Powerful and Free Tools for Teachers and Students

external image NextVista_logo.jpg?height=320&width=320Your Presenter - Rushton Hurley (contact me)
high school teacher of Japanese language
Director of the MERIT Program at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College
applications open in early November, close in mid-January
Founder, Executive Director and Lead Janitor of NextVista.org
the newsletter I mentioned (ask for free stuff!)

Videos and Other Digital Media I Share With You
The Village Well - this is the audio piece I did about the African service project

Ikea Lamp - feeling past your prime?

The Atomic Model - Made on a Mac Contest winner
Ball Girl Crazy Catch - critically think about this one
Shorewood Lip Dub - what kids can do when motivated
the actual footage - everything forwards

'Unbelievable Sportsmanship' - Central Washington University softball team
An Unusual Football Game - for those who believe in the power of second chances
Scouting video - tapping into the talents that are out there Neuron Functions - FallCUE Contest winner
Lab Rules - rules for the lab by Mark Dohn's students

Project Amigo Volunteer - wonderful effort helping poor kiddos in Mexico
Sonnet 23 - from Jim Sill's video production kids
The Fun Theory - fun with piano stairs, that is
Lost Generation - all this will be true, unless we reverse it

The Most Recent Contest
See the eleven finalists for the Nebraska 90 contest, and get your kids to tell you which one should win (or have won), and why.

Search, Research, and Words
Google Search - language tools, advanced search, and more options
File Search - not reinventing the wheel -and- developing a critical eye
Wonder Wheel and Timeline, News and Fast Flip
Google Squared - cool association of data
Search Curriculum - helping kids search (much) more efficiently
Shortcut Guide - all sorts of quick ways to use the front page
Books and Scholar - thinking about what's worth reading
Librivox - free audio books
CK12.org - free textbooks online
Merriam-Webster - traditional definitions, Word of the Day
Urban Dictionary - interpreting the language of the locals (this one isn't all family-friendly)
Wordle - popular system for making word clouds (Declaration of Independence text)
WordSift - great tool for academic language by folks at Stanford

Activity possibilities: using Wonder Wheel, find the commonly associated tags for a particular concept you teach
using Google Squared, find what categories within your subject yield good squares
using Google Books, find a good reading for your class
using Wordle, analyze a speech or short text for its main ideas

Collaboration Kicked Up a Notch - why paper can hold us back
Gmail - better than ordinary e-mail, perhaps!
Google Docs - word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations
Docs - sharing, revision history, and saving the file
Presentations - use for prompts, planning, and (of course) presenting
Spreadsheets - do surveys and online tests using Forms (Know your lyrics?)
cool tricks with fill and lookup (a little like Squared)
the lookup formula: =googlelookup(cell,cell)
spreadsheet functions - loads of info on this from GCT Bill Bass
self-grading quiz - a guide to how to do this, from Bill Bass
tutorials on YouTube for Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, Presentations
Poll Everywhere - gathering data using cell phones or internet-connected computers
Sites - building web pages, the Google way
Wikispaces - an especially education-friendly wiki company

Activity possibilities: using Sites, create a project portfolio
using Forms or Poll Everywhere, gather data on student confidence on topics you teach
using Docs, have students gather notes on lessons collaboratively
using Presentations, combine visuals with main topics as discussion prompts

Geographical Tools Across the Curriculum
Google Maps
various views - maps, satellite, traffic, terrain, Earth; photos and writing assignments
finding resources - Advanced Search and kml files
literature - Google Lit Trips
history - California Missions Map
creating your own maps
support, Maps handout for educators
tutorials on YouTube for Google Maps

Activity possibilities: find and link/upload a kml file on a topic of interest to you
create a map with colleagues about special places in your community
use the photos layer in Maps to examine life in another community
have students create a Lit Trip for a story they read together

Other Software and Sites You Might Want - more fantastic freeware
File Hippo - great site for downloading freeware
Contxts - send your contact info by text message
try texting the message Rushton to number 50500 as an example
Fresh Brain - a place for teens to be wildly creative (organization died, but site lives on)
Classroom 2.0 and Learn Central - perhaps the best sites for collaborating with colleagues
Geogebra - free mathematics software
Khan Academy - straight-forward tutorials on many levels of math
Storyline Online - from the Screen Actors Guild, stories read to you

