The 33 digital skills every 21st century teacher should have

The 33 digital skills every 21st century teacher should have

Every single teacher is concerned about his/ her teaching practices and the skills involved in this process. How many times have you wondered about a better way to teach the same lesson you have delivered to an eariler class? How often have you used technology to engage your students and improve their learning ? These are some recurring questions we keep regurgitating each time our teaching skills are put to the test.
It is amazing how technology has changed the whole world giving rise to new forms of education we never thought of. Our students are more digitally focused than any time before. They spend more time interacting with their mobile devices than they do with their parents or close relatives. Admittedly, this digital boom has both  positive and negative impact on our students. Lack of concentration, short attention span, distraction, visual  stimulus overload, identity theft, lack of real world socializing, privacy issues, depression, and many more are but a direct result of the growing exposure to this technology. Studies have even proved that multitasking, which some educational technology experts brag about in relation to the use of today’s technology, reduces the power of our concentration to the half.  We should not, However, only look at the empty side of the cup, the other side is way bigger.
There are  actually several pluses for the use of technology in education and to try and list them  all here is way beyond the scope of this short post. Generally speaking,  no two argue over the fact that technology advantages in education ( and in our life at large ) way  outnumber  its downsides. It is thanks to technology that you are now reading this post and will probably share it with your colleagues.
There is no blinking the fact  that the type of students we teach today are completely different from last century’s. We , definitely, need to look at some of the skills we, as teachers, need to equip ourselves with to better live up to the challenge. Among all the challenges we would have in education, there is not as daunting a challenge as catching students focus and getting them engaged in the learning process. For this particular reason, and in addition to the skills I initially mentioned in 21st Century Teaching Skills article, I would like to provide you  with another list of  some equally important digital skills that you, as a teacher, need to seriously consider if you want to pave the way for the 21st century teaching. I have added a list of web tools under each skill for teachers to better exploit it.

The 33 digital skills every 21st century teacher should be able to :
1- Create and edit  digital audio
2- Use Social bookmarking to share resources with and between learners
3- Use blogs and wikis to create online platforms for students
4- Exploit digital images for classroom use
5- Use video content to engage students
6- Use infographics to visually stimulate students

7- Use Social networking sites to connect with colleagues and grow professionally
8- Create and deliver asynchronous presentations and training sessions
9- Compile a digital e-portfolio for their own development
10- Have a knowledge about online security
11- be able to detect plagiarized works in students assignments
12- Create screen capture videos and tutorials
13- Curate web content for classroom learning
14- Use and provide students with task management tools to organize their work and plan  their learning
15- Use polling software to create a real-time survey in class
16- Understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials
17- Exploit  computer games for pedagogical purposes
18- Use digital assessment tools to create quizzes
19- Use of collaborative tools for text construction and editing
20- Find and evaluate authentic web based content
21- Use of mobile devices like tablets
22- Identify online resources that are safe for students browsing
23- Use digital tools for time management purposes
24- Learn about the different ways to use YouTube in your classroom
25- Use note taking tools to share interesting content with your students
26- Annotate web pages and highlight parts of text to share with your class
27- Use of online graphic organizers and printables
28- Use of online sticky notes to capture interesting ideas
29- Use of screen casting tools to create and share tutorials
30- Exploit group text messaging tools for collaborative project work
31- Conduct an effective search query with the minimum time possible
32- Conduct A Research Paper Using Digital Tools
33- Use file sharing tools to share docs and files with students online

DETAILS OF 33 DIGITAL SKILLS

1.Create and edit digital audio

12 web tools Free audio tools for teachers

  1. Switchr- it allows its users to convert files from one format to another. Some of its features are:
    • It is free
    • It does not require any download or installation
    • It supports offline files
    • It also supports a variety of audio formats such as: WAV,AAC,AU,M4A,WMA,MP3,AIF,FLAC,OGG,iphone ringtone
  2. Sketch

Is a “new way to communicate something online by recording a sketch, optionally with your voice speaking.  Any sketch can the be embedded in your blog homepage for people to play-back,and you can also point people to your sketchcast RSS feed.

  1. VACARO

Is a great voice recording service. It allows you to easily and instantly record your voice and share it with others.  It is like QR voice for they both can be used to record audio clips and probably share them with your students in the class.  You can record answers to assignments that students would listen to at the end of each task.

  1. MOBILE MEDIA CONVERTER

It allows its users to cnvert youtube videos to mp3.. Some of its features are:It enables you to convert you tube videos into mp3

  • It offers 4 audio output formats:MP3,OGGAAC,WMA
  • You can select from 3 sound qualities: worst, medium, and best
  • It sends email notification when conversion is complete
    1. AUDIO EXPERGT/ or audio expert

Is a free online audio editor.  It allows its users to both converts different audio files and record sounds.

  1. CONVERT AUDIO ONLINE

It enables its users to convert audio files online without any need for any software installation.  Some of its features are:

  • It supports individual and batch conversions
  • It supports the following output formats: MP3, WAV,OGG and WMA
  • It lets you control bitrates of output files
    1. WM CONVERTER

Is a free application for converting almost any video and audio file into other formats. its features:

  • It requires an instant download
  • It has video speed utility to control the speed of your video
  • It synchronizes video and audio
  • It requires minimum 1.5 GHz (dual core processors recommended)
    1. VLC MEDIA PLAYER

Is   a free, open source video and audio player. It plays everything like files, discs,(DVD? CD? VCD?)

  • It plays both video and audio files
  • It is easy to use and has a quick start up
  • It converts video and audio files to other formats to use on mobile devices
  • It is available for windows, 10 different versions of Linux, Mac, iOS, and Unix.
  1. CHIRBIT

Is a cool podcasting software

  • It allows you to share you audio clips with other via twitter and facebook
  • You can record your own voice using only a webcam or microphone
  • You can also upload up to 120mb of audio at a time in. wav.mp3. amr and m4a formats.
  • You can also record your clips using mobile technology like: smartphones like iphone, blackberry and android and many more
  1. WAVOSUAR

It allows you to edit sounds and record the one you want.  It is all free and does not require any installation software:

  • It also produces music loops,analyze, record, batch convert
  • It also supports VST plugins, ASIO driver, multichannel wav files, real time effect processing
  • Works on windows 98, windows XP and windows Vista
  1. AUDACITY

It is an open software for recording and editing sounds.  Audacity is available for most of the operating systems such as windows, Mac, OSX, GNU and Lunux

  • It lets you record up to 16 channels at once
  • It allows you import and export most of the supported audio files
  • It les you mix an unlimited number of sound tracks
  • It also allows you to save your sound or audio clip to share it with others
    1. AUDIOBOO

IS a very sophisticated platform for recording and sharing audio files and clips.

  • Audioboo can be used both on pc and mobile devices like: iphone and android.
  • It is audio-only format to which picture, titles and headlines can be added
  • Audio recordings are limited to five minutes
  • Boos can be shared in social networks like

LISTEN TO YOUTUBE

It is an online tool that allows its users to convert you tube videos into audio files and provide them with a link to download it.

  • It enables you to convert youtube flash video to MP3 audio
  • It is fast, free, and requires no sign up
  • Use shortcut to convert videos while you browse youtube
  1. 2. use social bookmarking to share resources with and between learners

How many times you lost all your online opened tabs because of power outage and get so mad and furious. It did happen to me quite often and sometimes I would end up putting my laptop aside and leave everything for another time. One of the most important things we have learnt from this technology thing is the necessity to always make back up plans for everything you are doing online. I personally am writing this post now and having 53 tabs opened in three separate windows, but I already learnt the lesson and I do have several emergency plans to save my tabs and get back to them whenever I want.

In fact, browsers are developing so fast that they are way different from what they used to be a couple of years ago. Many, if not all of them, offer free add-ons and extensions to help you save your tabs and web pages for a later use. You might be already aware of some of them but in case you forget them or need  to explore other options then here is a list I have compiled featuring some of the most useful applications  for web page archiving. With these tools you can save the entire web page you are working on and and access back whenever your time allows for it.

Before I start the list I want to remind you ,in case you forget, about the basic and “ primitive` techniques used use with the three most known browsers to save web pages.

1. As for Firefox

  • click on menu then select file
  • and click on ` save page as` or click onCtrl+ S             
  1.  As for Chrome

    There is a page icon next to the address bar. Click on it to save your page or just do a right hand click anywhere in the page and select save as.

  2. As for Internet Explorer

    IE has also the save option thing just like the previous browsers. There is only one exception in that the drop down menu that opens up for you when you are to save a web page has different options for you to choose from as the picture shows.

    Now here is the list of the web archiving applications :

    1-Sitesucker
    Sitesucker is a  tool for cloning entire web pages on Mac. This free tool   provided by the Mac App store is designed to let its users scan and download whole websites including copies of images , background video files and more.

    2-Readit later
    I have already talked about this tool before in Readit Later Save Web Pages Instantly. This is mainly a web plug-in that you can install on your browser. It is one of my favourite tools because it is easy to use and with one click you will have your page saved for a later reading. Check out my my previously mentioned article to learn more.

    3- PDF Download
    This is another awesome tool for saving webpages but this time in PDF format. It actually converst any unsecured web page into a high quality PDF. It is an add-on that works on most of the browsers like  Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Flock, Internet Explorer, and Fire Fox

    4- Instapaper
    The famous Instapaper website offers its users a Read it Later bookmarklet . You need to have an account with them so that each time you do not have time to read a web page you just click on the bookmarklet and there it is saved in your account . It is a great tool and I do recommend it for you.
    5- LaterLop
    LaterLop is just like Instapaper in that it offers you a bookmarklet to save your web pages for a later use. The  only thing it does offer other than the bookmarklet tool is the add-on for both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Installing this add-on will enable you to do the same work the bookmarklet does.

    6- Taboo
    If you are like me and have the habit to work on several tabs at once in your browser then I would advise you to cosider Taboo which is a Firefox add on . Taboo takes screenshots of the pages you have opened and organize them in a grid like display. You can also view your saved links in a calendar format. The other interesting thing it does is  that it remembers “session state information such as how far you’ve scrolled on the page and information in forms,” etc.

