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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Next Vista - Free Videos for Learning

Next Vista is an academic video sharing site that I have recently discovered. Next Vista has three video categories. The Light Bulbs category is for videos that teach you how to do something and or provides an explanation of a topic. The Global Views video category contains videos created to promote understanding of cultures around the world. The Seeing Service video category highlights the work of people who are working to make a difference in the lives of others.

Next Vista is designed for classroom use so all videos are screened for inappropriate and inaccurate content. Next Vista is looking for contributions to all three video categories.

Applications for Education
Next Vista has the potential to be a good video resource for classroom use. A good classroom project could be to have students create videos to contribute to Next Vista.

All Next Vista videos can be embedded into your blog or website. The videos can also be downloaded directly from Next Vista. The download option is great for teachers that work in schools that have very restrictive web filters.

Here are a couple of related resources that might be of interest to you:
20+ Educational Alternatives to YouTube
Six More Educational Alternatives to YouTube

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Edu Pursuit - College Search by Location

Edu Pursuit is a simple tool designed to help students locate colleges that they may be interested in attending. Edu Pursuit lets students search using the following parameters; public or private school, two or four year program, size of the student body, and location. Students set the parameters, search, and the results are displayed on a Google Map. Each search result placemark is linked to a college's website.

Applications for Education
Edu Pursuit is a handy little tool for students to do some preliminary research on their post-secondary options.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Unigo - College Reviews and Advice from Students
College Cruch - Resources for College and Career Planning
My College Calendar Helps Students Organize College Applications

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Celtx - Movie, Play, and Cartoon Production Planning

Proof that you should never stop learning and exploring came to me yesterday in the form of a retired drama teacher who asked me to install Celtx on her computer. Someone had mentioned it to her as a tool for writing play scripts, but she needed my help installing it. I had never heard of Celtx prior to yesterday and had this drama teacher not asked for my help, I may never have learned of it.

Celtx provides a great platform for writing scripts, organizing story boards, writing direction notes, and scheduling tasks for completing a project. Celtx does this by providing templates and editing tools designed specifically for script writing. The features that impressed the teacher I was working with yesterday were the auto-formatting of character lines and the option to integrate stage direction notes.

Celtx is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. In addition to free software Celtx offers an online collaboration tool called Celtx Studios, but that is a fee based service.

Applications for Education
Celtx could be a good tool for courses that develop movies, plays, and cartoons from scratch. The tools and templates from Celtx provide a clear and consistent format for students to use.

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Study Tag - Win Trophies for Studying Online

Study Tag is a good resource for students to study and develop academic skills independently or collaboratively. Study Tag has a fun, motivating aspect for students, a virtual trophy room. Study Tag is organized by lessons and courses. At the end of each lesson and course students can test their knowledge. High scores are rewarded with online trophies that students can display in their Study Tag "trophy room."

If you can't find resources for the content you or you're students are studying, you can create your own lessons and courses on Study Tag. If you would like to have your students study together for your class, you can create private lessons and courses.

Applications for Education
A lot of the existing content on Study Tag seems to be designed at an elementary school and middle school level. However, because you can create your own lessons and courses on Study Tag, Study Tag can be used at any grade level. Winning and collecting Study Tag trophies may be a motivating factor to keep kids studying and developing skills on Study Tag.

Here are some related resources that might be of interest to you:
Study Stack - Build Your Own Review Games
Quizlet - Create and Share Flashcards

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Links You Might Have Missed - Presentation Tools

This is the fourth installment of my "Links You Might Have Missed" series. The three previous installments listed some of the more popular Math, Geography, and Science links on Free Technology for Teachers. This installment lists some tools for creating digital presentations online.

280 Slides (blog review) (direct link)

Author Stream (blog review) (direct link)

Photo Peach (blog review) (direct link)

Photo Show (blog review) (direct link)

Slide Six (blog review) (direct link)

Slide Rocket (blog review) (direct link)

Empressr (blog review) (direct link)

Prezi (blog review) (direct link)

Animoto (blog review) (direct link)

Remix America (blog review) (direct link)

VoiceThread (blog review) (direct link)

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