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Wired Safety - Parry Aftab, Esq

Grades
K to 12
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This site contains all of the information that educators and parents need to know about keeping kids safe online. It contains games, resources, publications and links to help teach...more
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This site contains all of the information that educators and parents need to know about keeping kids safe online. It contains games, resources, publications and links to help teach students about internet safety and cyber bullying. Click on the link for parents, tweens, kids, educators, or teens. The site challenges students to learn about the rules of cyber world and find their inner superhero. This site provides wonderful information to educators on a variety of "cyber" topics. For students to fully use this site, they must register (via snail mail). However, many of the informational links are available online with no registration required. Please note the link to their safe search engine was broken at the time of this review, but there were links to other safe search engines. In addition, the site of the week seems to be from 2005. Even so, there is a lot of useful information available at this site for students, teachers, and parents.

tag(s): bullying (53), internet safety (108), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter to help parents learn about internet safety and cyber bullying. Educators use the site as a place to gather information to create a cyber-bullying curriculum. Have your students visit the kids or tweens section and have them read the articles written by real kids. After reading have your students choose a topic and write their own article. Have them publish the articles to a blog or use a Web 2.0 tool like Bookemon, reviewed here, to create an online book. Have students take the quiz to find out if they've ever been cyber bullied.
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Creative Commons Search - Creative Common

Grades
4 to 12
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Find digital images that are available for use without violating copyright. This search tool finds images licensed for use under Creative Commons licensing. While most major search...more
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Find digital images that are available for use without violating copyright. This search tool finds images licensed for use under Creative Commons licensing. While most major search engines have advanced features the allow you to filter out content by copyright privileges, the CC search website makes is easy and convenient. Be sure to READ the information about verifying licensing. The results are somewhat cluttered but provide extensive options that can be legally (and ethically) used in wikis, blogs, reports, and more, as long as you provide the attribution information. What a fabulous tool for students to use for interactive or traditional projects!

tag(s): air (151), copyright (49)

In the Classroom

Teaching students to understand and respect copyright of digital information can be difficult and overwhelming. The first step in helping students understand digital copyright is to get them to explore the terms of use and copyright of a variety of information. Create a scavenger hunt for students to find the terms of service and/or copyright for common websites. Once they realize that not all information is "free" for them to use, introduce the Creative Commons website and the symbols that are used to describe how the content is licensed by the owner. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate searching using the CC search site. Perform searches that yield results that show several different types of licenses. Discuss each type using scenarios of how the information can and cannot be used. As an extension activity for this site, students can create their own work and publish the work using a creative commons license. The work can be as simple as using a digital picture or as complex as creating their own derivative artwork, such as a collage or "photoshopped" image. It can be published on a commercial site such as flickr or on your school webpage. Make sure to follow any school guidelines before publishing student work. Perhaps you can create a class wiki of annotated creative images created by students with explanations of where they found the "parts" and how they created the original works from these parts. What a wonderful model to share with future students, as well. Teachers will also appreciate being able to find images you can freely use on class web pages and in online project samples, etc. (with attribution).

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Teacher Training Videos - Russell Stannard

Grades
K to 12
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Become a technology expert by learning from the best. View screencasts of great training videos for teachers. Find content to support in a variety of subject areas with tutorials and...more
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Become a technology expert by learning from the best. View screencasts of great training videos for teachers. Find content to support in a variety of subject areas with tutorials and "how to" for a variety of sites. Subscribe to newsletters to receive updates of newly produced videos. Find "how to" videos of web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, and other more complicated tools by clicking on "Web 2.0/ICT Videos."

tag(s): professional development (156), spelling (168), tutorials (48), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use the links on the left hand side to find videos on how to use some of the most popular and useful classroom sites around. Find something of use in the vast array available for viewing. The screencasts of the web 2.0 sites offer step by step instructions to help novice and intermediate users in their use in the classroom. Videos are organized into topics with multiple tools showcased in the segment. Find quick videos at the bottom of the page which highlight just one tool. Even teachers of very young students will find many of the tools explained helpful for their own use in creating learning materials, centers, etc.
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Common Craft - Lee Lefeever

Grades
K to 12
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No special skills needed. Just watch and learn. Embarrassed to say you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about? This is for you (and probably ...more
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No special skills needed. Just watch and learn. Embarrassed to say you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about? This is for you (and probably for your students' parents, as well). Common Craft uses a very simple, visual method of explaining all the latest technologies so that everyone can understand, using short video clips narrated by a positive and respectful voice. The next time you hear someone talking about RSS feeds or some other new doo-dad, stop here first so you will know what they are talking about. Did you think you were the only one who did not know? Don't be overwhelmed. This site has incredible popularity because there are LOADS of people quietly questioning -- just like you. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): blogs (90), media literacy (62), movies (72), tutorials (48), video (276), wikis (21)

In the Classroom

Start by looking at any video that catches your eye, but don't be afraid to search for other topics that have you wondering. You will definitely want to make this channel a Favorite to find information to keep you informed. Share it on your teacher web page to help out your parents, too! Create an account to add as favorites and subscribe to the channel to inform you when new videos are added.

