Friday, July 24, 2009

Week in Review - Most Popular Items

It's the weekend and time for another week-in-review post. For those that are new to Free Technology for Teachers, each weekend I publish a list of the seven most popular posts of the previous week. The popularity is based on the sum of clicks and views for each blog post.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last seven days:
1. 10 Places to Make and Find Flashcards Online
2. Watch Know - Thousands of Educational Videos
3. Be Funky - Create a Cartoon of Yourself
4. More Templates Coming to Google Docs
5. Study Blue - Collaborative Study Tools
6. Make the Most of Your Netbook's Screen
7. How Should You Spend Your Computer Budget?

If you're new to Free Technology for Teachers, welcome, I'm glad you've found this blog. If you like what you see in the links above, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS or email.
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Finally, thank you to all of you that have helped to grow the reach of Free Technology for Teachers. I truly appreciate every comment, re-Tweet, and email. Speaking of email, if you have any questions or comments you want to share with me you can always email me at richardbyrne (at)

Mixed Ink - Collaborative Policy Writing

Mixed Ink is a collaborative writing tool that is best described as one part wiki, one part Google Docs, and one part polling system. Mixed Ink is designed for use by a community of people to develop mission statements, open letters to Congress or government officials, and other policy statements.

Mixed Ink offers a collaborative writing platform that includes revisions along the side of the writing tablet. This allows everyone to quickly see who edited what. This is an advantage over Google Docs or a wiki where you have to change pages to see revisions. Mixed Ink also allows you to vote or rate the revisions that have been made to a document. To learn more about everything that Mixed Ink offers, watch the video embedded below.

MixedInk from MixedInk on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Mixed Ink could be a good tool for getting a class or combination of classes to collaborate on an open letter to Congress. You could also use Mixed Ink to have students draft a vision statement for their school. Mixed Ink might also be a good tool for getting students from different schools to work together to draft a vision statement for the education system in a country.

GeoNet Geography Game

GeoNet is a geography quiz game from Houghton Mifflin that offers students more than just the state or country identification questions typical of geography games. GeoNet has a category of games based on a world map and games based on a map of the United States. Within each category are six types of quiz game questions. Each quiz game has two levels.

Thanks to Anne Marie for sharing GeoNet on Talking SMARTBoards.

Here are some other geography games that may be of interest to you:
Reach the World - Interactive Geography Activites
Fun Atlas Jigsaw Puzzles
Find Country - Improve Your Geography Knowledge

Lectures and Courses from Great Universities

I've mentioned Open Culture a few times on this blog because it often has videos and stories of interest to educators. One of the outstanding elements of Open Culture is it's collection of free online courses and lectures from great universities. The collection contains roughly 200 free audio and video downloads. The collections contains lectures and courses in the humanities and sciences.

Applications for Education
The Open Culture collection of lectures and courses is a good place to find interesting content for your own professional learning. The collection might also contain something that you can recommend to a high school student that has a strong interest in a particular subject area.