVD player, VCR, game console, digital camera and camcorder ever sold.
So in a pinch, the Pico projector could replace a TV set when you’re using full-size gear like DVD players or game consoles.
But the true mission of the Pico’s miraculous miniaturization is connecting to fellow micro-gadgets: digital cameras, cellphones, iPods or iPhones, for example.
The necessary adapter for the iPod or iPhone comes with the projector. Old video iPods require only the short black cable, which goes into the iPod’s headphone jack but carries both audio and video. You also get a plastic nub that snaps onto the bottom of the iPhone or more recent iPods; the short black cable connects the nub to the projector. (The projector produces an image only when videos are playing. It doesn’t show, for example, the iPhone’s Web browser, e-mail program or other applications -- a shame for instructors or anyone else who might like a way to demonstrate the iPhone’s workings to more than one audience member at a time.)
To connect a digital camera, so you can show off your stills or your videos, or to connect your camcorder, you use the composite TV cable that came with it. Optoma plans to make adapter cables available for other smartphones in the coming months, starting with a Nokia cable for $10.
The Pico projector does so much so well with so little, it might sound ungrateful to bring up its one really embarrassing shortfall. But somebody has to say it: What about the sound?
The Pico has a built-in speaker, yes, but it’s about the size of a hydrogen atom. With the iPod volume cranked to full, the Pico puts out about as much volume as you ordinarily hear leaking from earbuds on somebody sitting next to you.
In other words, the projector is as bad with audio as it is good with video.
If you’re using an iPod, iPhone or cellphone, your last, best hope is the headphone jack. You can listen through earbuds, of course, although that’s not much of a communal experience. (A headphone splitter would at least let you invite a friend.) Or you can connect that headphone jack to a portable speaker -- but now, of course, you’ve got a much more complex rack of gear, and you’re way beyond the realm of jeans pockets.
Even so, the Pico projector is the first of its kind -- other micro-projectors are on the way -- and over all, it’s awesome. When it goes on sale in two weeks, it will give parents a completely portable backseat-of-the-minivan movie theater for the kids. It will let photographers display their portfolios with much greater size and impact than they’d get with a scrapbook -- right from the digital camera, if need be. It will permit spur-of-the-moment demos or pitches for corporate presenters or independent filmmakers, wherever they happen to be, without having to set anything up or reserve a room.
Miniaturization: it’s a blast, man. Gotta love those engineers. Just wait till they get their hands on air-conditioners, TiVos and jet engines.

Novembeyearbook_yourself_screen_shot.jpgr 7

This has absolutely no educational value whatsoever but it is a blast.

October 31 This is a very cool online tool and if you haven't used it, check it out.
October 24

Invitation to the Social Media Classroom and Collaboratory

Welcome to the Social Media Classroom and Collaboratory. It’s all free, as in “freedom of speech.” We invite you to build on what we’ve started to create more free value. The Social Media Classroom (we’ll call it SMC) includes a free and open-source (Drupal-based) web service that provides teachers and learners with an integrated set of social media that each course can use for its own purposes—integrated forum, blog, comment, wiki, chat, social bookmarking, RSS, microblogging, widgets , and video commenting are the first set of tools. The Classroom also includes curricular material: syllabi, lesson plans, resource repositories, screencasts and videos. The Collaboratory (or Colab), is what we call just the web service part of it. Educators are encouraged to use the Colab and SMB materials freely, and we host your Colab communities if you don’t want to install your own. (See this for an explanation of who “we” are).

This website is an invitation to grow a public resource of knowledge and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media in learning, and therefore, it is made public with the intention of growing a community of participants who will take over its provisioning, governance and future evolution.

To that end, we’re launching an instance of the Colab as a community of practice for learners and teachers, educators, administrators, funders, students of pedagogy and technology design, engaged students who share a common interest in using social media to afford a more student-centric, constructivist, collaborative, inquiry-oriented learning.

