Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creative Commons Search

When having students create digital productions like videos the safest way to make sure they avoid any copyright issues is to have them to use their own images and sounds. But if that's not possible or ideal for your situation, then using Creative Commons media is the next best option. To find Creative Commons licensed media try CC Search.

You can search for images, videos, and audio clips through CC Search. Your search can be refined by usage rights and by media host. CC Search gives you the option to search eight different media hosts for Creative Commons licensed materials. Those eight are: Flickr,, Google Images, Jamendo, Open Clip Art Library, Fotopedia, SpinXpress, and Wikimedia Commons.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
12 Ways for Students to Publish Slideshows Online
Presentation Storytelling 101
Six Resources for Learning About Fair Use

Does Education Really Change This Slowly?

Today, I came across a timeline infographic on eLearners titled Education Innovations. As you can see below, there isn't that much on the timeline. Does education really change that slowly? Is this just an incomplete infographic? Or both?

Education Innovations (Timeline)

View in full size here.

Nominations Open for 2010 Edublogs Awards

In 2008 and 2009 Free Technology for Teachers was fortunate enough to be awarded the Edublog Award for Best Resource Sharing Blog. This year Edublogs in collaboration with Classroom 2.0 is again hosting The Edublog Awards.

The Edublog Awards is an annual online series of awards given out to recognize the contributions of bloggers to the advancement of education. The award recipients are chosen by the global community of education bloggers and blog readers. There are twenty-three award categories. Nominations can be made by anyone who has a blog. I will be making nominations very soon.

To nominate a blog or person in a category simply write a post on your own blog listing your nominations by category (you do not have to make nominations in every category). Then use the contact form on the Edublog Awards page to submit your list of nominations. You must do both of those things to make your nominations count. After the nomination period closes the nominations will be posted by category on the Edublog Awards page where you can vote for your favorites.

Disclosure: Edublogs is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

The Evolution of the European Union Mapped

Explania, a member of the Common Craft Explainer Network, produces explanatory videos and animations. One of the animations they've produced is a simple interactive map documenting the growth of the European Union. As you will see in the map below, you can select a date on the timeline included on the map to see the size of the European Union increase as you progress through the 20th and 21st Centuries.

The evolution of the European Union - Explania

Applications for Education
The Evolution of the European Union map is a simple resource that students can use to see the expansion of the EU from 1957 through today. The map is a good model for a project that students could do with Google Maps or Scribble Maps. Students could use Sribble Maps to develop a map charting the expansion and or contraction of any country's borders through history.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Bayeux Tapestry Animated
Timelines TV - British and American History Videos
Ancient Web - The Ancient World's Great Civilizations

Vocaroo - A Simple Way to Make Voice Recordings

Someone asked me yesterday if I knew of a simple voice recording service to replace the one that offered before announcing their shut down. Vocaroo could be a good replacement for the voice recording service.

Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. You don't even have to create an account to use Vocaroo. All you need to provide is a microphone. I used the microphone built into my MacBook to make the recording below. To create a recording just go to, click record, grant Vocaroo access to your mic, and start talking. After completing your recording, Vocaroo gives you the choice to publish it or to scrap it and try again.

What I like about Vocaroo besides the ability to record without installing software is the option to embed the recording anywhere, Vocaroo provides the embed code for you. You can also download your recording, just look for the download link at the bottom of the page (it's small and easily overlooked).

Applications for Education 
Vocaroo is an easy, free service that teachers and students can use to create audio recordings for use in slide shows or in blogs and websites. I've seen Vocaroo being used to embed audio recordings into Google Earth place marks.