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Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Most Popular Ed Tech Posts of the Month

Good morning from rainy Maine where the cold, rain, and colorful leaves remove all doubt about which season we're in. It's the last day of the month and as I do every month I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the month. Before jumping to the list I want to share some things to look for in October. In October I'll be completing updates to my Google Drive and Google Sites guides and I'll make versions of them available to download. Also in October I will be speaking at events in Ohio and Montana as well as giving virtual presentations for Florida State and Discovery. I'll share more about the Discovery event soon. And if you're interested in having me speak at your event, please click here.

Here are September's most popular posts:
1. A Free Complete Guide to Evernote
2. Updated 63 Page Guide to Google Drive & Docs
3. A Great Guide to Twitter in the Classroom
4. 7 Good Sources of Creative Writing Prompts
5. 12 Awesome EdTech Tools for 2012-2013
6. Infographics Explained With Legos
7. 7 Places to Find & Watch Documentaries Online
8. 17 Free Tools for Creating Screen Capture Images & Videos
9. Create & Edit Documents in Google Drive for iPad
10. Screen Leap - Share Your Screen in One Click


Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
Class DoJo is a great student behavior record keeping service.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
The College of St. Scholastica offers M. Ed courses.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools and is hosting iPad Summit USA in November. Register now for an early bird discount.

How to Subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers
If you aren't subscribed you can join more than 50,000 others who do subscribe via these links.
Subscribe via RSSSubscribe via Email.
Like Free Technology for Teachers on  Facebook.
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Are you looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator?
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iBrainstorm - Shared Brainstorming on iPads

I was recently going through my archives looking for some brainstorming and mind mapping apps when I "rediscovered" iBrainstorm. iBrainstorm is a free brainstorming application for the iPad and the iPhone. The app allows you to record brainstorming sessions using a combination of free hand drawings and sticky notes. You can share and collaborate with other users of iBrainstorm. Sharing notes and drawings between users in a local setting is a simple matter of "flicking" an item to another user. Watch the video below to see iBrainstorm in action.



Applications for Education
iBrainstorm could be a great application for schools that are using iPads in a 1:1 setting. The option to combine free hand drawings and sticky notes makes iBrainstorm flexible enough to suit learning and creation styles of most students.

Jump Share - Simple Drag and Drop File Sharing

Jumpshare is a free service that anyone can use to quickly send files to another person. To use Jumpshare just visit the site and drag a file from your desktop onto the Jumpshare site. After you drag in your file Jumpshare will create a link to your file that you can send to anyone via email, Twitter, or Google+. Learn more about Jumpshare in the Tekzilla video below.


Applications for Education 
If you need a quick way to distribute files to your students, Jumpshare could be your tool. Drag your file once then email the link to all of the students in your contact list. Or just post the link on a course blog.

Blog Under Maintenance

If you're visiting Free Technology for Teachers between 2:00am and 6am Eastern Time the blog might look a little out of sorts. I'm working on a redesign of the template. Hopefully, I don't break anything permanently. I think you'll like the new look when it's done.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Silk Slides - An Easy Way to Share & Discuss Slides

Silk Slides is a new service for easily sharing and discussing slideshows. It is very easy to use the service. To get started just upload your slides (Keynote files didn't work for me) then enter your email address. When your upload is complete you can share your slides by sending the URL assigned to your slides to anyone you like.

Silk Slides allows commenting on each slide in your slideshow. To post a comment you have to enter your name (or nickname) and an email address.

Applications for Education
Silk Slides could be a good platform for students to use to ask questions about slides that you share with them. You could use Silk Slides to offer feedback to your students about the design and content of their slides too.

Weekend Project - Apply for the Google Teacher Academy

The deadline to apply for the next Google Teacher Academy is on October 4 next week. I'm sure that there are people who will be working on their applications this weekend. The hardest part of the application for most people is the video submission. To give you some ideas for your video I've embedded a sampling of videos from applicants who were accepted into past Google Teacher Academies.




And just so you don't think that all submissions have a high production quality I've included my video below. Even though I was accepted I recommend making your video look a little better than mine.

Week in Review - 50,000 Subscribers!