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Bullying and Cyber-Bulling Prevention Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students manage the tough issues of bullying and cyberbullying. Whether you plan...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students manage the tough issues of bullying and cyberbullying. Whether you plan a special unit or lesson on this topic for Bullying Prevention Week or select from these resources on an as-needed basis, you will find useful ideas and strategies for students and adults to work together to erase bullying from your class and school culture. Be sure to share these resources with parents and your parent organization via your class or school web page.

tag(s): bullying (53)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection if ever in need of help concerning bullying online or in the classroom. Be sure to pass this one along to parents, counselors or peers if bullying is ever a concern or issue.

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Typing web - FTW Innovations, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Improve keyboarding skills using this free typing tutor for all levels. Individuals can create a login using an email address or click "no thanks" to start typing without saving any...more
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Improve keyboarding skills using this free typing tutor for all levels. Individuals can create a login using an email address or click "no thanks" to start typing without saving any of your progress. Use the Teacher Portal to register students (NO email required) so you can track individual progress. Choose from Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced courses to work on specific rows, keys, skill builders, and speed drills. Once registered, individuals or students can save their progress. Great practice for any age! New features added to the site in June, 2010 make it far more teacher friendly and eliminate the need for student emails.

tag(s): keyboarding (37)

In the Classroom

Use for increasing skills and speed as students spend more time on the computer. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate how to use this site (and see your own speed). Use in media classes, business classes, and anywhere students need to brush up on skills at the start of school. Use with business classes without spending a cent of tight budget dollars. List this link on your class website for students to use to practice at home or during study halls or inside recess. Or make it the core of your keyboarding practice in a formal class.

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Teaching Copyright - Electronic Frontier Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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In five lessons, students review what they know about plagiarism and copyright and update it to include aspects of copying in the digital age. In addition to the history of ...more
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In five lessons, students review what they know about plagiarism and copyright and update it to include aspects of copying in the digital age. In addition to the history of copyright (with application to proper documentation and annotation), students learn about concepts such as fair use, free speech, peer-to-peer file sharing, and the public domain. The most in-depth portions are definitions and history of copyright, the concepts of fair use and stakeholders, and finally, contemporary explanations of the interpretation of copyright today including material on the internet. The lessons include Notes for the Educator, Assessment, Extension Ideas, Objectives, and many other possible resources. Each lesson varies slightly in the additions.

tag(s): air (151), copyright (49), plagiarism (34)

In the Classroom

Use when teaching essay writing and how to cite sources. Plan a unit on plagiarism using the resources on this site or incorporate them into your existing research units. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students do the activities on this site independently or in small groups. The culminating activity here is a trial; plan to use this with the entire class with each member having a distinct role. Why not video record the trial? Share the video using a resource such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
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Compfight - Compfight

Grades
K to 12
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Discover a slick way to find Creative Commons pictures (pictures you are ALLOWED to use without copyright problems, simply by giving credit). Compfight searches Flickr pictures and...more
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Discover a slick way to find Creative Commons pictures (pictures you are ALLOWED to use without copyright problems, simply by giving credit). Compfight searches Flickr pictures and locates those with licenses that permit use in other activities and projects. Enter text or tags, and Compfight does the rest, providing thumbnail images for you to choose from. After you search, be sure you have checked the box in the LEFT sidebar of the search results, specifying that you want Creative Commons images, NOT commercial ones. Click to search again, if necessary. Choose from the results that appear below the dotted line. (Those above the line are images you must pay for!) Click on the image you like and double-check the license information under item 1 to be sure it is available for non-commercial use with attribution and can be used for "derivative works." Click the image itself to copy and paste its URL to use in image credits. Remember that Creative Commons DOES require that you give proper credit!