October 3
New software turns PC into TiVo TV recorder
The Associated Press
Monday, September 29, 2008; 11:25 AM
NEW YORK -- TiVo Inc. and Nero AG of Germany were set to announce Monday that they will be launching a package that turns a Windows PC into a TV recorder, just like a TiVo set-top box.
The kit will cost $199 when it goes on sale Oct. 15, and includes a remote and a TV tuner that plugs into the PC. The interface on the computer screen looks just like the one on a TV equipped with a TiVo box.
It's not the first software that allows TV recording on the PC. That's been possible for years on computers equipped with TV tuners, and some versions of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista operating system include the necessary software. But it will be the first time that both the TiVo interface and functions have been replicated on a PC.
The Nero LiquidTV/TiVo PC will go on sale initially in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, but it could open up some markets where TiVo does not yet sell its set-top boxes. Joshua Danovitz, vice president and general manager of international business at TiVo, said the plan is to launch it in Europe next year, including in Nero's home country, Germany. Britain is the only European country where TiVo currently has subscribers.
"It's really part of a global TiVo strategy," Danovitz said.
For people who already have a tuner-equipped PC, Nero _ a private company mainly known for CD- and DVD-burning software _ will sell the TV recording software separately, for $99. Either way, buyers will get a one-year subscription to TiVo's program guide updates. Renewal will cost $99 per year.
The renewal cost sets the product apart from the digital video recording features of Windows Vista, which has a free program guide. However, Nero and TiVo are counting on the popularity of the TiVo interface and brand to overcome that hurdle.
Like TiVo's existing TiVo Desktop software, LiquidTV will allow users to transfer shows recorded on other TiVo devices in the home to the PC's hard drive, and bring shows out of the home, either on a laptop's drive or on an iPod or PlayStation Portable. LiquidTV also allows users to burn shows onto DVDs if the computer has a DVD burner.

September 26 is a nifty little site that allows you to create things for your classroom in flash and host them pretty much anywhere you want.

Q. Who are you anyway?

A. is the work of Russel Tarr, Head of History at the International School of Toulouse, France and author of the established website

Q. Are these resources free of charge?

A. Yes. There is no charge for creating resources with any of these templates.

Q. Can I use these resources on my own website, blog or wiki?

A. Yes. Each template can be saved as a stand-alone HTML file or as a Widget that can be embedded into a blog or wiki - as long as it is non-commercial. Please note, however, that downloaded HTML files still need to communicate with the ClassTools server and therefore require a computer to have an internet connection.

Q. Can I rely on this website to stay online if I create resources using it?

A. Yes! The site is used heavily by myself, my students and many colleagues and associates around the world, and so there is no way this site is going to disappear! As author of the website (now approaching its tenth birthday!) I understand the importance of a website being reliable, durable and stable.

Q. What happens to all my hard work if you decide to make this site subscription-based?

A. There are no plans to make the site subscription-based. However, even were this to happen in the future, any resources created prior to that point will still remain completely free to access. It would be utterly unethical to charge people to access their own work after giving an undertaking that the site was free to use!

Q. If I save a template onto your server, how long does it stay on your server for?

A. Permanently. The only exception is for files which are not accessed even once during a 12-month period. At this point they are considered to be dormant and may be removed from the server to clear space.

Q. If I download a template to my own computer, how long will it be accessible for?

A. Permanently. All of the data for downloaded templates is contained within the downloaded file and so does not take up any of the server space on

Q. Will my resources be available for anyone to see?

Generally speaking, only if you create a link to the resource from your own website / wiki / blog etc. There is no area on the website where all of the files saved by users are made publicly accessible. However, on occasions I will surf through the server trying to spot some examples of good practice and create links to such files from the help pages for each template.

Q. Can I use these resources on my commercial website?

A. If you want to use templates within a commercial website, please contact me in order to discuss a suitable arrangement.

Q. Can I download these templates for offline viewing?

A. The templates need to run "live" from the server, so an internet connection is therefore needed.

Q. How do I contact you if I have any further questions?

A. Please use the feedback form. I am always keen to hear from users of the website with their comments, suggestions and ideas!

September 19
I LOVE this. With ChaCha, when you've got questions, they've got the answers. And every month, they're asked millions and millions of questions from everyday, normal queries to some that are completely out of the ordinary. And because our questions are answered by humans, not computers, we have as much fun answering our customers' questions as they have asking us! ChaCha is like having a smart friend you can call or text for answers on your cell phone anytime for free! ChaCha works with virtually every provider and allows people with any mobile phone device - from basic flip phones to advanced smart phones - to ask any question in conversational English and receive an accurate answer as a text message in just a few minutes.
What’s your question?
Simply text your question to 242242 (spells ‘ChaCha’) or call 1-800-2ChaCha ( 800-224-2242 ) from your mobile phone to ask any question. What are you waiting for? Ask away!

September 12
I really like this one, but then again, I really like all of the cool toys I put in here...anyway, this one is called mebeam, This is a personal video chat tool that you can use to have multi-point conversations with anyone who has an internet connection. It supports up to 8 different users at a time and it's free. Think about a conference call with video with 8 folks on board. You've gotta love it. And in the interests of sharing some out on the edge stuff, read the following article.

