Friday, June 19, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

I hope this week-in-review finds everyone doing well and looking forward to a relaxing weekend. It was another fun week of learning and sharing with all of you. Welcome to all of this week's new subscribers, I hope you continue to find this blog useful. Thank you to all the long-time subscribers and readers of this blog for continuing to visit, comment, and share. If this is your first time visiting Free Technology for Teachers, welcome. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this blog please feel free to email me at richardbyrne (at)

Here are the seven most popular items of the last week:
1. Sparkle Box - Thousands of Free Things for Teachers
2. A Great Professional Development Opportunity
3. Literature Map - Find Authors You Might Like
4. 100 Awesome Open Courses
5. A Visual Guide to Global Trends
6. Teaching With SMARTBoard Video Podcasts
7. Twitter Search in Plain English from Common Craft

If you found any or all of the above links useful, please consider subscribing to Free Technology for Teachers via RSS or email.

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This was my last week of school until next fall. As I do every year, I will be taking off for four days of fishing near Seboomook Lake, Maine. I won't be back online until Wednesday, but not to worry, I have eleven posts scheduled to go live while I'm away.

Geographical Media - The Top News by Continent

Geographical Media is a news aggregation and summation service that draws together each day's top stories from around the world and organizes those stories by continent. To locate stories by continent visit the "global overview" and click on a continent. You can also search for the top stories by topic and then see with which continent(s) it matches up.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for finding this news resource.

Applications for Education
Geographical Media is a good way to provide students with a geographical context for news stories. You could use Geographical Media to have students compare and analyze which stories are important in different parts of the world.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The BBC News Globe
Euronews - News in Eight Languages
Newseum - Today's Front Pages Mapped

Shape It Up - An Earth Changing Erosion Activity

Shape It Up is one of many good educational games and activities on Kinetic City. Shape It Up is an activity that would be good for use in an elementary school Earth Science lesson. The activity presents students with "before" and "after" images of a piece of Earth. Students then have to select the force nature and the span of time it took to create the "after" picture. If students choose incorrectly, Shape It Up will tell the student and they can choose again.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Stop Disasters - Disaster Simulation Game
Explaining Daylight Saving Time
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth

Coaster Creator - Learn About Energy

One of the great things about blogging is that almost everyday someone contacts me with a website or a service that they want me to look at. On Tuesday, I shared a post about Amusement Park Physics and not long after that post went live I got an email about Coaster Creator.

Coaster Creator is an interactive lesson about potential and kinetic energy. Coaster Creator provides a audio/ visual tutorial in which students learn about the physics behind roller coasters. After completing the tutorial, students can design and test their own roller coasters. If the roller coaster is designed improperly it will either crash or stall out.

One of the things that differentiates Coaster Creator from Amusement Park Physics is the audio component of Coaster Creator's tutorials which is something not offered on Amusement Park Physics. If you don't have enough computers for your students, Coaster Creator's tutorials can also be downloaded and printed as PDFs.

Applications for Education
Coaster Creator could be a fun way for students to explore the concepts of potential and kinetic energy in an application that they could experience at an amusement park.