Friday, December 26, 2014

Five Tools for Creating Multimedia Textbooks - A Comparison Chart

Anyone who has gone through the laborious process of trying to select a textbook knows that the perfect textbook doesn't exist. That said, thanks to some fantastic software and online tools we can now come closer to creating textbooks that are ideal for our students. Including video and or audio in a textbook can go a long way toward helping students recall information. I still wish that the Algebra II textbook I had in high school had video tutorials in it. The five tools featured in the chart embedded below provide good options for creating multimedia textbooks. A Google Docs version of the chart is available here.

This is the seventh comparison chart in the series of PDFs that I have been creating in the hopes that they provide people with a quick way to select the best tools for them. This little project started because I am often asked to recommend "the best tool for X." Unfortunately, it is difficult to definitively state that one tool is the best because there are so many variables to account for in making that judgement. The age of your students, the technology that you have access to, your instructional goals are all factors that can influence what the best tool is for you. What's best in my situation and what's best in yours can be quite different. Hopefully, these charts will help you select the best tools for you and your students. The other charts are linked below.

Seven Alternatives to Google Image Search - Comparison Chart
11 Free Mind Mapping Tools Compared In One Chart
5 Timeline Creation Tools Compared - Chart
Nine Popular Student Response Tools Compared In One Chart
5 Web-based Audio Recording and Editing Tools Compared - Chart
5 Tools for Creating Multimedia Quizzes - A Comparison Chart

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I'm taking the day off to celebrate Christmas with my family.
Happy Holidays from all of us (Richard, Max, and Morrison) at

Digital card made on

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Learn All About the Holidays on PBS Kids

All About the Holidays is a collection of short videos from PBS Kids. The videos, designed for elementary school students, present short lessons on Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.  For pre-K students PBS Kids offers a separate collection of videos about the holidays. The pre-K collection has videos featuring Peg & Cat, Daniel Tiger, and Sid the Science Kid.

Applications for Education
It's a little late for this year, but you might find these videos helpful next year. Next year, have students complete this chart after watching the videos. (You may need to supplement the videos with some content of your own).

Christmas in Yellowstone

In browsing through Outside magazine's gallery of the Best National Park Photos of 2014 I was reminded of the documentary Christmas in Yellowstone. The documentary features the beauty of Yellowstone National Park in the winter. The most compelling aspect of the documentary is the chronicling of the struggles animals face to survive in the winter in the park. The documentary is embedded below.

Applications for Education
National Geographic Education offers 18 resources for teaching about the unique features of Yellowstone National Park. That collection is primarily focused on the geological aspects of Yellowstone.

How to Save Links In Facebook

Earlier today on the FreeTech4Teachers Facebook page someone asked how to save the links without tagging herself in a comment. The process is rather easy. When you see a post that you would like to save for later simply open the little drop-down menu that appears to the right of a post's title. In that drop-down menu you will see the option to save a link for later.
Click the image to view in full size.

To view your saved links just go to your Facebook homepage and select "saved."
Click the image to view in full size.