TechCrunch50: Yammer Wins TechCrunch50

( from,2817,2330202,00.asp?kc=DAILYNEWS_091108_STORY1)
Yammer Wins Best of TechCrunch50
Yammer Wins Best of TechCrunch50


Michael Muchmore

A thousand startups competed for the honor of launching their technology products—mostly software and web sites and applications, in the second annual TechCrunch50 event. The conference gave startups, some with no real funding to speak of, exposure to billionaire investors such as Marc Cuban and high-ranking officers of corporations like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
At the end, the last company standing, deemed the "most likely to succeed" and getting a good catapult from the top honor itself, was Yammer, which asks corporate workers the question "What are you working on now?" in the vein of the Twitter microblogging internet service, which has gained huge popularity among the tech set. Yammer takes the Twitter idea and tailors it to corporations' needs, with access only to those having a valid company email address.
In addition to the notoriety, Yammer walked away with a check for $50,000.
Originally developed at as a tool for internal use, Yammer lets employees post news, links, ask questions and get answers from people in the company. A flexible tool for keeping everyone in the organization up to speed, whether viewing the centrally stored feed from a PC, iPhone application, BlackBerry application, or email. The feed is archived and searchable.
The other five TechCrunch finalists were Atmosphir—a collaborative online 3D game development environment; FitBit—a hardware health monitor and web service; GoodGuide—a site that lets users determine the safest, greenest everyday products; Grockit—an online study tool for groups; and Swype—an input method for touch screens.
Highlights of the conference included appearances by film and TV star Ashton Kutcher, who presented, and billionaire basketball team owner Mark Cuban, who appeared as a panel judge. The biggest crowd outburst of approval was inspired by Japanese company Tonchidot's Sekai Camera, which uses the iPhone's GPS capability to tag locations and leave messages in the physical world.

September 5

I have a list a mile long for this section but I need copy for future weeks so I'm doling this out a little bit at a time. My highlight today is a little gem called Zamzar. This free online tool let's you take any file and convert it to any almost any other format you choose. Have you ever been frustrated when you receive a file and you simply can't do anything with it because either you don't have the software that created it, or a reader? This simple online process is the answer. Go check it out.

August 15

Okay, I was actually at a conference this summer and so many people in the audience we're using this to broadcast the conference to other folks that they actually had to stop the conference and ask everyone to cease broadcasting and then pick one person to broadcast it because it was clogging up the network for the entire hotel. I just love this. Experience live video. In just minutes, you can broadcast and chat online with a global audience. Completely free, all it takes is a camera and Internet connection.

Now you guys probably don't want to broadcast your class to the world, (but you do have to admit it would be kind of cool) but there are some real interesting folks broadcasting out there. Unlike UTube which is a one shot video- this tends to be a regularly broadcast television like show.

Welcome to ROBLOX, an online virtual playground and workshop where kids of all ages can safely interact, create, have fun and learn. Think of this as online Legos...

ROBLOX is unique among kid-targeted sites in that everything in the world is designed and constructed by individual members of the ROBLOX community. Every member is granted a place along with an infinite supply of ROBLOX building pieces. Members design and build anything imagined — be it a navigable skyscraper, a working helicopter, a giant pinball machine, a multiplayer "Capture the Flag" game or some other, yet-to-be-dreamed-up object or activity.

ROBLOX members can choose to play and create alone or, with the help of personal and customizable avatars, they can choose to be social and engage with others. Members can explore the world with their avatars, meet and communicate with other members, visit other member-created environments, and collaborate with others on projects.
There are no pre-defined goals in ROBLOX. The focus is largely on creative and open-ended play. However, there are numerous member-cr

5/9 iPaper is a document format built for the Internet. Like a YouTube video, iPaper documents are Flash widgets which you embed in your existing web pages. PDF, Word, PowerPoint, and many other document formats can all be displayed on the web using iPaper. iPaper is designed to be fast, light, and simple. Because it's integrated into your site, iPaper offers a fluid browsing experience, keeping visitors on your site. It has a small footprint, doesn't require the installation of additional software, and it’s not loaded with superfluous features.

5.2 Okay, every once in a while I have let my Mac side show..(well maybe more than every once in a while...), but this site is great
The Internet is full of free books. But who has time to search for them? Let Voluminous bring the books to you. It finds, downloads and organises a vast library. Buy now, and access hundreds of years of classic literature. Take the free trial and see what's on offer. It cost about $30 but if you read digital books..this is way cool.

