links for 2010-03-17

  • Smarthistory is a free online alternative to expensive art history textbooks. Smarthistory was developed by art history professors Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory features more than just images of notable works of art. Videos lessons, VoiceThread lessons, and audio lessons about eras and themes in art history are what make Smarthistory a valuable resource. Students can browse all of the resources of Smarthistory by artist name, style of work, theme, or time period. -Free Technology for Teachers
  • Stopmotion Animator is a freeware download that allows users of PC computers to use a webcam to easily and quickly create stop-motion movies. The software is set up to “grab” frames off the webcam, then gather them together into a single .AVI video file. Stopmotion Animator allows you to tweak some settings as well. For example, you can set the number of frames you want shot with each mouse click. The site also has very useful tutorials and hints for making movies on any software platform. The site includes an online drawing pad where students can sketch out characters if they are considering a claymation project, and a lot of different hints about making a quality movie.
  • Scribble Maps is a website that lets you scribble, draw, and annotate over Google maps. Scribble Maps even lets you print your maps, save them, embed them on your website, blog, or wiki or save them as jpeg images to your computer. In addition to annotating over maps, you can also add place markers with titles and descriptions, and add images to the map. Maps can be viewed as regular maps, terrain maps, hybrid maps, or satellite maps. Use Scribble Maps in literature or history and drop place markers with descriptions on a map as students read. Students will have a better idea of what is happening in story when they can visually see places mentioned marked out on a map. Play map games calling out geographical places and having students find them on the map and tag them with the information they know. -iLearn Technology
  • Google Calendar makes it easy for you to share events and publish events and calendars on your website. If your website mentions events — including reservations, appointments, conferences and shows, Google Calendar can help your users find this information and easily add it to their own calendars. This guide explains all the options.
  • Google Sites makes it easy for anyone to create and manage simple, secure group websites. Getting started is easy, and there are a number of helpful templates. More than just a visual theme, site templates can include site structure and navigation, custom page templates, embedded gadgets, and more. Google Sites is powerful enough for a company intranet, yet simple enough for a family website.
  • Our children today are being socialized in a way that is vastly different from their parents. The numbers are overwhelming: over 10,000 hours playing videogames, over 200,000 emails and instant messages sent and received; over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones; over 20,000 hours watching TV (a high percentage fast speed MTV), over 500,000 commercials seen—all before the kids leave college. And, maybe, at the very most, 5,000 hours of book reading. These are today’s "Digital Native" students. Here I present evidence for why I think this is so. It comes from neurobiology, social psychology, and from studies done on children using games for learning.
  • It is amazing to me how in all the hoopla and debate these days about the decline of education in the US we ignore the most fundamental of its causes. Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.
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