Monday, April 27, 2009

5 Interesting and Educational Twitter Finds

It's the beginning of another week and here are some the excellent things I saw shared on Twitter today. If you have something that you found on Twitter and would like to share, please leave a comment.

1. NASA Uncovers Secrets of the Northern Lights from @tbateson
2. Ten Ways To Be Useful on Twitter from @the_seagull
3. Prescription Drug Abuse: Not In My House from @chollingsworth
4. Best Embeds for Educational Wikis and Blogs from @Mrs_Smoke
5. Are E-Book Real Books Yet? from @ralphmercer

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Tidy Read - View Your Favorite Website Without Ads

Tidy Read is a service that allows users to view their favorite websites without viewing the advertising on that page. Tidy Read works as a browser bookmarklet that works on Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. Installing the boorkmarklet is a simple matter of dragging the Tidy Read link to your browser's toolbar. The video below is provides a short demonstration of Tidy Read in action.

Applications for Education
Tidy Read could be a handy bookmarklet to have installed on student computers if you are concerned about students being distracted by advertising on the websites that they visit.

Too much advertising or inappropriate advertising is definitely not appropriate for a classroom environment. That said,
I do have to point out that many of the great, free websites that have been featured on Free Technology for Teachers rely on advertising to stay online which is why I am hesitant to dismiss all advertising.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Block Ads With Ad Block Plus
Where to Find Firefox Tips and Hacks

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What is Swine Flu?

If you have students that are news watchers, you'll probably have some students ask about the Swine Flu today. Today's episode of CNN Student News leads off with a segment about Swine Flu.
The episode is embedded below.

For a long list of news resources for teaching about the Swine Flu, please visit Larry Ferlazzo's excellent list.

Google Maps Mania has posted a Google Earth Map and timeline about the Swine Flu outbreak which you can view here. (You will need the Google Earth browser plug-in to view it).

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History of the First 100 Days

Wednesday will mark one hundred days in office for President Obama. One hundred days is typically the first major check point in measuring a new president's administration. The significance of the "first 100 days" comes from FDR's first term in office. CBS News and CNN have released videos explaining the history and significance of a president's first one hundred days in office.
The CBS Video is embedded below.

Watch CBS Videos Online

The CNN Video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
These videos could be useful for teachers of current events and teachers of US History. Teachers of US History could use the videos as a brief explanation of the significance of FDR's election in 1932 and the legislation he got passed in an attempt to pull the country out of the Great Depression.
Teachers of current events could use the videos as the starting point for a discussion or student research about what President Obama has done in his first one hundred days in office.

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Copyright for Educators

I bookmarked this presentation a few months ago and forgot about until I was searching for information about copyright for some of my colleagues. Copyright for Educators is a presentation given by Wesley Fryer in February at ITSC. Mr. Fryer's presentation clarifies some common confusions and misunderstandings regarding the use of copyrighted material in the classroom. Of particular interest to me in this presentation is the discussion of fair use practices related to using images in digital presentations.
The presentation is almost an hour in length, but well worth the time to watch.

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