tag(s): creative commons (22), images (274), search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to use good search terms to find the best pictures possible as well as knowing how to save images on their computer. Use in the classroom any time that an image is needed for projects, even if it is not going to be put on a website for others to see. Be sure students are aware that any time another person's image is used, they must give full credit for it, even if that owner cannot see it. Demonstrate Compfight on a projector or interactive whiteboard so students know how to use it. Student groups can use Compfight to collectively find the best image to use for a project. Have students create a multimedia presentation using ThinkLink, reviewed here. For example, students studying renewable energy can use Compfight to find images of various renewable energy sources, then explain them using ThingLink. Teachers can collect Creative Commons images for use on their interactive whiteboard for sorting activities (monocots and dicots, producers and consumers, etc). Never assume that your students, even the gifted ones, understand about giving proper credit and only using copyright-safe images (CC or public domain). Compfight makes it easier. Be sure to hold students accountable by including a "digital citizenship" category in your project rubric, requiring proper credit for all images. You will want to spot check a few of the URLs to be sure they are actually correct credits. Share Compfight as an important tool on your class web page, wiki, or blog so students can access it anywhere, anytime.
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All my faves - All my faves

Grades
4 to 12
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Not sure what sites exist for your topic? Start here and find sites listed by icon for Art, Encyclopedia, History, Languages, Science, Writing skills, Music, and numerous other topics....more
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Not sure what sites exist for your topic? Start here and find sites listed by icon for Art, Encyclopedia, History, Languages, Science, Writing skills, Music, and numerous other topics. Whether you are searching for research information, enrichment, or tutorials - check out this site. Notice that TeachersFirst is among the "faves" for teaching!

tag(s): dictionaries (57), literature (274)

In the Classroom

Why search for these sites, when the links can all be found in one place? Use this site in combination with TeachersFirst's rich reviews. Students can use these links as a springboard to research and projects. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites! There is a lot to explore. List this site on your class website and/or wiki for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Tales from the Public Domain: Bound By Law - Center for the Study of the Public Domain (Duke Law)

Grades
9 to 12
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An online, interactive graphic novel(formerly known as comic book) created at Duke Law explains the highly-sophisticated concepts of "public domain" and other intellectual property...more
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An online, interactive graphic novel(formerly known as comic book) created at Duke Law explains the highly-sophisticated concepts of "public domain" and other intellectual property issues related to using film clips, artwork, Broadway shows, and more in a documentary. In the digital world of the 21st century, copyright is a concept most foreign to our students, and this interactive book may only fan the flames of their outrage at such limitations to the "rights" they perceive in today's connected world. As one panel in the book itself says, "To many artists, the question of 'Fair Use' can seem like a game of blind man's bluff." These concepts are very challenging, even to adults, but this interactive comic book can at least alert users to what some of the legal issues involved with intellectual property may be. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (151), copyright (49), media literacy (62)

In the Classroom

Since this content requires concentration and understanding of concepts beyond the typical high schooler, you may want to share selected frames from the book on your interactive whiteboard or projector as discussion starters or inspiration for debate on copyright issues. Whether you are introducing a research project that requires adherence to Fair Use and proper documentation, are coaching a debate team, or prompting a piece of persuasive writing on this hot topic, this resource will provide fodder for discussion. Don't expect mastery of the legal concept, but you will certainly hear opinions as students navigate this "book."
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Creative Curio: The Color Wheel and Color Theory - Lauren

Grades
5 to 12
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This blog post, written by a graphic designer, shares ideas and basics about color theory in very user-friendly language. The full blog holds many other ideas on graphic design principles,...more
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This blog post, written by a graphic designer, shares ideas and basics about color theory in very user-friendly language. The full blog holds many other ideas on graphic design principles, as well. Note to teachers: there are links to off-topic posts, but the discussions of design principles apply to web pages, print projects, 2D artwork, and more. There are also posts and discussions about computer design programs such as InDesign and Quark. Whether you teach art or advise the school newspaper, this "real world" blog by a professional can help students make connections between theory and authentic tasks.

tag(s): design (83), graphic design (35)

In the Classroom

With younger students, share the discussion on an interactive whiteboard or projector to teach basic color terminology in art class, then have them design their own color schemes for a traditional art project, class wiki (great for portfolio sharing), or multimedia project in PowerPoint. You could even use basic shapes and colors on the whiteboard to create and "drag and drop" color swatches to illustrate the ideas. Middle and high school student groups could use this blog as a reference in designing brochures or web pages or critiquing publications in print or on the web. Have students take "screenshots" of web pages and analyze the colors used, posting the images and analysis to a wiki. Better yet, have more techie-students embed web content such as flickr photos within their wiki and analyze it in a caption below the "live" content. Assign an authentic graphic design task such as some of those mentioned in this blog. Teachers of advanced art students will want to share this link on their class web page for students to access both in and out of class as a reference and discussion starter.

