Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thinklinkr - Collaborative Outline Creator

Thinklinkr is a free service for collaboratively creating outlines. Users can invite collaborators to join into the outlining process at any point in the process. When you're done creating your outline you can embed it into your blog or website. People who have used NoteShare will notice that Thinklinkr has some interface similarities. As far as outlining programs go it's good, but it doesn't do anything other than outlines.

Applications for Education
As the video below demonstrates, Thinklinkr could be used for teaching outlining skills.

Free Prezi Templates

On Sunday Prezi announced new free accounts for teachers and students. Judging by the traffic to that post and a previous post about using Prezi, many people are interested in using Prezi. For those people interested in giving Prezi a try, here is a collection of free templates that you can use and adapt for your needs.

Read Write Think - Profile Publisher

A couple of years ago one of my colleagues developed a lesson for The Great Gatsby in which he had students create fake Facebook profiles. His students developed profiles as if they were characters from The Great Gatsby. It was a great lesson except creating those fake profiles was a violation of the Facebook terms of service. But now, thanks to Read Write Think, my colleague can conduct the same lesson without violating the Facebook terms of service.

Read Write Think offers a free program called the Profile Publisher. Profile Publisher allows students to create and print mock-ups of social network profiles. Students can create profiles for themselves of for fictional characters. Profile Publisher includes fields for "about me," "blog posts," "interests," and all of the other profile fields typically found on a social network. Completed profiles can be printed.

Applications for Education
Read Write Think's Profile Publisher could be used in a manner similar to what my colleague did in The Great Gatsby example at the beginning of this post. The Profile Publisher could also be used by history teachers to have students create profiles of historical characters. In fact, now that I think about, I just might have some of my US History students do that.

Create an RSS Feed for Any Website

Earlier this week Google announced an enhancement to Google Reader that allows you to subscribe to updates to any website regardless of whether or not that site offers an RSS feed. I finally got a chance to give it a try this afternoon and found it very easy to add a subscription to some of my favorite sites that don't offer RSS feeds. I did this in three quick steps that I've outlined below.

Step 1. Click the "Add a Subscription" button in your Google Reader account.

Step 2. Enter the url of the website you wish to subscribe to.

Step 3. Confirm the new subscription.

NBC News Time Capsule

One of the features of Hulu is a collection of old news segments and entire news programs from NBC. Hulu calls this collection of segments and programs the NBC News Time Capsule. In the widget below you will find thirteen of these segments and programs. Included in the line-up are Kennedy's inauguration, the first Today Show, and the first Apollo 11 Moon Special.

Applications for Education
Teachers of US History may find the videos in the NBC News Time Capsule to be helpful in teaching lessons on 20th century US History. Teachers of media studies may also find the videos useful for lessons on changes in reporting and improvements in broadcast production over the last fifty years.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Decade in Magazine Covers
Videos and Lessons About Pearl Harbor