Friday, August 7, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

It's Friday afternoon and time for another week in review. As I do every week, I've compiled a list of the seven most popular items of the last seven days. The list is based on item clicks and views. If you ever miss the week in review post, you can always check out the Post Rank widget embedded in the right column of the blog. Post Rank displays the most popular blog entries at any given time.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last seven days:
1. My 21 Must-Read RSS Feeds
2. 100 Education Blogs Worth Checking Out
3. A Simple Time Management Tool
4. How-to Week, Day 1 - Using Wikispaces
5. How-to Week, Day 2 - Setting Up a Blog
6. Just in Time for School - Glogster Edu
7. Create an Online Quiz Using Google Forms

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As always, thank you to all of you that have helped to grow the reach of Free Technology for Teachers. I truly appreciate every comment, re-Tweet, and email. Speaking of email, if you have any questions or comments you want to share with me you can always email me at richardbyrne (at)

How-to Week, Day 5 - Using Animoto and VoiceThread

This is the last day of How-to Week on Free Technology for Teachers. Earlier this week we looked at how to create a wiki, how to create a blog, how to use, and how to create a website. Today, I want to show you how to use two of my favorite resources, Animoto and VoiceThread.

Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. In the video below I explain how to create your first Animoto video.
If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video.

Below is the video created in the how-to video above.

VoiceThread is another of my favorite tools because you can use it create online demonstrations or host conversations around an image, document, or video.
In the VoiceThread below, Diane Krause explains how to create a VoiceThread.

In the VoiceThread below, you can learn how to use VoiceThread's video doodling feature.

Here are some previous posts about Animoto and VoiceThread:
Animoto for Education - The End of Boring Slideshows
Where I Live... Another Use for Animoto
Connecting Classrooms Through VoiceThread
A Student-Parent-Teacher Lesson Plan

My English Images - Resources for ESL/ ELL Teachers

My English Images is a collection of drawings demonstrating words, phrases, and parts of speech. The drawings are intended to provide visual aids for students that are beginning to learn English. The images are organized into collections for conversation, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. In addition to the images teachers can find worksheets and games on My English Images.

Applications for Education
My English Images could be an excellent resource for anyone that works with ESL/ ELL students. You could use the images as explanations for words or phrases. You could also use the images as a model for having students create their own images of English words.

NWF - Nature Event Finder and Observation Reports

The National Wildlife Federation wants to see people get outside. To that end, they have a couple of web elements to encourage people to get outside. The Nature Event Finder is a search engine for finding outdoor activities, nature museums, and other nature-related events near you. To use the Nature Event Finder simply enter your zip code and select the type of activity or event for which you're looking. The results of your search are displayed on a Google Map.

The Wildlife Watch is the NWF's place for people to share their observations of nature in their local area. You can search for observations by clicking on the observation map. You can read the observations of others or submit your own.

Applications for Education
The Nature Event Finder could be a good resource for finding nature-based field trip destinations for a science class. The Wildlife Watch could be a good source of short nature stories for your students to read. You could also use the Wildlife Watch as a model for creating your own wildlife watch in your classroom.

A Very Impressive Math Video

This video was posted on Open Culture earlier this week and I finally got around to watching it. Arthur Benjamin is a "mathmagician" who takes random numbers from the audience then quickly and accurately calculates the answer in his head. At the conclusion he explains to the audience how he squares five digit numbers in his head.