Monday, February 25, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Physical Education Resources

Fizzikal is a blog written by a Physical Education teacher, Iain Stanger, in Scotland. Iain Stainger writes about the information he finds regarding technology integration and physical education. Visit his blog to find some good resources about physical education and health education.

Free Technology For Teachers: Film Your Issue

Film Your Issue is a globally recognized film competition for high school students. Students can speak out about any national or global issue. Winning films receive prestigious prizes including internships at major media outlets and or college scholarships. FYI provides a list of suggested topics and categories for the film, but the competition is open to any film about any issue. This is a great competition to get students thinking about and speaking about the issues that they think are important. Visit the Film Your Issue website to learn more about the competition and prizes.

Below is a winning video from the 2007 Film Your Issue competition.

Free Technology For Teachers: AutoMotivator

AutoMotivator is a fun and simple way to create to motivational signs or posters for your classroom or office. The process of using AutoMotiviator is simple, upload an image from your computer or another website, select the color and style for your font, then type your motivational message. There are not many instructional uses for AutoMotivator, but it is a simple way to make custom signs and posters for your classroom.

Below is a motivational poster I made using AutoMotivator.

Free Technology For Teachers: Protagonize - Collaborative Fiction Writing

is a collaborative writing website. The way it works is an author starts a story and then other users add to that story. The author can accept or decline the additions to the story. Some of the stories on Protagonize currently have more than twenty chapters.

Applications for Educators
Protagonize could be used in a similar manner to Zoho Writer or Google Documents in which story ideas can be shared and edited amongst a group. Protagonize can be used in a manner similar to that which I described last month when discussing uses for Twitter and Pownce. Give students a topic, a word, or an element of a story to get started and then have them contribute to the writing. A veteran English teacher I know has had great success using Twitter in this manner. The benefit of using Protagonize is that the story can be built without a text character limit and the story is saved as one document rather than lots of little pieces.

Free Technology For Teachers: Make Your Own Wildlife Video

National Geographic's website is full of great resources for teachers. The Wildlife Filmmaker feature is a fun way to introduce students to "drag and drop" film editing while they learn about animals. Students do not have to create an account to use the Wildlife Filmmaker. As long as students can use a mouse they can create their own wildlife film. This is a resource appropriate for students in grades K through 8.

Below is a sample video from National Geographic. If you would like to see the video I made, click here and enter the retrieval code 39866427

Free Technology For Teachers: UWire and an Interactive Election Map

UWire is an aggregator of news and stories created by college media outlets around the country. UWire is affiliated with hundreds of colleges across the country and is owned by CBS. UWire provides student generated coverage of a wide range of topics, some serious topics (see the election map above) and some not-so-serious topics (the Oscars).

Application for Educators
The interactive election map on UWire is a great teaching resource. By clicking on a state the student is provided with information related to the caucus or primary in that state. The map also provides demographic information about each state as well as a break-down of 2004's election results in each state.

Free Technology For Teachers: Fun Non-Fiction Writing and Publishing

The Bleacher Report is a user content generated sports website. The Bleacher Report is truly a web 2.0 website. All of the articles and reports are written by average sports fans who submit their stories online.

Applications for Educators
Finding topics and methods to motivate students to write non-fiction essays is not easy. The Bleacher Report can provide students with topics they are interested in and an audience much wider than their classroom. When students have a public audience and a topic they're interested in they are motivated to thoroughly edit their work, improve their writing, and generally have a sense of pride in their writing.