Saturday, April 30, 2011

Month in Review - April's Most Popular Posts

Greetings from Omaha, Nebraska where I've just finished a full day of presentations at the Nebraska Educational Technology Association's annual conference. I was totally impressed by the organization of the event and the great people I met here. It was great to see so many people come out to learn about how they can use free technology in their classrooms. If you're within driving distance of Omaha, I highly recommend marking your calendar to attend next year's NETA conference. And if you're a conference organizer interested in having me speak at your event, please get in touch with me.

These were the most popular posts in April:
1. Brainstorming - Google Across the Curriculum
2. Five Ways to Make Word Clouds from Text
3. An Education Playlist - Suggestions Wanted
4. QR Codes in the Classroom
5. 7 Good Sources of Mathematics Videos
6. YouTube Launches Copyright School
7. Google Apps K-12 Lesson Plan Selector
8. HOTTS - Higher Order Thinking and Technology Skills
9. iBrainstorm - Free iPad & iPhone Brainstorming App
10. Snip.ly - Snip and Share the Best Parts of Pages

Thank you to everyone that visited Free Technology for Teachers this month and shared the links you found. With your help this month Free Technology for Teachers surpassed the 34,000 subscriber mark.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

EconStories.tv - Music Videos About Economics

Econ Stories is a great website that I just learned about through Lee Lefever's post on the Common Craft Blog. Econ Stories produces videos and articles that explain the differences between the economic theories made popular by John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek. Econ Stories offers four mini documentaries and three informative and entertaining music videos. Watch the music video Fight of the Century Keynes vs. Hayek below.



Applications for Education
Discovering these videos came at the perfect time for me as my US History students have just reached the Great Depression in our curriculum. Right now I'm planning to use these videos as fun reviews of the content we study in class.

A Brief History of Royal Weddings

When I turned on the television this morning, all I could find was coverage of the Royal Wedding and the NFL Draft. I can't make much of a connection to the NFL Draft and the classroom, but there is a potential connection for the Royal Wedding and a history classroom. The video below features Emory University historian Patrick Allitt giving a two minute overview of the history and purposes of Royal Weddings.



H/T to Open Culture.

Resources for NETA Attendees and Those Who Wanted to Attend

I'm spending the day in Omaha, Nebraska presenting at NETA's annual conference. Below are links to the resources mentioned in my presentations today.

Richard Byrne's PD Site.

Google Tutorials

Video Creation Resources



Thursday, April 28, 2011

7 Simple To-do List Services for Students

Creating to-do lists and knocking off tasks one by one can help students not only prioritize and track tasks, it can also help them feel like they're accomplishing something each time they check off a task. I've reviewed a lot of to-do list and task management applications over the years, but I still like the simplest ones the best. Here are seven simple to-do list applications for students.

Ta-da List is a simple to-do list creation tool built by 37 Signals. Ta-da List allows to you to create a to-do list in 30 seconds. Just sign-up and start building lists. Your lists will be hosted at a unique url assigned just to you. Direct your browser to that url to check items off of your lists or to create a new list.

Todoist and its sister service Wedoist are easy-to-use task management services for individuals and groups. Todoist is the service for individuals and Wedoist is the service for groups. It takes just a minute to register and begin using both services. You'll notice with both services that the user interface is very clear and intuitive. When you create projects and assignments by default they are arranged chronologically, but reordering them is a simple matter of selecting an up or down arrow. To help you keep track of your to-do lists wherever you go Todoist offers desktop clients, iGoogle Gadgets, a Google Chrome extension, and three mobile applications. Todoist can also be integrated with your Gmail account.

Wipee List is a simple list making and to-do list management tool. Here's how Wipee List functions: sign in, click add an item, then type your "to do" item. If an item has immediate priority you can drag it to a "quick reminders" sticky note. When you complete an item drag it to the trash bin. If you're working on a project with someone you can share your list with a specific url assigned to your list.

To Simply Do is a free service that you can start using in a minute or less. Just register with your email address, confirm your account, and start typing tasks into a list. When you've completed a task, remove it from the list just by clicking on it. The task then moves from your "to do" list to your "completed" list.

Squareleaf is a simple system for creating and managing online sticky notes. To use Squareleaf just register for an account and begin creating notes. Your notes are displayed on an online "whiteboard." On your Squareleaf whiteboard you can arrange your sticky notes in any pattern that you like. The size and color of the sticky notes can also be adjusted.

Strike App is a simple to-do list creation and management tool. To use Strike App just title your list of things to do and start typing your list. When you've completed a task just come back and strike it out by clicking on it, dragging it off the screen, or "x-ing" it out. You can share your to-do lists by sending people the link to your list. For those people who like to experiment with different backgrounds and themes, Strike App offers a handful of designs to choose from.

Sticky Screen might be the simplest of all the services on this list. Sticky Screen lets you put three short notes on a sticky placed in the center of your screen. Make sticky screen your Internet browser's homepage and your reminders stare you in the face every time you open a window or tab.