Friday, January 30, 2009

The Week's Most Popular Items

It was a short, but busy week here in Maine. School was closed due to weather on Wednesday. The unexpected day off allowed me to write seven blog posts. This week I accepted an invitation from Jeff and Dan at Wicked Decent Learning to join them for a recording of their awesome podcast. I'll be sure to post a link to their podcast when that episode is published.

Here are the five most popular items of the last seven days.
1. Teaching Internet Search Strategies
2. Blank Sheet Music and Other Music Resources
3. Safe Computing Tools for Kids
4. Steve Jobs Introducing the First Mac
5. Understanding the Financial Crisis - Say It Visually

If you found any of those blog posts useful, please consider subscribing to the RSS or Email feed for Free Technology for Teachers. If you have already subscribed, more than 2200 of you have, thank you for being a loyal reader and thank you for sharing Free Technology for Teachers with your friends and colleagues.

Remix America - Make Your Own US History Documentaries

Remix America is a new website that allows you to create your own documentary US History videos. Using the video editing technology developed by Kaltura, users can grab video clips, add images, add soundtracks, and mix them together. The editing process is made easy by the drag and drop interface. Drag and drop the elements you want included in your video, arrange the sequence and Remix America does the rest. You can use the media hosted on Remix America to create your video or use media that you already have saved on your computer to create your video.

Watch the demonstration video below. (If you're reading this in RSS you may need to visit the blog directly to see the video).
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsfree video player

Applications for Education
Remix America is a great way for students to create digital presentations about topics in US History. If your students found enough video clips and images, they could produce a video history of the United States from 1776 through today.

Historians on Record

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has quite a few excellent resources for teaching US History. The teacher resource page offers online quizzes, primary source documents, and twenty comprehensive units of study complete with visual aids and links to additional resources. The units of study comprise one of the best prepackaged US History curriculums that I've found online.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has a series of podcasts called Historians o Record. Historians on Record features notable authors speaking on their favorite US History topics. The podcast featured right now is of Doris Kearns Goodwin talking about her book Team of Rivals.

Applications for Education
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a valuable resource for high school US history teachers. As I mentioned above the units of study they have constructed are of a very high quality and include the use of primary source documents.

Here are a few more US History resources you may want to consider using in your classroom.
American Memory Historical Maps
Exploring US History Through Images and Documents
The Avalon Project - Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy

AdLit - Strategies for Teaching Adolescent Literature

AdLit is a website that one of my colleagues who teaches reading recently shared with me. is all about adolescent literature. On AdLit teachers can find book lists, video interviews with authors, and a comprehensive list of strategies for teaching reading and writing. The strategies page gives detailed descriptions of how to implement each strategy. AdLit's strategies page also gives guidance as to the proper timing for implementing the suggested strategies.

Applications for Education
AdLit is a good place for teachers to find strategies for teaching reading comprehension. The suggested strategies can be applied to fiction or non-fiction literature. I am planning on trying the Concept Map strategy with my US History class comprised special education students.

Here are a couple of other young adult literature resources.
Guys Read - Getting Boys to Read
10 Questions for Stephenie Meyer