Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I created a journal and found some neat features.  First, it is set up like a normal notebook with lines and room for a title.  While you write, Penzu keeps you informed on how many words you have written, when it was last saved, and the date you started the entry.

I can keep the journal completely private or create a public link.  I created a public link which you can view here.

Penzu could be a fun way for teachers to get there students writing in a journal.  There are fun ways to make it personal (like adding photos) and easy ways to share with friends.  An example of a way to use it in the classroom is to have students write 10 journal entries over the course of a marking period.  At the end of the marking period, students have to choose 2 entries to share with the teacher.  Students could also collaborate with students from other classes who share similar interests, concerns, views, etc.

Click here for a review of Penzu.


I showed the screen shot of my recording in my last blog post, but I believe the file is completely public. Here is the link so you can see it for yourself.

AudioBoo File

I am really excited about AudioBoo.  It is the first tool I have found that allows you to share audio recording with this much ease.  This is a feature that Audacity does not have.

For educational purposes, I think AudioBoo could be a great tool.  I love the idea of having students make recordings of themselves practicing and being able to share the recording with other students and teachers.  For telecollaborative projects, I think AudioBoo would be a great way for learners to share pieces of music, practice sessions, performances, etc.  When I was working on a piece of music for my undergrad senior recital, there were probably only a few dozen students working on that piece in the country.  It would have been great to make recordings of the progress I have made and share it with other students working on the same piece.  AudioBoo recordings could also work in non-music classrooms for lectures, out of class responses, audio journals, etc.


Penzu is a free online journal for anyone to use.  Prior to researching Web 2.0 tools, I had never heard of it.  I don't think it has grown in popularity the way other educational tools have, but I think it is an interesting idea and seems to be easy to use.  Here in a video giving an overview of the product.

Penzu Video

I think an idea of a private online journal is a great idea because it may get some students excited about writing.  There are ways to keep the journal completely private and ways to share journal entries.  In my next blog about Penzu, I will create a journal and explore ways to keep it private and ways to share it publicly.


I have had a great time working with AudioBoo this past week.  As I mentioned in my first blog about AudioBoo, it is great to be able to easily share the audio file you create.

First, I downloaded the free application to my iPhone.  I used the app to create a quick recording of me playing the trumpet (you should be warned, I've never been professionally trained on trumpet).  AudioBoo also allows users to add a photo with the recording.  This is a nice way to personalize the experience.  I took a photo of the trumpet I used to make the recording.  Once I had the recording, I was given options on what to do with the file, such as share on Facebook, Twitter, or send in an email.  I sent it to myself in an email.

I clicked on the title which took me to the AudioBoo site where my recording was stored.
Here you can see the picture I took, the title I gave the song, and a clearly marked 'play' button to hear the recording.


This week, I continued to explore DonorsChoose.org.  I found a teacher from one of my schools who started a project.  Here is the project.

Mrs. Cahill's Classroom Project.

I donated $10 which refreshed my memory on some of the options which are offered.  The process is quick, easy, and user friendly.  Donors can remain anonymous or can personalize the donation by leaving a message to the students and teacher.  Some projects offer a gift to donors who donate a certain amount of money.

In my last blog, I questioned whether DonorsChoose.org should be considered a Web2.0 website.  There is a lot of communication and collaboration on the site among teachers.  Part of the site allows you to collaborate with other teachers in your state, or even link up with donors who are willing to match donations.  These are all Web2.0 qualities but they are only from the side of the teacher.  Students never get involved in the site.  Even so, I think many teachers could benefit from creating a project, which would ultimately help students.  Finding funding for instruments is always a challenge for instrumental music teachers like myself, so I will look into creating a project to raise money for this purpose.  By creating a project on DonorsChoose, I can easily promote it to all of my schools, friends, family, family of students, etc.

CLICK HERE to see a charity rating for DonorsChoose.org

Sunday, June 24, 2012


As a band teacher, I am interested in easy ways to record audio files.  I have used tools such as Audacity and VoiceThread in the past, and now am learning about AudioBoo.  Here is an informative video about AudioBoo.

AudioBoo video

What interests me most about AudioBoo are the options the user can have once they have created a recording.  Audacity is easy to use and free, however all you are left with is an audio recording.  AudioBoo seems to be more interested in creating easy ways to share the file and personalizing the audio by adding pictures and tagging locations.

In my next blog about AudioBoo, I will create a recording with AudioBoo and walk you through some of the features and benefits of this tool.


This past year I had my first experience with DonorsChoose.org.  I had no prior knowledge of this site. One day at my bank, the teller found out I was a teacher and handed me a gift card from the bank.  It was worth $25 that she said I could use towards any one of my schools.  That was not quite true.  I could use it towards any one of my schools as long as one of the teachers at that school had a project up on DonorsChoose.org.
For those of you who are not familiar with this site, here is an informative video.
DonorsChoose.org introduction

I quickly navigated through the site, found a project from a colleague of mine at one of my schools, and donated the $25.  DonorsChoose is becoming very popular and is probably being used by a teacher at your school.  In my next blog post discussing DonorsChoose.org, I will explore ways the website is being used.

Do you think DonorsChoose.org is a Web2.0 tool?