Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journey to the Moon - Snag Learning Film of the Week

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Journey to the Moon.  Beginning with the formation of NASA and concluding with the Apollo 11 crew safely returning to Earth, Journey to the Moon is a 44 minute film tracing the development the US space exploration program. Watch the film and find discussion questions here.

Watch more free documentaries

Applications for Education
Journey to the Moon is a fantastic film for both science and social studies teachers. The film use archival footage not only to trace the development of the US space program but also to portray the space race in the context of the Cold War.

Oh No... Acne! - A Video Explanation

Acne. Every teenager experiences it at one time or another. What is acne? What can be done about it? Should you pop a zit or not? Explania handles those questions and more in the following three minute video.

Oh no ... acne - Explania

Convofy - A Private Social Network for Your Organization

Convofy is a new service that provides private social networks for organizations. The purpose of Convofy is to provide a centralized location for collaboration and communication within an organization. Convofy requires all users of a network to have the same email domain (@yourorganizationsname) in order to be in the network. Within a network you can create groups of users. Convofy offers free and premium (paid) plans. Learn more about Convofy in the video below.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a service that will streamline communication and collaboration within your organization, Convofy might be the service for you.

Culture NOW - Museum Without Walls

Culture NOW is a New York City based organization that works to promote diversity through arts education and cultural tourism. One of Culture NOW's efforts toward that goal is the creation of a Google Map featuring museums and culturally significant sites across North America. The Museum Without Walls map features thousands of placemarks representing museums. Click on a placemark to learn a little about s museum, get a link to that museum, and in some cases listen to a podcast about that museum and its collections.

Applications for Education
Culture NOW's Museum Without Walls map could be a good resource for US teachers and students looking to learn more about the cultural sites near them and across the country. The podcasts provide offer insight into the purpose of the museums. The podcast series also includes audio tours to accompany a site visit to some of the places on the Culture NOW map.

Jammap - Geography of Music

Jammap is a new Google Maps mash-up that displays music from Jamendo on a Google Map. Jamendo is a community site on which independent musicians upload their music to share with the world. On Jammap the music from Jamendo is located on the map according to where Jamendo users uploaded it from. Double click on the map to locate music by location.

Applications for Education
The music of Jamendo is provided by its users so it's possible that not all of it matches the region that the artist is from. That said, there is a good opportunity to use Jammap to find music samples representing different regions of the world. If you teach music appreciation and want to give your students a sense of what music from different parts of the world sounds like, Jammap could be a good resource for you.

H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Weekend Guests Wanted

I frequently receive inquiries from folks who would like to write guest posts on Free Technology for Teachers. For the most part I always say no (there have been a few occasions when I've invited people to be guest writers). However, for the last couple of months I've been thinking that it would be nice to have some guest writers share their experiences using free technology in their schools and classrooms. Therefore, I am now looking for some guest writers. Because narrative posts about classroom uses of technology tend to be much longer than what I typically write during the week, guest writers' posts will appear on the weekend when more people have more time to read longer posts.

What I'm looking for in guest writers.
Classroom teachers, school librarians, and school administrators (principals, assistant principals, technology coordinators) who would like to share their stories of using free technology in their schools.

What you can get out of being a guest writer.

  • You keep all rights to your writing and can cross-post onto your own blog if you like. You can include a short bio of yourself with links to your blog, site, or Twitter account.
  • The satisfaction of sharing and helping other educators.
  • People that have guest posted on Free Technology for Teachers in the past have reported significant upswings in traffic to their own blogs, sites, and Twitter accounts after guest posting here. If you're into building an audience for your writing, the traffic from guest posting here can help you toward that goal.
  • While I cannot pay you, if we connect at a conference I'll be likely to buy you a coffee, tea, or your drink of choice.  

What if I'm not an educator, can I still be a guest writer?
The short answer, unless you make a really really compelling case, is no. I'm interested in educators sharing with educators. While you may be building the slickest iPhone app in the history of the world, if you've never been in a classroom you're not likely to convince me that you know what educators do on a daily basis.

I'm interested in being a guest writer, what do I do now?

  • Send me an email at weekendguest (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com. Tell me briefly what you do and what you would like to write about. 
  • I'll reply to your email as quickly as I can. Bear in mind, the last time I asked for guest writers (February 2010) I had more than 100 people reply in 48 hours so it might take me a couple of days to get back to you. 
  • I will try to accept as many guest writers as I can without sacrificing quality of content or overloading the weekend with lengthy posts. For the first few weekends I'm thinking about running two guest posts on Saturday and Sunday. If readers respond positively to the guest posts and if there are enough people who want to guest post, I will increase that number to four per day on the weekends.