Tuesday, April 10, 2018

JuxtaposeJS - Create Side-by-Side Comparison Frames

JuxtaposeJS is a free tool for making and hosting side-by-side comparisons of images. The tool was designed to help people see before and after views of a location, a building, a person, or anything else that changes appearance over time. JuxtaposeJS will let you put the images into a slider frame that you can embed into a webpage where viewers can use the slider to reveal more or less of one of the images.

JuxtaposeJS is relatively easy to use. You don't need to register on the site in order to use the tool. Go to the site and click "Make a Juxtapose." That link will direct you to fill in the template with links to the two images that you want to compare (the images must be hosted online and publicly viewable). After adding your images you can add labels and credits where necessary. Click the publish button to get the embed code for your JuxtaposeJS interactive frame.

Applications for Education
JuxtaposeJS could be a great little tool for students to use to create comparisons of a place before and after a weather event. For example, a comparison of a beach before and after a major storm. Or students could use it to make comparisons of how a building like Fenway Park (my image above) has been remodeled.

An Animated Map of the Rise and Fall of Communism

The Spread of Communism is an animated map that shows the rise and fall of communism from 1917 through 2017. When you visit the map you can press the play button in the lower, right corner to play the animation. When it plays the animation highlights each country according to the year in which a communist government came to power. Play the animation long enough and you will start to see the highlights disappear as the communist governments fail.

Applications for Education
The Spread of Communism animated map a simple resource that could make a good addition to the reference sources that you share with students regarding the Cold War. The map also provides inspiration for a making a multimedia timeline on that contains maps and videos. Timeline JS is an excellent tool for that purpose. With Timeline JS students can could create a multimedia timeline to show the rise and fall of communism around the world.

H/T to Maps Mania for the animated map.

Todost - A Simple Task Management Tool

Todost is a free and simple tool for keeping track of items on your to-do list. To make a list just go to the website on your laptop or on your phone. Once at the site you can start entering your list of tasks for the day. Click the check box next to each task as you complete them and it will be crossed out. You can also completely delete an item from your list.

Todost doesn't ask for an email address, a username, or any other kind of log-in. It remembers your tasks only in your browser through the use of cookies. That means that you cannot sync your lists across multiple devices. If you want that capability, take a look at one of these five options.

Applications for Education
While Todost could be a good little tool to help kids keep track of tasks throughout the day, the real reason that I'm sharing it is found in the footer below the Todost task lists. It is in that footer that you will find a link to the code that was used in developing Todost. Click the Code Pen link in the footer to find that code. Students who are interested in learning to code could use the Todost code as the basis for making their own browser-based task management tools.

I Don't Hate TPT

Last Friday on Practical Ed Tech I published an announcement of my new webinar How to Ditch TPT & Sell Your Digital Products. Over the weekend I fielded emails from a handful of people who were defending Teachers Pay Teachers. I want to clarify that I don't hate Teachers Pay Teachers. I'm all for the idea of teachers being able to put a little more money in their pockets. Believe me, I know all too well how bringing in just another $50 can make huge difference in how you feel at the end of the month.

My concern about TPT, and the reason for the webinar, is that TPT takes too big of a cut of the revenue for themselves. I think that a lot of people don't realize that there are other easy-to-use platforms for selling your digital products that don't take a 20-45% cut of your sales revenue. That's why I'm hosting How to Ditch TPT & Sell Your Digital Products this Thursday at 4pm ET.

In the webinar I'll introduce you to three platforms that you can use to sell your digital products, five methods for marketing your products without buying advertising, and how to protect your products from piracy. I'll also answer your questions during the live webinar. Join me!

The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live session. Access to the recording will also be available to those who attend but want to be able to go back and watch it again.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

PrepFactory Offers Individualized SAT, ACT, PARCC, and SBAC Prep

Disclosure: PrepFactory is a long-time advertiser and supporter of FreeTech4Teachers.com

PrepFactory began as a free service providing SAT and ACT review videos. In 2017 they switched from video-based to interactive question-based instruction. At about the same time, they expanded their offerings to include middle school subjects. Recently, they expanded again to offer study guides for PARCC and SBAC test prep for students in grades six through ten.

What differentiates PrepFactory from run-of-the-mill test prep websites is a focus on individual student diagnostics. In the PrepFactory programs, each student is continually evaluated across all topics applicable to his or her test. The program then allows the student to skip over the content they’ve shown mastery of and it encourages students to spend extra time improving in areas they have not yet mastered.

Another nice aspect of PrepFactory is that its various interactive questions formats are  similar to the style of questions on the computer-based versions of PARCC and SBAC assessments. This familiarity in question look and feel can go a long way toward helping students relax and perform their best on test day.

Students can work through PrepFactory independently or join a virtual classroom under a teacher's account. Teacher accounts have additional features including creating assignments and monitoring student progress. Fully-featured student and teacher accounts can be created for free.

The folks at PrepFactory are always developing new features for teachers and more content for students. Look for more of both to be rolled-out later this year.