Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5 Interesting and Educational Twitter Finds

Here are five interesting and educational things that I learned about today through my Twitter network. As always if you have something you would like to share or you would just like to get your name out there to build your Twitter network, please leave a comment.

1. Students Unplugged from @bengrey
2. How Educators Harness the Power of Social Networks from @malinkaiva
3. How to Balance Online Classes With Working Full Time from @edu_tweets
4. Amazon Web Services for Educations from @jackiegerstein
5. Acceptable Use Policies Becoming a Relic from @nalibrandi

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200+ Free Mathematics Books

The Free Mathematics Books section of E-Books Directory contains nearly 300 titles. The books in the collection cover topics from basic Algebra through advanced number theory and everything in between.

The entire E-Books Directory contains nearly 1700 titles. The E-Books Directory provides freely downloadable textbooks, documents, and lecture notes. You can search the directory by keyword or browse through hundreds of categories.

Applications for Education
The E-Books Directory could be a good place to find downloadable books to use as supplemental materials in your classroom. I'm thinking of referring some of my US History students to the US History section of the E-Books Directory.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
My eBook - Build a Multimedia Ebook
Flat World Knowledge Provides Free Textbooks
Free eBooks at Planet eBook

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Just for Fun - Twitter in Real Life

I'm a big proponent of using Twitter as a tool for developing a personal learning network and I've written dozens of posts about various uses of Twitter for learning professional learning purposes. Sometimes it's healthy to be able to poke a little fun at ourselves and have a laugh about the things that we do. Twitter in Real Life is a fun look at Twitter. Thanks to Mashable for sharing the video.

Here are some related blog posts that may be of interest to you:
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
WebMynd - Google Search + Social Search

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The First 100 Days in Pictures

President Obama has been in office for 100 days now. Earlier this week I posted some videos explaining the historical significance and current importance placed on the first 100 days. The White House has released a large collection of images of President Obama's first 100 days in office. The images are published on The Official White House Flickr Photostream. You can view the images in slideshow format here.

Applications for Education
The slideshow provides a wealth of possibilities for a creative writing project. You could have students select an image or two and write a short story based on the actions they see in the image. For example, a student might select this image of President Obama speaking to Senator Susan Collins and write a dialogue of what they might be saying to each other. An assignment of this type could be graded as a social studies assignment and a creative writing assignment if you require students to include factual elements in their writing. In the case of the image with Susan Collins I might have my students find out which issues Senator Collins has been most vocal about and have them include references to those issues in the dialogue that they write.

This slideshow of images from President Obama's first 100 days could be a good tool for prompting a review political and social events of the last three months. Each image has a "show info" link in the upper-right hand corner. Clicking that link provides a brief caption of the image.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The Story of the Obama "Hope" Poster
Comparing Obama's Inaugural Address to Kennedy's
Growing Up in the White House

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Blog Basics for the Classroom

Teachers First provides a wealth of lesson plan resources to teachers of all K-12 content areas. Additionally, Teachers First provides teaching ideas and practical tips for classroom teachers. One such resource is their guide Blog Basics for the Classroom.

Blog Basics for the Classroom is designed to provide guidance to teachers creating classroom blogs for the first time. This guide starts with an explanation of what a blog is, provides many suggestions for using a classroom blog, and concludes with step-by-step explanations for setting up a blog.

Thanks to Kelly Hines for link.

Applications for Education
This could be a good resource for teachers who are interested in creating a blog for their classrooms, but aren't sure how to get started. The "blog use ideas" section of the guide is a practical list for anyone who has a classroom blog.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Create a Homepage With Scholastic's Homepage Builder

Grading Student Blogging
File Sharing and Blogs and Wikis. Oh My!

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Brain Bashers - Puzzles and Brain Teasers

Brain Bashers offers visitors a nice selection of word games, logic games, and puzzles. Brain Bashers is updated regularly with many games that change daily and new games added every week.

Brain Bashers was developed and is maintained by Kevin Stone. Kevin Stone is a mathematics teacher in England.

Applications for Education
Brain Bashers is the type of website that is good to have bookmarked for those unplanned "downtimes" that sometimes occur in a classroom. When a class finishes an activity early or finishes standardized testing early, using a collection of brain teasers and puzzles can be a good way to fill that time.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Five Fun Spelling Games
Games for the Brain
200+ Free Games for Your Blog or Website

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