Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trying 3 New Things Today

When I dabble, I go all out it seems. There are three new things I'm trying out today, and I'll give some feedback after I've used them a while.

A twibe is another new way to group people through Twitter. One person creates a twibe and then others join. Any time a member tweets with one of the designated key words, the tweet appears in the twibe's feed. This takes the vastness of Twitter and helps people gather around a common theme, and also quickens networking.

Scott McLeod has formed two twibes for Iowa educators to join, one for teachers and one for administrators. While they were just formed today, I can see quite a bit of potential, helping many others join in on all the various Twittersphere discussions related to the Iowa Core.

There are several options for video recording out there. Many schools are in the video camera-to-iMovie stage, while some have progressed to using built-in webcams for video productions requiring quick setup.

USTREAM is a different option, one that is web 2.0. It allows the user to record or broadcast video from their computer. This means you don't need a whole lot of hard drive space for encoding (music to netbook users' ears) and it can be shared instantaneously. But more so than a videoconferencing tool, like Skype or XMeeting, this product does more to let unknown audiences (or those that just want to casually observe without taking part) watch.

We will be trying out the product during Heartland's Technology Coordinator's Meeting.

The phenomenon of backchannel conversation during live events is one item that will become big in education in the future. While Twitter or Edmodo provides one option, Cover It Live provides a different tool. This live-blogging tool is set up for specific events, and it too is broadcasted or shared privately, depending on your preference. The tool can be embedded on any website or blog, so other users can participate.

More so than microblogging, here you can have a controlled environment (only certain audience members instead of the whole Twittersphere), more administrative control on whether comments are allowed or not, and the ongoing discussion is put in one place, making it easier to see that it is a conversation.

I'll be testing out Cover It Live with our technology coordinator meeting as well.

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