Saturday, June 29, 2013

Digg Reader - Another New Google Reader Alternative

This weekend is the last weekend that Google Reader will work. If you haven't found a replacement for Google Reader yet, here's another option. Digg has just released a new RSS reader called Digg Reader. You can import your Google Reader subscriptions with just one click. All of the category folders that you have in Google Reader will be imported into Digg Reader too.

Digg Reader has a simple interface that is currently missing a couple of features that I must have including the option to see how many unread items I have in a category. The other feature that I would to see is the option to add other social networks to my sharing menu. Currently, Digg Reader only supports sharing to Twitter, Facebook, and Digg.

If you're looking for other Google Reader alternatives, here are my five favorite Google Reader alternatives.

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Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from rainy Maine. This week I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and at the AAFCS conference in Houston. Thank you to everyone that came to my presentations. It was great to be able to connect with many of you this week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Using Images as Research Prompts to Teach Search Strategies
2. Search Tips and Strategies Tip Sheet
3. 18 Google Earth & Maps Lessons for K-12
4. Learn a Language On the Go With Duolingo Mobile Apps
5. Learn Art History with Smarthistory

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Snap! - Drag and Drop Coding for Kids

Snap! is a drag and drop programming interface designed to help students learn to program. Snap! uses a visual interface that works in your browser on your laptop as well as on your iPad. To design a program in Snap! drag commands into a sequence in the scripts panel. The commands are represented by labeled jigsaw puzzle pieces that snap together to create a program. You can try to run your program at any time to see how it will be executed. After previewing your program you can go back and add or delete pieces as you see fit.

Applications for Education
Snap! may remind some people of Scratch. That is because the Snap! developers call their program "an extended re-implementation of Scratch." The potential benefit of Snap! over Scratch is that teachers who have a mix of iPads, Android tablets, and laptops in their classrooms can have all of their students use the same programming interface.

H/T to Danny Nicholson.

Join Me in Sunny Arizona for 3 Days of Learning Fun

For the second year in a row, Pearson Online Learning Exchange has invited me to speak at their Authentic Learning Workshop in Scottsdale, AZ July 16-18th.

During this 3-day workshop, educators will collaborate with innovative thought leaders about transformative ideas and practical tips for creating authentic learning experiences. This is a small event with plenty of time planned for collaborating to develop outstanding learning experiences for our students. I’ll be presenting keynotes that will be broadcasted virtually so if you’re unable to attend in person, be sure to register for the morning webinar sessions.

Why you should join me:
  • Meet and collaborate with other passionate educators like yourself who could become lifelong collaborators
  • Learn about new tools and best practices for creating authentic learning experiences
  • Participate in interactive sessions both in person and virtually
  • Receive a free 1-year subscription to Online Learning Exchange for in-person registration and a free 30-day trial of Online Learning Exchange for virtual participation
  • Opportunities to win great door prizes, including two $100 Amazon giftcards and an iPad mini.

This is a limited seating event so be sure to reserve your spot today for the 2013 Authentic Learning Workshop. Hope to see you there!


I know that sometimes when people think of Pearson they instantly think about it as a massive publishing company, it is one. That said, the Pearson OLE team that is running the Authentic Learning Workshop is not "corporate" at all. They are a fun bunch of people who are genuinely interested in helping teachers create better learning experiences for their students. I wouldn't work with them if they weren't.

40 Free and Open Course for Learning a New Language

When I was in high school we had the choice of studying Spanish or French to meet our foreign language requirement. I distinctly remember telling my guidance counselor that I wanted to take Japanese. She said that wasn't an option. I took Spanish.

Today, if a student wants to study a language that his or her school doesn't offer, that student can find lots of online options for learning a new language. Open Culture has a long list of places where you can find free online courses for learning a new language. The list covers forty languages including Japanese which I just might study now. The courses listed are a mix of iTunes U courses, YouTube channels, and assorted MOOCs.