Friday, January 8, 2010

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

It's the first Friday of the new year. I hope this week-in-review finds everyone comfortably back into their "school routines" after the holiday break.

Here are the most popular items of the last seven days:
1. New Year's Resolution Generator
2. Five Platforms for a Classroom Back-channel Chat
3. The Importance of Proper Mathematics
4. Google SketchUp Education Uses and Tutorials
5. More than 2000 Free Mathematics Tutorials
6. Cacoo - Collaborative Diagram Creation
7. Want to Learn a Foreign Language? Free Lessons!

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. You can also search the most popular posts within the Post Rank widget.

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SlideFinder - A Search Engine for Slides

SlideFinder is a search engine for slides that I recently came across via the popular links section of Delicious. You might expect SlideFinder to search places like SlideShare and Slide Six for slides, but it doesn't. Instead, SlideFinder searches the whole web for publicly-facing sets of slides. SlideFinder displays sets of slides in an easy-to-view grid format. SlideFinder provides a link to the host of slide sets.

Applications for Education
Before using any of the slides you or your students find via SlideFinder, make sure the way you plan to use the slides meets fair use guidelines. You should also check the source url provided by SlideFinder to see if the slides have a Creative Commons license.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
12 Ways for Students to Publish Slideshows Online
Presentation Storytelling 101
Six Resources for Learning About Fair Use

Herbie Hancock Performs at TED

It's Friday afternoon and a great time for listening to some nice jazz music. This TED Talk, featured today on the TED Blog, isn't actually a talk, it's a performance by jazz great Herbie Hancock. Music teachers looking to share with their students examples of great jazz artists may enjoy this one.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

For more TED Talk goodness, check this list of 15 must-watch TED Talks.

Reframe It - Organize Your Web Research

Reframe It is a handy browser extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer. Reframe It is best described as social bookmarking (like Delicious) meets team white boarding (think Twiddla). The social bookmarking aspect of Reframe It is bookmarking and sharing links. The white boarding aspect of Reframe It is the ability to frame or crop a section of page and comment on it. The comments appear in a side margin so that you can continue to look at the web page. This introductory video from Reframe It provides a good explanation of the things you can do with the browser extension.

Applications for Education
Reframe It could be a good tool for students that are working on a collaborative research project. By using the Reframe It extension students can discuss the merits of the things they find. Students can also use Reframe It to discuss how they are going to use the resources they find on the Internet.

Reframe It could also be useful for teachers conducting online courses. With the browser extension installed conversations about an article or other digital resource can be conducted while everyone is looking at the same resource.

Reframe It is similar to Google Sidewiki which I reviewed here.