Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Screenr - A Simple Tool for Creating Screencasts

Some readers may have seen my Tweet about this earlier this evening. Screenr is a very simple, easy-to-use tool for creating screencast videos. You do not need to register in order to use Screenr, but if you want to save your recordings you do need a Twitter account. Screenr uses your Twitter ID to save your recording and publish it to Twitter (you can opt not to publish to Twitter). The recordings you make using Screenr can also be published to YouTube or you can download your recordings.

To use Screenr simply go to the site, click the "record" link, drag a box around the area of your screen that you want to record and then press the red "record" button. Screenr will record for up to five minutes. When you're done recording, click publish and you're done. It really takes just a few minutes to create a screencast video using Screenr.

Embedded below is the sample video I made using Screenr.

Applications for Education
Making screencast videos is a good way to create a record of the instructions that you may have to frequently give to students or colleagues. Post your screencasts online and your students and colleagues can watch them when you're not available to answer their "how-to" questions. In the past I have created screencasts for my students about adding pages to wikis.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Four Free Tools for Creating Screencasts
A Very Simple Way to Make Screen Captures
Jing Leaves Beta - Use It For Free or Go Pro

School Math Prep - Free from Sylvan

I received an email today from a representative of Sylvan Learning Centers. The email was promoting Sylvan's new, free web product, School Math Prep. Despite the fact that this is clearly a move on Slyvan's part to recruit more customers, I think that the service they're providing for free in the form of School Math Prep is worth sharing on Free Technology for Teachers.

The School Math Prep website doesn't tell you much about the service other than providing you with a link to contact a Sylvan representative to access the service. The press release about School Math Prep indicates that the service will offer free video tutorials demonstrating problem-solving strategies. The videos can be located by searching for keyword, concept, or textbook. Depending upon how many titles are supported, the textbook search option could be useful for students who cannot articulate the term or concept with which they are struggling.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Five Sources of Fun Mathematics Games
Math and Language Arts Games on Arcademic
Ten Problem Solving Games for K-8 Students

A Crash Course in Wind Energy

The Danish Wind Industry Association has a good website for students to explore and learn about wind energy. A Crash Course in Wind Energy gives students the opportunity to see how wind energy is harnessed. In the course students will see how a wind turbine is built, learn what the parts of a wind power system do, and see a wind turbine simulation. Overall, it is a fairly simple site, but could be an effective demonstration in some science classes. The site functions best in IE, but can also be used in Firefox.

Applications for Education
A Crash Course in Wind Energy is a simple, but effective demonstration of how wind energy is harnessed. This site could be used as the introduction to a classroom project in which students build model wind turbines.

Zoho Notebook Adds More Usability Features

Last week Zoho added a new search option for use within Zoho Notebook. Yesterday, Zoho announced some more useful options with Zoho Notebook. Now moving items within notebooks and between notebooks has been made easier through a "move object" option. The "move object" option should make it easier to organize notebooks.

Zoho has added another feature that could be very handy for some students. Now when something is deleted from a Zoho Notebook it is moved to a "trash" folder. If an item is in the "trash" it can be restored. Previously when an item was deleted it was permanently deleted.

Applications for Education
Zoho Notebook can be used for individual organization of research or for collaborative work by a group of users.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Notetaking and Collaborative Research
Zoho Docs - Chat and Edit at the Same Time
Zoho Notebook Adds an Import Option

CNN Student News is Back for Another Year

While I was away on my last vacation CNN Student News began a new year of videos. Every episode of CNN Student News contains three main segments and a few smaller quiz and trivia segments. Along with each video is a transcript of the video as well as discussion guides, quizzes, and maps when appropriate. The first episode of CNN Student News for the new school year is embedded below.

If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to click through to view the video.

Applications for Education
CNN Student News is an excellent resource for anyone that teaches current events.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Ten by Ten - Visual Links to the World News
Geographical Media - The Top News by Continent
Five "Week in Review" News Summaries