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Friday, November 6, 2009

Week In Review - The Most Popular Items

It's Friday and that means it's time for another Free Technology for Teachers week in review. As I do each Friday, I've compiled a list of seven most popular items of the last week. If you've been busy and not able to keep up with your RSS reader or email, the week in review provides a good chance to catch up on the posts that were most popular with other readers.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last seven days:
1. 9 Resources for Website Evaluation Lessons
2. 20 Interesting Ways to Use Audio In Your Classroom
3. Daylight Saving Time Explained
4. The Web Runs on Kindness
5. For Music Teachers - The Euphonium Gets a New Voice
6. Shape Poems - Poem Template from RWT
7. Cool Food Kidz Teaches Kids About Diet & Fitness

The list above 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.

If you're new to Free Technology for Teachers, welcome, I'm glad you've found this blog. If you like what you see in the links above, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS or email.
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Copyright Advisory Network Offers Copyright Clarity

The Copyright Advisory Network offers four resources that will be of particular interest to librarians and teachers. The Fair Use Evaluator helps you make a fair use determination. Exceptions for Educators provides a step-by-step guide to determining if you can use copyrighted materials in your instruction under the educators exemption. The Section 108 Spinner is a tool for deciding if you, as a librarian, can make a reproduction of a copyrighted work. The Public Domain Slider offers a simple scale for determining if a work is copyrighted or if it is in the public domain.

I learned about the Copyright Advisory Network through The Tech Savvy Educator's post about the Public Domain Slider.

Applications for Education
The four tools offered by the Copyright Advisory Network will not take the place of teaching students the difference between legal and illegal use of copyrighted materials. That said, these tools could be useful aid in teaching how to determine if and how a copyrighted work can be used.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Classroom Copyright Chart
Copyright for Educators
The End to Copyright Confusion
Video Introduction to Understanding Fair Use

Intro to Wikis Video Created By Kids

This afternoon one of the teachers I follow on Twitter, kjellstrom, posted a link to a video his students made to introduce teachers to Wikispaces. This video is a good example of students teaching teachers and a good example of digital storytelling. The students used Xtranormal to create the video. You can find my previous post about Xtranormal here. The video is embedded below.


Applications for Education
Although this video isn't terribly in-depth it does provide an introduction to Wikispaces. The video is also a good example of using Xtranormal for digital storytelling projects. Xtranormal allows anyone that can type the ability to create audio dialogue between characters.

3 Guides to Using Google Earth for Virtual Fieldwork

Digital Explorer is a service that offers instruction and guidance on using GIS and Google Earth to enhance learning experiences. To that end, Digital Explorer offers three comprehensive guides to using Google Earth for virtual fieldwork and physical fieldwork around your school's grounds. The first two guides in the series cover everything from the basics through advanced Google Earth functions. The third guide in the series offers a six installment project that you and your students can do around your school's grounds.

Thanks to Rich Treves, who also offers great Google Earth advice, for the link to these guides.

Applications for Education
If you've always wanted to try using Google Earth in your classroom, but weren't sure how to get started, Digital Explorer's guides offer you a great place to start. The school grounds project offers students the opportunity to not only learn about Google Earth, but to also develop skill sets like digital photography, blogging, and video creation.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Great Google Earth/ Maps How-to Videos
How to Enable Google Earth Flight Simulator
Award Winning Google Earth Lesson Plans

Sesame Street Turns 40

All week Google has had images of Sesame Street characters on its homepage because next week marks the 40th anniversary of the premier of Sesame Street. Over the years many celebrities have appeared on the show including bands like REM. If you'd like to start your Friday on a happy note, watch this video of REM performing "Furry, Happy, Monsters" on Sesame Street.

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