Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yebol - Top Ten Search Engines

No. 10 - Yebol

Yebol is a semantic search engine that will not only understand your query but also venture into categories or even explore various meaning of a particular word or phrase. For example a Semantic engine could take STAR and give you categorised results such as Astronomy, Astrology, Celebrity etc. A traditional engine would put all the results in one list, Yebol then presents each of the finds from your search into categories; news, twitter, videos, images, top sites, categories or related searches.

Kngine - Top Ten Search Engines

No.9 - Kngine

Kngine is supposed to be a Web 3.0 Search Engine (i.e. revolutionary Semantic Search Engine and Question Answer Engine) designed to provide customized meaningful search result, such as: 
  • Semantic Information about the keyword/concept, 
  • Answer the user’s questions, 
  • List of things, 
  • Discover the relations between the keywords/concepts, and 
  • link related information together such as: Movies, Subtitles, Photos.

Feedmil - Top 10 Search Engines

No. 8 Feedmil

A long tail real time, spam free search engine for the discovery of topic based blogs, podcasts streams and discussion forums from public and social networks.

Touchgraph - Top Ten Search Engines

No. 7 - Touchgraph

TouchGraph allows for the creation and navigation of interactive graphs. Ideal for organising links, or mindmapping. If you search a lot (to collect information for blogging, research and inspiration), you may know that in many cases “words” are not enough to help you find what you need. Often, you really don’t know what exactly you are looking for or you can’t describe it in words – in this case, you need other search tools apart from Google. The TouchGraph Browser is a new tool that visualises the connections between web sites in order to give you a better picture of your search.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Veiwzi - Top 10 Search Engines

No.6 - Viewzi

There are more ways to present information than in a simple list. Lists are great for some things. But when you are searching for a video or an mp3? With Viewzi, you can get results all arranged into unique “Views”, each custom-tailored for that content. It’s the right data, presented in the right way. This is a nice way to view sites quickly whilst looking for sites that meet your requirements.

Live Plasma - Top 10 Search Engine

No. 5  - Live Plasma

A visually rich application that shows the relationships between movies, bands, actors, etc. An interesting and novel method for finding similar movies, music, directors etc. Basically you search an artist and it creates a mind map. After the search term is submitted, it's immediately surrounded by other artists; the closer they are, the more similar they are in style to the target. The user can search, map, discover new movies or artists then save and share their maps.

Quintura - Top 10 Search Engines

No. 4 - Quintura

Quintura is a context based search engine  that uses data clustering, visualisation and context management that works together to create a visual search experience. It is both visual and intuitive and features an interactive word cloud that allows for more refined searches.

Spezify - Top 10 Search Engines

No. 3 - Spezify

Spezify is another inspired search engine, one that I have posted about once before. This search engine falls into the category of a Visual Search Engine. It creates a collage of quotes, images, posters, photographs, text, twitter feeds and songs that are all pulled from various media search engines. Th is form of search engine is actually called assistive search technology.

Oamos - Top 10 Search Engines

No. 2 Oamos

Oamos pings other search engines in order to find current, relevant links to your search term. It then presents the findings as a continually changing series of graphics. Each graphic is a link to the website that the image is from. The format the the information is presented in has 16 different variations depending on the type of info you are searching. 

Eyeplorer - Top 10 Search Engines

No. 1 - Eyeplorer

Isn't it funny how we just use the same things all the time, often because that is what we learnt on. Many people have Google as their Internet Preferred Search Engine. We don't always do this because it is better, we do it because that is what we have always done.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog Booker

I love this idea. I only wish I had found it earlier. BlogBooker allows you to produce Pdf blog books from all your blog entries and comments. These can be generated from any blog running on Wordpress, Livejournal or Blogger. The whole process takes about 3 or 4 minutes. Once your exported file is submitted the file is verified and then all your images are linked and found and the whole thing is assembled as a book.

This is great for teachers who regularly use blogs but for whatever reason need printouts. Not everyone is comfortable marking online or sometimes your Subject Co-ordinator requires evidence of learning. This is the answer.

The musings and reflections on your students blogs can become real books, cherished and shared, kept as momentos or records of the learning process, learning experiences or just of their school year.


Mutapic is an online picture generator. It is a free tool you can use to rapidly create original artworks. logos or symbols. Simply pick an image to start with, chose another to combine with the original and click on the green button to start. You can continue to click the green button until something appeals to you. This application is great for developing artwork ideas for students who are struggling to come up with their own idea.

