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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Soup.io A Simple Yet Feature-Packed Blogging Platform

When I was trying Soup.io earlier today, I described it on Twitter as Tumblr on steroids. Soup.io is a blogging platform that is intuitive and easy to start using, yet it also offers some great features that we've come to expect from a blogging platform.

Some of Soup.io's features that caught my attention are the straight forward methods for importing RSS feeds from other blogs and importing information from your social networks both methods are completed in one click. Adding content to your Soup.io blog can be done on your Soup.io page or you can email updates to an email account assigned to your account. Your email is then posted for you. You can also post content you find on the Internet with one click by using a simple browser extension.

People that were affected by the shut-down of Pownce will be happy to know that you can import your Pownce content directly to Soup.io.

You can try Soup.io without having to create an account (creating one takes only 30 seconds) and if you like what you see, your practice page can become the start of your blog. You can see my Soup.io page here.

Applications for Education
A feature of Soup.io that I didn't mention above is the group blogging feature. You can establish your Soup.io account as a group blog. The group blogging option combined with posting web content with the browser extension could be a good way for students to share items they find online. One possible activity would be to have one student post a story from the Internet and then have his/her classmates post related stories for discussion. A variation on this would be to have students post opposing editorials as an exercise in recognizing bias and propaganda.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Video

Yesterday, I posted some resources for conducting lessons about the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, I found, on the YouTube blog, this video which outlines the UDHR.



Applications for Education
This video is a good addition to the resources that I posted yesterday. The video could be a good tool for introducing the ideas of the UDHR and the start of a conversation about human rights.

Moodle Tutorials and Other Moodle Resources

Global Classroom, as I've shared in the past, provides free Moodle hosting to schools that don't have the capacity to host Moodle. One of Global Classroom's employees, Joe Thibault (a really nice guy that I had lunch with at FOSS VT last spring) writes a blog through which he shares some how-to tutorials as well as resources that you can use with your Moodle. Today, Joe posted a link to some free quizzes that you can use in Moodle. You can find that link here, but I encourage you to find the link on the Global Classroom blog and explore what it has to offer.

RadioBeta - Tune In the World

RadioBeta is a newer radio website that I discovered through Open Culture. RadioBeta enables users to find and listen to radio broadcasts from around the world. You can search for radio broadcasts by location or by genre. I used the search by location option last night to listen to a broadcast from Ghana. To listen to the broadcasts you will have to install the VLC Media Player which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Applications for Education
RadioBeta
could be a great resource for foreign language teachers to use as part of a listening exercise in class. RadioBeta could also be a good resource for teaching culture. Teachers may also want to use RadioBeta to have students listen to news broadcasts and then compare the how stories are reported in various parts of the world.

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