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The Manuals

Grades
K to 12
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Need a manual? 'The Manuals' website is just that, in a nutshell. Simply type in the name of the manual you need. Press Search, and Google will find the manual ...more
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Need a manual? 'The Manuals' website is just that, in a nutshell. Simply type in the name of the manual you need. Press Search, and Google will find the manual for you. Over five million manuals are available from this site. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Perhaps you have technology in your classroom that needs a manual--this site is for you. Need functional or authentic text? Many state tests assess functional text. From this site, you can easily find 'real' reading passages. All you need are to develop the questions. Share the manuals on your interactive whiteboard or projector to practice with functional text OR to teach about informational writing!
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Spezify (beta) - Spezify

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K to 12
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Get an overview of any web search visually using Spezify. Spezify is a search engine that provides both visual and verbal results for the search terms you enter. It pulls ...more
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Get an overview of any web search visually using Spezify. Spezify is a search engine that provides both visual and verbal results for the search terms you enter. It pulls in images from Flickr and anywhere on the web as well as print excerpts, and (coming soon) video. Click on the image or text box you wish to read just as you click on text in search results lists. Visually display the "big picture" on any topic. Searching "edison inventions" brings up pictures and articles for visual learners, ELL/ESL students, or non-readers to get the gist of the topic at a quick glance. Spezify also suggests possible additional search terms and related topics across the top of the page as white text within the narrow black stripe. If you click the plus sign (+) next to one of these terms, it will add that term to your search, narrowing the results. If you click on the word itself, Spezify will search that term instead (not adding it to your previous search). There does not appear to be any specific ranking (as Google has) or sorting of the results by reputation, popularity, etc. No "about" information is provided to explain how Spezify determines which results show first. The tool is still in beta and provides a way for you to provide feedback, as well. NOTE: as with any online image search, you should be careful what you enter as search terms, since Spezify will pull up images without any "filter."

In the Classroom

Use Spezify on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you introduce a new topic in science or social studies or when the class asks "What is ____?" . With very young students or non-readers, use Spezify to help them find information they can understand and to inspire them to try to read some of the short text excerpts alongside the images. Activate students' prior knowledge as they recognize the images and remark, "I didn't know Edison was the one who invented that!" Visually show the "big picture" on any topic. As you teach research skills, try a comparison of Spezify results with Google results for both functionality of the search engine and reputability of the results. NOTE: Preview any search terms you plan to display in class if the terms could possibly bring up inappropriate images. You may need to adjust your terms. Of course your students know what they are supposed to do if something inappropriate comes up when using a search themselves, right? If you have not discussed this, now is the time!

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Video: Twitter in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
5 to 12
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Are you "twying" to understand the "tweet" world of Twitter. Watch this short (less than 3-minutes) video about the "Twerrific" world of Twitter. This social networking site asks the...more
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Are you "twying" to understand the "tweet" world of Twitter. Watch this short (less than 3-minutes) video about the "Twerrific" world of Twitter. This social networking site asks the question, "What are you doing?". This site shares how to use Twitter to stay connected. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (53), social networking (112), twitter (44)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for professional development and further understanding of the current microblogging "twend": Twitter. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use Twitter in the Classroom (with parental permission). Have students create writing prompts and share them on Twitter. Have your government students follow the "Twitter News" of politicians they can find on Twitter. Have students in science class follow the Twitter Feeds like Science News. Challenge students to create their own virtual collective Twitter scavenger hunt. The possibilities are endless! You can also use Twitter as a springboard for discussions about the changes in the political landscape and society with the advent of social networking tools. Ask them: are there any negatives or cautions to sharing your life on Twitter?
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Video: RSS in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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Wondering what an "RSS" is? Or maybe why you would want to use this time saver/ real world connection in your classroom? This short video (less than 4-minutes), shares ...more
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Wondering what an "RSS" is? Or maybe why you would want to use this time saver/ real world connection in your classroom? This short video (less than 4-minutes), shares WHAT an RSS is and HOW it saves you time by having your desired web content ready for you instead of your going and searching your favorite blogs and websites on YOUR time. Choose a reader (our editors like Google reader), set-up a connection between your reader and your favorite websites (subscribing; look for the orange RSS icon), and have the updates sent to your reader (rather than wasting your poking around and searching the web). Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): time (140), video (276)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for professional development. Once you set up a reader, you can subscribe to topics that fit in your curriculum: Google blog searches for inventions for your science class or current events feeds about the continent you are studying in social studies, for example. Administrators might consider sharing this time-saver with teachers during a training. With middle school students and older, share this video on an interactive whiteboard or projector (don't be surprised if they teach you MORE about the RSS options). Then have students set up a reader on an assigned topic to fit your curriculum or collaborate to set up a reader for the entire class.
 