Activity possibilities: create a slideshow video using Photo Story
make a podcast using Audacity
find a group in Classroom 2.0 to get to know
explore visual possibilities with Cool Iris

Digital Media: Various Fun Tools to Get Going
Metamark - making the nasty URLs more reasonable
Tiny URL, Snip URL, Long URL, Huge URL
Prezi - "Power Point on steroids"
Daniel Moix's overview of Google Tools in Prezi
Pete's Power Point Station
loads of Power Point presentations for all kinds of different topics
Glogster - multimedia posters
BigHugeLabs - a variety of multimedia this-and-that
Library of Congress - for images, sound files, documents, and more

Activity possibilities: using Glogster, create a multimedia poster about a school club
using Prezi, prepare a study guide for students, or have them do the same for each other

Audacity - powerful audio editor
Jill Baedke's tutorials on using Audacity
an example of a simple (but powerful) story done in Audacity: The Village Well
The Battle - the (copyright-friendly) James Underberg piece from PodSafeAudio
Jamendo - music you can use
PartnersInRhyme - both royalty-free and free sound effects (note the difference)
Voice Thread - audio blogs with images
Audio Expert - online audio editing
ujam - create your own songs with an online recording tool

Activity possibilities: record commercials where students have to be critical of the info presented
using Audacity or GarageBand, have students prepare and record summaries of key concepts
start an audio resource folder using music from Jamendo
have students create a song using ujam that includes important concepts from the course

Images and Slideshows
Neuron Functions - contest-winning entry that shows an interesting use of images
Creative Commons - copyright, public domain, and 'copyright-friendly'; royalty-free vs. free
proper citation is always a component - use filenames to keep the info
Citing Sources, the easy way
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use - Center for Social Media information
Flickr and Morguefile - images in quantity and quality
CoolIris - photo walls from search results (plug-in for browsers)
TagGalaxy - a world of photos from search results
Animoto - 30-second videos are free
Mixbook - create online photo books, buy the real ones if you wish
SumoPaint - it's like Photoshop, but free and in your browser
Psykopaint - create "paintings" from pictures
Picnik - online photo editing
Irfan View - free graphics editor and converter
Photo Story 3 - a free program from Microsoft - really.
a quick tutorial I put together on Photo Story
temporary download link for Photo Story
Google Art Project - great art from around the world, on your computer
BodyBrowser - biology will never be the same (requires very strong browser)

Activity possibilities: using Tag Galaxy or Cool Iris, create a visual introduction on a topic
using Photo Story 3, let students tell the story of a club or activity
gather copyright-friendly images for presentations
with Art Project, have students creatively connect a famous painting to your school community

Videos and Video Editing
Limerick (Ireland) footage for practice
Windows: StreetScene1, StreetScene2
Mac: StreetScene1, StreetScene2
Windows Live Movie Maker - the download link, as it doesn't come with Windows 7 (#@?!)
Windows Movie Makers - a good place for all sorts-o-things Movie Maker
Apple's iMovie Tutorials - great starters for iMovie and anything else from iLife
VideoMaker channel on SchoolTube - great tutorials on the next levels of video
YouTube - tutorials on anything
search on the word 'tutorial' and the name of the software
as with iTunesU, YouTube has an education channel
Jing - freeware for screencasting
here's a Jing on using Movie Maker
Zamzar - great site for converting files or grabbing YouTube videos
DigitalWish.com - site for teachers that allows buying Flips two-for-one

Activity possibilities: using Movie Maker or iMovie, have students explain concepts they've learned
full project descriptions and resources for videos are at the bottom of this page

Next Vista for Learning
ask for my help for using or making videos, and you've got it
preparing students for any multimedia project
have students figure out strengths, weaknesses, and alternatives to a variety of videos
record impressions using a Google form like this one (ask me for a copy)
share this resource on common mistakes (it won't replace their exploring, though)
Community Intros (Stavanger, Norway)
here's instructions for this project from a couple of years ago (ignore the dates)
Sonnets and Multimedia (Sonnet 23)
just for you, a step-by-step on the sonnets project
Jim Sill interview about this project (Elluminate session)
Career Exploration (Oceanographic Scientist)
info on how to do career exploration videos with your students

Saving the World From Ignorance - my favorite place for fascinating projects
NextVista.org - videos to learn, to travel, and to inspire

Activity possibilities: choose a video to show students to get their thoughts on strengths, weaknesses, changes, etc.

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