Thursday, July 12, 2012

Get Hip With New Hip Hughes History Videos

I've mentioned Keith Hughes' Hip Hughes History YouTube channel in the past. This morning I showed the channel to my friend Alice Barr and I thought that I should share it here again. Keith Recently added a couple of new videos to his channel. The 1996 Election for Dummies is latest addition the U.S. Elections for Dummies playlist. The other video that you might want to add to your U.S. History course blog or website is U.S. Sectionalism for Dummies.

Applications for Education
As Keith Hughes points out at the beginning of some of the videos, these videos are not a replacement for paying attention in class and doing your own research. That said, the videos are good for reviewing or previewing a topic. If you teach U.S. History and you're building a course resource page this summer, I highly recommend adding some of the Hip Hughes History videos to that page.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Easy Group Blogging With Posterous Spaces

Posterous Spaces was bought by Twitter earlier this year, but it appears to still be going strong and hasn't changed at all since it was acquired by Twitter. One of the things about Posterous that I have always liked is the ease with which you can create a group blog.

In Posterous Spaces you can allow people to make contributions to your blog by simply sending an email to "yourblog'sname" @ For example, if I created the blog "" I could allow others to contribute to the blog by simply sending an email to "" You can choose to moderate or not moderate those contributions. From an administrative standpoint, using the email method of contributing to a group blog is much easier than having to enter permissions for each person you want contributing to your group blog.

Applications for Education
Accepting email contributions to your Posterous Spaces blog means that don't have to spend time walking students through creating log-in credentials for another service. Simply have students send an email to "yourblog'sname" and their posts can appear on the blog. It's the quickest way that I have found to get a classroom full of students contributing to one blog.

Environmental Science Games & Lessons from EcoKids

EcoKids is a Canadian organization that provides free resources for teaching and learning about topics in environmental science. The resources designed for teachers require registration, but the resources for students can be accessed without registration. The games and activities section for kids offers dozens of online games across eight categories. Within each of the eight categories the games and activities are again categorized according to age appropriateness. The eight games and activities categories are: wildlife, climate change, energy, water, waste, land use, the North, and First Nations & Inuit.

Applications for Education
Elementary school and middle school teachers looking for some engaging activities to supplement their classroom instruction on environmental science would do well to browse through the games and activities offered by EcoKids.

Registration-free Video Conferencing Service Adds Screen Sharing

Back in May I introduced you to for hosting free video conferences without registering for an account. This week added a couple of helpful new features. First, now support screen sharing. Second, easy file sharing has been added to To share a file with the members of your video conference just drag a file from your desktop to the transfer window in your space and everyone in the conference will be able to grab the file.

Applications for Education allows you to have up to five people in a room so you won't be able to use it to conduct a large instruction session, but it could be a great platform for quickly hosting an online tutoring session. Now that supports screen sharing it has become closer to Google+ Hangouts. But doesn't require users to register at all which could make it a great alternative to Google+ Hangouts. 

How Secure Is Your Password? Let's Find Out

How Secure Is My Password? is a great little site that Kern Kelley showed off at the Google Apps Bootcamp in New Hampshire today. How Secure Is My Password? allows you to see how long it would take a person or a computer to guess your password. One of my passwords would take 2 million years to crack.

Make Me A Password is the sister site to How Secure Is My Password? As the name implies, Make Me A Password will generate a secure password for you.

Applications for Education
How Secure Is My Password? could be a good tool for showing students and colleagues how strong or weak their passwords are.

Watch Common Craft's video on secure passwords for a good video overview of what makes a password secure.