Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Week and Month in Review

Morrison is tired after eating turkey.
Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers World Headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. I hope that everyone had a great week. Morrison, Max, and I took a road trip to Connecticut to visit family for Thanksgiving. We all got stuffed on turkey then took a nap. Now we're back in Maine and ready for fun in the snow. But before we play I have this month's list of the most popular posts. Since today is the last day of the week and of the month, I've combined the week and month in review.

The most popular posts of the month on Free Technology for Teachers:
1. Google Unveils Google Play for Education
2. A Short List of Thanksgiving Lesson Resources
3. 10 Online Activities for Geography Awareness Week
4. Metta - Create Multimedia Presentations and Save Them In Google Drive
5. Haiku Deck on the Web Might Make You Forget About All Other Slideshow Tools
6. Kahoot - Create Quizzes and Surveys Your Students Can Answer on Any Device
7. 5 Fun Physics Games for Students
8. Student Blogging Activities That Don't Rely On Text
9. Canva - Create Beautiful Slides, Posters, and Infographics
10. The Science of American Football

Would you like to have me visit your school this year?
Click here to learn more about my professional development services.

Three seats are available in my webinar series, How To Use Google Drive In School. This week  on I also opened registration for Blogging for Teachers and School Leaders

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Remind 101 offers a free tool for sending text message reminders to students.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is organizing two iPad summits this school year.
Our World's Story is your one-stop online social studies portal for all World, European and United States History courses.

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Wikihood World Browser - Part Map, Part Wikipedia

Wikihood World Browser is a neat combination of Google Maps and Wikipedia. The goal of Wikihood World Browser is to provide visual, geo-located context for Wikipedia entries. You can explore Wikihood World Browser in two ways; you can simply browse the map by scrolling and zooming in on locations then clicking on placemarks or you can enter specific locations into the search bar. Wikihood World Browser will accept search queries for specific places and it will accept queries for some historical events like the Battle of Gettysburg.

After you choose a location in Wikihood World Browser you can open summaries about famous people, culture, economy, and physical geography of that location. You can also just jump to the complete Wikipedia page about your chosen location.

Applications for Education
Wikihood World Browser could be a great site for students to explore to learn about all kinds of places and events around the world. It's kind of like having an encyclopedia and an atlas side by side. I found myself just clicking around the map and learning about clusters of places that are close together. Geography teachers who assign students the task of researching a country may find that Wikihood enables students to get beyond general overview facts about a country and move into learning about the regional and or cultural differences within one country.

SummarizeThis Quickly Summarizes Long Passages of Text

SummarizeThis is a free tool that summarizes the main point(s) of long articles that you find on the web. To use SummarizeThis you just copy and paste text into the summary box and click "summarize." A summary of the text then appears above the original text that you copied.

Applications for Education
SummarizeThis could be helpful to students when they are working on long and in-depth research projects. By using SummarizeThis they can save time by getting a sense of what a long article is about before reading the whole thing in detail. SummarizeThis provides a better summary than simply searching for keywords in an article to decide if the article will help a students' research.

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing this on Twitter earlier this week. 

A Quick Tip for Shooting Better Video With Mobile Phones and Tablets

This morning on Google+ Tony Cacaccio shared a picture that offers a great tip for shooting better videos with your mobile phone or tablet. (I don't know who actually owns the picture so you'll have to see it here on Tony's page). The picture reminds us to hold our phones and tablets in landscape mode when shooting video because that is ultimately how we'll watch it on our televisions, computers, tablets, and phones. Shooting the video in landscape mode will save you editing time in long run.

Three good and free options for mobile video editing:
Magisto is a free video editing app available for Android and iOS. The app allows you to add music tracks and some simple effects to your raw video footage. If you have a series of clips you can string them together in one video. To create your video you can use footage that you have captured with your device’s native app or you can use Magisto to capture new footage. In addition to editing the length of clips and stringing them together, Magisto allows you to draw on frames in your video clips and add borders to your frames.

Using the YouTube Capture app for iOS you can quickly record videos and upload them to YouTube with just a couple of taps on your screen. The first time that you open the app you will be prompted to sign into your Google account and choose your sharing settings. After that you’re ready to start recording and sharing videos. YouTube Capture includes a few options for quickly editing and enhancing your videos. Within YouTube Capture you can trim the length of your video, stabilize the images in your video, add a soundtrack to your video, and touch-up the colors in your video.

WeVideo for Android puts many of the same features of WeVideo's web-based video editing platform on your Android tablet or phone. Through the app you can capture pictures, sounds, and videos. You can use the app to trim raw video clips. The app also allows you to put together short audio slideshows.