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Friday, April 17, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Links

It has been another great week of learning about and sharing free web-based resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. Free Technology for Teachers gained more subscribers this week (now almost 6,000), welcome to all of you who started following this week. Thank you to all of you who have subscribed whether for one day or one year, I appreciate knowing that what I'm doing has value for others.

Thank you to everyone that has donated to the NECC Newbie project started by Beth Still. I am truly amazed at the generosity that everyone has shown.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last seven days.
1. Links You Might Have Missed - Economics Lessons
2. Nearly 400 Google Earth Files for History Teachers
3. Kids Around the World - Culture Lessons for K-5
4. Tea Parties Then and Now
5. Visual Dictionary from Merriam Webster
6. iLove Schools - Free Classroom Supplies
7. An Amazing (Race) Google Earth Project

If you're new to Free Technology for Teachers and you found any of the links above useful, please consider subscribing to the RSS or email feed.
To subscribe via RSS, use this link.
To subscribe via email, use this link.

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9 Life Lessons from Rock Climbing

Here is a good TED talk given by rock climbing expert Matthew Childs. At only five minutes long this is one of the shorter TED videos I've watched. Despite its short duration it packs in some great ideas that most people can apply to their life at some point.


Applications for Education
Graduation season will soon be upon us. If you're charged with the task of helping students prepare speeches, this video might be a good model of how to present good material in a short amount of time.

Teaching With Ted
is a related resource that may be of interest to you.

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Learn to Build an iPhone App

Stanford University produces some great, free, online content in a wide array of areas. In the past I've shared some links to Stanford courses and Stanford's iTunes U collection. The latest free offering from Stanford teaches you how to build an iPhone App. The course lectures can be viewed on iTunes U and the course notes and handouts are available as pdf files from the course website.

Applications for Education
This course is not for beginners, but if you have some advanced computer science students, using this course and building an iPhone App could be a very engaging project for them. At my school all seniors have to complete a large independent project prior to graduation, building an iPhone App might be something that one of the students in the computer science program might want to try.

Here are three other Stanford iTunes U courses that may be of interest to you:
Free US History Course from Stanford
Understanding Einstein
The Geography of US Elections

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The Scratch Workshop

Scratch, developed by MIT, is a fun tool for introducing students to creating animations, games, and other multi-media interactive web creations. Scratch is an exciting program through which students can explore and demonstrate their creativity. You can read my previous post about Scratch here.

For some teachers one of the obstacles to using Scratch is difficulty understanding how to manipulate Scratch. Another obstacle for some teachers can be thinking of ways to incorporate Scratch into classroom instructions. The Scratch Workshop Wiki can help teachers overcome these obstacles.

The Scratch Workshop Wiki provides teachers with links to great Scratch tutorials like Learn Scratch. The Scratch Workshop Wiki also provides good examples of Scratch classroom projects.

If you are currently a Scratch user, you may want to check out and participate in Scratch Day 2009. Scratch Day 2009 is a global initiative to get people together to share Scratch projects.

Two Good Options for Subtitling Videos

All of the big tech blogs were buzzing about Caption Tube yesterday. Caption Tube is a new service designed to make captioning YouTube videos an easier and more accurate process. Using Caption Tube you can create captions for your own videos or for any other video that you find on YouTube. The editing tools for Caption Tube includes a timeline to help you match your video's images to the captions that you create. You can choose the duration of time for which each caption is displayed.

DotSub has been around for a while, I've written about it in the past, and it is still a great tool for subtitling videos in any language. The difference between DotSub and Caption Tube is that on DotSub you can have other users contribute to the subtitling process.


Applications for Education
DotSub and Caption Tube could be great tools for foreign language teachers, ESL/ EFL teachers, and teachers of students with hearing impairments. Foreign Language teachers could have students find their favorite short YouTube videos or TeacherTube videos to transcribe into the language that they are studying.

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