Monday, December 5, 2011

Class Pager - Text Your Class

Class Pager is a new service that teachers can use to send group text messages to their students. Using Class Pager teachers can send text messages to their students without either party seeing each other's real cell phone number.

To get started using Class Pager, register yourself on the site. Class Pager will then provide you with an enrollment code to share with your students and their parents. When a student or parent sends a text to Class Pager with that code, he/she will be added to your roster. Then when you write a text message it will be sent to everyone who has opted into the service.

A couple of fine print things to consider about Class Pager. Class Pager is free for your first class. Additional classes are available for a fee. You should also bear in mind that if your students don't have unlimited incoming text message plans, they could incur charges.

Applications for Education
Using Class Pager could be a great way to keep students and their parents informed of important news from your class. You could use Class Pager to send out homework reminders or something more positive like congratulations for a job well done.

A Visual History of Christmas Trees

Almost everyday this time of year I see trucks loaded with Christmas trees headed south to places that don't have the quantity of trees we have here in Maine. Where did the Christmas tree tradition begin? When did those awful fake trees start appearing in homes? Those questions and more are addressed in the Visual History of Christmas Trees infographic.

Applications for Education
Looking for a quick way to explain this holiday tradition? Consider sharing the Visual History of Christmas Trees with your inquisitive students.

H/T to Cool Infographics.

See Flik - A Place to Discover New Filmmakers

See Flik is a new website featuring the works of undergraduate and graduate film production students. The purpose of the site is to bring exposure to these new filmmakers. The short films on See Flik are arranged according to genre, length of film, and total views.

Applications for Education
To warn you, some of the films are a little "out there" and a few deal with topics that probably aren't appropriate for most high school settings. That said, See Flik still has some potential for classroom use particularly if you're interested in having your students critique elements of film creation.

Search EBooks - An eBook Search Engine

The web is full of ebooks, you can see mine here, but finding them isn't always easy. You can search by file type on Google or visit any number of document hosting services like Issuu, but even then you might be missing something good. Search EBooks is a service dedicated to helping you find free ebooks. When you find an ebook on Search EBooks you can view a preview of it, download, or grab an embed code without ever leaving the search results page.

Applications for Education
Many useful how-to manuals are published as ebooks. If you're looking for a manual or other how-to document to share with your students or colleagues, Search EBooks could help you locate it and share it quickly.

Voting is Open for the 2011 Edublog Awards

All of the nominations are in and this year Free Technology for Teachers is up for the 2011 Edublog Award for Best Ed Tech Blog. If you have a moment I would appreciate your vote. All you need to do to vote is visit the voting page, select a category and select your favorite blog.

I have also been nominated again this year for a Lifetime Achievement Award. I still think that at 33 I'm too young to win, but I'm still flattered to be nominated and I won't discourage you from voting for me if you're so inclined.

Even if you don't participate in the voting I still encourage you to take a look at the list of nominees in all of the categories. The nominee list is a great place to find new-to-you blogs.