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters on Alcohol Mary Road in Greenwood, Maine. My road is a small dirt road in a town of 600 people. I share the details of where I live because it is amazing to me that one person writing from a small house in the woods can reach more than 50,000 subscribers. This week Free Technology for Teachers crossed the 50,000 subscriber mark! I can't thank you all enough for helping to expand the reach of this blog.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 17 Free Tools for Creating Screen Capture Images and Videos
2. 7 Places to Find & Watch Documentaries Online
3. Create Beautiful Presentations with Haiku Deck for iPad
4. A Digital Citizenship Guide from Edmodo and Common Sense Media
5. Play the Election - Games for Learning About the U.S. Presidential Election
6. United Classrooms - Connect Your Classroom with the World
7. Problem Attic - Quickly Create Practice Assessments


Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
Class DoJo is a great student behavior recording keeping service.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
The College of St. Scholastica offers M. Ed courses.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools and is hosting iPad Summit USA in November. Register now for an early bird discount.

How to Subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers
If you aren't subscribed you can join more than 50,000 others who do subscribe via these links.
Subscribe via RSSSubscribe via Email.
Like Free Technology for Teachers on  Facebook.
Find me on Twitter or on Google+

Are you looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator?
Click here for information on what I can do for you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ScootPad - Students Practice Skills from Any Device and Teachers Get Instant Feedback Too

ScootPad is a free service offering mathematics and reading practice activities to elementary school students and their teachers. ScootPad activities can be played on just about any device including iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks.

ScootPad offers a lot of features, but at it's core is practice activities aligned to Common Core standards. Teachers can create classroom accounts in which they can manage all aspects of their students' accounts including password resets. The best part is ScootPad allows teachers to monitor how their students are doing on each concept in the practice activities.

The ScootPad teacher panel allows you to assign homework to your students. You can set activation and deactivation dates for the homework activities. To complete the homework assignments students sign into their accounts to complete the activities anytime during the open window. Their results are instantly visible in your teacher panel. The homework panel also includes a reading log that students and or their parents update.

Each class that you create on ScootPad has its own class wall where students and teachers can post messages for each other. It could be a good place to post reminders and encouragements for students.


Applications for Education
ScootPad could be a great tool for providing students with practice activities targeted to the areas in which they need the most practice. The reports are quite specific which can be helpful not only for you, but also for parents who want to know which skills their children need to practice the most.

State of Flux - Images of Our Changing Planet

NASA's State of Flux image collection features before and after pictures  of more than 200 locations worldwide. The satellite images show the effects of climate change, natural disasters, and land use on places all over the globe. For some examples from the State of Flux collection take a look at the impacts of dam building in Brazil, drought along the Mississippi River, or volcanic activity in Iceland. You can browse for images by clicking placemarks on the State of Flux Google Map or by scrolling through the image gallery.

Applications for Education
If you're teaching lessons on climate change and human impact on the landscape, State of Flux could be a handy resource. Along with each set of images there is a caption about the area and the significance of the images. You could show some of the images to students without revealing the captions and ask them to propose ideas accounting for the causes of the changes they're seeing.

Is Mozilla Persona the Universal Sign-in Schools Have Been Waiting For?

Many services that we all like have the option to sign-in with Facebook and Twitter profiles. While these options are convenient (people rarely forget their Facebook passwords) they have a couple of drawbacks. First, if your school blocks social media sites you're out of luck. Second, Facebook's and to some extent Twitter's privacy settings seem to get more confusing by the day which means you could be sharing information you don't really want to share.

Mozilla's new Persona service might give students and teachers the convenience of a single sign-in service without the need for a social media account. Persona, launched yesterday, allows you to create a single account that you can use to register and log into multiple services. Right now the list of services using Persona is quite limited, but it has the potential to be the universal log-in service of choice for students and teachers.
Applications for Education
Universal sign-in services like Persona can be save you lots of time when you're starting an online activity in your classroom. Instead of spending time creating new accounts, verifying accounts, and retrieving passwords that time can be spent on educational activities.

A Student Presidential Debate Contest

The National Forensic League has launched a presidential debate contest for students. The contest asks students to submit five minute video speeches on health care, the economy, and education. There are separate contests for each category. Students can submit videos for one, two, or all three topics. There are different submission deadlines for each topic the first deadline is October 12 for health care videos. Click here for all of the submission deadlines and rules.


