Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poll Everywhere (Twitter App works with PPT/websites)

Poll everywhere is a 3rd party Twitter application that works with PowerPoint, you can also embed it in a web page. It could be used realtime with your students. You can create multi-choice questions and get feedback right there in the classroom or you could be more creative and set activities outside of the classroom. The thing I love about this application is it can be used anywhere as the name suggestions. It takes the learning outside of the classroom.

It's a pay service but offers a free version for use with up to 30 participants. I thought this was a very generous offer. Students can SMS the answers but it may not be free. It is free in Australia but I couldn't find anything which said SMS service in NZ was free.

3.05 pm update: Sorry spoke to soon, if you haven't read my previous post Twitter update (SMS) from Vodafone network is now free in New Zealand. This means you can send and receive 200 sms/month from twitter for free. This also means Poll Everywhere is then free and to send your response to any Poll Everywhere Multichoice poll send it to this number 8987 with the message @poll CODE

Poll Everywhere also allows you to create short answer quiz/poll, of course this is limited to 160 characters (same as sms). Again you respond to any Poll Everywhere Short Answer poll by sending a sms to 8987 with the message @poll CODE Answer

Link to the main page: Poll Everywhere

Using Poll Everywhere

Try it out!
Text a code (one of 38101, 38102 or 38100) to 8987. Wait for a while and the graph should update.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The start of a new beginning

Robot teacher for kids in classroom?!?

She can't move on her own, she can talk but it feels like she is choking.

I am actually lost for words!!! I have no idea how to categorise this, creepy, innovative, enabling in some ways, "things not to try in class" ..... not sure. To an extent I agree with the comment made by its creator "there are children who don't have an opportunity to come into contact with technology".

Kids seem to be fascinated by it :-).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Next Gen search engine

Wolfram (alpha) is online now. Try it out

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wolfram .... Some say it is the next big thing on the web!

What is it?

It is a search engine for finding/manipulating factual data. Stephen Wolfram (creator) and his team call it “computational knowledge engine” for the web. Unlike Google it doesn’t only return a collection of links and information in other format. Wolfram actually goes a step further and tries to understand the question and then computes the answers to answer a wide range of questions that may arise from your original.

For example “What is the population of New Zealand”, pause for a while and think about the types of questions that can arise here. Wolfram does exactly this and then computes the answers and provides a detailed view. A good example of the intelligence of this system is: “GDP France/Italy”, the system is smart enough to figure that I have information about both these places and hence I can perform this mathematical operation. Wolfram doesn’t have a predefined database that has all the information like Google does, rather it goes a mile extra in trying to make sense of this information.

Another example from

“To give an amusing example, every school child has at one time or another written a report on the moon, and they probably included the wrong figure for how far the moon is from the earth. Why wrong? Because the distance from the earth to the moon is not constant: it changes by as much as a mile a minute. If you ask Wolfram|Alpha the distance to the moon, it tells you not only the conventionally quoted average distance, but also the actual distance right now, which can at times be well over ten thousand miles off the average. The actual distance is a figure that can be arrived at only by computation based on the moon’s known orbital parameters.”

In a nutshell a search engine for factual data with computational power. I have this information, what can I do with it.

Wolfram goes live sometime this month, exact date is unknown (I couldn’t find anything on Google.).