4/25 StoryMash
For readers and writers of fiction to come together and create amazing new stories via collaborative writing. Anyone can add a new chapter after any other chapter, even if an existing chapter already has more than one follow-up chapter. This creates stories with many branches. Readers are encouraged to rate each chapter so that the strongest branches, linked together, create the absolute most entertaining fiction possible. (Link: StoryMash)


Slideoo: Horizontal Slides Shows for Your Flickr Images

Slideoo is a tool that allows you to create horizontal photo slideshows from photographs stored on the photo sharing site Flickr. The interface allows you to select from your public images and define the width of the slide show along with the image size. The example below is from one of my Flickr photo sets. Notice the slider at the bottom of the image. Click and drag the slider to view the images. This is a very nice way for teachers to include images of student work on a class or school web site. It is especially useful when layout space is limited.

external image Jmx*PTExOTk*OTI1NzUwOTQmcHQ9MTE5OTQ5MjU3ODg3NyZwPTU*NDMxJmQ9Jm49.jpg
4/11 From David Harvell
Check out these REALLY RETRO computers. They are created by a guy named Jake von Slatt. You can learn how to make your own at his website– The Steampunk Workshop.</span>


PrestoSM is a combination of the Presto Service and the HP Printing Mailbox

How Presto Works

  • Step 1. Family and friends send email and digital photos like they usually do from their computers and mobile phones.

    • Send unlimited messages to the HP Printing Mailbox.
    • Send from your regular email address to your new Presto email address. There’s nothing new to learn.
  • Step 2. Presto automatically formats the messages into beautiful designs.

    • Choose from a variety of designs.
    • No spam—Presto only delivers messages sent by approved family and friends.
external image WIP_mainImage.jpg
  • Step 3. Presto delivers your messages to the HP Printing Mailbox.

    • You can choose the times the HP Printing Mailbox prints out email—up to five times each day.
    • It prints in beautiful, rich color.
    • Email is easy to read—you choose the print size.
    • No special paper required; regular white paper is all you need.

3/28 I don't even know how to explain this, but it is WAY cool.(There is no sound, just sort of a white noise background noise so don't worry about that.)

"Rollyo offers the ability to search the content of a list of specified websites, allowing you to narrow down the results to pages from websites that you already know and trust." -- BBC World

Rollyo is the fast, easy way to create personal search engines using only the sources you trust.

Are you tired of wading though thousands of irrelevant search results to get to the information you want? Ever wish you could narrow your search to sites you already know and trust? With Rollyo, you can easily create your own custom search engines - we call them Searchrolls - and explore, save, and personalize those created by others.


Rollyo puts the power of search in your hands, by giving you the tools to create your own personal search engines - with no programming required. All you have to do is pick the sites you want to search, and we'll create a custom search engine for you. Not quite ready to roll? We've created a starter kit of Searchrolls you can personalize.

2/29 It's like a Google maps interface for the stars. It uses pictures taken by the major telescopes. This is an awesome video presentation. The site is put together by Microsoft. Watch the TED presentation first. The main site is not live yet. There is a link to the right of the TED video to download it in HD and it is really worth it. It's 98Mb and almost 7 min long

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2/22 The guys at MIT have way too much time on their hands. I have no idea how this works, but it is way will take a few minutes to buffer so be patient. It's worth it.

2/15 This site from Mark Johnson_

About Footnote

Photo of Franklin Roosevelt
Photo of Franklin Roosevelt
Take a Tour
What if history was an ever-expanding perspective where anyone was free to interpret, extend and connect their own ideas and stories to the Big Picture?
What if you could discover, interact and share millions of the most interesting original sources from the world's greatest archives as easily as getting your email?

Introducing Footnote is a place where original historical documents are combined with social networking in order to create a truly unique experience involving the stories of our past.
The collections feature documents, most never before available before on the Internet, relating to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, U.S. Presidents, historical newspapers and naturalization documents. is more than just an online repository for original documents. In addition to hosting millions of records, Footnote supports a community of people that are passionate about a variety of topics relating to history. creates an environment where members can share their content and insights, ranging from major historical events to personal accounts and family histories., together with its members, is revealing a side of history that few have seen before.
LetterPop is the best way to create and send newsletters online and in print for families, businesses, friends, churches, schools, or any other organization. No matter who you are, or who you want to communicate with, LetterPop can help you do it quickly, easily, and with style.
Letterpop was founded by three slightly scruffy yet bright friends in beautiful southern California over the Summer of 2006.

