Monday, December 1, 2008

Living Off the Land - Personal Finance Lesson

This video from Reuters features a short story about a British economics student that is trying to spend a year living without spending any cash or using credit cards.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good discussion starter for a lesson in personal finances and spending. Students could explore the problems that a person might confront by trying to spend a year without spending any money.

On a related note I recently read a series of blog posts about trying to spend seven days without spending any money. You can read the author's experiences here.

For other economics lesson ideas check out Biz Ed.

There Are More Resources Here...

Just a quick note for those of you who are revisiting Free Technology for Teachers after a few days away from computers, the Internet, and academia for the Thanksgiving holiday. Over the weekend I moved all of the resource links and then some onto a wiki which you can find here or by clicking the "dozens of more resources" link at the top of each category in the left side column. There are actually more resources there than there was on the blog. The lists were just getting to unwieldy to keep hosting on one blog page so I had to move them.

If you visit the Free Technology for Teachers wiki you will notice that I have made a category of links just for alternatives to YouTube. I made that category in response to the popularity of my alternatives to YouTube blog entries. Right now I am working on a list dedicated to Google Earth and GIS resources. If there are other categories I should create please let me know.

Wired Antarctica - Life at the Poles

Wired Antarctica is a website designed to correspond with the Antarctic research of four professors, scientists, and teachers from Texas and Ontario. Wired Antarctica offers ten lesson plans and three educational games about Antarctica. The lesson plans are fantastic, they're not the sort of blah, generic lesson plans that you find on "those" commercial lesson plan websites. The lesson plans are thoughtfully constructed, active learning activities.

Here is a video introduction to Wired Antarctica.

Another resource for teaching about Antarctica and climate change that you might like to explore is NASA's Antarctica Quest. The quest is comprised of many activities completed online as well as offline in the classroom.

Courtesy of Snag Films you can incorporate the National Geographic movie Emperors of the Ice into a lesson about Antarctica and climate change. National Geographic has two detailed lesson plans that would complement the movie, you find those lessons here or here.

What started me on the quest to find high quality resources about Antarctica was a report published today by the BBC called Life at the Poles which refers to a recent project undertaken by British and German scientists to inventory organisms at the poles.

Mumbai Timeline and Map from CNN

On Friday morning while the violence in Mumbai was still active, I posted some resources for teaching about the terrorist actions in Mumbai. Now that the violence in Mumbai has ended here are some follow-up resources from CNN.

Terror in Mumbai is a video from CNN outlining the sequence of events.

(If you're reading this in a RSS reader you may need to visit the blog directly to see the video).

CNN like the BBC has an interactive map of the places where the violence took place. You will find the map here.

Finally, CNN Student News has first person accounts of the violence in Mumbai.

Free SAT Prep - Act Quickly

Brightstorm is a test prep and online tutoring company that normally charges $49 for students to take their online SAT prep course. Right now they are offering the course for free to the first 1,000 people to sign-up through Mashable. Visit Mashable for all of the details.

Embedded below is a video introduction to Brightstorm services.

How Googly Are You? - Teaching Awareness of Digital Footprints

Yesterday, Allen Stern of Center Networks posted a long list of ways that Google can gather data about its users. I don't worry too much about what kind of data Google collects about me because I think a little data about me is a fair trade for all of the useful tools that Google provides to me (this blog is a case in point). That said, reading Allen's list did remind me of the importance of teaching students to be aware of the digital footprint that they leave online.

In the past year I have come across some good resources for teaching students lessons about being aware of their digital footprints. One of those resources is Frontline's documentary Growing Up Online which every parent and student should watch and can watch for free on the Frontline website.

There are two good slideshow presentations about digital footprint awareness on Slide Share. Sacha Chua's slide show The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work should be seen by high school students. I've embedded that slide show below.

Dean Groom also has a good slide show about digital footprints that teachers and administrators should watch as it stresses the importance to teaching digital footprint awareness. Check out Dean's slide show here.

Teaching Tolerance Song Activities

Teaching Tolerance is a great source of lesson plans, some of which I've mentioned in the past. "I Will be Your Friend" is a free cd and song book that accompanies a series of lesson plans about recognizing cultural diversity. The song book and cd contains 26 songs with lyrics and guitar fingering.

Applications for Education
I Will be Your Friend is designed for use with elementary school students. These free lesson plans provide a great opportunity for music education to be incorporated into the general curriculum.