    7- toread
    toread is an email-based free bookmarking service. All you need to do is install the bookmarklet on your browser and whenever you want to save a web page just click on it and a cached version of the site will instantly be sent to your email. It also works on mobile phones and can send you just the text version of any website you want.

3.use blogs and wikis to create online platforms for students

As I was reading ” The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age ” by William Kist, I stopped by the chapter talking about how teachers can set up blogs for their classrooms ( pages 52 to 64 ). Dr Kist has mentioned several facts about the educational blogging that I want to share with you. I have also compiled a list of some of the best blogging platforms teachers and students can use to set up secure blogs for their classrooms.
According to Dr Kist, teachers will often introduce blogging to their students by teaching the routines and conventions of blogging, feeling that the key to a successful experience, whether offline or online, is setting up the agreed upon group norms at the beginning of the process. These general guidelines can be something like  :
It is okay to be critical but it is not okay to be mean

  • If you have something negative to say combine it with something positive
  • Make sure your comment stays on the topic
  • If you do not have anything to write, don’t write anything
  • Always remember they can comment on your post too.

Staying safe online is part of introducing  blogging into the classroom for many teachers. It is highly recommened that before you get your students engaged in setting up their blogs, they first need to have some notions of online safety and how they can protect their digital identies while working online. There are several resources you can check to learn more about this topic most important of which are:

Instead of providing all the tools here which will make the post ver long I compiled them into an easy downloadable presentation.  I have divided this presentation into two parts :
1- Blogging Platforms teachers and students can use to create and host their classroom blogs
2-Free tools to create websites and simple web pages for your class
Free Tools and Resources about Internet Safety for students

Today  is) that is organized by Insafe every February   to promote responsible, secure, and safer use of online technology and  mobile phones especially among teens all across the globe. This year SID will focus on the following theme “ Connecting Generations and Education”. Head over to Safeinternetday.org to learn more.
On this occasion, I compiled a list of some useful resources to help you teach your kids and students about Internet safety.
1- Tips for Internet Safety
2- Google Good to Know :
This is Google`s official section where it provides pieces of advice and tips on how users can stay safe online. It includes videos and images. check it out it is a great resource.
3-  Google Digital Tour
This is another webpage created by Google just recently to inform and teach teenagers how to protect their online privacy and fight off against cyber bullying.
4- Webnauts Academy
This is a great web page by PBS Kids which offers elementary school students tips on how to stay safe online. It teaches them how to behave responsibly while using internet and upon finishing their missions in the Academy, students will graduate. There are also resources for teachers on how to include the topic of online safety in their classrooms.
5- A Thin Line
MTV has released a resourceful platform called A Thin Line where it provides teenagers with a range of materials and lessons on how to monitor what they do online. It basically teaches them about the potential results of misbehaving online. It covers topics such as sexting, digital spying, instant messaging and over textmessaging.
6- Minor Monitor
MinorMonitor is another web application that helps in monitoring kids activity on Facebook. It can :
Provide you with your kids’ details such as status updates, friend lists , photos, and checked in places Automatically analyzes and identifies possible bullying, drug use, sexual references, solicitation, profanity and more.
6- Google Safety Centre

Google recently the launch of an online safety centre for teens on Goolge+ in an attempt to ease out the worries of parents. These new safety enhancements are meant to protect teenagers, “encourage safe behaviour through appropriate defaults and in-products help, and make abuse reporting tools easy to find and use.”

7- Parents Guide to Facebook
This is a thorough guide of Facebook privacy setting. Parents and teachers can read the guide to learn more  about Facebook privacy setting, profile settings, group settings and much more. It can help educate kids and teenagers on how to safely use Facebook.

8- Safety Land
This is an awesome game that is played virtually in the city of Safe Land. The aim is to teach teenagers and students how to recognize dangers while using the internet. As users start to move from building to building, a set of questions are posed to them that they need to answer and upon each correct answer they get to catch a cyber criminal and send him/her to Safety Land jail and at the end get a certificate that they can prtin out.
9- Own Your Space

This is a great ebook that includes a wealth of resources and materials on how teenagers can be safe while browsing the internet. It has 16 chapters and each one of which deals with a certain topic starting from teaching  teens about the different malware and spyware and the importance of having security patches to providing lessons about the potential dangers of unsecured networks and how to lock them down.

10- Tools to manage your inbox and fight off spam
This is a collection of free tools to control your inbox and keep it clean and away from scammers and spammers.

  • Online Safety Tools to Protect Kids and Inform Parents about Internet Dangers

Internet safety, privacy issues, cyberbullying are but some of the major concerns of today’s parents. It is true that the web revolution has positively affected many facets of our life, yet its downsides are equally devastating. We are in front of a double edged weapon that requires meticulous attention when using it.
It is impossible to imagine a house without internet connection. The web has crawled into our social texture to the point that we become dependant on its use in our daily life. Besides sending and reading emails, chat and socialising which are basic tasks users would constantly  perform, some people are using it now for e-commerce to buy and shop online, to read ebooks, to run businesses but regardless of the reasons why we have internet at home we should always pay heed to who shares with us this connection especially when it comes to kids.

Kids when unmonitored can have free access to the net and surf in dangerous places , meet strange people and even learn new bad things we never thought they would. And because of their immaturity, innocence and predisposition to easily trust others, . children are the most vulnerable category to cyber bullying and in many cases abuse. Do parents know about these alarming facts ? Of course the majority ,if not all of them know, but the thing is that  they feel helpless and lack the necessary education on the preventive measures they need in order to seamlessly monitor what their kids do online. This ignorance, shortage of insight or call it whatever you want is no longer excused. Parents need to seriuosly address this issue and to help them do so, I have laboriously worked on several resources to compile a list of some of the tools that parents need to be equipped with to face this looming danger that threatens our kids safety.You do not need to be a technology geek or have advanced computer skills to be able to use these web applications. They are mundanely easy and can be used by anyone with the basic internet skills which all of you possess since you are here reading this post.
1-Creepsquash
Creepsquash is a  web based monitoring tool that allows you to seamlessly monitor your kids Facebook activity without invading their privacy. Here is a short video to show you how to do it
2-  MinorMonitor
MinorMonitor is another web application that helps in  monitoring kids activity on Facebook. It can :Provide you with your kids’ details such as status updates, friend lists , photos, and checked in places Automatically analyzes and identifies possible bullying, drug use, sexual references, solicitation, profanity and more.

Yahoo Safely
Yahoo Safely is the official Yahoo security tips website. It provides Internet safety tips for both parents and teenagers. It contains sections designed specifically for parents and kids to teach them how to use the internet carefully and responsibly.

Family Safety Centre
Family Safety Centre is a portal made by Google where it aggregates a huge number of Internet security tips, videos and articles. Besides the tools offered by Google services, users can also watch videos made by other parents on how kids can use the internet safely. Family Safety Centre also provides ways for parents on how to report abuse or inappropriate content on its services.

NetSmartz
NetSmartz is a great website that educates its users on Internet Safety for kids. It addresses parents, teachers, teens, educatos, law enforcement . This is what it says about parents :

Wired Safely
Wired Safely is another fantastic website that teaches about online  kids safety. It covers topics such as: cyberbulling, cyberstalking,cyber crimes, online harassement , identity theft, email safety, malware and adware, phishing, downloading music safely and online gaming safety.

SafeKids
SafeKids is much more of a blog than a website. It covers internet safety for kids and has several  articles all of which tackle the issue of kids surfing the net safely.

Cybersmart
Cybersmart provides activities, resources and practical advice to help teens, kids and parents safely use the internet. It also offers training and resources for schools and materials for library staff.

Solos
Solos is another website that offfers education on internet safety for kids and parents.

4- Exploit digital images for classroom use

A list of some of the best photo editing tools for teachers

Photos and images are great multimedia tools to incorporate into your classroom teaching. Students attention and  curiosity are easily arisen when graphic content is involved. So to help you prepare teaching visual aids to include in your classroom, Here is a set of useful and free photo editing tools that you can use very easily. With these tools you can add your personal touch to your photos and make them even more engaging. Click on any link to read more about the photo editing tool .

Convert to Cartoon: editing This is a great photo editing tool that allows its users to turn their photos into cartoons.

Anmish : This tools allows its users to add funny effects to their photos.

Picnik  : This is a great photo editing tool. It allows its users to apply several awesome effects on their images using a wide range of editing tools.

GrossOut : This photo editing tool allows its users to add  heinous and scary effects such as “crazy eyes, gnawing teeth, eye patches, bat wings, bloody knives and axes, open gash and wounds, masks, and many many more.”

YourOldPic : It  is a great image editing tool. It allows its users to make their pictures look old.

Image Embellisher :   It allows its users to quickly and easily add special effects to their images.

RoundPic : It allows its users to edit their images and turn them into rounded pictures.

Pixlr-o-matic is one of the easiest tools to help you add that personal touch without being a techno geek.

iPiccy : offers a plethora of editing functions that you can use very easily .

Zoom.it:  It allows its users to view and share high resolution imagery.

Bubblesnaps :  is about adding speech bubbles to a picture.

Visualize.us :  It lets you bookmark all your favourite pictures from different websites and share them with your anyone .

PictureTrail: It offers easy ways to organize your pictures and share them with your family , friends or student .

Subit :  It lets you add explanations to your images or create a personalized slideshow.

Image to Video : This tools  allows you to convert jpg images to videos .

Host-d-oddcast : It is a great image editing tool . It allows its users to embed their pictures and cartonize them into 3d avatar .

