Friday, September 18, 2009

Week in Review - New Page View Records

This week was a very busy week on Free Technology for Teachers. Twice this week a new record for page views was was set. Currently, Free Technology for Teachers is on pace to surpass 100,000 page views for the month which will also be a new high. None of this would have been possible without all of you who have subscribed to blog, share links with your PLN, and tell your colleagues about Free Technology for Teachers. I sincerely thank everyone who has helped expand the reach of this blog.

As I do every week, I've compiled a list of the seven most popular items of the last seven days. The list is based on item clicks and views. If you ever miss the week in review post, you can always check out the Post Rank widget embedded in the right column of the blog. Post Rank displays the most popular blog entries at any given time.

Here are the seven most popular items of the last seven days:
1. Maps that Teach - Map Puzzles
2. Software Cheat Sheets and Posters
3. Reading Levels in Google Docs
4. Updated - 7 Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
5. Did You Know 4.0 (Shift Happens)
6. Every TED Talk Online Ever
7. Moving the Goal Posts

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Audio Pal - Audio Announcements On Your Blog

Audio Pal is a free service that allows you to quickly and easily record audio messages to post your blog or website. You can record your Audio Pal message by phone, through your computer's microphone, or by uploading a recording. Messages are limited to sixty seconds so you must be succinct. After you've recorded your message, Audio Pal will play it back to you. If you like the recording, keep it. If you don't like your recording, click re-record. When you have a recording with which you're happy, enter your email address and an embed code will be sent to you almost immediately. Hear my recording in the widget below.

Applications for Education
Audio Pal could be a great way to post quick audio messages for students and parents visiting your course's blog or website. You can enable Audio Pal to play automatically so that everyone visiting your blog hears the message (provided they have sound turned on).

Interactive Look at Giant Redwood Forests

National Geographic's cover story this month is about the giant Redwood trees. To complement the cover story, National Geographic has created some interactive resources for learning about the redwoods. The interactive resources include a map, a timeline, and an interactive drawing. The interactive drawing can be used to learn about all of the life at the top of the Redwood forests. The map can be used to explore the range of redwoods. The timeline shows the growth stages of redwoods compared to significant events in history.

Applications for Education
These interactive resources from National Geographic could be good for anyone teaching a basic course in environmental science.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
What is Possible With Google Earth?

Social Networks Help People Spread Change

Sacha Chua has once again created an awesome slide presentation. Her latest creation is called Smarter Work: Why Social Networks Matter. This presentation is targeted toward businesses, but the ideas definitely apply to the education sector too. The presentation speaks to the difficulty of being an early adopter (or as Beth Still would say, a Change Agent) and how social networks can help spread change.

We Are Teachers Microgrant Opportunity

We Are Teachers is once again offering ten microgrants to classroom teachers. The microgrant will provide recipients with $200 and a Flip Video camera. To apply you have to describe an engaging student project that will be made possible by receiving the microgrant. Applications will be accepted until September 25 (one week from today). On September 28 the project ideas of the finalists will be posted online for community voting. Then on October 14 ten recipients will be announced. Click here to get all of the application details and apply today.