Sunday, March 9, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Explaining Daylight Saving Time

I'm sure that tomorrow morning more than a few teachers will be asked about Daylight Saving Time. Here is a short video from the CBS Sunday Morning Show explaining Daylight Saving Time.

Free Technology For Teachers: Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Regardless of content area, helping students develop critical thinking skills is one of the most important things teachers do. Dr. Joe Lau, Professor of Philosophy at Hong Kong University has developed an Open Courseware program full of resources for teaching and developing critical thinking skills. Dr. Lau's Critical Thinking web has games, puzzles, and quizzes in addition to lecture notes and links to additional resources. The page on evaluating arguments presents many diagrams and activities designed to help visitors recognize valid arguments and invalid arguments.

Free Technology For Teachers: Free PDF Writer

CutePDF is a free, simple program to convert word documents to PDF. PDFs are useful for teachers as means of sharing forms with students and parents. When "that" student "loses" a permission slip or other form needing a parent signature having the option for parents to retrieve a PDF is very convenient.

The only downside to CutePDF is that it is only available for Windows operating systems.

Here is a short video about using CutePDF.

Free Technology For Teachers: Lessons about Money

The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The AMA has a thorough virtual museum tour that is one of the better virtual museum tours I've seen. The audio narration of the virtual tour really enhances the virtual tour experience.

Applications for Educators
The AMA website has a teachers resource page containing detailed lessons plans about money. My initial thought was that the AMA lessons would be revolve around economics, but I was wrong. The AMA lesson plans are quite appropriate for studying culture and for studying art. The lesson plans and resources are best suited for middle school and high school age students.

Free Technology For Teachers: Programming Practice

Microbot Herey is a small programmable robot that students can use to develop programming ideas. Microbot can be programmed by a student or run on pre-programmed settings. It is also possible to control Microbot Herey with an X-box controller. Read more about Microbots, programming education, and visual programming languages on the Microsoft Robotics Studio webpage.