2/1 Those of you who know me, know I've been dreaming about a holodeck for schools for years (Ok , go look it up on a Star trek site if that makes no sense to you external image spacer.gif
Episode: TNG 101 - Encounter at Farpoint, Part I
The generic name, especially in use aboard Federation starships, for the "smart" virtual reality system as evolved by the 2360s — a technology that combines transporter, replicator, and holographic systems.
The programs, projected via emitters within a specially outfitted but otherwise empty room, can create both "solid" props and characters as well as holographic background to evoke any vista, any scenario, and any personality — all based on whatever real or fictional parameters are programmed. While personal holoprograms relieve the stress and isolation of shipboard life for crew personnel, Holodecks are also used for tasks ranging from scientific simualtion to tactical or even covert training. Off starships, many commercial users have equipped facilities with so-called Holosuites.)
I've always said if they can pull it off Dave and Biuster's , we can't be too far behind. Phase 1 has arrived right on schedule.
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Vuzix - VR920 Head Mounted Display
Vuzix - VR920 Head Mounted Display

Experience virtual reality gaming with the VR920 video eye wear by Vuzix.
Now shipping from both our US and UK warehouse locations! Compatible with any PC and powered by USB.
This head mounted display offers built-in lenses so you no longer require a separate monitor. The iWear VR920 allows you to enter virtual worlds and communicate with others as if you are really there.
Experience cyberspace gaming and video like never before.
Step inside with the Vuzix iWear VR920, the world's first communication and gaming solution that incorporates immersive big-screen 3D, head tracking, microphone and audio. You can move, look around, listen, and communicate with others - almost like being in the 'real' world.
Connects to PCs and laptops.
Just plug in and view extraordinary high resolution video on a virtual display equivalent to a 62-inch screen at 9 feet. iWear 3D and integrated 3 Degree of Freedom (DOF) tracker and built-in microphone deliver the ultimate interactive online experience.

What is Blurb

Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the joy of books – reading them, making them, sharing them, and selling them.
Holding a finished book with your name on the cover is a truly amazing feeling; it’s one of those experiences everyone should have. As software people, designers, and publishing professionals at the top of our game, we realized something both incredible and obvious: there’s no good reason why it should take tons of time, technical skills, big bucks, or friends in high places to publish a book. Or a zillion books, for that matter.
So we put our minds together, and developed a creative publishing service simple and smart enough to make anyone an author – every blogger, cook, photographer, parent, traveler, poet, pet owner, marketer, everyone. (This means you.)

We’d like to thank

The Blurberati, a.k.a. our stellar team, our Board, our friends and family, and especially the intrepid troop of Beta users who gave us equal parts tough love and encouragement.
We’d also like to thank the ancient Sumerians, for coming up with the whole book idea (too bad clay tablets were so crumbly); Gutenberg, for debugging the book (sometimes literally); and authors, for giving us so many reasons to believe in the power of books.


What's Joost?

It's video – more than 20,000 shows, with more added daily.
It's online – all you need is a broadband internet connection.
And it's free. So what are you waiting for?


Site of the Week: Bubble Brainstorming Bubble Brainstorming Bubble Controls Bubble Controls Bubble Bomb Bubble Bomb
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By Robert P. Lipschutz

Click here to visit turns a browser into a brainstorming canvas that you can share with your friends and colleagues. With this free and fun tool, you can create "bubble maps" to brainstorm new ideas, plan out projects, or outline meetings. You start with a main topic bubble and add connected bubbles from there. The idea is to let your mind go where it will, as each new subtopic spawns its own subtopics. This sort of free-form brainstorming is also possible with many Windows- and Mac-based mind-mapping software packages, but bringing brainstorming to the Web opens up exciting new external image 1.gif options—imagine crossing mind mapping with wiki-like shared editing features. At this stage, is still very raw—enough so that I won't substitute it for my dedicated mind-mapping applications, but with continued inspiration and some hard work from its creators, I can soon see it becoming an invaluable brainstorming and collaboration tool.
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Read the Site of the Week: full review

12/21 Not sure if it qualifies as too cool but I think this is a very interesting site. is a new Web site that aggregates videos of discussions and debates on interesting political, social, and cultural issues. If your schedule is anything like mine, it's difficult to find the time to travel to a bookstore to hear a famous author read or to afford the price of a ticket to see a big headliner speak. -- the name is the plural form of forum -- offers an alternative: Sit on your couch with your wireless laptop and listen to a variety of interesting speakers. It's a thinking person's YouTube.

12/14 Zotero
Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself. I tried this out and it is way cool. You'll love it if you do research.
moz-screenshot-2.jpgmoz-screenshot-3.jpg Zotero runs in your Firefox web browser, which must be open in order for you to access your research collection. You do not have to be online, however to use Zotero; features such as notes, search, organization will work perfectly well offline, although obviously you will not be able to view some online items in your collection or to acquire other online materials.
The Zotero window contains your entire collection: bibliographic references and whole documents and files, your notes, and other items like images and snapshots of web pages.

