Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Most Popular Posts of the Month on Free Technology for Teachers

Shells on a beach in Maine.
It is the last day of July and I'm wondering where the summer has gone. I bet that some of you are wondering the same. And my friends in the southern hemisphere are probably ready for summer by now. As I do at the end of every month, I have put together a list of the most popular posts of the month.

Here are the most popular posts of the month:
1. Ten Popular Ed Tech Tools That Were Updated This Summer
2. 7 Free Edmodo Apps to Try This Summer
3. How to Use Google Slides to Organize Research
4. Three Things to do With QR Codes On Back-to-School Night
5. Ten Resources for Helping Students Learn to Code and Program
6. A Handful of Google Calendar Tutorials for Teachers
7. Storyboard That Releases New Teacher Guides
8. Maker Camp is Back for 2014 - Online Camp Starts Monday
9. Plickers - The Student Response System for Classrooms That Aren't 1:1
10. Six Uses for Evernote in the Classroom

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.

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NPS Digital Image Archives - Find Public Domain Images and Videos of National Parks

In a post earlier today I shared the news that Fotopedia is shutting down. Fotopedia was a good place to find great images of U.S. National Parks. The National Parks Service's Digital Image Archive is an alternative place to find images of U.S. National Parks. You can search the archive by park and or subject. All of the images are free to download as they are in the public domain.

The National Parks Service also offers a b-roll video gallery. The videos in the galleries are in the public domain. The b-roll video gallery can be searched by park, monument, building, or person. All of the videos can be downloaded. Some files are quite large so keep that in mind if your school has bandwidth limits and you have all of your students searching for videos at the same time.

Applications for Education
The NPS Digital Image Archives could be a good resource for students to access when they need scenic imagery to use in slide presentations, in video projects, or in image-based stories created with tools like Pic-Collage, PicMonkey, and ThingLink.

Design and Development of Educational Technology - An edX Course

Design and Development of Educational Technology is a new edX course starting this fall. The six week course is part of the EdTechX series from the MIT Education Arcade. The course is designed for people who are interested in learning about the history and principles of designing educational technology. The course presents a framework for thinking about the development of educational technology, not the nuts and bolts of building an app or website. The culminating project for the course is to design a Kickstarter style pitch for a new educational technology.

Design and Development of Educational Technology begins on October 8th. You can register here. I am already registered and I hope to see many of you in the course too.

Fotopedia Is Shutting Down - A Few Alternatives

Since its launch in 2009 Fotopedia has been one of my favorite places to see beautiful picture stories about national parks and natural wonders. Unfortunately, Fotopedia has just announced that it will shut down on August 10. The web service and all of the beautiful Fotopedia iPad apps will stop working on August 10th. If you have any pictures stored on Fotopedia, download them before August 10th.

Storehouse is a nice possible replacement to the Fotopedia reporter app.

To find other imagery of national parks and natural wonders, visit Google Street View Special Collections and the World Wonders Project.

Ocenaudio - A Free Audio Editing Tool for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Ocenaudio is a free audio editing tool available to use on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. The free software enables you to create audio recordings from scratch and or edit existing audio files.

Once the Ocenaudio software is installed on your computer (no registration is needed to download or install the software) you can start recording spoken tracks by pressing the red record button. After making your recording you can click and highlight any section of it to delete it or adjust its sound qualities. If you're looking to adjust the sound qualities and effects of an audio file, you will like the option to preview adjustments before applying them to a file. All files created and edited in Ocenaudio are saved to your computer.

Applications for Education
Ocenaudio runs on your computer and does not require any kind of registration to use. This makes it a good option for schools that don't have the bandwidth to support cloud-based editors. It is also a good option for students who cannot create online accounts to use cloud-based editing tools. The program offers the features that students need for most classroom media projects while remaining fairly intuitive to use.

H/T to Lifehacker

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