Saturday, May 11, 2013

Vocabla - Learn English and Spanish

Vocabla is a service for learning English, Spanish, and Polish vocabulary. The service can be used online or with the free iPhone and Android apps. The concept behind Vocabla is similar to a lot of other language learning applications. In Vocabla you can create lists of words and phrases that you want to learn. Alternatively, you can select a list that was made by someone else and shared to the Vocabla library. You can study each list in a flashcard style until you feel like you're ready to take a practice quiz. You can earn digital trophies and badges for your scores on the quizzes that you complete.

Applications for Education
The aspect of Vocabla that makes it a nice option for use by teachers is that you can create a list of words and share publicly. All of your students can then use that list to study on their own.

Week in Review - Get On Your Bike and Ride

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. This week I did not travel so I was able to spend some extra time writing and planning for the workshops I have scheduled for this summer. Part of that planning included exploring some of the biking and hiking trails around Sunday River Resort where the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will be held in July. As you may have guessed, I'm looking forward to the summer professionally and personally.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. eduClipper Is What Teachers Want Pinterest To Be
2. 5 Things I Like About Building a PLN on Google+
3. Three Ways to Turn Your Blog Into a Book
4. New Tools Added to Wideo - Create Better Animated Videos
5. Create Quizzes in Edcanvas
6. New Response Types Added to Google Forms
7. Insert Quizzes Into Videos With Soo Meta

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
WidBook is a collaborative, multimedia publishing tool.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Fresno Pacific University offers online courses for teachers.
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.
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.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology. is hosting workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston this summer.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great Economists - A Marginal Revolution University MOOC

The Marginal Revolution University is a project started by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok at George Mason University. MRUniversity offers MOOCs about a wide range of topics in economics. One of the MOOCs released this month is Great Economists: Classical Economics and its Forerunners. The course outline places an emphasis on Adam Smith and his work The Wealth of Nations. The course outline concludes with a section on practical issues faced by classical economists.

Here's an introduction to the course.

Here's one video clip from the course, Introduction to Mercantilism.

Typing Club Helps Students Learn to Type

This month Typing Club became a financial supporter of Free Technology for Teachers. As I do with any new supporter I like to share a quick post about what they offer to teachers and students. 

Typing Club is a popular website offering free online touch typing lessons for students of all ages. Whether you use the Typing Club website or the free Chrome Web App the lessons work the same way. Typing Club provides 100 free activities that begin with the basics and progress in difficulty until you can touch type on your entire keyboard including the use of lesser-used keys like "<" and "{." As you type during each lesson you are given instant real-time feedback about your accuracy and speed. Unlike other typing lessons that make you wait until an activity is completed to determine your accuracy or speed, Typing Club recalculates that information with each keystroke.

Applications for Education
Students can use Typing Club without creating an account on the site. If students do create an account they will be able to log-in to track their progress through each lesson. Typing Club provides a free portal service for teachers to use to track their students' progress. In addition to use of the standard lessons, the portal service allows teachers to create customized lessons for their students.

Our Little Earth - Bi-weekly News Summaries for Kids

Our Little Earth is a nice site that provides bi-weekly summaries of the world's biggest news stories. The summaries are written for students. Each edition includes video clips along with the stories. In each edition you'll find stories appropriate for use in social studies, math, and science lessons. You may also find stories about the arts, entertainment, and popular culture. A few "did you know" questions appear in each issue as well. An archive containing every edition going back to 2007 is available too.

Applications for Education
Our Little Earth could be a good little resource on which you can base some quick social studies lessons. For a donation of one dollar (or more if you're so inclined) you can subscribe to some extra questions and accompanying activities for each edition. Or you could just create your own discussion questions. Either way all of the articles and "did you know" questions mentioned above are free.