Friday, November 21, 2008

The Friday Five - Week in Review and a Poll

It's a sunny and cold Friday afternoon here in Maine which means it's time for the Free Technology for Teachers week in review. This week in addition to posting the week's five most popular blog posts I am posting a poll for you to vote for your favorite blog post of the last seven days. I'll post the results of the poll next Friday.

Here are the five most popular blog posts over the last seven days.
1. 20+ Educational Alternatives to YouTube
2. Math A Tube - Video Math Help
3. Computer Tutorials in Pictures and Video
4. Six More Educational Alternatives to YouTube
5. The Grapes of Wrath - Free Full Length Movie

This week Free Technology for Teachers reached an all-time high subscriber count of 1149. Welcome to all new subscribers and thank you to everyone who has subscribed over the course of the last 51 weeks. If you're not subscribed to Free Technology for Teachers, please consider subscribing in your favorite RSS reader or via email. Subscribing just takes a minute yet it can save you time throughout the week. Subscribing in an RSS reader or via email is like having the newspaper delivered to your doorstep instead of going to the newsstand everyday.

Next week marks the one year anniversary of Free Technology for Teachers. I never imagined that this many people would read my blog when I started it last fall. It has been a fun and educational experience for me. In celebration of the first anniversary of Free Technology for Teachers and as a service to anyone who has young children on their holiday shopping list, next week my uncle, The Toy Guy, Chris Byrne will be sharing his recommendations for the top educational toys of the season. If you're an Oprah or a Regis and Kelly watcher you may have seen Chris in action.

A Fun, Free Math Video Game - Math Moves U

Math Moves U is a fun math video game that I discovered earlier this week. I wish I could remember where I found it so that I can thank that person because this mathematics game is great. Math Moves U has three levels of difficulty; grade 6 or lower, grade 7, and grade 8 or higher. To play the game students choose from one of eight customizable characters to be in the game. Then the player walks through scenery, along the way they are confronted by math problems that appear in boxes above the character's head. Points are earned by answering math questions correctly. Teachers from my generation (early 30's) will recognize that the game is similar in style to the original Mario Brothers game that came with the original Nintendo gaming system.

Applications for Education
Math Moves U is a fun way to get students hooked on practicing and developing mathematics skills. If you have students register for an optional account, they can track their progress by keeping a running record of point totals.

Google Search Wiki - Customize Your Search Results

Yesterday, on the Official Google Blog, Google announced a new way to look at Google search results. Anyone that has a Google account can use the new Google Search Wiki tools. After signing into your Google account you search just like you normally would. When your search results appear you can reorder them and make notations about the search results. The changes you make are your's alone, however, if you want to see what other people have done with the same search results you can do that as well. Watch the video below for a demonstration of Google Search Wiki in action.

Applications for Education
The Google Search Wiki could be a useful tool for introducing a conversation about search engine rankings. The conversation could revolve around the question of how does Google rank pages versus the way that humans might assign priority to a list of websites.

Europa Film Treasures

Europa Film Treasures is soon going to be added to the list of Educational Alternatives to YouTube. Europa Film Treasures is an online archive of classic European films. The website is relatively new, but already there is a good collection of films available for free viewing. Europa Film Treasures has plans for adding lesson plans and resources specifically for teachers.

Applications for Education
Europa Film Treasures could be a great resource for anyone teaching film making or the history of film. Teachers may also find useful videos for teaching history, culture, and foreign language.