Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Free (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence) is a website full of hundred materials that can be used for teaching. The website does not provide lesson plans per se, but it does offer a lot of ideas about lessons and the materials to support them. The materials are categorized by subject matter although they are not categorized by grade level.

Applications for Educators
Many of the materials provided on Free are primary sources. Primary resources are a good material to use when teaching analysis skills. Some of the external links off of Free do link to lesson plans relevant to using primary sources.

Free Technology For Teachers: What is RSS and Why you should use it.

Do you want an easy way to keep up with new content posted to your favorite websites? If so, start using an RSS reader. RSS stands for "really simple syndication." What an RSS reader does is send the newest content posted on your favorite websites to you. So instead of having to go an look at each web site individually, you have all of the latest content from all of your favorite web sites sent directly to you. Setting up an RSS reader is very easy. The two videos posted below explain and demonstrate how to set up an RSS reader.

Free Technology For Teachers: Photo Soup- Visual Word Search

Photo Soup is a new service from Yahoo and Flickr (you do not need to have an account to use the service). Photo Soup creates word searches based on images tagged with the subject you provide. Once the word search is generate (it takes only seconds to generate) you can then play the word search online, print the word search, or embed the word search into a web site as I have done below. To create my word search all I did was type in the word Africa then Photo Soup retrieved images and words related to Africa.

Applications For Educators
The word puzzles generated with accompanying images are useful for upper elementary grades through middle school grades. Almost any key word you insert will generate a word search with images.

Free Technology For Teachers: Save Webpages in their current state

Iterasi is a new free service designed to save entire web pages in their current state as opposed to saving just a link or a screen capture. Saving screen captures is nothing new, but saving the web page with its active links is a new idea. This is a great service to use if you come across a web page that is constantly changing, like a news site. Instead of printing the page you can save the page as is with the active content and come back to the page later. Think of the Iterasi sevice as putting a web page in a time capsule then going back later to open and use the contents. The demonstration video below explains the service very well.

Application for Educators
1. Iterasi is a great way to conserve paper and printing resources.
2. Iterasi is a great way to save web pages to then go back and grab portions of the site for use on another project.