Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Get Your JayCut Videos Before They're Gone

Last July one of my favorite online video creation tools, JayCut, was bought out by RIM (BlackBerry). At the time JayCut stopped accepting new users but did allow existing users to continue to use the service. Today, I got an email informing me that as of January 31, 2012 JayCut will cease to support free user accounts. If you have been using JayCut for video projects, download your videos before January 31, 2012 or you will lose them. Click here to find directions for downloading your videos from JayCut.

A couple of alternatives to JayCut that I like are and Creaza Education.

Does Cell Phone Use Lead to More Time Spent Studying?

StudyBlue, a mobile flashcard/ studying app that I've reviewed in the past, has released an infographic based on data about student use of mobile devices for studying. There isn't a lot of information on the infographic, but one thing that I did find interesting is that according to StudyBlue's data (based on more than 4000 cell phone users) students who use their cell phones for studying spend 40 minutes more studying each week than those who do not use cell phones for that purpose.

Applications for Education
While this infographic clearly isn't the most comprehensive study of cell phone use among students, it does give us one example of how cell phones can be useful for students. One reason why students who study on their cell phones spend more time studying is that they always have access to review materials. Instead of spending time telling students not to use their cell phones in school perhaps we should be spending time teaching students about apps like StudyBlue that they can use to study.

Jimmy V Week - Laugh, Think, Cry

Tonight, Jimmy V Week started on ESPN. This annual event celebrates the life of Jim Valvano and raises money for the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Tonight ESPN is replaying Jim Valvano's now famous (amongst basketball fans) 1993 ESPY speech given just eight weeks before he died of cancer. You don't need to know anymore about Jimmy V in order to appreciate his speech in which he encourages everyone to laugh, think, and cry everyday. The video has nothing to do with technology in education, but the speech is encouraging and inspiring so as I did last year I encourage you to take some time to watch it.

Bay Files - A Quick Way to Move Large Files

In my never-ending quest to reduce email inbox clutter, I like to try out various file transfer services. One that I recently tried with a colleague is Bay Files. Bay Files, like many similar services, allows you to upload a file for quick and easy sharing. When you upload a file to Bay Files, Bay Files generates a series of download links that you can give to the people you want to access your files. So instead of sending an email with a big file attachment you can just direct people to the download link associated with your file. You can use Bay Files without registering, but if you do choose to register you can share larger files than can unregistered users.

My Apologies

Yesterday, I wrote a short post about a video on John Locke that I had watched the previous night. In my haste to write and publish the post before going to a school commitment last night, I did not include the disclaimer that some in appropriate language used in the video. I've since taken the post down. I offer my sincerest apologies to those offended by the video. I will do better in the future.


11 Infographics and Videos for Teaching Economics

One of the current trends in the blog-o-sphere is the use of infographics for sharing general information about a topic (infographics also seem to be an SEO tactic). Over the last couple of years I've come across more than twenty infographics dealing with topics in economics. Today, I've assembled a list of some of the better infographics and videos for teaching topics in economics.

Update: on May 7, 2019 I removed the dead links on this article that was originally published in November, 2011.

Mint, the free money management service, regularly posts interesting infographics on its blog Mint Life.  One of the better infographics they've featured is What Is a Stock? What Is a Stock? uses clear graphics and plain terms to explain what a stock is, offer a brief history of stock markets, and give a brief explanation of why people buy stocks.This resource is no longer online.

Curious About George: What is the Lifespan of the Dollar Bill? is an interesting an informative infographic from The infographic offers provides flow charts of the production, distribution, and eventual removal from circulation of currency. Some statistics about the quantity of dollar bills produced every year is also included in the infographic.

Through the Cool Infographics blog I discovered a neat infographic about the ten most expensive cities to live in in 2010. The infographic has three parts; a map, a set of explanations of the costs associated with living in each city, and a comparison chart. The comparison chart at the bottom of the infographic does a nice job of putting cost comparisons into terms that students can relate to. Included in the comparison chart are the costs of fast food meals, the cost of a cup of coffee, and the labor hours required to earn an iPod Nano. No longer online.

Your Wealth Puzzle offers a neat infographic that could be useful in a consumer education course. The infographic uses a board game format to demonstrate the steps a person needs to take in order to build and maintain a good credit rating. No longer online.

Visual Economics designs infographics to educate people about various topics in economics. One of their infographics that I like is How Do Americans Save Money? The infographic explains the differences between saving and savings and what disposable income is. The infographic also defines consumer confidence the sentiment index.

The New York Times offers an interactive infographic designed to help people determine when it makes financial sense to buy a home rather than rent a home. Users of the interactive infographic can enter variable data such as home price, interest rates, rent prices, rental rate increases, and housing market changes to determine when it's best to buy a home rather than rent. Users can also account for information like insurance rates, condo fees, and opportunity costs.

On Man vs. Debt I found the Student Loan Scheme infographic about student loans. Produced by the infographic features a flowchart that explains how student loans can burden people for years. As someone who, after ten years, relatively recently paid off his relatively modest student loans, I can tell you that I am happy my student loans were not any bigger. This infographic presents some good information for students and parents to consider before signing-on for tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Through Michael Smith's Principals Page blog I discovered The Cost of Dropping Out produced by Teacher Certification Map and MAT@USC | Master’s of Arts in Teaching. The infographic shows the costs to individuals and to the community of dropping out of high school. I've dropped the infographic into to make it fit below.No longer online.

Follow the Money is a video that summarizes the data collected on Where's George? Where's George? is a website that was established for the purpose of tracking the travels of one dollar bills.

China Widens Its Reach is an interactive infographic produced by Forbes. The purpose of the infographic is to allow visitors to view the investments China has made in other countries. Click on any transaction in the infographic to view the details of each investment. (The image below is a screen capture of the infographic, clicking it will take you to the real infographic on

The Food Price Rollercoaster is an infographic produced by the World Food Programme to illustrate fluctuations in food prices over the last three and one-half years. The infographic highlights some major world events that happened at the same time as some large food price fluctuations. The infographic also illustrates the disparity between what families in rich countries spend on food and what those in poorer countries spend on food.