Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Videos - Origins of WWI

In my US History we're wrapping-up our unit on World War I and wrapping-up the grading period. At the end of each unit I like to post supplementary review materials on my classroom blog. I recently found two videos (actually it was one, but is in two parts) that provide a good overview of the causes of WWI. The videos are clearly older productions and are not something I would show during class time, but they have some value as a supplementary review materials for students to watch on their own time.

Part one is embedded below.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Three Good WWI Resources from the BBC

Month in Review - March's Ten Most Popular Posts

March was a very busy month for me and for Free Technology for Teachers. This month I had a great trip to Alberta, Canada to lead six workshops at the Teacher 2 Teacher conference. All of the slides and associated resources from those workshops are available in the new permanent pages added to Free Technology for Teachers. You can find those pages by using the links that now appear above the main content of the blog and below the top header.

This month, thanks to all of you, Free Technology for Teachers reached new records for page views and unique visitors in a month. Thank for all for continuing to read, comment, and converse with me on Twitter and on the Facebook Fan Page.

Here are this month's ten most popular posts:
1. Save the Date for a Webinar With Sir Ken Robinson
2. Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
3. Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps
4. 20+ Ways to Use Flip Cameras in the Classroom
5. Many Ways to Use Flip Cameras in the Classroom
6. Free Royalty Free Music for Education
7. Free eBook - The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book
8. Jeopardy Labs: Make Your Own Online Jeopardy Game
9. Math Live - Animated Mathematics Lessons
10. Turn Your Spreadsheets into Word Clouds

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.
To subscribe via RSS, please click here.
To subscribe via email, please click here.

Free Sets of "A People's History of the United States"

The Zinn Education Project, named after the noted historian Howard Zinn, is giving away twenty classroom sets of Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Each classroom set consists of twenty-five copies of the book. In order to win a set teachers need to submit a short story about how they use A People's History of the United States in their classrooms. Applications are due by April 26. Read all of the contest details here.

Learn more about the Zinn Education Project here.

Tagul - Like Wordle With Hyperlinks

Tagul is a free word cloud generator that offers one clear difference compared to other word cloud generators like Wordle. The difference between Wordle and Tagul is when you create a word cloud with Tagul, every word in your word cloud is linked to a Google search. Click on any word in your word cloud to be taken directly to a Google search results page for that word. Tagul creates a word cloud from text you copy into your Tagul account. Tagul will also generate a word cloud from any url you specify. Just as you can with other word cloud generators, Tagul allows you to specify words to ignore in creating your word clouds. Once your word cloud is created Tagul provides you with an embed code to put your cloud on your blog or website.

Applications for Education
I've seen quite a few people advocate for using Wordle word clouds to analyze chunks of text. Tagul could be used in the same way. The links to Google searches gives Tagul an additional tool that could help students analyze chunks of text.

Arounder - 360 Degree Tours of Cities and the Moon

Arounder is a free site that offers 3D views of famous places in European cities, North American locations, and the Moon. The imagery is very clear and detailed. Visitors can explore 360 degrees of each image using the simple navigation tools that appear at the bottom of every image. When you're on the Arounder homepage click on a city to see a map of that city. Then click on the red(ish) placemark icons to explore the imagery.

I learned about Arounder from a post on Make Use Of.

Applications for Education
Arounder reminds me of 360 Cities. Both services provide very clear 3D imagery that could be a good supplement to other virtual tours your students explore on Google Maps or Google Earth.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
360 Degree View From the Peak of Mount Everest
Tour the Sistine Chapel Online
Create a National Parks Virtual Tour

Social Media Explained Visually

Social Media is the current buzz phrase of business and the online world. TEDxNYED was organized around the idea of social media and new media's role in education. But, what does the term "social media" really mean? Say It Visually has an answer for you, check it out in the video below.

Applications for Education
In my school we offer a series of business marketing classes. As people like Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk demonstrate, social media can be an effective element of marketing. But before students learn about social media marketing they must first understand what social media is. This video could help them understand what social media is.