Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week in Review - The Labor Day Weekend Edition

Greetings from Maine where my dog (Morrison) and I are getting ready for some canoeing and fishing this afternoon. I hope that all of you have equally fun plans for the long weekend. Before we head out for fun in the sun Morrison and I sat down to review the most popular posts of the week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Apps Students Can Use to Never Lose Handwritten Notes Again
2. myHistro - A Timeline and Mapping Tool in One
3. Street View of Mesoamerican Historical Sites
4. Just Another Reason I Love Chrome...
5. Keen Talks Aims to Provide Food for Thought
6. Spelling City for iPad and iPhone
7. Videos - Neil Armstrong and the Moon

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
Class DoJo is a great student behavior recording keeping service.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
The College of St. Scholastica offers M. Ed courses.
Academic Pub is a service for creating custom etextbooks.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools.

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A Cleaner YouTube Viewing Experience

Throughout all of the workshops and presentations that I did this summer one of the most popular tools that I shared was A Cleaner Internet. A Cleaner Internet is an extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. The extension allows you to search YouTube and view YouTube videos without viewing the "related" content, advertisements, and comments that appear on YouTube.

Applications for Education
If you want to show YouTube videos in your classroom but you're afraid of what might appear around  the video, install A Cleaner Internet.

Annotary - Another Nice Bookmarking Service

Annotary is a new social bookmarking service that I started trying out this morning and so far I like it. Annotary reminds me a bit of the popular Diigo bookmarking service. Using Annotary in Chrome I can bookmark sites, highlight portions of pages, and annotate pages with sticky notes. Just like any good online bookmarking service, Annotary allows you to share bookmarks and search other peoples shared bookmarks.

Applications for Education
If you're still saving your bookmarks to your browser only, make this school year the year that you start saving your bookmarks online. Annotary could be a great service to get you started on that path. By saving your bookmarks online you will always be able to access them regardless of which computer you use. And by adding annotations to the pages you save in your Annotary account you'll never wonder why you bookmarked a particular site.

Poll Everywhere Offers New Mobile Presenter Tools

In the EdTech Teacher workshops that I teach in the summer one of the tools that we always use for feedback is Poll Everywhere. Poll Everywhere provides a great selection of question styles and feedback formats to fit any audience. But until now a presenter using Poll Everywhere was tied to his or her laptop for poll creation and administration. That all changed with yesterday's announcement of a new mobile Poll Everywhere presenter site.

Poll Everywhere's new mobile site allows presenters to create polls and administer polls from their iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones. To use the mobile site just go to in your mobile browser and start creating new polls.

Mobile Presenter Tools from Poll Everywhere on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
For teachers who prefer to use their tablets in their classrooms, using the new Poll Everywhere mobile site could be a great way create and administer polls. And whether mobile or not, Poll Everywhere provides an excellent service for collecting instant anonymous feedback from students. You could use it to quickly assess a class's prior knowledge on a topic. I've also seen it used by teachers to collect feedback about the length of time it took students to finish a homework assignment.

Thanks to Greg Kulowiec for Tweeting the news about the new Poll Everywhere mobile site.

ClassDoJo - Easy and Fun Behavior Reports

This month Free Technology for Teachers welcomes ClassDoJo as a new advertiser.

ClassDoJo is a free online service for recording and generating data about your students' behaviors. To get started using ClassDoJo you create class lists and select the behaviors that you want to track. Then assign each behavior as a negative or positive behavior. Once you have created your class lists and selected behaviors to track, actually tracking behaviors is quite easy.

To track your students' behaviors just sign-in, select your class, and start marking student names with positive or negative points. When you mark with positives or negatives you can state the reason by selecting from the menu of behaviors that you created while creating your ClassDoJo lists. You can use your computer or your mobile device to make entries in your ClassDoJo account.

Students can view their records by signing into their records through secret Clas DoJo codes assigned to them. Parents can have reports about their children sent to them by you.

Applications for Education
This summer I heard from a number of elementary school teachers who absolutely love ClassDoJo for recording behaviors. One teacher that I spoke with said that she would project the "positive behaviors only" screen when she was giving out positive recognition at the end of the school day.