Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instagram and your Digital Footprint


Mele Kalikimaka!

As you go about your day, or sit to relax in your Rolling Rock beanbag chair (cough…Steve Duffy…cough), here is something to think about and potentially use in class….

Today there are a lot of articles going around the Interwebs about Instagram and their new Terms of Service Agreement. (if you aren't aware of Instagram, that's OK, but maybe take a moment and Google it- it's a photo editing and sharing social media application. Attached is a photo that I took and published to Instagram as an example). 

Companies can, and do, change their Terms of Service all the time. Sometimes we see a viral Facebook-posting of ways to opt-out of Terms of Service, but I assure you, this is not a viral hoax. 

According to CNN, Instagram can now SELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR ADS. The new Terms of Service allows them to sell your photos to other companies. See article here

Why am I telling you this? Well, it's very alarming to all of our students. According to a survey of all freshmen this year at WHS, Instagram was in the top 3 of the most-used social networks! The new Terms of Use includes language that allows for photos of, and by minors to be subject to the new rules, too. Instagram (owned by Facebook) states that, "If you are under the age of eighteen .... you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision."

THE ONLY WAY TO OPT OUT IS TO DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT. 

I suggest you have a talk with your students about their digital footprint, how they represent themselves on Instagram, and how detrimental this could be to them. 

I am optimistic that Instagram will change their Terms of Service with a lot of backlash from this, but we shall see. Let me know if you have any questions or would like some talking points about this topic/digital footprints. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Running...free resources...and TRADING CARDS!


I hope everyone had a fantastic thanksgiving! I know that I certainly ate my fair share of the Long Family Feast. Thank goodness I'm about to start marathon training for the 2013 Boston Marathon! HEY…speaking of running and mapping my runs and how we all ate too much…

mapmyrun is a great site to actually measure running, walking, and biking (or blading) routes right on a map! You can also track your workouts, post the to brag on social media sites, and see saved workouts and routes in your area! It's great. I use it often. How to use this for education? Well, you can use it to get back into shape/in better shape…you can use it to promote health and wellness to your students (cross-curricular)…

And. HERE is an overwhelming list of FREE apps, audiobooks, ebooks, textbooks, foreign language lessons, test prep materials, and web resources. It's continually being added-to and expanded upon, so feel free to check back often!! 

And finally, who wouldn't love a trading card of Shakespeare…or perhaps some other historical figure. Babe Ruth, Shmabe Ruth! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trading-cards/id555742821?mt=8# is an APP (free) that allows you to make trading cards for a:
  • Fictional person
    • Real person
    • Fictional place
    • Real place
    • Object
    • Event
    • Vocabulary word

Friday, November 16, 2012

For some specific departments


Here are some department-specific resources that I've found…

Voc:
Circuits.io is a free website on which you can design and test electrical circuits. You can design your circuits using the virtual version of components that you could purchase and place on a circuit board. As you design your circuits, Circuits.io will tell you if your circuits will work or not. 

History:
A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome is a new TED-Ed lesson developed by Ray Laurence from the University of Kent. The video and its associated questions feature the story of seventeen year old Lucius Popidius Secundus.

Science:
through Google Maps Mania there is a new Google Chrome Web GL Experiment called 100,000 Stars that also does a good job of helping viewers understand the scale of the universe. 100,000 Stars is a visualization of the 100,000 stars closest to Earth. You can view the stars on your own or take an automated tour of the stars. 

ALL:
Google Books is a great place to find all kinds of books and magazines that you can preview and or read for free online or on your ereader device.You can use Google Books to create lists of free books any students can access for research assignments. Do that by searching for a topic in Google Books, filtering results to show only "free Google eBooks," putting the titles on a Google Bookshelf, then sharing the link.  students can then visit the bookshelf to see the books that you have recommended to them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Higher Order Thinking...


Over 50 online (or PDF) forms to encourage students' Higher Order thinking (Think, Pair, Share…Where do you Stand…Mottos…and more!). Just click on the links and be taken to the form where they can type in their responses, or you could print them to be hand-written. 

Once they type them in, they can then save them to their H-drive or computer, upload into GoogleDocs after they save it, and SHARE with you. Total Integration Station! AWESOME! NO PAPER! HIGHER THINKING. WINNING! 

Youtube-hosted TED Education videos. More thought-provoking than lessons themselves, but it's fairly new and I'm sure it'll grow. (note: Youtube access required…obviously)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Apps Apps Apps


Here is a GREAT site that reviews and lists over 1800 EDU Apps. http://www.appitic.com/

I'm obviously not going to list them out individually, but it's definitely worth a search/browse/peruse situation if you have a free moment! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tiny URLs, Screencasts, and Newpaper Clip Generators!


  • Newspaper Clip Generator : http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp
    • Enter the name of the newspaper (use a FAKE name), the date, and the text. 
    • FREE, no login, and allows you to download the image (for use in a project, on a website, etc)
    • Here is a sample that I made….