12/7 Twitter
OK, this is not new but it is a lot of fun. You just basically let people know what you're doing and you can follow what other folks are doing, from the ridiculous to the sublime. It's a lot of fun and twittering is a great way to have a back channel conversation when you're in a place you can't talk.

11/30 Boopsie
This one came from Kerry's a cool little search tool for mobile devices. GIVE YOUR THUMBS A REST:
Boopsie's smart prefix search means instead of typing out the whole word, all you need is the first few letters. Example: "Harry Potter." In Boopsie, that's "ha po." Easy!

GO STRAIGHT TO GO: Boopsie's unique category search saves you time! Instead of sifting through ten pages of useless search debris, pick your channel: wikipedia, imdb, news, etc. Find FedEx and get the drill.

After waiting most of the day for approval from Hulu PR, I can now post a hands-on evaluation of the beta, which was officially announced at midnight Sunday night. (When registering, the terms of service repeatedly failed to load, meaning that I had no idea if Hulu would make me watch old episodes of The Littlest Groom if I posted content without permission.)
The verdict: Broad? Extremely. Deep? No. If you were hoping for some magical archive of TV episodes, forget it. This is why piracy is winning, people. But give Hulu credit: what it does, it does well.

Fortunately, the site has learned several key lessons from the Web 2.0 design gurus: keep it clean, keep it simple, and organize it well. While you won't find any user-generated video here, both studios have presented their gems, front and center. Take for, example, the once-lost version of Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday: The Chronicles of Narnia

11/2 Digital camera binoculars...gotta love it. I couldn't get the video in here so you'll have to go to the link and watch it there.. The video is a riot....

10/26 Clipperz
For those of you who are challenged by remembering all of your passwords... A free and anonymous online password manager with local encryption kept within the browser guaranteeing that no one except you can read your data. Plus there is nothing to install. (Link: Clipperz)

10/19 Let me start by saying this concept has been around for a while in several forms. I personally use this particular site to track my things and I think you'll like it. Maybe "Too Cool" is the wrong place to put this, but it is cool. / about

What is is a collection of favorites - yours and everyone else's. You can use to:
  • Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, reviews, recipes, and more, and access them from any computer on the web.
  • Share favorites with friends, family, coworkers, and the community.
  • Discover new things. Everything on is someone's favorite -- they've already done the work of finding it. So is full of bookmarks about technology, entertainment, useful information, and more. Explore and enjoy. is a social bookmarking website -- the primary use of is to store your bookmarks online, which allows you to access the same bookmarks from any computer and add bookmarks from anywhere, too. On, you can use tags to organize and remember your bookmarks, which is a much more flexible system than folders.
You can also use to see the interesting links that your friends and other people bookmark, and share links with them in return. You can even browse and search to discover the cool and useful bookmarks that everyone else has saved -- which is made easy with tags.
All you need is a browser and an internet connection. Sound good? Here's how to get started. If you'd like to find out more, keep reading.

What can I use for? is an open-ended system, so you decide how you want to use it. Here are examples of things you can do with saving bookmarks on
  • Research - Writing an article? Researching an industry? Slaving away on your dissertation? Use to keep track of all the source materials and commentary that you find online.
  • Wishlist - Go to any commerce site, find what you like, save it to and tag it as wishlist. Then you can tell people to check out your wishlist bookmarks by giving them a link to .
  • Podcast - Want to hear some great podcasts? Visit the mp3+podcast tag combination and start listening. Are you a podcaster? Start posting your mp3 files to and we will create an RSS feed for you.
  • Vacation - Planning a trip? Save links to hotels, activities, and transportation and use tags like "travel", "vacation", and "to-visit". Collaborate with friends and family by using the "for:username" tag.
  • Linklog - Save bookmarks to interesting websites and add a bit of commentary to create a lightweight linklog. Then, use linkrolls or the daily blog posting feature to include your bookmarks on your blog or website.
  • Cookbook - Whenever you find a great recipe on a website, save it to Tag it with the recipe's ingredients or style of cooking, and then when you're wondering what to make for dinner, you can use your saved bookmarks to help you remember the perfect recipe.
  • Collaboration - Friends, coworkers, and other groups can use a shared account, special tag, or their networks to collect and organize bookmarks that are relevant -- and useful -- to the entire group.

What do those buzzwords mean, anyway?