The contest is open to all members of the National Forensic League. If your school is not a member organization, you could use the model of this contest to host your own school-wide or district-wide contest. If you do hold your own contest you could use the YouTube upload widget to collect videos from students.

Thinglink Adds a New Commenting Option

Thinglink, the interactive and collaborative image creation tool that I've covered a lot, recently introduced a new option for commenting on images. You've always been able to let people comment on images by putting pinmarks into your images. Sometimes you might not want people writing on the image itself and that's where the new comment option comes in. Now people can write comments about your images below your images.

Applications for Education
The new Thinglink commenting option could be good for giving students feedback on the interactive images that they have created. You could also use the commenting option to have students write responses to questions that you embed into your Thinglink images.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

ClassDoJo Adds Bulk Report Downloads

Yesterday, I received this email from ClassDoJo and probably many of you got the same one. The email announced some new features for ClassDoJo. In my opinion the most notable new feature is bulk downloads of behavior reports. The reports are downloaded as PDFs.  Another new feature of note is the option to email reports to multiple parents.

Applications for Education
This summer I heard from a number of elementary school teachers who absolutely love ClassDoJo for recording behaviors. One teacher that I spoke with said that she would project the "positive behaviors only" screen when she was giving out positive recognition at the end of the school day. I've also heard from teachers who are using ClassDoJo to give out "rewards" or "points" during classroom discussions for asking good questions, being polite, and using evidence in arguments.

Disclosure: ClassDoJo is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Pin-a-Tale - A Map of British Literature

The British Library recently started a crowd-sourced mapping project. Pin-a-Tale is a map of places that have influenced British literature over the last 1,000 years. The pins on the map contain images and short stories about how places in the British Isles have influenced writing.

Applications for Education
Pin-a-Tale could be a good resource for lessons in British literature. Beyond that it is a nice model for a Google Maps project that your students could do for any other genre of literature. Teachers of American Literature might have students map the places that have influenced famous works in American Literature.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

United Classrooms - Connect Your Classroom With the World

United Classrooms is a service connecting classrooms across the world. The service allows teachers to create classroom profile pages. On their classroom profile pages teachers can post assignments, projects, messages for students, and announcements for parents and students. Teachers can monitor and manage all of the communications between students on the classroom profile page.

United Classrooms allows teachers to share their classroom profile pages with the world. Teachers can search for other classrooms and connect with them. When classrooms are connected students can post messages for each other on the classroom profile pages.

Applications for Education
Using United Classrooms could be a good way for teachers to connect their classrooms to work on collaborative projects. On a smaller scale you could just connect your classrooms to create virtual penpal relationships. And if you don't connect your classroom to another you could use United Classrooms just as a way to share classroom news with the parents of your students.


United Classrooms from United Classrooms on Vimeo.

My Link Cloud - A Beautiful iGoogle Alternative

My Link Cloud is a new service that could fill the space being left behind by the impending closure of iGoogle. My Link Cloud allows you to create start pages with your favorite links. There are other services that fill the same niche, but My Link Cloud is the most visually appealing of those that I have tried.

My Link Cloud allows you to create multiple start pages within your account. Each start page can have a different color scheme. Organizing the links on your pages is a simple drag and drop process. To delete a link just right click on it then confirm that you want to delete it from your start page.

My Link Cloud is still in beta so there are some aspects of it that are still in development that when finished could make it outstanding. Right now the only way to add links to your start pages in My Link Cloud is by using the browser extension. The other aspect that needs improvement is the collaboration option which is advertised as "coming soon" but is not available yet.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for an iGoogle alternative for you or your students, My Link Cloud is a promising service to check out. Your students could use My Link Cloud to create visual collections of links organized around topics they're researching.

Explore the Ocean With Google Maps

Google Earth has had ocean imagery and tours for a while now. You can see a list of ocean tours here. Now you can see underwater ocean imagery in Google Maps too. Yesterday, Google released new underwater ocean imagery for Google Maps. There is not a lot of imagery yet, but what Google has published is quite impressive. Get started by taking a look at the sea turtle and fish below.