  • After Friday's PDRT a few teachers asked me how we created the screencasts for TeachPoint. Www.screenr.com is a great, free, resource that allows you to record your screen with your voice (via microphone)
    • Go to http://www.screenr.com and register (it's free- you can sign in with your WPS Google account, even)
    • There is an intro video you should watch which will give you an idea of what  to do. 
    • When you launch the Screenr window, you can select how much of your screen you would like to show in the screencast (by dragging the corners to the size you'd like)
    • Then, simply hit record and start to talk and move around the screen . 
    • At the end, Screenr will give you a link to your video

  • Short URLs
    • http://tinyurl.com/ allows you to enter (or PASTE) a long URL and either create a unique url for that site or generate an automatic one.
    • It's a great tool when you want to distribute a website to your class and don't want to write a 55-character URL on the board
    • example: the tiny url for my website: http://tinyurl.com/mrlong260

MEOGRAPH...

Hey hey heeeeey!

So, here's a cool tool that I just found and was playing with…and is FREE! It's called MEOGRAPH and basically uses GoogleEarth/Maps (web-based) to created a story or timeline. You can upload pictures, record your voice, or add YouTube clips. 

I can think of SO many options and uses for this, cool projects that could be tweaked for this to be added, etc. I played around w/ it for a bit and created a little one (below), but would definitely love to help any teachers work with it further to integrate into a project! 

My sample here (youtube access required at parts): http://www.meograph.com/user-88417921/5208/my-first-meograph

And as always… www.freetechkev.blogspot.com

have fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tiny URLs, Screencasts, and Newpaper Clip Generators!


  • Newspaper Clip Generator : http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp
    • Enter the name of the newspaper (use a FAKE name), the date, and the text. 
    • FREE, no login, and allows you to download the image (for use in a project, on a website, etc)
    • Here is a sample that I made….

  • After Friday's PDRT a few teachers asked me how we created the screencasts for TeachPoint. Www.screenr.com is a great, free, resource that allows you to record your screen with your voice (via microphone)
    • Go to http://www.screenr.com and register (it's free- you can sign in with your WPS Google account, even)
    • There is an intro video you should watch which will give you an idea of what  to do. 
    • When you launch the Screenr window, you can select how much of your screen you would like to show in the screencast (by dragging the corners to the size you'd like)
    • Then, simply hit record and start to talk and move around the screen . 
    • At the end, Screenr will give you a link to your video

  • Short URLs
    • http://tinyurl.com/ allows you to enter (or PASTE) a long URL and either create a unique url for that site or generate an automatic one.
    • It's a great tool when you want to distribute a website to your class and don't want to write a 55-character URL on the board
    • example: the tiny url for my website: http://tinyurl.com/mrlong260

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PicCollages and Scientific Calculators!


Oh Hey There!

So, http://pic-collage.com/ is a free service for quickly creating picture collages on your iPad or Android tablet. The app does not require you to register or connect a social network profile in order to create a collage. If you do connect a social network profile to Pic Collage you can pull in pictures from those accounts. Otherwise you can upload pictures that are stored on your device or take new pictures using the Pic Collage app.
  • Off the top of my head potential uses? --> 
    • have students create collages of a book they read, the main characters/themes. 
    • Perhaps students can run around w/ iPads or their phones and take pictures of a new geometric shape  they have learned about and where it is in nature/our world? 
    • Or maybe they can document their daily lives in 1 collage and their interactions with other people (sociology)? 
    • How about capturing the abundance of advertising that we come in contact with on a daily basis? 
Hey science and math teachers! Don't you HATE when a student forgets their scientific calculator? Isn't it annoying and frustrating when you lend them one and it doesn't come back? Here are some FREE online scientific calculators. I don't, personally, recommend you replace your calc w/ these, but this could be a good list to put on your Edline page (or website) so that if a student is doing homework and has forgotten their calculator in their locker (and they have a computer at home) then there is NO EXCUSE! http://tinyurl.com/freescicalc
NOTE: I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CALCULATORS, but I hope these are helpful! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Documentaries, Political Ads, and Picturebooks!



  • The Picture Book Maker allows students to create six page stories by dragging background scenes into a page, dragging in animals and props, and typing text. All of the elements can be sized an positioned to fit the pages. Text is limited to roughly two lines per page. Completed stories are displayed with simple page turning effects.
  • It's limited, but could be a fun activity to switch things up in class. Ex: Have your junior science class explain an advanced topic in layman's terms. 
  • Here is a book that I started to create - Please click here to view the book.
Chockadoc – A Catalog of Online Documentaries http://www.chockadoc.com/
  • 1000s of online documentaries – for free
  • Some are hosted on Youtube (requires director/principal approval), some are hosted on a simple in bedded video player
  • It's definitely worth browsing and seeing what/if any would work as a good unit extension
Adomatichttp://adomatic.us/
  • From the US Constitution Center
  • Students can create a political ad for themselves – For either the Democratic or Republican Party or "The Great New Party" (Their own)
  • Very relevant with November's election

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Google Chrome, MIT, and Dynamic Blogs


  1. a blog entry on how to make a dynamic blog and free blog resources: http://tinyurl.com/9jgxu4n
  2. More than 11,000 free educational videos from MIT - http://video.mit.edu/
  3. If any of you use Google Chrome, here are 7 Chrome Applications that can be used online. Google Chrome is an AWESOME web browser. You can request that 'HELP' install it on your computer if you're sick of Internet Explorer!!!