Nov 22 2010

Welcome to our CAST 2010 friends!

jim

For those of you who we had the privilege of meeting at CAST a couple weeks ago in Houston, we want to welcome you! We hope you find our site full of some great and useful tools for you to use! Here are a couple things to remember:

  1. You can subscribe to our newsletter using the Newsletter link above. We’ll send out updates periodically summarizing our latest treasure of free websites.
  2. Help support our habit by clicking on an ad or two on the site. This helps keep our hosting free and available to all!

Once again, it was great to meet you all!

As a bonus, I uploaded this density demo to TeacherTube. If you’ve never seen or done this, try it out- it’s great!


Nov 12 2010

Taylor Mali video

jim

http://www.taylormali.com/

By popular demand, we are sharing this great video from Taylor Mali. Taylor is an inspirational teacher and slam poet. Check out some more of his stuff at his website.

The following is a YouTube video. If YouTube is blocked in your district, we feel your pain. The direct link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuBmSbiVXo0


Nov 10 2010

DropMocks- Quick and Easy (and free) online photo album

jim

www.dropmocks.com

You have to check out this handy dandy little tool. For those times when you wanted to upload a bunch of images but didn’t want the hassle of setting up accounts and such… you needed DropMocks.

At this site, you literally drag in your image files (less than 900K in size) and it creates a linear photo album of your pictures and gives you a unique URL to share with your people!

These are a few of my Word Series pictures I threw up there just to brag. You can see the full album at  http://dropmocks.com/mHgOa

If you want to later go back and edit the album, you can log in with your Google account credentials. Anyway, this will come in handy for all those times you need to host an image online so that it has a unique URL. You can then use that location in other Web 2.0 tools (see the slideshow alternatives on our Link Directory page here).


Nov 4 2010

Spice up those online mind maps with SpicyNodes!

jim

www.spicynodes.com

OK, sure, there are several of these online mind mapping sites like bubbl.us, mindomo, mindmeister, and others. But there’s a new player on the block, and I happen to like this one. Take a look at my map I created of the branches of government (maybe I should update it with new election results). For best results, put it in full screen view (button on right end):

I really like the way the text scrolls within a balloon- that allows for longer summaries and explanations to be added. Adding the pictures was great too! There are quite a few styles to choose from so you’ll have to explore to see them all. The site works on a freemium model, so the free version has a few limitations:

  • All maps are watermarked (like we’ve ever let that stop us from using something free)
  • Can’t password protect the free maps (so if you don’t want everyone to see it, don’t put it out there)
  • Can’t collaborate with others on a single map (we have other tools for that)
  • Limited number of styles (which actually saves time in the classroom)
  • Some features not available (like adding sounds, editing the appearance, etc.)

Anyway, try it for yourself- it requires a verified email address to set up your account, but it’s worth it. The interface is easy to use, and the results are… well, rewarding! Here’s a quick peek into the editing interface:

Enjoy!