View Larger Map


Applications for Education
The underwater Google Maps imagery is limited right now, but what imagery Google has published could be good for students to explore coral reefs in clear detail.

Pinside - Collaborative Sticky Notes

Pinside is a free online sticky note service. Pinside can be used to create boards of notes for yourself or boards to share with others. You can create a mix of private and shared notes within one account. Sticky notes on shared Pinside boards are designed for creating to-do lists. As each item on the the notes is completed you and or your collaborators can delete completed items.

Applications for Education
Pinside could be a good little tool for students working on group projects to assign tasks to each other and check them off as they go. Pinside could also be used by students to create a board of action items for each of the courses that they are taking.

Use Box to Share Files and Folders

About a month ago I posted an informal Twitter survey asking people if they preferred Dropbox or Box for file storage and sharing. Quite a few people replied that they had not heard of Box. Therefore, I'd like to point out what I like about Box.

Both services offer online file storage, sharing, and synchronization from multiple devices (iOS, Android, and desktop apps). But since Dropbox discontinued support for folder sharing for new users, Box has an advantage in the file sharing department. On Box you can create a shared folder that enables all of the people you share with to access the files contained within it. Whenever you update that folder all of the people you have shared it with automatically see the new files in the folder. If you allow downloading of the files within your Box folder you will be able to see who downloaded files and when they downloaded the files. If you make your folders public anyone with the link can access the files too.

Applications for Education
Creating a public Box folder could be a good way to share files with your students. If you create a public folder and share the link with your students, you can gradually update it over time and your students will always have the latest files without having to visit a new link. Create your folder(s) and have your students bookmark it or place a link to it on your class blog so that your students always have access to the latest important files for your class.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Digital Citizenship Guide from Edmodo and Common Sense Media

Edmodo and Common Sense Media have partnered to create a digital citizenship starter kit. This seven page PDF contains a three part lesson on digital citizenship. At the completion of the lesson you can have your students take and sign the digital citizenship. The pledge highlights some of the key parts of being a responsible digital citizen. You can see the pledge sheet below.

Applications for Education
You can download the digital citizenship starter kit from this Edmodo page without registering or signing into Edmodo. Even though the kit clearly has a secondary purpose of getting teachers and students to sign-up for Edmodo, it is still a nice little resource for an introductory lesson on digital citizenship.

Tag My Doc - Adds Dropbox and Box Integration

Tag My Doc is a neat service that allows you to put QR codes on any of your documents. I initially tried it out and reviewed it here last fall. Today, the Tag My Doc team sent me an email announcing some new features which include integration with the cloud storage services Dropbox and Box.

You can now connect your Tag My Doc account to your Dropbox or Box account. By connecting your account any document that you use on Tag My Doc can be saved in your Dropbox or Box account. And documents that you have in either of those two storage services can be pulled into Tag My Doc to have QR codes applied to them.

Watch the video below for a fun introduction to Tag My Doc.


Tag My Doc's other new feature is a set of Microsoft Office add-ins. These add-ins allow you to tag, store, and share documents directly within Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Applications for Education
Use Tag My Doc to put QR codes on the paper documents you distribute in your classroom. Then students can scan them to save them to their phones and tablets thereby eliminating the need for you to give out extra copies when if your students lose the paper documents you gave them.

Wikispaces Introduces a Nice New Website Style

One of the questions that I am often asked is, "should I create a wiki or a website?" For a while my answer has often been to use Google Sites which can be used for both purposes. Today, Wikispaces introduced a new template that offers the flexibility to use Wikispaces as a website and as a tool for collaboration.

The new Wikispaces Editable Website Wiki Type allows you to Wikispaces to create webpages that don't show all of the navigation, editing, and discussion links that you typically see when viewing a Wikispaces page. The new Editable Website Wiki Type retains all of the editing and collaboration options that you have when using a standard Wikispaces page type.

There are two ways to activate the new Wikispaces Editable Website Wiki Type. If you're creating a new wiki select Editable Website Wiki Type during the set-up process. If you have existing wikis that you would like to convert to the new Editable Website Wiki Type sign into your wiki then open the "manage wiki" menu and then the "wiki info" menu to change the wiki type.


