Thursday, December 22, 2011

Any Meeting - Free Webinar Hosting and Recording

Any Meeting is a nice service for hosting and recording live webinars without installing any special software. When using Any Meeting as a webinar host you can share your screen, use your webcam, and use text chat all at the same time. As the webinar host you can invite others to talk to the group using their webcams. You can have up to six webcams active in a webinar at any one time. You can record all or part of your webinar for free too. If you have people that just want to participate in the audio aspect of your webinar, they can call in using the phone number and access code assigned to your webinar.

Any Meeting has a free plan and paid plans. The free plan is supported with advertising. Using the free version of Any Meeting you can have up to 200 total webinar participants. The paid plans removes the advertising.

Applications for Education 
Any Meeting could be a great tool for delivering lessons and tutorial sessions online. Activate the recording option so that people who miss your live lesson can watch it at their convenience.

AccuTeach - Connect With Teachers and Parents

AccuTeach is a community website whose purpose bears a strong resemblance to Edmodo. AccuTeach provides teachers with a place to upload files, share files, and connect with other educators. AccuTeach provides teachers with a place to blog and post announcements for their students and their students' parents to read. An event calendar option is also provided to teachers. Learn more about AccuTeach in the video below.

AccuTeach from accuteach on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
AccuTeach could be a nice place to find other educators with whom you can share lesson ideas and materials. As the video above points out, the blog and calendar option is useful for keeping parents informed of their students' assignments.

Rubrics for Assessing Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts

Through a Tweet by Mike Muir I recently learned that the University of Wisconsin, Stout has organized a nice collection of rubrics for assessing digital projects. In the collection you will find rubrics for assessing student blogging, student wikis, podcasts, and video projects. Beyond the rubrics for digital projects there are rubrics for activities that aren't necessarily digital in nature. For example, you can find rubrics for writing, research, and oral presentations.

Applications for Education
These rubrics might not fit perfectly with the projects you're students are working on, but they could provide a good starting point for creating your own rubrics. Perhaps you could show the rubric you're considering to your students and ask them for their input as to what they think is important to be evaluated in their projects.

Turf Mutt - Environmental Science Lessons for K-5

Turf Mutt is a nice free resource from Discovery Education. Turf Mutt features ten free environmental science lesson plans for K-5 teachers. The lesson plans have clearly defined objectives and detailed directions for carrying out each lesson plan. The majority of the lesson plans span several days. The lesson plans use a combination of hands-on activities, see Discovering Dirt, and reading/ research activities. Although not directly connected to the lesson plans, Turf Mutt has some videos to help students learn about topics in Environmental Science.

Applications for Education
Turf Mutt's lesson plans offer some nice ideas for hands-on Environmental Science learning activities. You might also want to explore the Turf Mutt U.S. Ecosystems map to find more videos and short lessons for students to learn about the ecosystems in which they live.

National Geographic Visions on Earth

National Geographic is one of the few print magazines that I still get delivered to my house. The pictures featured in the magazine still captivate my imagination today as they did when I first started looking at the magazine in elementary school. One of the magazine's features that I enjoy is Visions on Earth.

The online version of National Geographic puts the Visions on Earth photographs into a slideshow format. There are currently seven years of Visions on Earth photographs available on the National Geographic website.

Applications for Education
Visions on Earth is one of those resources that I'd be inclined to let students just browse through and let their imaginations wander. Ask your students to pick out some favorite photographs and write out some questions that the pictures prompt in their minds. Then have students try to find those answers online or in books.