Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Animated and Narrated Grammar Glossary

Great Source iWrite from the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt company features an awesome animated and narrated glossary of grammar terms. In this glossary you will find animated, narrated videos explaining the use of punctuation. You will find the same type of video explaining the parts of speech and mechanics of writing.

Thanks to Diana Dell for this awesome resource that she posted on Twitter tonight.

Applications for Education
If you require students to do any type of formal writing, the Great Source iWrite glossary of grammar terms is a great reference to link to your class blog or website.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Play Mad Libs Online
Grammar Ninja - A Fun Grammar Game
Five Great Grammar Resources

Find Creative Commons Images on Yahoo Search

Yahoo has introduced a new option for finding Creative Commons licensed images. Now when you search for images using Yahoo's image search tool, you can select filters to refine results to show only images that are licensed under Creative Commons. The filters allow you to select filters for images that can be used for commercial purposes or images that are licensed for remixing and building upon. The screenshot below shows the filters I selected when searching for images of the Eiffel Tower.

Applications for Education
Yahoo's Creative Commons image search filter is one of the easiest-to-use Creative Commons search tools that I've tried. Yahoo's search filters make it easy for students to quickly find images that they can use in all kinds of digital presentations.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Copyright for Educators
Creative Commons Explanations and Teaching Materials
Compfight - Creative Commons Image Search

The History Teacher's Attic is a Must-Read

I might be late to the party on this one, but I'll share it anyway because I can't be the only one who hadn't heard of The History Teacher's Attic. The History Teacher's Attic is written by Jeff Mummert who has been teaching a variety of social studies courses for the last fifteen years. Over the years he has created numerous lesson plans and found many resources for teaching social studies. So, in Jeff's words he created The History Teacher's Attic for this purpose, "to get this dusty stuff off of my hands, all the while adding new content and resources for the history or social studies teacher." It appears that The History Teacher's Attic is updated a few times a week. I took one look at The History Teacher's Attic and knew that I had to subscribe to it. If you're a social studies teacher, you owe it to yourself to explore The History Teacher's Attic too.

MapTrot - Easily Create and Share Maps

MapTrot is one of the most easy-to-use map creation tools that I've come across in a while. To use MapTrot simply click "create a map" to get started. There are three methods for creating placemarks on your map. You can add placemarks by entering an address, by specifying latitude and longitude coordinates, or by simply zooming in and clicking on a location. I found zooming in and clicking on a location to be the easiest of the three methods for adding placemarks. After specifying the location of a placemark you can add information about your chosen location.

The map below is one that I created in about five minutes using MapTrot. RSS readers may need to click through to see the map.

Here's a great example of what can be done with MapTrot.

Applications for Education
MapTrot is a great tool for introducing students to making maps online. Map making isn't limited to just the social studies classroom. MapTrot could be used by students to map out the locations in a story they've read. MapTrot could also be used by students in a science classroom to map the locations of volcanoes or the site of an earthquake. Art students could use MapTrot to create a map of the birthplaces of artists or to map the location of significant works of architecture.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Show World - Geography Lesson Plans
National Atlas Map Maker
Glotter - Building and Sharing Google Maps

A Great Glogster Tutorial

Glogster is a powerful tool for students to use to create online collages that they can share with their friends and classmates. If you're not familiar with Glogster, it can best be described, as Amy Mayer did here, as an online poster creation tool with music. Glogster for Education gives teachers the ability to create accounts for their classrooms. Using their Glogster for Education accounts, teachers can assign to and manage individual accounts for their students.

I could walk you through all of the things you can do with Glogster and the steps you need to take to get your students using Glogster, but Traci Blazosky has already put together an excellent Glogster tutorial. In Traci's Glogster tutorial you will find directions on everything from registering with Glogster through embedding finished Glogsters into a wiki or blog.

Applications for Education
Glogster can be used in any number of content areas. I've had students use Glogster to create collages about famous figures from the 1920's. Literature teachers may want to use Glogster to create book reports and or character portrayals. Creating Glogster collages could be an assignment in and of itself or the collages your students create could be part of larger collaborative project like creating a wiki on a particular unit of study.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Myths and Legends Story Builder
Stupeflix - Free Video Montage Creator
The End of Slide Shows - Animoto