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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Month in Review - May's Most Popular Posts

A baby bird I tried
to help today. 
The baby birds are chirping, my lawn is out of control, and card aisle in the grocery store is stocked with graduation announcements. That can only mean one thing, May is coming to a close. As I do every month, I've made a list of the month's most popular posts. Before jumping to the list I want to say thank you to all of you who continue to read and share what you read on Free Technology for Teachers. Thanks to you there are nearly 47,000 subscribers today. I also have to say thank you to the advertisers who help keep a roof over my head and food in my dog's bowl.

Here are the most popular posts from May, 2012:
1. Holy Fonts, Batman! Google Docs gets 450+ New Fonts
2. Create Videos Online with WeVideo in Google Drive
3. Web Search Lesson Plans from Google
4. Nine Shel Silverstein Stories Animated
5. Learnist is Like Pinterest for Learning
6. A Must-See Video for Teen Drivers
7. Google Drive and Google Docs for Teachers - Free PDF Guide
8. 7 Great Note-taking Tools for Teachers and Students
9. Provide Tech Help Remotely via Chrome Remote Desktop
10. Present.me - Sync Audio and Video to Your Slideshows


Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
LearnBoost provides a free online gradebook service for teachers.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
Teachers Printables offers 243 free printable charts and forms for teachers.
Fresno Pacific University is offering some exciting new courses for educators.
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. I will be conducting a series of workshops with them this summer. Please visit their site for the schedule.

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Edublogs Gets an iPad App

The popular student blog provider Edublogs released a new free iPad and iPhone app today. The free Edublogs app will allow you to write new posts, edit posts, upload images, upload videos, and moderate comments from your iPad or iPhone. You can even start a new blog from scratch using the app. One thing that I'm not sure of yet, is whether or not you can change themes or add widgets to your blog through the app.

Applications for Education
If your school is using iPads and you're looking for a good student blogging platform give Edublogs and the Edublogs iPad app a try.

Thanks to Amanda Dykes for sharing the news about this app on Twitter.

Disclosure: Edublogs has been an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers in the past. 

The World Wonders Project is a Must-Bookmark Site

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for alerting me to an awesome new resource from Google called the World Wonders Project. The World Wonders Project is  probably best described as a multimedia encyclopedia of 132 historic and notable sites across five continents. The project assembles Google Streetview imagery, Google Earth 3D buildings, UNESCO World Heritage information, videos, and pictures on one page. Visitors to the World Wonders Project can move through the Streetview imagery just like they would on Google Maps.



Applications for Education
I hope that in the future Google adds more sites to the World Wonders Project as they have totally ignored Africa and huge sections of Asia in the first release. In the meantime, the World Wonders Project is still a good reference site for the places that are included in the World Wonders Project. Click on the Education tab in the upper-right corner of the World Wonders Project to find and download some teaching guides and media packs for places and themes featured in the World Wonders Project. There are materials for elementary school, middle school, and high school use.

U.S. Elections for Dummies 1960-1992

Take Khan Academy for social studies, use better graphics, put an engaging speaker who is actually a social studies teacher in front of the camera and you'll have Hip Hughes History. I mentioned Hip Hughes History a while back in a list of other history resources. This morning I want to share one of the newer playlists that Keith Hughes has created which is all about U.S. Presidential Elections from 1960 through 1992 (I'm hoping there are more on the way). These videos are seven to fifteen minute overviews of the major themes of each election.



Applications for Education
As Mr. Hughes points out in the introductions to the videos, these aren't videos that you will build a thesis paper around. If you need to review or cram before a test, these videos could be helpful. And it doesn't hurt that they're far more engaging than a disembodied voice talking over a blackboard.

100+ Registration Free Tools for Students

One of the common obstacles to using many Web 2.0 tools in elementary school and middle school classrooms is the registration requirement that those tools have. Fortunately, there are many good Web 2.0 tools that do not require registration. Nathan Hall has started to put together a Diigo list of Web 2.0 tools that do not require registration. When I saw the list yesterday it had 60 items. When I looked at the list this morning there were 101 items on the list. Take a look at Nathan's list and I think you'll find some new-to-you tools, I did.

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