Applications for Education
The new Editable Website Wiki Type bridges the gap between websites and wikis. The new style could be perfect for having students create digital portfolios of work they have done in your courses. For more ideas on using wikis in education please see 5 Ways You Can Use Wikis.

Problem Attic - Quickly Create Practice Assessments

Problem Attic is a free service that allows you to quickly create practice tests and flashcards for social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science. Problem Attic has a collection of more than 45,000 questions from past New York Regents exams. To create your practice tests on Problem Attic you simply create a new document then browse through questions and pin them to your document. After you have pinned all of the questions that you want in your document you can arrange the order in which they appear in your document. Finally, before printing your document you choose and set the page formatting.

Applications for Education
Even though I live and work in Maine, one of my former department chairpersons was a big fan of using old New York Regents exam questions as essay prompts and review activities with his students. In my travels and work with teachers in other parts of the U.S. I've talked with other teachers who also like to use old exams for the same purpose. If you like to use old exam questions as review materials, Problem Attic is a service that you should try.

Historical Thinking Matters - Multimedia Investigations in U.S. History

Historical Thinking Matters features four fantastic historical thinking investigation activities for students. Through the investigations students learn about the Spanish-American War, the Scopes Trial, Rosa Parks, and Social Security.

Each of the investigations provides students with background information in the forms of video, images, audio, and text (both primary and secondary sources). As students progress through the investigations they can use the Historical Thinking Matters student notebook to answer guiding questions and take notes. At the end of the investigation students are asked to write short essays. After completing their essays students can email their work including the notes from their notebooks directly to their teachers.
Applications for Education
Historical Thinking Matters is site that every teacher of U.S. History should bookmark. Through the investigations students not only learn about the four events in the series, they also develop skills in analyzing primary sources. And ff you want to create your own historical thinking investigations, Historical Thinking Matters provides a good model to follow.

Organize and Share Lesson Resources on Claco

Back in March I wrote about a new social network for teachers called Class Connect. Since then Class Connect's founder Eric Simons has taken the service through some re-engineering and rebranding and has now re-launched his service as Claco.

Claco is part online filing and part social networking. Using Claco you can collect and organize resources into binders. The social networking piece of Claco allows you to  subscribe to other members' updates. When you subscribe to other members who have made their binders public, you can quickly "snap" their shared resources into your own binders. For example, in the screen capture below you will see that I am "snapping" one of Steve Spangler's shared resources into one of my binders.
In your Claco binders you can save videos, images, individual document files, and complete folders of files. As you can see in the image above, Steve Spangler shared a video that I snapped into one of my Claco binders.

Applications for Education
Claco could be a good place to organize your lesson materials and share some or all of them with other educators. If you're looking for a place to find new lesson ideas and resources, take a look at Claco.

Google Books for Android Gets Handy Updates

Google Books for Android has become my go-to reading app on my Nexus 7 and on my Galaxy Tablets over the last year. The wealth of free public domain books that I can find on Google Books appeals to my cheapskate frugal nature. I also like that I can search for and synch books across my computers and tablets.

Yesterday, Google released a couple of great updates to Google Books for Android. Now when you're reading a book from Google Play Books on your Android device you can highlight the name of a place to quickly find a Google Map for that location. Another new feature to note is a built-in dictionary. To use the dictionary highlight and hold a word. Finally, Google Books for Android now has highlighting and annotating options. You can now highlight words or phrases by clicking and holding on them. Then you can choose your highlighter color and start typing notes associated with your highlights.

Applications for Education
The new updates to Google Books for Android could prove to be great tools for students to use. Your students can use the highlighting and note-taking options to jot down their questions and thoughts while  reading a text you've assigned to them. For example, I might have students in my U.S. History course read a section of The Federalist Papers and while reading write down questions that they need answers to or write comments that they will refer to later during a classroom discussion. I have done a similar thing in my honor courses with paper copies of The Federalist Papers in the past, but now students can access their notes and questions wherever they are. Not to mention the dictionary option will help students quickly access clarifying information as they read.