Black-Text : It  is a cool photo editing application. It allows its users to turn any image into a readable text-laden photo within seconds.
A list of great tools for teachers to create animated pictures and images

Have you ever wondered how to create an animated picture ? If you have here is an answer for you. There are several online  tools  that allow users to create GIF animations from pictures stored on their computers. Here are some of the best free web tools that can help you create animated GIFs
1- Picasion    Picasion is web application that allows its users to :

  • Create GIF animations
  • Control the speed of animations
  • Select the size of the GIFs

2- GifUp
GifUp is another web tool that lets users create animated GIFs and avatars. It is easy to use and has several features such as :

  • Upload images from pc, webcam,Flickr, or grab  them directly from a web page
  • Use as many images as you want to compose your animations
  • Control animation speed settings
  • Download and save animations to your website
  • Share your GIFs with others or embed them in your website or blog

3- GIFMake
GIFMake  is a simple online GIF maker program that lets its users compose their animated GIFs from regular static images. It offers several features such as :

  • You can upload images from your computer or a web address
  • Specify the duration of each frame in the animation
  • Control how many times to repeat each animation
  • download and save animations

4- MakeAGIF
MakeAGIF is a great image maker that allows users to  created animated GIFs out of images of different sizes and formats. Among its features ;

  • No registration is need
  • No software to download is required
  • Upload images up to 1MB in size
  • it has several animation options to apply to your images

 

 

 

5- Gickr
Gickr is a free animated GIFs maker. The tool is very easy to use and has several features such as :

  •   Make free animated GIFs
  •   Upload images from a web address , or computer
  •  You can use up to 10 picture in an animation
  •  It is free and does not require any registration
  • It generates a link for you to share your animations with others

6- GifSoup
GifSoup is a free video to GIF converter. It allows its users to :

  • Convert Youtube videos into animated GIFs very easily and with just few clicks
  • Download animated GIFs into your computer
  • It offers a ten second limit on video lenght
  • It has a wide library of animated GIFs created by others

A list of some Awesome photo and image resources for teachers

This is the third post in a series of posts designed to help educators find secure links to look for images. After a long search into Creative Commons and Public Domain Images, i come up with a list of the most renowned image search engines that provide free licensed photos. I have already provided some  of these search engines in the first two parts and if you have not already checked those posts then click on any link below to direct you back to those articles :
Educational Image Search Engines part 1 :

Educational  Image Search Engines Part 2 :

The world Images Kiosk
The world Images Kiosk is another image search engine that offers more than 75.000 images that teachers and students in their academic endeavors. This website is hosted by San Jose State University . The World Images includes all areas of visual imagery and it uses simple techniques to browse through its directory. You can for example use Quick Search option to quickly locate a picture or use The Advanced and ADA Searches options to have more features included in your search query.
The images are organized into over 800 portfolios that appear alphabetically in the portfolio list. Use the Browse Collections Tab to explore its database that is hierarchically organized starting with continents and subjectgroupings.
Remember all the images are licensed under a Creative Commons License which means that you need to give proper attribution when necessary.
ImageBase
ImageBase is another great resource site for teachers and students looking for licensed pictures. ImageBase offers more than one hundred pages of images that can be freely reused and redistributed.
ImageBase is created by a professional photographer named David Niblack to help educators have access to free image resources. This website does not only offer images but also Hundreds of PowerPoints. I highly recommend ImageBaseto teachers and students and i would love that you keep it in your mind next time you want to look for an online graphical  resource.
Photo 8
Photos 8 is another resource for teachers and students looking for images that are in the public domain. It offers “free Photos and Wallpapers, Large collection of high resolution stock photos, Thousands of high quality pictures”. There are roughly 24 categories to browse through starting with Animals and ending with Travel.
Photos 8 is created by Sam Mugraby who is a professional photographer. Sam is making his photos available to anyone who wants them for any purpose including commercial. Just make sure you comply with his terms and conditions.
Yahoo Image Search

Like Google Image Search , Yahoo has also another service that allows its users to look for Creative Commons Licensed pictures. Yahoo uses a developed filter to provide the exact results for example you can filter your search to look for just images that are under the Creative Commons License or you can use it to look for images that can be used just for commercial purposes. Head over to Yahoo Image Search and start your experience.

5- Use video content to engage students

Kids learn best when they see how things work, when, where and why they happen. Watching educational videos is a great way to learn because it allows kids to build a visual picture or model in their mind. The visual dimension not only helps them understand concepts better but also stimulates curiosity and encourages self-training.
Educational video are possbily one of the most effective learning tools, and honestly, even most grown-ups will find them enriching and entertaining. But what if the only video resource you use is YouTube and you can not access it in your school or classroom. Are there any alternatives ? Yes there are more  eighty alternatives to YouTube that you can use with your students. These video resources are among the best online. We have spent so much reviwing every single one and therefore we confirm their suitablity to education.
After the two successful ebooks : The Comprehensive Guide to Google Free Tools for Teachers and Students, and  Great Educational  Kids Safe Websites , here is our third publication under the title “80 Alternatives to YouTube “ This eBook is supposed to empower educators and teachers with reliable video resources where they can find multemedia materials to use with their students when YouTube is not available. No more depending on only YouTube to get videos for your lesson plans and as the saying goes ` don’t put all your eggs in one basket` because if you do then you are running the risk of loosing all at once. Feel free to share, download and use the ebook as you like provided you keep the credit and not charge people for it. Just make sure you click on any title to access the tool.

Mohamed ( Med ) Kharbach is a Canadian Certified Teacher working at theYarmouth Tri-county Regional Schoolboard. He has been teaching for nine yearsnow. He is also a master student in Mount Saint Vincent University, department ofeducation in Halifax. He is working on a thesis about the educational use of emergingtechnologies in educationMohamed is also a SEO ( Search Engine Optimizer ) and web designer. He is theeditor and owner of two educational blogs. Educational Technology and MobileLearning is where he write about web 2.0 revisions and provides tips for bothstudents and teachers on how to better implement technology in their classrooms.Educational Mobile Technology is his second blog where he reviews the best freemobile apps for both iOS and Android.

Introduction

There is no blinking the fact that YouTube is one of the best educational video resources online. It has thousands and thousands of learning materials scattered among different educational channels. I am actually working on another ebook where I will be providing most of these channels. I strongly believe in the potential of YouTube and I am also geared towards helping my fellow educators use this inestimable resource to the maximum. Unfortunately, YouTube is not made just for educational content meaning that the videos found there are not always students friendly. The thing is even when you find a good educational video that you want to share with your students you get frustrated because of the distractive features around it which sometimes amount to irrelevant and indecent content. And even though developers have recently empowered us with some awesome YouTube Safety Tools ( l that renders the YouTube video viewingexperiencing completely safe through removing the irrelevant suggested video playlists and all the coarse language included in the comments section such as Quietube, Cleaner YouTube, Viewpure, YouTube Safety Mode, Tubechop , and Safeshare TV, still schools are still reluctant to grant access to YouTube inside its settings. Teachers are still unable to access YouTube in their classrooms and it is really frustrating given the wasted educational benefit we can get from it, however as much as we believe in the use of every kind of technology in education , we are more insistent on finding other alternatives to YouTube. This is the main reason why we have compiled this list of some of the best educational alternatives to YouTube. Over the last two years, I have been sporadically covering some great video resources that both teachers and students can use in the classroom and now that the need for such tools has become much more pressing, we finally consolidated all of those resources together with some new ones into this eBook. All the links contained here are valid as of 24 March, 2012. We have tested and tried every single one of them to make sure that there is no 404 errors in them. To access any of these links you just click on the tool title. The folks in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning are pretty sure that by the use of these free video resources, users( educators, teachers and to some extent students too ) will be able to have an unlimited access to a plethora of educational videos covering hundreds of academic and non academic topics. We are also sure that the collection below has, if not all , then most of the top video resources any educator can think of and in case we have missed any then please let us know of your suggestion using this email : med@educatorstechnology.com.

80 educational alternatives to youtube

1.SchoolTube  is a great video resource for both students and teachers. It has hundreds of how-to resources,copyright-friendly media, and lesson plans for  using video in the classroom. It also allows teachers and students to create their own channels and start sharing student generated videos.

2.TeachersTV  is a great resource site for educators . It provides Educational video resources, lesson plans, inspiration and ideas to use in classroom. It also supports the professional development of anyone working in school, enabling them to widen their skills, develop their practice, and connect with others in the field. It has an awesome community of educators just like you and me who are ready to offer their help and guide you through your professional development journey. .

  1. TeachersTube is another great video resource created by teachers forteachers. It provides videos covering a wide range of topics. Some of these videos include lessons plans in action.

4.Next Vsta is an advertising free video sharing site that is run by the Google certified teacher Rushton Hurley. It is a great video resource for teachers having problems accessing YouTube videos in their schools . You can now browse different categories and select the educative videos that answers your educative questions and share them with your students

5.Academic Earth is an online repertoire of lectures and courses recorded in videos and organized into different categories .These courses and lectures are recorded from the most reputed American universities such as ; Yale, MIT, Berkeley , Harvard , Princeton, and Standford . Academic Earth has one goal which is that of bringing the best content together in one place and creates an environment in which that content is remarkably easy to use and where user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable

  1. Snag Films is a great resource for educative full length documentaries provided by popular producers such as National Geographic. It also provides a catalog of educational films that are accompanied by classroom discussion questions.
  2. How Stuff Works is the award-winning source of easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. The material is organized into different categories such as science, tech, auto, adventure..etc
  3. Viddler is a great video tol that has the in-video commeting system. It also allows you to record videos directly to the site through your webcam.
  4. Vimeo is one of the most popular video hosting websites. It has even some features that make it way better than YouTube. Vimeo image and sound quality are really great. Its sharing has all the sharing tools found in YouTube but in a clean and user friendly interface
  5. Blip.tv aims to provide video creators with a high-quality service for sharing their web shows. It is a great tool for teachers who love to work with high definition multimedia.

11.Dot Sub  has several of user generated content with subtitles included. This is a great tool for students suffering from hearing impairments.

12.CNN Student News is a daily web show highlighting a handful of stories. The stories covered by CNN Student News range from traditional serious news topics to how-to stories appealing mostly to students to light and fun stories.

  1. Hulu is a joint venture of NBC and News Corps, offers high quality video of television shows, movies, and old news broadcasts.
  2. Nottingham Video Library The University of Nottingham has some great video resources for you. It has a series of videos on different topics the most popular of which are : Words of the World, Periodic table of videos, and Foodskey, the science of food. These videos are hosted in YouTube.

15.TedEd  is basically’ a resource of short lessons designed to spark curiosity and promote further learning in and out of classroom.” There are 12 videos in the TED-Ed channel in YouTube up to now . In its official blog, TED team said that the videos included in this channel are created for high school students and life-long learners and within a year or so they will have hundreds in their archive.