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Video: Online Photo Sharing in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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This short video (less than 3-minutes) about the subject of online photo sharing. This site refers to Flickr, reviewed here), but other services...more
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This short video (less than 3-minutes) about the subject of online photo sharing. This site refers to Flickr, reviewed here), but other services are also named. Learn how online photo sharing keeps your photos safe from fire (and even computer crashes). Learn ways to share and enhance your photos. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): photography (161)

In the Classroom

This site could be used in many capacities: sharing students' work online (with parental consent, of course), sharing this video clip at in-service trainings for teachers to use both professionally and personally, providing the link on your website for families to view and use at home, and many other possibilities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Video: Podcasting in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site provides an easy to understand introductorion video on podcasting. The video is short, about 3-minutes. Use this site to learn what podcasting is and how it is different ...more
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This site provides an easy to understand introductorion video on podcasting. The video is short, about 3-minutes. Use this site to learn what podcasting is and how it is different from broadcasting. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (55)

In the Classroom

If you aren't familiar with podcasts, watch this short video and try to think about ways to use podcasting with your students. Have cooperative learning groups research a topic relevant to your class and create a podcast using a simple tool such as podOmatic (explained here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Video: Web Search Strategies in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site offers a VERY short video (under 3-minutes) that offers tips on how to get the best responses to your web searches. This is a perfect addition to your ...more
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This site offers a VERY short video (under 3-minutes) that offers tips on how to get the best responses to your web searches. This is a perfect addition to your research unit, helping students to find information FASTER. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (64)

In the Classroom

Share the video clip on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students apply the tips from this video during independent or cooperative learning research projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zamzar - Zamzar

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion...more
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Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion of .pdf files to Word documents and Word to .pdfs. You can also convert music, video, and photo files to different formats of your choice. This is a VERY useful tool. Select the file to import or the URL of the video to download, the change to be made, and receive a link to the converted file in the new format via email. Then click to download the file from the link. You have only 24 hours to retrieve the file (RIGHT- click to download or Save Target as)!

The documents are editable after conversion. Images will not be as "editable" as text. The text comes in within a text box, but can be edited. Be aware that many school email spam filters may block the Zamzar emails because they view them as "spam." If emails do not come through or you cannot download from Zamzar's link, request the converted files be sent to a home email address and bring them to school "on a stick."

Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this many not be a site that you want students to explore independently. Also, the site mentions having to register. You do not need to register to use most of the features.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Making a "derivative work" from someone else's pdf handout should include a printed credit within the new document, giving credit for the original source, Ex. "Adapted from a handout by xxx available at www.theoriginalhandout.pdf." Such derivative use should only be done when the original copyright permits it, such as using materials that grant permission for classroom use. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

One main problem with the site is that you need to enter the email address and wait for the email to download the file. There is a nice pdf conversion site http://www.pdfaid.com where you can convert and download the file instantly. Disclaimer: I am the owner of the website. pdf, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Google Trends - Google

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Want a concrete indicator of public curiosity and concerns from the source they use most? Try Google Trends (formerly known as Google Zeitgeist). This simple tool tells what people...more
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Want a concrete indicator of public curiosity and concerns from the source they use most? Try Google Trends (formerly known as Google Zeitgeist). This simple tool tells what people are searching most on Google (country by country), correlating it to the news and other major dates. Click on the year trends to view all of them and click on those of interest to you. Or scroll down the landing page instead to see the big headline makers of the year. For example, use the 2008 summary to see the spikes in certain Google searches connected with events during the 2008 U.S. political campaigns. Get a quick snapshot of popular culture "hot topics" or personal concerns during tough economic times, simple by seeing what people are searching on Google. If you are trying to build world-awareness and 21st century learners in your classroom, keep Google Trends handy to spark discussion and curiosity.

tag(s): consumers (19), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Teachers of gifted will want to share this as a must-read site, but all students would benefit from hypothesizing about the world trends that generate Google searches. Share this resource on your teacher web page or classroom computer for handy access. As you discuss current events, government, politics, of even consumer behavior, use Zeitgeist to ask questions: Why are people searching this now? What did people in other countries search while Americans were focused on Sarah Palin or bank bailouts? Show a Trends listing on your projector or interactive whiteboard and simply ask the question: Why? Challenge students to discuss possible reasons for what they see in small groups or in blog posts. Use a Trends finding as a prompt for a debate or essay in English class. Use the trends as indicators of consumer behavior for discussions in business or FCS classes. Use search wordings from other countries in your world language classes to sharpen awareness of cultural differences and similarities.

Just ask WHY? and watch your students leap to higher level thinking as you challenge them to prove it with other findings from the web or research.

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