Every now and then, I offer up some technology tips for those of you interested in stretching your wings. Today, I'm sharing three tools, which I'm giving you in order of how tough they are to use, in my opinion.
***Wolfram Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine" that is a very fun, practical tool I recently learned about. You don't have to join or download anything,; it's basically a search engine that, instead of sending you somewhere else, sets out to give you the answer to your question. I entered my name, Barbara, and got lots of information, such as the fact that the name Barbara peaked in 1938 and that most people named Barbara today in their 60's. (See "New to Wolfram Alpha" in the sidebar for more ideas for what to search for. It's kind of fun.)
The slant of the Wolfram Alpha information is American, but I'm sure it will expand over time. One scary application for Wolfram Apha is that students can simply type in a math problem and get an answer, but as a parent helping a daughter whose math skills far exceed her own, I'm planning on using it to help Kendall with her homework!haha (Shh! Don't tell her; I want her to think I'm a brainiac! For a video explanation of Wolfram Alpha, click here.
***I can't express enough what a gem Top 100 Technology Blogs for Teachers is. It's one of the best resources I've seen for teachers of all kinds, yes, but also for anyone interested in learning new things. You could get lost for weeks in this link. Do yourself a favor right away and put it in your Delicious account before you lose the link. Then, go play around--You'll be glad you did.
***Not to make you feel dumb or anything, but did you know that PowerPoint is kind of "old school" these days? If you are doing a presentation and really want to command respect for your technology skills, as well as engage your viewers, learn Prezi. I have to admit, it's very impressive, but the learning curve for this thing is huge. In fact, if you're very familiar with Prezi, you are my hero, and I would love to have a chat with you some time. I find it very difficult to figure out. However, I'm not giving up, because I want to be a Prezi superstar some day.
There you have it! I hope you found something useful here or that you at least have a little fun with it.