Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 Interesting and Educational Twitter Finds

Here are five of my favorite resources found today on Twitter. If you have something great you found on Twitter or you just want to get your Twitter name out there for networking, please leave a comment.

1. Cool Tools for Schools from @bethstill
2. Top 100 Learning Tools for 2008 from @michele_berner
3. Second Life to Banish Racy Content from @glenncermak
4. Top 50 Librarian Blogs from @schlib
5. Video in the Classroom Carnival from @celestehopkins

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NonFiction Videos - Documentary Videos

NonFiction Videos is a new website featuring documentary-style videos. Some of the videos on NonFiction Videos include well-known films like SuperSize Me. NonFiction Videos currently has 125 films in its collection and more films are being added regularly.

Applications for Education
First, a warning about NonFiction Videos. Some of the videos contain material that you would not want elementary or middle school students to view without supervision.
NonFiction Videos is similar in concept to Snag Films. NonFiction Videos makes it possible to embed high-quality documentary films into your course's blog or website for students to watch outside of your classroom.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
20+ Educational Alternatives to YouTube
Snag Films Adds More Documentary Films
PBS Launches a New Video Portal

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Perseus Digital Library - History of the Greco Roman World

The Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University has been in development for more than twenty years. The mission of the Perseus Digital Library is to make the full record of humanity accessible to everyone. The focus of the library is on the history of the Greco-Roman World . The library also contains artifacts about 19th Century United States, the Renaissance, and Arabic language.

Browsing the library could be a very time-consuming process. Fortunately, the Perseus Digital Library offers a variety of search tools including a option to search within documents.

Applications for Education
The Perseus Digital Library is an extensive collection of documents and artifacts that history students can access. The layout of the website and the depth of the content makes the Perseus Digital Library best reserved for use in a high school or college setting.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Calendars Through the Ages and Around the World
The World Digital Library
History Links You Might Have Missed

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Thank You VoiceThread - VoiceThread Highlights

On Monday morning I found out that VoiceThread made a major financial contribution to the NECC Newbie project started by Beth Still to get me to NECC this year. To thank them and thank all of you that contributed to the fund, I have created the VoiceThread embedded below. In the second half of my voice recording I share what I'm looking forward to at NECC. If you have a comment, please feel free to contribute.

Here are some of my previous blog posts about using VoiceThread in education.
A Student-Parent-Teacher Lesson Plan
Math Playground Cooperative Project
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
Poetry Visualized Provides a Lesson Plan Idea
Two VoiceThread Resources from Kevin Jarrett
VoiceThread Updates

PBS Launches a New Video Portal

PBS has made videos available on various parts of their website for a while. The problem was there wasn't one central location for all of those videos. Today, through Allen Stern at Center Networks, I've learned that PBS has launched a video center where you can find all of the PBS online videos in one place.

PBS Video offers videos from the most popular shows including Frontline, NOVA, Nature, and American Experience. For the younger crowd, PBS Kids offers videos as well. If you're not sure what you're looking for, but you think PBS has an appropriate video you can search the PBS Video center by topic.

You can watch all of these videos just as they appeared during their original PBS airings. The one improvement that I would like to see is the option to embed the videos into a blog.

Applications for Education
PBS has long been a great source of educational programming. My school has purchased many videos and DVDs from PBS over the years. Unfortunately, some of the older VHS cassettes are nearing the end of their lives and aren't being replaced. The new PBS Video center may fix that problem for us.

Some of the longer videos, like those from NOVA, are broken into chapters which makes it easier to show just a portion of video to a class rather than an entire episode.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
20+ Educational Alternatives to YouTube
Six More Educational Alternatives to YouTube
Quietube - No Nonsense YouTube Viewing
VodSpot - Create Your Own Video Website

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Looking for K-8 Resources? Check The File Cabinet

I was going to include this in last night's list of Twitter gems, but it really deserves more attention than that. The File Cabinet is a wiki created by Kelly Hines for K-8 teachers. The File Cabinet has links and resources for K-8 teachers organized by topic and grade level. If you're a K-8 teacher you owe it to yourself to check out The File Cabinet.

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American President - An Online Reference

The Miller Center of Public Affairs hosts a very good reference resource about US Presidents. The Miller Center's reference, American President, provides personal and political biographical information about every US President. Each profile links to dozens of essays about various aspects of each President's life and work. Each profile also contains images of each President. Some profiles also include audio files and video of the President.

Applications for Education
The Miller Center's American President reference resource is primarily made up of essays that students younger than high school age may struggle to comprehend. For high school and college US History students the Miller Center's American President is an excellent scholarly reference.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Howard Zinn's A People's History in a Free Digital Format
Watch American Experience Online
American Rhetoric - Famous Speeches from Politics and Entertainment

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