16.The Faculties  provides a wide range of educational videos created by university lecturers speaking on topics in their fields. The Faculties also helps students choose the right university department and guide them through the possibilities their studies might open up for them.

  1. Big Think is a video website containing expert commentary on a wide range of issues and ideas. The experts featured on Big Think really are experts in their fields. Harvard Professors, editors of major news publications, politicians, and other recognized authorities offer their commentary on various issues and ideas.
  2. Learners TV is a great educational video resource for students and teachers. It basically provides video lectures covering different topics and subjects. Among the covered subjects are : Biology, physics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, medicine, dentistry, engineering, accounting, and management. Lectures are organized into labels and tagged in such a way that makes it easy for you to navigate and browse categories you want.
  3. 19. Untamed Science is a free video resource containing several videos and  podcasts on the topics of science, biology and earth.
  4. Do Lectures features videos from great thinkers in the caliber of AlastairMcIntosh, Alan Webber, Adam Lowry and many more. The content in this website is organized in such a neat way that you can easily browse and find videos you want based on the topic you select. There are for instance videos on topics like Business, Food, Creativity ( This is my favorite topic ), Environment, Sport, Technology and Well-Being. Users can also search for videos by Tone such as Big Ideas, Challenging, Funny, Informative, Inspiring, an Soulful.

21.Watchily  is a great website that allows its users to get instant videos from the different popular movie and television show providers. It pulls its results from several video and tv show providers including : Hulu, Netflix, Vudu, HBOGo, iTunes, Amazon, ,axGo, Comcast XFINITY, Redbox, and showtime. Watchily has a very user friendly interface and does not require any registration.

22.FORA.tv is  like TED in that it also features well-known personalities and experts talking about the important issues of the day.

23.Cassiopedia  offers free high definition science education videos . ” While the videos are self- contained, they are embedded in a larger story intended to generate interest in the science.” The videos can also be found in the Beyond Campus section of iTunes U

24.Documentary Heaven  is a free website that provides free documentaries. It has a wide library that contains up to 2100 videos and will soon have more for its user base is growing up fast.

  1. PopTech is a video platform that features leading experts from a variety of fields sharing their knowledge and passions. Videos of the presentations can be found on the PopTech website.

26.Documentaryz The videos included in Documentaryz are basically YouTube videos but there are also videos from other video hosting platforms. There are several categories that you can browse through to find your content such as Art, Animal and Nature, Business, History, Biagraphy, Military, Media, Funny, Music, Psychology, Environmental and many more.

27.Teaching Channel is basically a video showcase of inspiring and effective teaching practices. You can browse through hundreds of videos submitted by teachers like you and me. Videos feature different topics such as classroom management techniques, videos showing how teachers carry out their lesson plans.

28.Tilt View  is a cool website. It allows users to watch the latest news report. It is more or less similar to You Tune Trends for they both stream what is currently hot on the media. Tilt View monitors news websites in real time and aggregates the breaking news to display in the form of YouTube news videos.

29.Newsy  is a good website for people who like to keep track of the latest news events in the world. Some people do not like reading news but rather prefer watching it and Newsy can help them do just that. It aggregates news videos from multiple sources and stream then on its homepage. Among the sources Newsy depends on in fetching its news stories are : BBC, CNN, ABC News, Aljazeera and several others.

30.PBS Video offers videos from the most popular shows including Frontline, NOVA, Nature, and American Experience. It also has a section called PBS Kids which offers videos as specifically made for kids.

31  itv Wild  provides a plethora of video clips and long feature programs about wild life and animals. The content on itv Wild is neatly organized into different categories and tabs. You will find for instance in the home page tabs labelled: TV Shows, Animals, Competitions, Games.

  1. Explania is a great website that provides animated explanations. These explanations are included in videos and interactive infographics. It has explanatory videos covering different topics such as biology, social media, geography and many more. Explania even lets you share these videos with others or embed them in your website using a generated HTML code .

33 Discovery Channel The History Channel and the Discovery Channel offer content similar to the one found on their television networks.

34.LangMedia Culture Talk features video clips of interviews and discussions with people from many different countries and of many different ages and walks of life. Some interviews and discussions are in English; more are in the language(s) of the countries involved. Translations and/or transcripts are given for all non-English video clips. Topics include family, food, education, religious and cultural customs, work, art, sport, travel, and more.

  1. USGS Multimedia Gallery is a one-stop collection of videos, photography, and other imagery that you can use with your students in the classroom.

36.MonkeeSee.com  provides videos that are created in HD by professional producers, and feature accomplished experts providing advice and demonstrations in deep detail.

37.Europa Film Treasures  is an online archive of classic European films. Along with each film in the collection Europa Film Treasures provides some background information such as production method, storyline, director’s bio, and information about the the people appearing on camera.

  1. Clip Syndicate is a provider of professionally produced news videos from television stations and other media outlets around the United States.
  2. Explore.org is a multimedia organization that documents leaders around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Both educational and inspirational, explore creates a portal into the soul of humanity by championing the selfless acts of others.
  3. 22 Frames is providing a central place to easily and reliably discover captioned and subtitled videos across multiple video hosts.
  4. Free Video Lectures is a library of more than 18,000 video lectures from more than 700 courses offered by some of the world’s top colleges and universities. The library of videos can be searched by subject and or university.
  5. Kids Tube features more than 22,346,148 approved and filtered videos all of which are kids safe and meant just for kids . KidsTube includes a directory of thousands of images and not only that it also allows you to upload your own videos and create groups or join others’ groups and engage in educative discussions in such an awesome community of people .

43.ESL basics  is a site that provides short video vocabulary lessons for beginning and advanced ESL students. For teachers, ESL Basics has a small collection of suggestions and ideas for teaching ESL.

44.WatchKnow  has indexed over 33,000+ educational videos, placing them into a directory of over 3,000 categories. The videos are available without any registration or fees to teachers in the classroom and to students at home 24/7. Users can dive into the innovative directory or search for videos by subject and age level. Video titles, descriptions, age level information, and ratings are all edited for usefulness.

  1. Brightstorm has both of free and paid products. For instance, Brightstorm Math and Brightstorm Science videos are free—these 2,500+ videos cover every topic in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, Trigonometry, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The paid products include great tools like Math Homework Checker and test preparation programs for the SAT, the ACT and several AP courses. Great teaching forms the core of these comprehensive programs, which also include practice quizzes, downloadable materials, fulllength practice exams and more.
  2. Math TV offers an extensive collection of high quality mathematics tutorials. Math TV’s video lessons cover basic mathematics and Algebra.
  3. The Kids Know It Network 0ffers Free Educational Movies that bring your student on a fun and interactive journey through the world around us. Each movie begins by introducing students to the topics that they will be learning about, and ends with an online quiz. In order to successfully complete each online video, your student must watch, and then successfully answer the quiz questions with 80% or higher accuracy.
  4. Math A Tube is a compilation of videos from a variety of users and other websites. Videos are categorized by mathematics topics and sub-topics. The videos demonstrate everything from basic addition through Geometry. The videos on Math A Tube are user-generated so some videos are better than others.
  5. Art Babble is a video website designed and maintained by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It is intended to showcase video art content in high quality format from a variety of sources and perspectives. Art Babble was created so others will join in spreading the world of art through video.
  6. Fandor is a website that offers over 2000 indie movies that you can watch right from your computer. It also includes international movies and documentaries covering various categories such as comedy, drama, action and science fiction. All you need to do is log on with your facebook account. When you watch a movie you can leave your comment or review or even share the video on your websites
  7. Sprd word is a cool website that provides great documentary videos that you would not find in the traditional media. You can browse videos by category, topic, alphabetically or by region. Apart from documentaries, you can also find links to short informative videos on the right panel of the website.
  8. Documentary Heaven is another free to use website that offers a various collection of documentary films that you can watch online. It does not require any sign up and it allows you to select films using category options such as activist, celebrity, conspiracy, mystery, war, technology… etc.
  9. TopDocumentaryFilms is a website that offers free documentaries. It has up to 350  films that can be browsed through categories such as art, biography, comedy,  crime, history, military etc. You can also select the most commented or controversial documentaries in the website.
  10. SnagFilms provides the world’s most compelling documentaries .You can search for any documentary film using a set of different categories and a smart search bar ….read more in Free Documentaries for educators.
  11. Free Documentary Tv is a great website for watching free documentary films . It is developed by Holly who has a great passion and love for documentaries . Free Documentary Tv offers more than 1700 films covering a wide range of topics
  12. PBS ( Public Broadcasting Service ) is a a great website that offers free in-depth lengthy documentaries on different popular issues.
  13. OneBigTorrent is a great place for quality documentary torrents. “OneBigTorrent.org is a new place for sharing material that deals with or is relevant to issues of social justice, progressive and radical politics, independent media, ecology“.
  14. Joost is not as known as the other documentary websites mentioned above but it does features some high quality videos. There are now about 27 channels in documentary section depending on your location
  15. 5min main It offers tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories which are professionally produced and brand-safe.”5min is a site that is entirely devoted to short instructional knowledge and lifestyle videos teacher’s domain This is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.
  16. PBS Teachers is PBS’ national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources. Here you’ll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. We provide thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS’ award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.
  17. Thinkfinity offers comprehensive teaching and learning resources created by some amazing content partners which are the most respected organizations in each academic subject area and literacy. The easy-to-navigate K-12 resources are grade-specific and are aligned with state standards.
  18. NeoK12 This is a vast collection of resources and Web 2.0 tools that might fit into any lesson. Along with pictures and videos that have been teacher selected,
  19. NBC Learn For more than 80 years, NBC News has been documenting the people, places, and events that shape our world. NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, is dedicated to making these historic stories, images and primary source documents available on-demand to teachers, students, and parents.

64.The national geographic The National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. It is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.

