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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Learn a Language On the Go With Duolingo Mobile Apps

On the first day of the year I reviewed the free language learning service Duolingo. To learn a new language on Duolingo you read, listen to, and translate words and phrases. For example if I want to learn Spanish I'll be shown Spanish words with translations. I can can hear the words pronounced too. Then to practice I type and or speak translations. The activities start out with simple words and phrases. As I become more proficient, Duolingo gives me more challenging phrases. To help me track my progress Duolingo awards me point and virtual badges.

In addition to using Duolingo in your web browser you can also use the free Android and iOS apps. Tekzilla provides a short demo of the app in the video below.

Search Tips & Strategies Tip Sheet

On Friday I shared my strategy of using images as question prompts to teach Google search strategies. In that post I mentioned that the strategy is based in part on what Daniel Russell does in his Search ReSearch challenges. This afternoon Dr. Russell shared a great list of tips and strategies that will help you be a better user of Google search. The search tips and strategies are used in eight key lessons outlined on the same page. Those eight key lessons are:

1. Know what’s possible to ask.
2. Use more than 1 resource.
3. Understand their language.
4. Understand terms / concepts / genre.
5. Know the capabilities of their tools (operators).
6. Know the structure of their information space.
7. Search for tools when you need one.
8. Know how to use different media types.

See Daniel Russell's Search ReSearch blog for the complete list of tips, strategies, and the complete presentation that goes with the list.

H/T to Fred Delventhal on Google+.

Learn Art History With Smarthistory

One of the most popular posts of the last week was 372 Free Art History Books. Writing that post reminded me of a resource that I reviewed three years ago, Smarthistory.

Smarthistory is a free online alternative to expensive art history textbooks. Smarthistory features more than just images of notable works of art. The combination of video lessons, text articles, and audio lessons about eras and themes in art history is what makes Smarthistory a valuable resource. Students can browse all of the resources of Smarthistory by artist name, style of work, theme, or time period. Smarthistory was originally developed by art history professors Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory is now partnered with Khan Academy to deliver lessons via video.

Week in Review - Home Again

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. I'm home after 11 days on the road during which I spoke at four conferences. As I mentioned when I posted this picture on Instagram, I'm fortunate to be able to visit so many places, but it is always nice to be home and watching the view from my porch with my dogs. Yesterday, was the official first day of summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I'm looking forward to some summer fun and I hope that you are too. And for my friends in the southern hemisphere, I hope that the winter is good to you too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 25,000 Images of Art That You Can Re-use for Free
2. WatchDoc - A Chrome Extension for Monitoring Google Docs Changes
3. MyStudyLife - A Student Planner on the Web and Windows 8
4. Create Multimedia Presentations and Quizzes in Edmodo
5. 372 Free Art History Books
6. Get Healthy With Google
7. 18 Google Earth & Maps Lessons for K-12

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