What is social bookmarking? is a social bookmarking website, which means it is designed to allow you to store and share bookmarks on the web, instead of inside your browser. This has several advantages.
First, you can get to your bookmarks from anywhere, no matter whether you're at home, at work, in a library, or on a friend's computer.
Second, you can share your bookmarks publicly, so your friends, coworkers, and other people can view them for reference, amusement, collaboration, or anything else. (Note that you can also mark bookmarks on as private -- only viewable by you -- if you like.)
Third, you can find other people on who have interesting bookmarks and add their links to your own collection. Everyone on chooses to save their bookmarks for a reason. You have access to the links that everyone wants to remember. You can see whether two people have chosen to remember a link, or whether it was useful enough for a thousand people to remember -- which may help you find things that are useful for you, too.

What are tags?

Tags are one-word descriptors that you can assign to your bookmarks on They're a little bit like keywords but non-hierarchical. You can assign as many tags to a bookmark as you like and easily rename or delete them later. Tagging can be a lot easier and more flexible than fitting your information into preconceived categories or folders.
Find out more about tags, including some examples and ideas about how you can use them.

OK, what do I do next?

Here's how to get started with


Jott : A Diamond in the Rough

external image logo_phpBB.gifJott is a true diamond in the rough.
The premise is quite simple. Sign on to Jott, upload your contact list, call their number and leave a message. The message is translated and forwarded to the contact, or group, as an e-mail. So, if you're driving down the highway and you want to leave a quick e-mail for your wife, you pick up your phone and leave the message. I've been using it on and off for a bit, and the translations are fairly accurate and certainly usable. Like Twitter, Jott sits at the intersection between real time communications and social networks. You can create groups that you can Jott too, . It keeps a history of all my Jotts, and could almost serve as a to-list archive. All very cool. Jott is still in Beta (what does beta mean these days, anyways?), so I suppose I should feel some reluctance to bash them for not having an API. I don't. They need one, because if they had one, I would be in telephone mashing Valhalla. The current system only works on e-mail, so although it's great that I can communicate quickly with my friends, family or take notes for myself, the interface to the rest of my workflow is clunky. If I had an API, then it would be a simple matter to Jott myself tasks for my 30boxes calendar. As it is, I'll have to go through hoops to get that integrated. Any cursory glance into mobile workflow automation shows you how important Jott's functionality is, and their lack of API hinders that important, and lucrative, market adoption. I'd also ping them for having a "I simply scaffolded this in rails" contact management solution. I have about 500 contacts in Jott, and I'd like to erase them, so I can load up a more current set. I have to page through 20 pages of 25 contacts each to delete them, and unfortunately, I've seen speedier web sites. A little more sophistication here would be nice. There's a kid in my Karate class who's so excellent when he concentrates and pays attention. A true natural. When I catch him looking anywhere but in front, I want to smack him - because I hate to see such talent wasted by stupid stuff. The Jott implementation is a bit rough, but a diamond, nonetheless.
  • Technically, I'd give them a B. They could be an A, and I think nothing hard is stopping them from getting there. Give me a more mature contact management solution, I'll give them a B+. Give me a good API, they earned that A.
  • From a business standpoint, I give them an A-. The service is valuable, and over time, because of their social networking angle, hard to replicate. I don't see them charging money yet, but they could.
  • From a buzz standpoint, a B+. I'm buzzed about them, and think they have great things in front of them. In the circles I travel, Jott isn't spoken of with awe and respect, but they should be. It's a great idea whose time is come.
Posted by Thomas Howe at 8:57 AM 10/5
What is YackPack?
YackPack is an Internet service that allows you to talk live or to record your voice and share the recording with a private group online. Through the richness of audio, YackPack helps you connect with people wherever they live, whatever their language or age, and whenever they want to listen.

Who invented YackPack?
Dr. B.J. Fogg created YackPack. At Stanford University he teaches in both the School of Education and Computer Science Department. Learn more about BJ.

How can I use YackPack in the classroom?
YackPack gives you a private and secure space that's safe from outsiders. Once you create a YackPack for each class, you can:

Grade student work, giving quality feedback and saving yourself time. See how you can do this!
Give assignments for oral practice in foreign language learning as well as speaking and
presentation skills.
Offer encouragement on assignments.
Discuss topics as a class, as staff, as a district, and with other educators.
Answer questions from students. Watch a short movie showing teacher-student interactions
in YackPack.
Collaborate with other classrooms.
Invite guests to join in from around the world.
You can talk in real time - just push and talk. Everyone logged in can hear you.

9/28 I really liked this site. You need to click on the link and check out the flash intros. Animoto Drop in some photos, make a music video and then have your students guess the theme. Could this be the end of slide shows?



