Friday, July 2, 2010

June's Ten Most Popular Posts

The month of June came to busy conclusion for me as I was at the ISTE 2010 conference. If you ever get a chance to go to ISTE's annual conference (it will be in Philadelphia next year) I highly recommend attending. Aside from the many excellent formal sessions, the conversations you can have with other forward-thinking educators are amazing. Anyway, that is my round-about way of saying that I forgot to post the month-in-review yesterday.

Here are the ten most popular posts of the last month:
1. Free PDF to Word Converter
2. Hundreds of Reviewed Online Mathematics Resources
3. 100 Ways to Use VoiceThread in Education
4. Tools for the 21st Century Teacher - Great eBook
5. Free eBook - 20 WEBTOOLS Applied to Teaching
6. Illustrated and Narrated Explanation of Creative Commons
7. Downloading Videos for Use In the Classroom
8. Google Earth Skills Quiz and Tutorials
9. Google Voice Opens to Everyone in the US
10. New Sharing and Editing Options in Google Docs

In June Free Technology for Teachers reached new statistical highs for subscribers in surpassing the 25,000 mark for the first time. Additionally, there are now nearly 5,000 fans of Free Technology for Teachers on Facebook. Thank you to everyone that has helped grow the reach of Free Technology for Teachers and welcome to all new subscribers and fans. Finally, if you're on Twitter please feel free to follow me at where I post not only resources from this blog, but also resources that others share as well as some personal updates about my classroom and occasionally my cats. I do try to follow all teachers back so if you follow me and you don't get a follow back, please send me an @ message to get on my radar.

A Simple Guide to Google Video Chat

Google Video Chat is a nice alternative to Skype available to anyone using Gmail. Some folks aren't aware of how easy it is to video chat using Google Video Chat. Therefore, yesterday Google released a simple video guide and PDF guide about it.

Watch the video below.

Thanks to Steven Anderson for alerting me to this video.

Applications for Education
If you want to video chat with other classrooms around the world, but your school doesn't allow you to install Skype, Google Video Chat is a great web-based alternative.

Get Priority Access to the Aviary Education Beta

Last Saturday I wrote about the launch of Aviary Education. As a thank you to me and to you Aviary has given me a priority access code to give to you. If you really want to be one of the first teachers to try Aviary Education sign up for the beta here and enter the code FreeTeach4Techers01. The code won't give you instant access, but it will move you to the top of the list. Please only use the code if you are a classroom teacher that truly plans to try Aviary Education with your students.

Applications for Education
Here's what I wrote last week about using Aviary's products with students.

This year my students used Aviary's Myna sound editor to make sound tracks for mini-documentary videos they made about the expansion of US borders during the 19th century. Roc is a relatively new offering from Aviary that will allow anyone to create music tracks. You can then take those Roc tracks and mix them with voice tracks in Myna to create an outstanding original sound track for a podcast or video.

Check Out the Google Apps Training Center

This week at the ISTE 2010 conference I learned about new training program available from Google. The Google Apps Training Center is an online learning environment in which teachers and students can learn to effectively use Google Apps in an education setting. The training center offers six modules. The modules are Google Apps Education Edition, Apps Mail, Calendar, Docs, Sites, and "Other Tools." Each module consists of several chapters.

In conjunction with the Google Apps Training Center, Google has launched the Google Certified Trainer program. The Google Certified Trainer program gives people who provide professional development to schools and have passed the tests for all six modules the Google "seal of approval" as Certified Trainers. If you plan to pursue becoming a Google Certified Trainer, bear in mind that you must complete all six modules and pass the tests within 60 days of starting the program. (Thanks to Collette Cassinelli for that tip).

Applications for Education
If your school has just migrated to Google Apps for Education or is considering migrating to Google Apps for Education, the Google Apps Training Center will be a great resource for learning about the things you can do with Google Apps in your classroom.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Across the Curriculum
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Beyond Google - Improve Your Search Results

Your Next Read - Book Recommendations

Your Next Read is a neat little site that provides you with a web of book recommendations based on the authors and books you already like. Here's how it works; type in the title of a book you like or author you like and Your Next Read will provide you with a web of books that might also enjoy. Click on any of the books appearing the web to create another new web. Below you'll see the web of recommendations that appeared when I typed in Gary Paulsen's book Hatchet.

Applications for Education
Your Next Read could be a great resource for teachers that are trying to locate fiction works that their students might enjoy. Rather than having to rely on your own list of books, you can have students name books they've enjoyed in the past and instantly find some other appealing titles.