May 7

Thinkfinity.org is Closing

Thinkfinity.org has announced that they will be closing up on June 30, 2014.

From their blog post, it looks like Verizon has decided to stop funding for Thinkfinity.org.  That’s too bad, Thinkfinity.org was a good repository of resources from Kindergarten through 12th Grade.  In their announcement, they have listed several of their content partners who provided many of their resources. In addition, their updated FAQ section suggests saving information and your favorite Thinkfinity pages as PDF’s for use later on.  After June 30, 2014 most of the content on their site will be gone. Unfortunately, this is one of the risks of using “free” content sites.

March 29

Cool Project Idea – Make a Customized Operation Game

I’m always looking for interesting hands-on projects to use for engaging my students.  I ran across this page at Instructables.com about making your own customized Operation game.  The project requires the use of several tools that are not readily available in my classroom and probably not available in most, but finding someone to loan the tools might be a viable option.

I can see this type of project working in several subject areas.  Here is an example of how far a little creativity can take this idea.

February 2

Visuwords – Online Visual Dictionary

visuwords-screenshot

Visuwords is an online dictionary and thesaurus with a twist.  Enter a word in their search box and in a few seconds, your screen will be filled with a visual map of definitions of verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, antonyms, synonyms, causes, derivations, and several other categorizations.

The amount of results will vary by the word searched.

 

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November 21

Google is Kicking off another Coding Contest

Google’s Code-In 2010 Contest kicks off tomorrow (November 22, 2010).  The contest is aimed at high school students.  The contest will challenge the participants in areas such as Working with Open Source Code, Writing Documentation and Training Materials, and Researching the Needs of Participating Organizations.

The tasks outlined by Google include …

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July 31

Flexbook looks to help make textbook materials more affordable.

Are you interested in free textbooks? Flexbooks may just help stir the waters of the expensive course material domain.  Flexbooks are basically open source textbooks. Flexbooks are part of an initiative by the CK-12 Foundation to help lower the cost of textbook materials.  The CK-12 Foundation has partnered with several experts from education and the tech industry to create a website and system that should be around for a while. 

 

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May 9

Apps I Love … Evernote

As part of my "almost" paperless classroom project, I have been using Evernote for a couple of years.  About a year ago, I had been deciding between Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote for my preferred note taking application.  I had been leaning towards OneNote for my personal notes.  I love how OneNote will record audio and help link the audio recordings to notes.  I also love OneNote’s interface with the side-tabs and drag and drop capturing of work.

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May 9

Twiddla – Online Whiteboard Tool

Twiddla is a free collaboration tool where you set up meetings using an online whiteboard interface.

Twiddla meetings allow users to interact in real time with drawing tools, chat, voice, images, videos, plain text, documents, emails, and GoogleMaps.  Twiddla records the chats in your meeting so you can review a transcript later.  Also, you can view a replay of everything that was drawn / added to the whiteboard during the meeting.  As the creator of the meeting, you have the option of clearing the transcripts and replays of the meeting.  So, it appears that you can re-use the same meeting URL over and over.

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October 14

Google looks to take on Wikipedia

Google is branching out again.  This time, they have launched a competitor to Wikipedia.  Google has launched Google Knol.  Google opened the service to a “public beta” in July 2009 with a few hundred articles.  Since then, their database of articles has gradually grown.  Its hard to say whether this will be a Wikipedia-killer or not.  However, Google will supposedly be verifying that individual accounts are legitimate before allowing permission to create new articles.

September 22

Fun Facts about the Periodic Table

If you are looking for an interesting website about the Periodic Table, check out The Periodic Table of Videos.  This is a site from the University of Nottingham.  When you click on an element in the Periodic Table, you are treated to a video clip describing interesting facts about that element.  The only drawback I see is that they use Youtube for their video clips.  If your school district is like mine, Youtube is blocked by an internet filter.

It is a very interesting site.  I am not a chemistry teacher.  I avoided chemistry in school.  However, I loved going through the elements to learn about each one’s properties and uses.

EDIT:  I found a link on their site for those who have Youtube blocked by a filter.

http://periodicvideos.com/nyt/index.htm#

July 31

Student Resource – Hippocampus.org

I came across a great resource for students and teachers at www.hippocampus.org.  The website has lessons for Algebgra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Religion, and U.S. History.  The lessons either in Flash, Quicktime, or Text formats . 

Hippo Campus’ goal is to provide multimedia lesson content free of charge.  They are a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.

Hippo Campus also has an option for teachers to create a page for their content area.  Within this page, you can bookmark topics.  Hippocampus then has an option for you to link to this page from your school website, blog, LMS, etc.  I tried it, but unfortunately they do not have any materials for my program (I.T.).

Check them out at www.hippocampus.org.