  1. History.com This is an amazing site that is sure to provide a game, video clip, or article that will engage students. Whether it be a hook to begin a study or some outstanding information to sustain learning, it is definitely worth a look
  2. CSpan Video Library A great collection of both short and longer video clips that allow students to explore the workings of government.
  3. BBC Learning for Teachers This is a great video resource for teachers. It has over 9000 video clips and many more links.
  4. iTunes Education Podcasts It has countless number of videos covering different educational and academic topics. This is a great video resource that every teacher should consider.
  5. Newtons Apple Discover the fascinating science of the world around us with over 300 video clips. Browse the categories, or enter a question or a keyword in the search box.
  6. American Field Guide Take a trip into Earth’s ancient geologic past and see how it all began or discover how elemental forces continue to shape our world. Check out the featured video clips for a peek at some of the most intriguing segments on Earth and Space; or dig deeper into the collection by browsing the subtopic categories.
  7. Exploratorium Browse hundreds of webcasts, video clips, podcasts, and slideshows from the Exploratorium’s collection of original programming, from remote scientific expeditions to fun hands-on activities.
  8. Chemistry Video Collection Excellent selection of videos that relate to chemistry. Contains experiments and many simulations that might not be able to be demonstrated in a standard school lab.

73.Science Hack  is a unique video search engine for science videos. Every video is screened and approved based on accuracy and quality by scientists.

  1. MathActive lessons are Flash animated math modules designed for grades K-12. Each module features content that touches a geometry performance objective from the Arizona Academic Standards for mathematics.
  2. Smithsonian Channel It is a joint venture of the Smithsonian Institution and Showtime Networks Inc., explores the history of our planet, life and culture, with 100% original, familyfriendly programming. Smithsonian Channel brings content from the world’s leading cultural institution into a media-rich environment, presenting all programs in true high-definition and Dolby Digital 5.1
  3. Science Kids is the home of science and technology on the internet for children around the world. Learn more about the amazing world of science by enjoying our fun science experiments, cool facts, online games, free activities, ideas, lesson plans, photos, quizzes, video and science fair projects.
  4. SchoolWAX TV This is your educational video and homework help site . It is indeed one of the best educational resource site online . It is very secure and provides a safe environment for students to work on . SchoolWax tv allows you to upload your own videos without any sign up , watch others’ videos and share the ones you like with your friends .
  5. Khan Academy It has a library of over 3,000 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 315 practice exercises, the purpose is to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

79.Free Kids-safe Websites: Learning Tools for Young Learners

  1. The Comprehensive Guide To Google’s Free Tools for Educators and Teachers.

 

6- Use infographics to visually stimulate students

Information graphics which are the visual representation of data known as infogographics are making rounds online these days. It seems like web users are favouring this form of content format over other forms. Their  visually attractive display, the bright and shiny colours they  include are what make out of them an appealing means of communication. I personally like them because I find them factually interesting, to the point, and easy on eyes. I have devoted a whole section inEducational Technology and Mobile Learning  to the educational infographics I find online. Anyway today I am sharing with you tools that you can use to make your own infographics.
8  free tools for teachers to make awesome infographi
1- Easel.ly
This is a great tool that allows users to create visually rich infographics from pre-designed themes. It is very easy to use and only drag and drop. It actually supports Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
2- Stat Planet
This one here allows users to create amazing visualisations and share them with others. It can be used either within your browser or download the software for free.
3- Hohli
This is an awesome chart maker. It is very easy to use : just pick up your chart type, add some data, customize the size and colors,
4- Creately
This is also a great tool in creating diagrams and flow charts. It provides pre-designed templates and diagram types. Just fill in your data and share with others.
5- Many Eyes
This is one of the easiest of them all. It provides you with a set of pre-made visualisations that you can fill in with your data or use their data.
6- Wordle
This is a text based visualisation tool. It basically lets users create their own word clouds based on interesting pre-made designs.
7- Tableau
This works just on Windows.  It allows users to create interactive visualisations with colourful and unique themes. They can also share them with others or embed them in their websites. It is very easy to use and is  completely free.
8-  Inkspace
This is also a free infographic creation tool. It has a simple and intuitive interface and besides being able to create your own inforgraphics, it also allows you to import your  visualisations and combine them with other visuals to create your own chef-d’oeuvre. ( It requires download )

Educational infographics to share with your students

1.A nice graphic featuring gaiman’s eight rules of writing
Writing is a tedious task that is often more mentally demanding. It is a complex form of thinking through language  Those of us who are proficient enough to comfortably communicate their ideas and insights through the written code are also those who have been doing it for a long time. In this sense, writing is a skill whose development requires constant practice. It is through doing writing that we learn how to write effectively.

If you are stuck in the midst of a writing project or you find yourself always in search for excuses to avoid writing, the 8 tips below will definitely help you out. These are pieces of advice from within the trenches , from a man who took writing as a craft. Neil Gaiman’s prolific works in the field of comic and novel writing and his many years of committed  dedication to the writing endeavour render the tips he provided below worth a serious consideration.

I learned about this beautiful visual through a tweet by YoukiTerada. The visual is created by Breathingfiction.org.
2.Handy visual featuring 20 + ways to stimulate creativity

I just came across this handy graphic on creativity and want you to have a look as well. The visual features a variety of ways and techniques that can inspire your creativity and drive you to act creatively.These ideas seem simple and common sensical but are often overlooked. You can share them with your students and try them with your kids, just remember whatever method you use, you need to be consistent and repeat it everyday. Habituation is a key element in the creative process.
Here is a round-up of the ideas included in the visual below:

  • Remind yourself, “I am a creative person”
  • Play
  • Go for a walk
  • Move your eyes
  • Take breaks and enjoy yourself
  • Congratulate yourself when you do something well
  • Estimate time, distance, and currency exchanges
  • Take a route that is new to you
  • Look for images in mosaics, patterns, textures, and clouds
  • Try something you’ve never done before
  • Do a creative exercise
  • Start a collection
  • Watch a Sci-Fi or Fantasy film
  • Change the way you do “routine” tasks
  • Use a color you don’t like
  • Think about how they invented the equipment you use
  • Make a list of ten things you think are impossible, and find one way that each might be possible
  • For every bad thing that happens, remind yourself of three good things that have happened
  • Read something new
  • Make friends with people on the other side of the world
  • Connect a sport with your work
  • When you have a new idea, make note of it. Check back later to see if you made it happen
  • Try a food that you’ve never tried before
  • Talk to parents and grandparents and listen to their stories
  • Give an incorrect answer to a question
  • Find links between people, things, ideas, or facts
  • Ask children how to do something and observe their creativity

3.The 5 emerging educationl technology you should know about

The educational landscape is witnessing a drastic change due to the use and integration of emerging technologies. However, though these changes are revolutionary but they are still far from being transformative because the gap between the technologies our students are using out of school and the ones they have access to inside the walls of school is widening. With the emergence and massive uptake of these new emerging technologies, there appeared a new learning culture one which is catalyst of the culture schools should encourage and cultivate. And until we get past the CIPA act and other inhibiting practices and policies, this gap will keep on widening.
Today, I want to share with you this handy infographic that features 5 examples of emerging technologies which have been or are expected to be used in the classroom. These are :

  • Cloud Computing
  • Mobile Technology
  • Game Based Learning
  • MOOCs
  • Learning Analytics

Cloud computing Virtual  learning environments, such as web-based tools and applications, save schools time, money and resources. This type of learning has become an essential part of communication between the student and teacher. The teachers share documents and other digitl activities with th students via cloud-bsed tools.  This allows students to access assignments and submit ppers for grading through the cloud. The cloud also allows users to store a variety of content such as documents, applications, music, photos and more. This data can be easily accesible from  any device (even a mobile device) that has the ability to cnnect with the cloud.

THE MOBILE TECHNOLOGY  Elementary and high schoold from K-12 are seeing the potential in mobile technology for learning. These devices are more affordable that most laptops and use less infrasture for their support. Apps used for education are the second most downloaded content from the iTunes App Store and have surprased popularity of entertainment and business apps.

GAME-BASED LEARNING Experimentation and exploration can be expereinced through game-based learning techniques.  Game play has become an effective tool for educational curriculum and stimulating real world experiences.

MOOCS  Massively open online courses Are classes available to the public over the internet regardless of location.  These classes help people acquire new skill sets at no cost.  The emphasis is based on lecture through internet connectivity.  This type of learning has become very popular in the last several years and continues to grow rapidly.

LEARNING ANALYTICS  Helps intructors decipher educationl data trends and patterns to enhance their teaching strategies.  This allows the educator to tailor courses to their own student’s needs through the analysis of student performance.  This customized learning experience utilizes data from online student interaction to improve the student’s educational experience in the classroom.

4.The 4 types of naps you shoud know about

Sleep is obviously an important element for a healthy and sound body. Sleeping the recommended 8 hours at night is scientifically proved to contribute in decreasing the levels of stress and depression, boosts the mental capacities of the brain and also increases our overall productivity at work.
However, not everyone gets to sleep these 8 hours. Because of heavy workload, professional or even family preoccupations, some of us are obliged to reduce this sleeping period to 6 or 5 hours. Of course lack of sleep does impact the good functioning of the metabolism of our minds and causes several problems least of which is a constant feeling of sluggishness and loss of interest. This is why the power of a nap is important for those who are lacking in good night sleep.

There are different types of naps and as you can see from the graphic below each nap has a certain amount of time. I came across this graphic in eHow page on Facebook and found it really interesting and I thought you might want to have a look as well. Enjoy

5.A must have rubric for infographic use in the classroom

So you’re planning to make infographics part of teaching toolbox! Educational infographics section both here and on our  Pinterest board has hundreds of meticulously selected graphics to use with your students in the classroom. I am pretty sure you will find some good ones for your class.
However, to effectively integrate infographics in your teaching you need much more than just curated lists of educational graphics, you will need to develop your own skill at judging the relevance of graphics you come across online. In other words, you need a rubric of the things you have to highlight when selecting such learning materials for your class. Thankfully, Kathy Schrock has created this wonderful chart featuring the most important elements to consider when opting for infographics. Kathy has also another great page on infographics which I highly recommend for you.
This is only a part of the rubric but you can download the full form Here. please make sure you comply with the terms of use of this graphic. Kathy made it clear in the header that the rubric can be reproduced for classroom use only but for all other uses, you need her permission. Enjoy

  1. Great pinterest tips for students

Pinterest is a promising bookmarking platform. It is gaining in popularity more and more and of course teachers and educators are part of this success for there are now a burgeoning number of  educational boards on Pinterest where you  can get free access to tons of web tools and teaching tips.There are also some great educational Pinners that are  committed to sharing useful resources with their fellow teachers. In this regard, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has its own Pinterest Board where we have been pinning everything we publish here or we find in other blogs and websites, make sure to follow us to stay updated about our future pinnings. I just came across this awesome graphic that I wanted to share with you. The first part of it includes some great tips on how to use Pinterest. You can teach your students some of these tips and help them learn how to use Pinterest for learning. Check it out below and share with us your feedback.

