Friday, February 1, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Scratch- Kids create interactive stories

Scratch is a program from MIT designed to help kids create and share interactive stories, music, and videos. The program is a free download. The program is compatible with PC, Mac, and Linux systems.

Applications for Educators
Scratch is a good way to have students organize their thoughts into a story board then watch and share the results with others. Have students create an educational game to help others learn and to demonstrate their own knowledge. Through the creation of scratch programs students learn some basic presentation programming skills. Scratch is designed for students age 8 and up.

Here is a video about Scratch.

Free Technology For Teachers: Dropio adds another free service!, a free service that I've mentioned before, has added another free service. The new widget is a widget (button/icon) that you can install on a blog (or other website you maintain) to have files uploaded directly to your account. Installing the widget is very simple, the video below explains it perfectly. Click here to see how I'm using the widget on a blog for one of my freshmen classes.

This video from explains the service very well.

Application for Educators
The widget is a
n excellent tool for collecting student work electronically. Rather than having student work clutter your email account or making students go to a separate website to submit work they can upload their assignments from the same website where they participate in online discussions and find class notes.
The added benefit of using the widget is that unless you tell your students that they're uploading to they'll never know. They'll think that you have awesome web programming skills and tha
t you created a secret online collection box off of your blog.

My College Quickstart- now available without an access code.

I just received an email from the College Board announcing that their online planning guide for students and parents is now available to all students regardless of whether or not they have taken the PSAT or SAT. This is new because the College Board for years has had online planning guides but they were only available to student who had taken a College Board test.

Application for Education
In addition to free planning guides for students and parents the College Board has added a new section of free resources for teachers and guidance counselors.