Sunday, February 28, 2010

Month in Review - February's Most Popular Items

At the end of every month I like to list the ten most popular items of the month. This month I took almost a week-off and let some guest bloggers take over. I'm happy to say that three of the most popular posts this month were written by guest bloggers. I'm also happy to report that this month Free Technology for Teachers received more visits and pageviews than in any month since I started this blog. Thank you to everyone that has helped Free Technology for Teachers grow by Tweeting, emailing, and otherwise sharing this blog with others.

Here are the ten most popular items in the month of February:
1. How to Publish a Quiz Using Google Docs
2. Weblist: Create a Visual Gallery of Your Collected Sites
3. 32 Puzzles and Logic Games
4. Seven Tools for Organizing Web Research
5. "The Class" - Satire on Technology in the Classroom
6. Free eBook - Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
7. Word It Out - Like Wordle With More Options
8. Web 2.0 & Students With Disabilities
9. Diigo Teacher Accounts
10. View WWII Imagery in Google Earth

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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You might also consider joining more 2300 fans of Free Technology for Teachers on Facebook.

Stop Publishing Your Email Address in Your RSS Feed

Everyday I see Blogger users publish their full email addresses with "@" symbols in their blogs' RSS feed. While there is nothing inherently wrong about publishing your email address, it isn't a good practice if you're trying to avoid an inundation of spam everyday. Publishing your full email address in your blog's RSS feed makes it easy for bots to pick-up your email address and put it on a spam list. Unfortunately, by default Blogger publishes your email address in your RSS feed. Fortunately, it's an easy change to make. To stop publishing your email address in your Blogger blog's RSS feed simply login to your Blogger profile and select "edit profile." Then uncheck the box that reads "publish my email address." (click image to view full size)

Here's what your email will look like in your Blogger blog's RSS feed now. (Click image to view full size)

Running for Office - A Political Cartoon Exhibit

Running for Office is an online exhibit of the political cartoons of Clifford Berryman. Berryman is probably best known for his cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt having compassion for a bear cub. That cartoon inspired the creation of the Teddy Bear. Berryman drew political cartoons for Washington newspapers for more than fifty years.

The National Archives has put together a fifty-two page online exhibit of Berryman's cartoons. The cartoons chronicle the process of choosing the President. The exhibit also includes cartoons about running for Congress. Running for Office does a good job of explaining the meaning and historical context of the cartoons. Almost all of the cartoons in the exhibit can be downloaded for free.

Applications for Education
Running for Office provides teachers of US History with excellent cartoons that they can use in their classrooms. The cartoons can be used for a lesson on satire or used for a lesson on a particular campaign or person from the early 20th century. Students can also study the collection of cartoons to compare the campaign process of today with that of the early 20th century.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
More than 100 Editorial Cartoon Lesson Plans
Pictures and Cartoons from PRI's The World
Lessons About Presidential Campaign Commercials

Wordle Goes Offline, Seeks Legal Advice

Update: Wordle is back online!

I just learned from Larry Ferlazzo that Wordle has gone offline indefinitely. A visit to reveals this message from the site's owner:
I am seeking pro bono legal advice, to evaluate a trademark claim against my use of the word "Wordle" for this web site. If you're an intellectual property lawyer, with expertise in trademark law, and you wish to offer professional advice on this matter, please contact me.

Until Wordle returns, you might want to try Word It Out which I reviewed earlier this month.

On a related note, Remix America has been down for nearly a month. My emails to them regarding the status of the service have been unanswered.