Scratch is a free visual programming application for students that helps them create interactive content. Students can create interactive stories, animated demonstrations, and video games (among other things). As they plan and work on thier projects, students gain valuable practice using higher-order thinking skills. After the students complete a project, they can post it to a You-Tube like sharing service where others can view and comment on it. Scratch is versatile enough that it can be used with students from late elementary school through high school. There video tutorials and user guides to help students and teachers get started using Scratch.

Click here to go to the Scratch Website and check out some of the projects!

9/14 Microsoft Mouse Contains 1 GB of Flash Storage
09.12.07 Looking to replace your old and sticky computer mouse? You're in luck, because Microsoft announced today three new mice to tickle your mousing fancy.
The Mobile Memory Mouse 8000 may cost more than you'd expect to pay for a computer mouse at $99.95, but wait until you hear what it's capable of. It incorporates 1 GB of flash memory right into the transceiver! That way, you can free up a USB port and easily transfer your files.
This rechargeable mouse also features 2.4 GHz wireless technology, 4-way scrolling, Magnifier (enlarge and edit detail), Flip 3D (flip through all open windows), Instant Viewer (instantly display your open windows), and a Bluetooth mode switch. To charge the mouse, simply snap in the magnetic connectors using the USB transreceiver. Unfortunately, it's only made for right-handers. It will ship in October.

Fossett sought via Google Earth

Steve Fossett, AP
Steve Fossett, AP
Steve Fossett has racked up more than 100 world records
Images from Google Earth are being enrolled in the search for adventurer Steve Fossett.
Many people are scouring up-to-date satellite images of Nevada to try to spot Mr Fossett's downed plane or wreckage.
The project is being co-ordinated via Amazon's human-powered problem solving scheme called the Mechanical Turk.
It comes after a frustrating weekend in which searchers failed to turn up any sign of Mr Fossett.
False alarm
Mr Fossett went missing on 3 September after taking off in his single-engine Citabria aircraft from the Flying M Ranch near Yerington, Nevada. The trip was supposed to last a maximum of three hours.
The search for Mr Fossett or his downed plane covers 44,000 sq km (17,000 square miles) of Nevada's wilderness as well as parts of California.
In a bid to help searchers focus their efforts, Google released up-to-date images of Nevada for the search giant's Google Earth software.
Following the release of the images, Amazon created a collaborative search scheme run via its Mechanical Turk system.
The Mechanical Turk pays people to perform tasks that computers would struggle to complete, such as translating text or evaluating images.
Anyone taking part in the Mechanical Turk scheme downloads the updated images and an associated program that shows them recent images that they can flag if any appear to be candidates for a crash site.
Nevada, BBC
Nevada, BBC
Mr Fossett is being sought in mountainous, inhospitable terrain
The creators of the search scheme said Mr Fossett's plane would appear as an object about "21 pixels long and 30 pixels in wingspan".
Flagged images will be passed on to the search team co-ordinating flights over the area where Mr Fossett is thought to have gone missing.
Talking to reporters, Nevada Civil Air Patrol Major Cynthia Ryan welcomed the help but said it was unlikely that Google Earth would have picked up anything that military satellites would not spot.
The search in Nevada by the Civil Air Patrol and many private pilots has discovered six previously unknown wrecks - some of which were decades old.
The 63-year-old adventurer reportedly took the flight to look for locations that could be used for an attempt on the land speed record.
During his life, Mr Fossett has racked up about 100 world records. In March 2005 he became the first to fly a plane non-stop around the globe without refuelling.

8/24 If you are into being on top of the latest this is a fabulous tool. Craig2List lets users have syndicated content (like news and podcasts) sent directly to your e-mail instead of having to open separate aggregators. Pretty cool.

Screencast-o-matic - can be used to make a video (with audio) of the task you are performing on your screen. It's nothing new, but the fact that it is all web-based now is very cool. Once you make your movie, you can have it hosted on their site or you can download it in .mov format to host yourself. Have students create help files for various purposes or demonstrate an assignment you want them to complete at home.

8/10 WOW!!! If you haven't tried this one, it's awesome. OK, found this at a workshop and this alone was worth the price of admissionVoicethread. Just watch the movie by clicking on the word Voice thread. It can be used for digital storytelling. You can either upload photos into VoiceThread, or you can pull them in across the web from Flickr. It creates a slideshow. But then, you can record audio for each picture telling a story. Then you share your finished project. BUT IT GETS BETTER! You can view and listen to someone's VoiceThread. If you have a story of your own to share or simply want to comment on an image, you click a button and you're on your way. Think of it as an audio/visual blog post. Yes, the comments can be moderated.