Monday, October 31, 2011

Map Your Visitors with ClustrMaps

Do you have a Blog, Website, or Wiki? A place for your information on the Web? I used to think having a counter on my Website was cool. I could actually see that people (besides me) were looking at my info on the Web and could watch as my numbers grew. But, here is a new twist on having a counter. Do you ever wonder where the people visiting your site are located? Now you can find out with ClustrMaps. I am talking about that map up in the top left corner of my Blog that looks like this:

ClustrMaps not only shows you how many visitors you have, but puts a colored dot on a map of the world to tell you where they are located. It breaks it down by state if the visitor is from the U.S. or by country if international. Here is a link to my visitor breakdown. Pretty cool.

It you have a site on the Web that generates traffic, try using ClustrMaps to find out where they might be located. Have fun and thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small Basic for Beginning Programmers

For those of you who might teach programming and are looking for a great beginner language, look into Small Basic by Microsoft. It is free, it is easy, and it comes with a nice, well-thought out curriculum that is down loadable as a series of PowerPoints or online. Further information and download is available here. Using Small Basic reminds me a little of my first programming class back at Davison Middle School. 32 students and two Commodore PET computers. Good times!

As always, here is a quick video:

A couple of things. One, the publish feature is pretty cool. Second, if you follow the curriculum, you graduate from text-based programs to graphics and the turtle, to controls. I teach an Introduction to Programming class using VB Express 2010 and I am going to use Small Basic as an introduction to programing theory to talk about variables, conditions, looping, etc. Then, move on to VB. I will let you know how it goes. Try it out. I think this would be awesome for a middle school beginning programming course.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Second Favorite Blog

I learned about blogs a few years ago when I started reading MGOBlog, a blog about Michigan athletics (mainly football) to keep up on recruiting news. I became quickly addicted to it. Lately I have tried to branch out and open my perspective as it relates to technology in the classroom. I found a blog titled
Teach Paperless and was impressed. Many of the writers are teachers that have woven technology into the very fabric on the courses that they teach.  Not every topic hits a home run for me, but many of them are extra base hits. It is timely and makes me think about the way I am teaching, which I enjoy. Give it a try.