Monday, September 24, 2012

7 Places to Find & Watch Documentaries Online

It was in the fifth grade while watching a film (yes, a film with two reels) about Plymouth Plantation that I first realized I enjoy watching documentaries. 20+ years later I still enjoy documentaries. As a teacher I think that a good documentary video when used in the right setting can be valuable to students.  Quality documentary videos can provide students with useful explanations or demonstrations of concepts. Unfortunately, documentary DVDs can be expensive acquisitions for some school departments. Here are seven places where you can find and watch documentaries online for free.

PBS Video is currently my favorite place to find high quality documentaries. As a teacher of U.S. History I'm partial to the American Experience videos, but there are many other good programs available through PBS Video. NOVA and Nature are two of the highlights of PBS Video. Most of the videos on PBS Video can be embedded into your blog or website.

Snag Learning and Snag Films offers access to hundreds of high quality documentary videos. Snag Learning categorizes documentaries by grade level and content area. Additionally, Snag Learning offers a series of guiding questions for each film. You can embed previews of each video into your blog, but you have to watch the full-length versions on Snag Learning or Snag Films.

Documentary Heaven is a free site that has organized more than 1600 documentary films found across the Internet. Through Documentary Heaven can find documentaries covering all kinds of topics in science, history, politics, business, and many more categories. The videos are sourced from a variety of services including, but not limited to, YouTube.

Folk Streams is a good website featuring documentary films of American life. Visitors to Folk Streams will find films about various demographic segments of the population as well as films about regions of the country. The films are produced by independent directors and come from a variety of distributors. Most of the films appear to be between thirty and sixty minutes in length although there are some films outside of that range. Visitors to Folk Streams can search by region, subject, title, filmmaker, or distributor.

Explore.org produces and hosts high-quality documentary films and photographs. The films and images focus on exploring the world and the work of non-profit organizations around the world. The films and images are organized by destination. There are twelve destinations in all including China, Tibet, the Middle East, and India. Explore.org is funded in part by the Annenburg Foundation.


Documentary Tube, like similar services, is a catalog of full-length documentaries found on the web. Documentary Tube doesn't actually host the videos rather it catalogs them and displays them through embedding. Documentary Tube videos come from places like Daily Motion, YouTube, and Google Video. The catalog is arranged thematically. If you find a lot of documentaries on Documentary Tube you create and save playlists of your favorites.

DocumentaryZ offers hundreds of documentaries organized into two dozen categories. Many of the videos are served via YouTube, but some are not. If you're fortunate enough to work in a school that allows you to access YouTube, DocumentaryZ is worth bookmarking.

Play the Election - Games for Learning About the U.S. Presidential Election

Play the Election from Rand McNally is a collection of games and lessons for learning and teaching about the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. Play the Election has three main sections that teachers should check out.

An interactive Electoral College map provides students with a current view of polling information and the number of Electoral College votes up for grabs in each state. Students can click on each state to see the current polling data for that state. Students will also find current news stories about the U.S. Presidential campaigns when they click on the states. To get some historical perspective students can view the results of each election going back to 1960.

In Play the Election Game Central you will find eleven educational games about the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. My favorite set of games in Game Central is State by State. In the State by State games students learn about the issues important to voters of various states. To find this information students click through interactive mini-infographics. After reading about the important issues students vote on which candidate they think will win, which candidate they think should win, and which issues are of the most importance in that state. Right now there are only four states open in the game, but more are on the way.

The third aspect of Play the Election that teachers should note is the Classroom Manager. In the Classroom Manager teachers can find lesson plans about the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. The lesson plans are aligned to Common Core standards. Teachers can also use Classroom Manager to see the statistics for the games their students play (students have to register and log-in as class members).

Applications for Education
Even if you and your students don't register on Play the Election you can still use the games and the interactive map. You can play the games without registering, but your scores will not be saved. What I like about the games is that students have to consider background information in the decisions that they make while playing the games.

Study Champs Offers Math, English, and Science Practice Activities

Study Champs is a free service offering online practice quizzes in mathematics, language arts, and science. The online quizzes are essentially online worksheets that offer instant feedback as to whether or not you've entered the correct answer on each question. Study Champs also offers printable worksheets.

Applications for Education
I'm generally not a fan of worksheets or fill-in-the-blank online activities, but I know that some people do like them. If you are looking for some simple online practice activities for your students to use after your lessons, Study Champs might have what you want.