7.Effects of video games on our brain

I am really getting confused here. Just last month I posted an article entitled ” Do Video Games Make Kids Violent “. This post was mainly inspired by the book  I have read for Paul James Gee (  What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition ) . To see why I am confused . read the excerpt from Gee’s book and look at the facts included in the infographic ( from online universities below particularly in the second section labelled ” The effects of violent video games “. Which one to believe ? Here is what Paul Gee said about video games in pages 11-13  ” None of the current research even remotely suggests video games lead to real-life violence in any predictable way. As a good many people already know, since it has been pointed out by conservative politicians and policy makers as a sign of the effectiveness of their social policies, there has been a pronounced decrease in violent crime since the earlier 1990s, the very time when violent video games were introduced, for example, Mortal Kombat, Doom, and Quake. Even more to the point, if playing violent video games leads to a statistical increase in violence we should see a rise in violent crime, say, after QuakeCon each year, an event which draws thousands of gamers to play violent games. So far no one has found any such thing. On the other hand, some  researchers  have argued that video games have beneficial effects in regard to violence:  for example, that teens use violent games as a way to manage feelings of anger as an outlet for feelings of a lack of control.  In my view the issue of violence is overblown ( especially in a world where real people are regularly killing real people in wars across the world that we watch on television ). Debates over violence in video games are one more way in which  we seek to talk  about technology doing things to people rather than talking about the implications of people’s overall social and economic  contexts. Having said that , I don’t advocate having young children play M-rated games and I most certainly  advocate that parents know what their children  are doing and engage in ongoing discussions with them, discussions in which they seek not just to teach their children but to learn from them as well.

8 . 30 DR seuss quotes everyn teacher should know about

“You have brains in your head,you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose” Does this sentence remind you of anything ? Of course it does, it is one  Dr. Seuss unforgettable quotes. It s true that in the hustle and bustle of today’s digital world, we seem to forget the real importance of things we have read in the past but as soon as we are reminded a whole chain of memories set in taking us back into our past learning journeys, rediscovering them anew as if we are living them for the first time . Dr Seuss words should always stay alive and we

15 must know grammar mistakes

Below is a great infographic from copyblogger. It features 15 grammatical goofs that can make you look silly. I wish they added more goofs particularly those involving the misuse of tenses |(e.g.,present perfect and simple present ) but the ones included are also very important. I know most of you reading my blog are teachers and educators so it goes without saying that you do not commit them but what I want from you is to share them with your kids and students.
Try to print out this graphic and hang it in your classroom for students see everyday and whenever one makes a mistake that is listed there remind them to have a look at the graphic again. This will definitely work. You can also teach these mistakes explicitly by introducing the graphic to the whole class and ask the about the  goofs they do the most and initiate a conversation about them.
Under this graphic, you will find another medium poster about the reasons why English is hard to learn. This poster was first featured in reading addict page on facebook. I really loved the reasons they mentioned there and wanted to share them with you too. Have a look and let me know what you think about them. Enjoy

Why English is hard to learn ? 

Teachers manual on the use of pinterest in education

Since its launch in March 2010, Pinterest has become the most popular virtual Pinboard online. It has tremendously grown in popularity that it reached 10 million active users  in a very short period of time. Pinterest , just like all the other popular social networking websites, has its own potential in education . Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has previously posted a detailed guide on how teachers can use Pinterest in education and here are some of the ideas we have included in that guide :

Pinterest is a great content curation tool for teachers. The ability to pin together images, links, and videos into visually appealing boards makes information sharing way exciting. Teachers can create resource boards for themselves or their students and start sharing with each other.

Teachers can use Pinterest as a brainstorming tool where students can contribute in the pinning together of ideas and resources to create one huge visual

Teachers can have students set up their own boards based on certain classroom projects or assignments

Pinterest can also be used to locate images and videos to include in your lesson.

Make group work visual by inviting students to collaborate and share images for presentations or links to papers, resources, and research

Teachers can also encourage students photo journal on Pinterest

Pinterest provides loods of printable games, and lesson plans for teachers to use in their classroom

Teachers can use Pinterest to find new books to recommend to their students.

Check out Awesome Ways Educators Use Pinterest for more ideas.

After posting 7 Icebreakers you Can Do with Post-it Notes, I am sharing with you another great poster from the same source Busy Teacher about the 7 Ways to Make Teaching Life Easier. This is basically a collection of ideas on how post-it notes can help you teach.
You can print off the poster and use it in your classroom and if you need more posters then check out this resource. I have also created an embed code for anyone of you who wants to republish the poster somewhere else provided you pay credit to Busy

Check out and tell us what you think

5 ways teacher CAN USE ipads in their classroom
A list of top educational infographics

Infographics are gaining a strong foothold in the field of education.We are witnessing a sweeping surge in infographics talking about educational issues but some of the  companies that create them are not really interested in education but rather in SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ). Anyway I will not engage you in this topic here for it is not what this post is about and . For me as long as the infographic is based on solid background data and tackles the subjects we are interested in then why not thumbing it up,  we do not care whether the person who created it wants just to draw traffic to his or her website but as long as the infographic itself contains valid and correct data then why not share it.The aim is learning and not judging people’s intentions after all. I said this because  I have been engaged in such a debate about infographics in one of the  webinars I held recently and I just want to make it clear once for all.

Infographic That being said, I would like to insist on the validity and usability of the infographics I include in my blog. Before I share one here it  has to go through a filtering process including a small investigation about the creator of the infographic  and many many  other things. Anyway and without any further ado, the following are some of the popular infographics that have been making rounds online and that I have also included in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

“Flipped Classroom is an inverted method of instruction where teaching and learning take place online outside of the class while  homework is done in the classroom.” Advocators of this approach believe that this is the ideal method of instruction in our digital age. They basically build their judgement on the following facts :

  • Flipped Classroom shifts the learning responsibility and ownership  from the teacher’s hands  into the students’.
  • Students tend to perform better when they control when, where and how they learn.
  • Teachers no longer dispense knowledge but rather guide and direct while students are the real active learners
  • Teachers create animated videos and interactive lessons and lectures and students access them at home in advance of class even. In this way all students can re-watch the video tutorials whenever they want.
  • Classroom time can be geared towards data collection, collaboration, and application.
  • Class becomes a place for students to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning.
  • Flipped Classroom also “allows teachers to reflect on and develop quality and engaging learning opportunities and options for internalization, creation, and application of content rather than just fluff or time filling assignments.”

Flipped Classroom depends a lot on educational technology and web 2.0 tools such as podcasting and screencasting applications.

“In most Flipped Classrooms, there is an active and intentional transfer of some of the information delivery to outside of the classroom with the goal of freeing up time to make better use of the face-to-face interaction in school. When appropriate, information transfer typically takes advantage of technologies like podcasting or screencasting. This allows for more time to individualize instruction in the class time and keeps content alive for remediation, review, or other reference when needed. Learners have immediate and easy access to any topic when they need it, leaving the teacher with more opportunities to expand on higher order thinking skills and enrichment. Offloading some information transfer allows a classroom to develop that understands the need for teacher accessibility to overlap with cognitive load. That is, when students are assimilating information, creating new ideas, etc. (upper end of Bloom’s Taxonomy) the teacher is present to help scaffold them through that process.”

A direct and concrete example of Flipped Classroom concept is the popular Khan Academy. This website  has completely reshaped home instruction via providing more than 2800 free videos and tutorials available in 16 languages and covering a wide range of topics such as Math, Physics, Geometry, cosmology, microeconomics and many more. Flipped Classroom should not be thought of as a single stand alone instruction cycle but rather as a part of a general educational systems that overlaps with other instructional tools such as Blended Learning, Universal Design for Learning, Inquiry Learning, Reverse Learning, and Online Learning.

Great Infograpics for language teachers

Infographics are  great learning materials. The colourful graphics, clear text and their size make them ideal for classroom integration. I have been posting some of the ones I deem educationl to help teachers leverage this resource to create engaging, relevant and personalized learning experiences in their classes. In this regard, I am introducing you today to a series made up of four parts all containing the best infograpgics  about English language teaching and learning. Due to their size we could not  embed all the infographics in one post instead we distributed them on four posts with each one of them containing links to other posts to make it easy for you to navigate the four posts without having to move away. Teachers can print them out and pin them on the class wall for students to access throughout the whole year. If it happens that you have a classroom blog ,which I hope you do,  then you can embed these infographics and share them with your students using the awesome tool Zoomit to avoid being overrun by their size. – Definite and indefinte article,   All about Adjectives, Punctuation, Passive Voice, When to use e.g and i.e,

How to embed infographics in your blog or wiki

Zoom.it is a superb web tool for teachers. I have already talked about it here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning  . The reason why I am re-introducing it again is that many of you here share the inforgraphics I publish  and some still wonder how to display them in small sizes. Well if you have a blog or website and you want to publish an infogrphic without this latter taking so much space then Zoom.it is the answer.

