Friday, December 19, 2008

Google Offers New Image Search Parameters

This afternoon Google announced that it has made it a little easier to refine image searches. Until now, if you entered a search term in Google Images you would get all kinds of images including photographs, drawings, paintings, and clip art. Now you can refine those results by selecting "faces," "clip art," "line drawings," "photo content," or "news content" from a drop down menu.

Applications for Education
Google calls the new image search options search-by-style, I call it just plain helpful. Any tool that can help students focus their searches is useful in my book. Less time struggling to find appropriate search results can translate into more time spent thinking, writing, and creating.

The Week in Review

It's Friday afternoon here in Maine which means it's time to post the five most popular Free Technology for Teachers items of the last week.

1. Ten Resources for Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism
2. Creative Commons Explanations and Teaching Materials
3. The End to Copyright Confusion
4. TimeRime Multimedia Timeline Builder
5. Free Digital Photo Watermarking Tool

Last Friday I bought and registered the domain Along with registering the domain I created two new feeds to deliver content to readers via RSS and email. The original feeds still work although this week they didn't seem to be as reliable or as quick as the new feeds.

To subscribe to the new RSS feed, please use this link.
To subscribe to the new email feed, please use this link.

Thank you to everyone that has subscribed, visits regularly, and shares the content with others. I started this blog thirteen months ago as a way to help teachers find free things to use in their classrooms and as long as people keep finding it useful, I'll keep writing.

The Day/ Week / Year in Cartoons and Pictures

MSNBC has some excellent resources for use in the social studies classroom. The Week in Political Cartoons and the Week in Pictures are useful for reviewing the week's news stories with students. Both of these sections of MSNBC's websites are also running reviews of the year in cartoons and pictures. All of the cartoons and photographs are displayed in slide show format. Some of the slide shows are narrated.

Applications for Education
After viewing the slide shows, students will have a model for creating their own "week in review" presentations. Rather than just duplicating what they find on MSNBC, have students create a week in review of local news stories that weren't covered the by the national and international media outlets.

If You're a Special Education Teacher...

If you're a special education teacher with an interest in integrating technology into your instruction, there are two blogs that you should visit. Paul Hamilton's Free Resources From The Net For Special Education, is one blog that I've been following for about eight months. Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs is a blog that I've been following since Paul Hamilton recommended it on his blog. Both of these blogs offer great strategies for using technology in the special education classroom. What I like about both of these blogs is that even when they write about the same resources that I find, they offer a different perspective, a perspective that only a special education teacher can offer.

Simple Science Videos

In my never-ending quest to find educational videos online, I recently discovered Simple Science Videos on Vimeo. I picked this one up on Twitter although I can't remember who posted it. If you're the one, thank you. These videos are produced by Simple The aim of each video is to give a clear explanation of science topics that elementary and middle school students can understand. A video about various types of rocks and their uses is embedded below.

3D Rocks Video from Simple Science on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Simple Science's videos are entertaining and informative videos for introducing a new topic to your students. The collection of videos is also good for independent learning by students. These videos could be included in slide presentation that students may give as part of research assignment.

The Semester in Review from CNN Student News

Today's episode of CNN Student provides a short review of the top news stories of the last semester.

Applications for Education
The semester in review is a good way to get students to think about the events of the last four months and discuss which events seemed important at the time and which events are still important.