Monday, January 2, 2012

Seterra - Geography Quizzes Online or on Your PC

Seterra is a large collection of free geography quizzes. The there are dozens of quizzes covering everything from country identification to identifying physical geographic features like mountains, rivers, and seas. There are seven categories of quizzes arranged by continent. Seterra's quizzes are available in sixteen languages.

Seterra's quizzes available as a free download for Windows computers. The games can also be played in an online version. If you download the quizzes you can keep track of your scores on your computer. The online version of the games do not allow you to keep track of your scores.

Applications for Education
I downloaded Seterra and tried a couple of the quizzes on my desktop. The quizzes are very straight-forward in terms of how to use them. Your cursor will become highlighted with a prompt to identify a state, city, or geographic feature. You could easily have a whole classroom using Seterra in minutes. The only flaw I found in Seterra is that the US states identification quiz did not include Hawaii and Alaska.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Calkoo - An Excellent Set of Online Calculators

There are a lot of calculators online for performing all kinds of functions from simple addition to solving complex equations. Calkoo is a website that offers forty-three free online calculators for a variety of functions. The list of calculators that Calkoo is divided into ten categories. Those categories are mathematics, measurement & conversion, saving & investing, capital budgeting, cost of capital, wages & taxes, financial analysis, health, loan & leasing, and stock analysis.

Applications for Education
One of my favorite activities in middle school and high school was the stock market simulation activities that two of my teachers had us do. Calkoo offers a good set of calculators that could be used for stock market simulation activities. Of course, if you just need some basic online calculators for your students to use Calkoo puts a bunch of good ones in one place for you.

Here are five free scientific calculators you might also want to try.

The Story of Auld Lang Syne

If you have ever wondered why people sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve, what the words mean, or even what the actual words to it are, CBS Sunday Morning has a five minute explanation for you. You can watch the video here or as embedded below.

On a more academic note, here are some 2011 year in review resources for social studies teachers.
Remember 2011 - A Map of 2011's Biggest Stories
CNN Rewinds 2011
YouTube Rewinds 2011
CNN Student News 2011 News Quiz
The Year in Google Searches
2011 In 120 Images
The Year in 60 Seconds - A Video Project Idea

A Planetarium for Your Browser

Yesterday, on my Android 4 Schools blog I featured the Google Sky app that allows you to determine which stars, planets, and constellations you're looking at when you stare into the night sky. This morning I found a website that allows you to do the same.

Planetarium by Neave Interactive is a website on which you can specify your current location and it will show you a map of the night sky based upon your location and the date. You can also use Planetarium without specifying your location and instead explore the night sky from any place on Earth. For Google Chrome users, Planetarium offers a Chrome Web App that you can add to your browser.

Applications for Education
Planetarium could be an excellent website and Chrome App to use in lessons about astronomy. Students can compare the constellations they see at home with those of people in other parts of the world at the same time.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review - My Favorite Posts

Morrison says, "what is your New
Year's resolution?"
All week I re-posted the 25 most popular posts of the year. That list was determined by looking at what Google Analytics told me were the most visited posts. Today, instead of my usual Saturday morning routine of writing out the most popular posts of the week, I want to share the posts that I enjoyed writing the most even if they weren't the most popular ones.

Before I get to the list I again have to say thank you to everyone that has helped Free Technology for Teachers grow. Whether you've been reading this blog for four years or four days, I appreciate you being here. I also have to say thank you to all of the great schools and organizations that invited me to speak and work with teachers this year. Finally, thank you to the companies that chose to advertise with me this year.

Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is the best year yet for you!

These were my favorite posts to write this year:
1. Jerry Garcia, Phish, and Focusing on the Audience
2. What I've Learned from 5,000 Blog Posts
3. Thinglink - Make Your Blog Images Interactive
4. The Museum of Obsolete Objects
5. Visions of Students Today - A Video Collage

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've started a second blog titled Android 4 Schools. As the name implies it's all about Android apps for students and educators. In the future, I plan to add reviews of hardware.

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
LearnBoost provides a free online gradebook service for teachers.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
TenMarks offers a free online mathematics program to supplement in-classroom instruction.
Edublogs provides blog hosting for teachers and students. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
Intel offers the AppUp Center of educational PC games and more.

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