Zoom.it is a great tool that allows users to display big images and infographics in their blogs, websites or wikis. As you embed these images on Zoom.it you will be able to zoom in, zoom out, and scroll around a large image. Zoom.it is very easy to use, just copy the URL of the image you want to embed and paste it into Zoom.it. You will then be able to share your image by giving people the direct link to it. Check out this example of an infpgraphic I shared before

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7- Use Social networking sites to connect with colleagues and grow professionally

Teachers’  comprehensive  guide to the use of social ne\tworking in education It is a fact universally ackowledged that Internet has  radically changed the way we percieve of the world. Reality has been supplanted by virtual reality and geographical borders have dissolved to give birth to a highly interwired world where the information travels both poles in a matter of a click. This drastic change brought about by Internet has touched upon every facet of our life and most important of all on education.
Education has exponentially developed over the past two decades to engulf new forms and methods that no one would have ever anticipated before. Gone are the days when students used to attend school with backpacks full of weighty books, pens, and pads. Now a single laptop can hold in its memory what the whole school library has of books and documents. Free writing and drawing software are availabe on every gadget and with just the use of ones finger , students can draw intuitively and share their productions in real time. This educational revolution has transformed the old traditional ways of teaching and learning and before we know it there emerged a second revolution that started with the introduction of web 2.0 tools in 2004. Now we started talking about social computing and social learning.
“When Tim Berners-Lee developed the original software for World Wide Web in 1990, his aim was simply to help academics research each other’s documents. He could not have forseen the mushrooming expansion of the Internet and the viral growth of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, with their profound effects on culture and commerce. One of the consequences on students minds is that they become constantly engaged with the digital world: they are multitasking, connecting and creating content at a precipitous rate. For previous generations, one of the only ways to connect with the wider world of culture and ideas was to go to school. That’s simply not true any more. The pervasiveness of digital technology changes the whole equation for education and for the roles of teachers” ( excerpt from Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative ).

Yes it is true that social media has already made a huge impact on education in just less than five years of its existence. It has definitely revolutionised the way students communicate today and has further connected more and more teachers together. Unfortunately, decision makers do not seem reluctant enough to embrace a thorough approach to the use of these tools inside schools for fear that they might cause more harm to students than good. Repeated reports of sexual predators have raised the alarm and prompted parents and legislators to question the potential of using social media for education. but let us look at it this way:  everything in this universe has two sides one is postive and one is negative and if humanity has just focused on the negative sides we would have never been where we are now. Here are some examples to prove this :
Created in the mid 19th century, the potential of the internal combustion engine was initially under-estimated. It struck many people as an interesting innovation, but some struggled to see why it would replace horses and carriages, which seemed to do a perfectly good job of getting people around at that time. And even though there was some relucance from people to accept this new invention you can tell now in the 21st century how life would be with no motorcars.
The second example is of television.When the first black and white telivision appeared in 1929, an article in New York Times stated that ” Television will never be a serious  competitor for radio ” ( Page 38 Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative ) if you are listening to the radio you can get on and do other things. To experience television, The Times argued  ” People must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen .” Ironically, of course, this was to become the very attraction of the whole system. Nonetheless it seemed clear to the writer that, ” The average American family does not have time for it.” Well , they found time. On average, the average American family went on to squeeze about 25 hours a week from their busy schedules to sit and keep their eyes glued on the television.
The fault line in the Times’ assessment of telvision was to judge it in terms of contemporary cultural values where there seemed to be no place for it. In fact telivision was not  squeezed into existing  American culture; it changed the culture forever.After the arrival of televisiom, the world was never the same place again. Television proved to be transformative technology, just as print, electricity, the motorcar and now social networking. We can apply Sir Ken Robinson logic in reasoning these transformative technologies to social networking and who knows probably in 2020 social networking will be one of the fundamentals of schooling and only then would we think back about these days when schools are discussing the overall potential of these tools in education.
Social networking presents a huge opportunity for schools, universties and other educational organisations to reach out and connect with students and prospective students. But how can schools and universities go about using social media in a pedagogical way and what are its benefits on both students and teachers ? To answer these questions we need to divide our discussion into two parts one for students and the other for teachers. But before that let us go through some of the reasons why we should use social networking in education.

Reasons why we should embrace social networking in education.

There are several reasons why educators and school authorities need to seriously ponder about an effective policy of integrating social networking into the classroom. Here are in brief some of these reasons as stated in Mashable’s  ” The Case for Social Media in Schools‘ :

1- Social Media is not going away
2- When Kids are engaged they learn better
3- Safe Social Media Tools are Available and for free
4- Replace Online procrastination with social education
5- Social Media encourages collaboration instead of cliques
Please read the Mahsabe article for more details about these reasons.

Benefits of social networking on students :
The positive effects of social networking sites in education are profound. According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota on student use of social media, students who are already engaging in social networking could benefit from incorporating it into curriculum.

Christine Greenhow, who was the principal investigator in a study, elaborated on the impact social networking could have on education.

“By understanding how students may be positively using these networking technologies in their daily lives and where the as-yet-unrecognized educational opportunities are, we can help make schools even more relevant, connected, and meaningful to kids.”
Accordingly students benefit from social networking in several ways such as :

  • They develop the 21st century skills needed for a successful career after school
  • They nurture a positive attitude towards the use of technology not only in their education but in their life as a whole
  • It allows them to share and exchange school assignments and projects
  • It lets them stay updated about their schools news
  • It gives a quick instant access to their classroom updates
  • It teaches them responsibility
  • It creates engagement which helps students learn better
  • It encourages collaboration and team work for students
  • It fosters communicative skills and develops inter-personal relationships
  • It helps students develop critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and global participation

Another study, which analyzed how students performed when asked to use twitter to do assignments, found that students who were asked to “contribute to class discussions and complete assignments using Twitter increased their engagement over a semester more than twice as much as a control group.”
Benefits of social networking on Teachers:

Social networking benefits not only students but also provides new opportunities for communication amongst teachers and educators. According to a report featured in The Journal of Educational Technology Systems : ” Tech savvy administrators are using blogs as a tool to keep parents, teachers, and students informed of the things going on in their schools”.

Here are more benefits social networking offers for teachers and educators :

1- Social networking helps teachers huddle professionally

2- It provides them with their own ” voice ”

3- It also encourages collaboration in dealing with everyday issues that teachers face in their work

4-It allows for sharing of content and best practice in a friendly environement

5-  It exposes teachers to the possibilities offered by web 2.0 technologies

6- It helps teachers develop a solid life-long learning policy

7- It offers a great space for sharing experiences, collaborating, researching and updating one knowledge

8- From a cultural perspective, social networking  can be a vehicle for world peace and inter-cultural understanding through the promotion of cross-cultural dialogue.

9- Social networking helps teachers stay engaged in education

These are just some of the benefits of social networking for teachers. I might have missed some other ideas but I would love to get your suggestions and additions if you have some just drop them in the comment box below. I will stop for now but stay tuned because part 2 of this article will probably be posted tomorrow or the day after. I will be providing a must have list of social networls and teacher online communities that you need to join to develop professionaly and meet other teachers from all around the world.

1- The Ways Schools are Using Social Media Effectively

2- How ToCreate Social Media Guidelines for your School,

3- Social Networking in Schools; Incentives for Participation,

4- How Social Media is The New Educator,

5- Should Students and Teachers be Facebook Friends,

6- Social Networking in Schools: Educators Debate The Merits of Technology in The Classrooms

Top 25 social networks for educators

Below is a list of some of the best educational networks to start with.I have not included some social networking websites such as : Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Diigo, and Wiziq as I think that it is taken for granted that you already know them.
1- Classroom 2.0   the social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education. Classroom 2.0 is a free, community-supported network.

2- Freshman Transition Network   dedicated to helping schools transition freshmen into successful high school students

     3- Interactive Whiteboard Revolution .    A community of educators interested in developing better pedagogy with IWBs .

4-  Edutopia    A community of 45,000+ teachers, administrators, parents, and individuals passionate fo  change in education (located on edutopia.org).

5- Teachers 2.0      Teaching in the digital age.

6- Teachers.net   A network of educator message boards, divided by interest group, areas of s specialization, grade level, and social interests. Monthy newsletters, Harry WOng exclusive    articles, and live chats with fellow educators make this network a worthwhile boo

7- Digital Citizenship  Great resources for educators.

8-  edWeb.net  This is a social networking website that makes is easy for anyone in the education community to connect with peers, share information and best practices, spread innovative ideas, and provide professional development.

9-  EdtechLeaders This is for teachers who participated in an online Web 2.0 course provided by the MA Dep of Ed and EDC. The resources in this ning are open to anyone and all are welcome to join

10- Global Classroom  A social network of students, teachers and adult learners who want access to education and top educators across the globe. Providing free online classrooms for Teachers in order to integrate the internet into today’s classrooms. 

11- Instructional Designers  This an open group for people who develop instructional materials.

12- iTeach This a site for teachers to share and learn about both technical and nontechnical resources.

13- OnlineProjects4Teachers   Great for Linking Teachers Together

14- Tapped In      This is a professional educators’ collaborative with over 600 professional development groups,  university and K-12 classes.

15-The Teacher Collaborative  A social network of teachers and educators attempting to integrate technology into current curriculum practices by developing global project ideas and classroom partnerships.

16- Virtual Staffroom Podcast –  Conversations with leading educators about technology in the classroom

17- Plurk  A social network similar to Twitter.

18- Sophia  This  Is a new (beta) social network for education with several free lesson plans, private group (study) creation, and online tutoring.

19- Learn Central  Get to learn via video conferencing

20- ISTE Community  International Society for Technology & Education is a great place for educators to come together and collaborate on technology issues.

21- WhoTeaches   Is a new (beta) network designed to bring students, parents, and educators together.

22- Technology Integration in Education  This  is a wonderful social network created by Greg Limperis that is similar to Classroom 2.0

23- The 21st Century Teacher This Is a new social network designed for teachers help them facilitate using technology in the classroom.

24- Better Lesson More 1000’s of resources can be found here as well as collaborating w/ other educators .

25- Intel Education Teachers Engage Community  A Great  online community designed to facilitate online collaboration and increase teachers technology literacy.

Teachers guide to the use of linkedin

 Our Educational Networking series which we have started awhile ago  have really  proved to be a great success. Educators and teachers from all around the globe have been positively interacting with these posts and we really feel glad to receive emails of encouragement from teachers telling us  how much they have learnt(ed) from these series.

The purpose of these series is to help educators, teachers, and students take a clear look at how social networking  sites can be used as powerful networking tools for the development of the overall education, sharing our best picks for tips, tools and many more. Part of this work is inspired by The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age  .