The Graffiti Creator

This is one of the Web 2 tools that we used with a Graffiti unit I discussed earlier where we used Geotagging and Flickr. This was really an introduction to graffiti styles and a kind of how to tutorial. We really wanted to get the students to understand that Graffiti artists have rules, and even a code of conduct. Many young artists want to see this form of expression as a legitimate artform. This really is more of an art application than a game. You can see your name or any words for that matter in a variety of graffiti styles. Once you have chosen a style you can then customise it with your own colour scheme, variations galore. No two pieces will look the same. Great effects.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Memoov is a free animation creation service. Create and share user generated animations. This is a great site for digital story telling and a good alternative for Xtranormal Text-to-Movie now that they are charging for anything other the the most basic of movies.

No need to download software or spend hours an hours developing computer skills, simply chose and click, drag and drop. You and your students will be making animations in no time at all. You can even record your our voice for your animated video.


Animasher is an animation application. It has images that you can drag and drop into the active animation frame or you can even upload your own images in order to create your narrative. Build and then add a sound track.

Animasher animations can be created in 7 languages so it lends itself immediately to getting your students to practice their skills in Italian or Portuguese.

Some of the examples are a little silly but you also have the ability to clone an existing animation and improve on it. You can also embed your animation into your class wiki or blog. Very few other websites offer this type of thing. It appears overly simplistic but it actually allows for complex concepts and effects. It makes an instant cartoonist out of even the most computer illiterate.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


WeSeed is a free virtual stock market game aimed at teaching people about the stock market. It allows students to virtually invest in real stocks. You get to maintain a virtual portfolio, complete virtual trades and feel like you actually on the stock exchange.

WeSeed also has a social networking function so your students can discuss stock options, choices or opinions about particular companies and whether to invest in them or not.

This would be a great game to teach these complex concepts in Business Studies, Commerce or in an Economics class. You could make it into a Stock Market Competition or even an assessment task. Link it back to a wiki or blog and have your students reflect on their choices and stock buys, how these investments developed over the long term and what factors influenced the market that they had no control over. This could be the basis for a whole unit of work or an activity that runs parallel to your current curriculum. It could also just as easily be run as a extra curricula class or club.


Exploratree is a free online library of thinking guides and templates. You can print them out or complete them online. Exploratree allows you to build up a portfolio of thinking guides that work well with your units of work or your students. You can change or customise the images, text or shapes. You can even build and then submit your own thinking guides.

I like this site because it not only gives a scaffold to your students to complete many of the higher order critical thinking skills we want them to develop but much of the language of the guides is also based on Bloom's Taxonomy. This is a great opportunity to gets your students to use the language of pedagogy and to recognise what the task is actually asking them to do.


JogtheWeb is a web based tool that allows teachers to create guided experiences to a series of web activities. It is a step by step approach that allows the author to annotate the process and to ask guiding questions for each of the individual activities. The students can see the links between each of the activities and how they related to the overall learning outcomes.

This is really just like a Web based learning Quest. It gives your students direct links to each website and allows you to give them clear instructions for each whilst also giving them an overview of where they are at in the process.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Free Rice

I have posted about this on another blog but I really like the idea of students discussing people less fortunate then themselves and how even doing something as mundane as learning your times tables can contribute to a better live for another boy or girl their own age.

I like it because as an Art Teacher it has a lovely section on Famous Artworks. I use it as a reward for students who complete tasks early or if we have had a disrupted lesson. You know those times you get back from assembly and only have 10 minutes til the end of the lesson. I make it into a competition. Who is the first to 200 grains of rice etc. 

Boys love this because there is instant feedback and simply because they see it as a competition - they forget that they happen to be learning at the same time. I don't care because for me it tick all the right boxes both morally and from an educational point of view.


Another visual dictionary / thesaurus. These are great for visual learners or even for students who struggle to transfer the meaning of one word into a different context.

All of these online visual search tools are an excellent way for students to learn to expand their own understanding of a word and to see how one word may have many different variations -  and often in unrelated fields of study.

These would also be an excellent tool for students completing 
  • Project Based Learning
  • Challenge Based Learning.


    This application is another visual or graphic dictionary tool. Type in the word and the app finds all the possible meanings, but it also find other words or concepts that are related. This information is then presented in a smart and visually appealing graphic format.

    I like this app because each of the word presented than become a hotspot themselves that are activated when you scroll over them with your mouse - a textbox pops up giving an explanation of that term.

    Visual Thesaurus

    I can't believe I have not written a post about these Visual Thesaurus' and Graphic Dictionaries. There are lots of fun for teachers and students. It actually gets your students enthusiastic about looking up words, happy to think about language and playing with words and their meanings. Visual Thesaurus  is great language based application. You type is a word and the app connects all the ideas and concepts that are associated with the original term.

    It will even pronoun the word for you. I like the way that each of the words are categorised into Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs and Adverbs. This allows the students to develop a deeper level of understanding on how all of the terms help to define or are at least related to the original term.

    Ways to use in the Classroom:
    1. These are great to use as warm-up activities for language based lessons

    2. As part of a brain storming session about a specific topic or at the beginning of a unit of work

    3. As a scaffolding lesson for a new assignment task