20 awesome google tips for the teachers

Each of the tips below are based on articles from a variety of online  sources namely  Mashable, Chronicle, Appsusergroups, Hackededucation, Geekestry, Theatrprof,  and many more. Click on any title to read the full learn more about   the tip.
1- Use Hangouts for Teaching Hangouts is a great service offered for free by Google+. Teachers can use it to deliver virtual lessons to their students and give remedial work to those in need of it.
2- Use Sparks for research
Both of you and your students can use Sparks to keep track of the topics you are interested in. Click on the title to learn more.
3- Use Circles for collaboration
Circles  are a great means for students to collaborate with each other on classroom projects, and share resources and materials. Click on the title to learn more.
4- Keep parents updated
By adding parents to cirlces teachers will enable them to keep track of their kids schooling.
5- Crossposting updates
In case you are using multiple social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter then you can use this option to cross post updates at once.
6- Share Google Reader Posts
You can easily share your Google Reader with your students and let them explore some of the content you are subscribed to.
7- Add media with a single click
Teachers can easily add any piece of media with just drag and drop.
8- Video Chat
This is particularly useful when delivering a virtual lesson, student can see you and you can also see them giving it a classroom like feel.
9- Disable resharing
If you have content that you share only with your class and you do not want it to be reshared  on other places then you can use this option to disable resharing and be able to control who can see what you share.
10- Pay heed to who you are updating
You might have other people other than your students on your Google+ which means that not the same message can be shared with all. Use this option to select who can see your message.
11- Use Instant Upload
With this new option teachers and students can instantly upload content to Google+ be it videos, photos, docs and many more. This option can be used even from mobile phone.
12- Integrate Googlpe Plus with other services cuh as Google Docs and Google Calendar
13- Google Plus as a learning management system
Read this article of how teachers can use Google+ as a learning management system.
14- Be careful with content you post
Read how to deal with restrictions on the content you post on Google Plus.
15- Export Data from Facebook
Learn how to migrate your data from Facbook to Google Plus in case you have alot of interesting content on your Facebook.
16- Stay in touch with former students
Read this article to learn how to use Google plus to stay in touch with former students.
17- Google Plus archive
Learn how to archive eveything you share on Google Plus
18- Create different cirlces for different purposes
Google plus lets you create different circles for different purposes. Teachers can create circles according to the classes they have or based on the topics they want to cover in that school year.
19- Search Within your University
Check out this article from Impact of Social Sciences to learn more about the potential of Google Plus in Universities.
20- Teach Students about Privacy

Reasons why facebook is revolutionizing education

The 21st century has witnessed a stunning technological revolution touching every facet of our life. The way people used to interact with internet has radically changed , users are no longer just static consumers of the information but active contributors and makers of online content. It is thanks to the introduction of web 2.0 technologies that human knowledge has finally been liberated and is made accessible to everyone and at anytime. This in itself is the biggest human achievement ever equal in importance to the invention of telecommunications and electriciy.
I will not be talking about internet in its general scope but will rather tailor my topic to cover just a very important element called social networks and particularly Facebook and its uses in education. Genrally speraking, Social networks are online platforms ,most of which are free, where people of similar interests meet to discuss, share , collaborate and interact with each others through the use of means such as emails, IMs, chat, blogging..etc. Facebook is one of the major current players in this field and more than 500 million people are using it with students and adults constituting a large part of its users. Being as such , it becomes imperative that we , educators, try to invistigate its educational potentials and look for ways to better use it in the classroom with our students. Wether we like it or not Facebook is part and parcel of our educational landscape. It is the top socialising tool students are using on a daily basis. Now with its mobile version and  the widespread use of smartphones , Facebook has finally infiltrated the classrooms even when it is blocked by the school network. Guess what , This is just the emerging part of the iceberg, in what follows are some of the amazing facts about this social media guru.

8- Create and deliver asynchronous presentations and training sessions
A list of 20 free tools for  teachers to create awesome presentations and slideshows

Creating presentations and slideshows is one of the needed skills for both teachers and students. Unfortunately many teachers still find it hard to arrange data into a catchy slideshow to share with students.

Below is a list of some of the best free tools teachers and students can use to create awesome slideshow and presentations. I have already reviewed all of these tools and therefore attest to their usability.
1-  SlideShare
It Offers  users the ability to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios.

2-  Animoto  turns your photos and video clips into professional video slideshows in minutes.

3- VUVOX  allows you to create interactive slideshows and presentations from photos, video and music from Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, YouTube, Facebook and more.

4- Knovio  gives life to static slides and with a simple click you will be able to turn them into rich video and audio presentations that you can share with your friends and colleagues via email or popular social media websites. Knovio does not require any software installation or download, it is all web based.

5- Ahead  is a great presentation tool for educators. It  works in such a way that it instantly transforms your layouts into a zooming presentation. Check it out its is great.
6- HelloSlide  is a cool web tool that allows its users to create awesome slides together with voice narration.
7- Jux  is one of the best showcase for your stories. You can embed videos and photos from your hard drive or from a URL
8-  Slidestaxx  is a great presentation tool. It allows its users to create amazing social media slideshows. You can now gather media from different sources and put them together in an engaging slideshow using Slidestaxx to embed it in your blog, website or wiki.
9- Present.me  It allows its users to record and share their presentations using their webcams.

10- PhotoPeach  is a free  online service that allows it users to create media rich slideshows.What i like the most about this tool is the fact that it supports background music .Integrating audio into photo slideshows makes them quite engaging and presentable
11- Slideboom  is a slide hosting service where you can store your presentations and share them with the rest of the world. .
12-  Zentation  is one of the best video presentation tools . It combines both videos and slides into presentations making out of them engaging pieces of multimedia in education .

13- Empressr   is a rich media presentation tool .It allows you to share and create high quality online slideshows and presentations .
14- VoiceThread  is a digital media discussion service . It allows you to create engaging interactive slideshows using different types of media .

15- Slidesix  It  enables users to share multimedia presentations using a rich web based application where they “ they can import presentation material and personalize their message by narrating each slide with video or audio.”
16- Zoho Show  It helps you create interactive presentations using simple yet sophisticated tools .It has several features that sets it apart from other presentation applications.

17- Prezentit  It allows its users to create alone or with others , share and show   online memorable presentations . It is a very handy tool that we can use with our students .

18- Popplet  is a unique web2.0 tool . It is one of the best applications for visual ideas . It combines presentations , mindmapping and online bulletins.

19- AuthorStream  This is a platform for sharing PowerPoint presentations on the Internet. authorSTREAM makes it easier to share your PowerPoint slideshows through blogs, websites, on YouTube and even via iPOD.
20- SlideRocket  is an online web2.0 application that facilitates creating and sharing online presentations in the form of slides .

21- Prezi   is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas …

9- Compile a digital e-portfolio for their own development

Free apps to create digital  portfolios for students and teachers

Have you or your students ever considered creating digital portfolios on the go? Well now with the new mobile technology everything is possbile. There are a variety of apps that can help you create and organize portfolios and sketchbooks and some don’t cost you even a penny. Apps in Education has compiled an awesome list of such apps though they are not 100%  perfect but they can help you alot. I have picked out the free apps and reviewed them down .
1- Evernote  is quite popular and probably many of you are already familiar with it. This app lets you take notes, create to do lists, record voice reminders, capture photos and many more.What is even cooler is that it syncs all of your information across all the devices you use.
2- Paper   This is a great free app for iPad users. It basically allow them to organize their ideas in sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings and share them online. Think of it as a notebook or a journal.
3- Three Ring  This app allows teachers to easily organize and present their students work from  written assignments to  classroom presentations. It is fast, flexible and simple.
4- Coolibah  This is a free digital scrapbooking app that can be easily used to do the same work a digital portfolio normally does: presenting students work in an organized and neat way. It allows for a bigger customization in size, templates, elements such as text and images and many more.
5- VoiceThread  This is a great app that allows users to create and share conversations about documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos. It is already used by more 25% of the top University in the US.

10- Have a knowledge about online security

Free tools and resources sbout internet safety

Today  is Safer Internet Day ( SID ) that is organized by Insafe every February   to promote responsible, secure, and safer use of online technology and  mobile phones especially among teens all across the globe. This year SID will focus on the following theme “ Connecting Generations and Education”. Head over to Safeinternetday.org to learn more.

On this occasion, I compiled a list of some useful resources to help you teach your kids and students about Internet safety.
1- Tips for Internet Safety
Here is a list of websites to provide you with tips about using Internet safely

Internet safety, privacy issues, cyberbullying are but some of the major concerns of today’s parents. It is true that the web revolution has positively affected many facets of our life, yet its downsides are equally devastating. We are in front of a double edged weapon that requires meticulous attention when using it.
It is impossible to imagine a house without internet connection. The web has crawled into our social texture to the point that we become dependant on its use in our daily life. Besides sending and reading emails, chat and socialising which are basic tasks users would constantly  perform, some people are using it now for e-commerce to buy and shop online, to read ebooks, to run businesses but regardless of the reasons why we have internet at home we should always pay heed to who shares with us this connection especially when it comes to kids.
Kids when unmonitored can have free access to the net and surf in dangerous places , meet strange people and even learn new bad things we never thought they would. And because of their immaturity, innocence and predisposition to easily trust others, . children are the most vulnerable category to cyber bullying and in many cases abuse. Do parents know about these alarming facts ? Of course the majority ,if not all of them know, but the thing is that  they feel helpless and lack the necessary education on the preventive measures they need in order to seamlessly monitor what their kids do online. This ignorance, shortage of insight or call it whatever you want is no longer excused. Parents need to seriuosly address this issue and to help them do so, I have laboriously worked on several resources to compile a list of some of the tools that parents need to be equipped with to face this looming danger that threatens our kids safety.You do not need to be a technology geek or have advanced computer skills to be able to use these web applications. They are mundanely easy and can be used by anyone with the basic internet skills which all of you possess since you are here reading this post.

1-Creepsquash  is a  web based monitoring tool that allows you to seamlessly monitor your kids Facebook activity without invading their privacy. Here is a short video to show you how to do it
2-  MinorMonitor   is another web application that helps in  monitoring kids activity on Facebook. It can :
Provide you with your kids’ details such as status updates, friend lists , photos, and checked in places Automatically analyzes and identifies possible bullying, drug use, sexual references, solicitation, profanity and more.

Yahoo Safely
Yahoo Safely is the official Yahoo security tips website. It provides Internet safety tips for both parents and teenagers. It contains sections designed specifically for parents and kids to teach them how to use the internet carefully and responsibly.

Family Safety Centre

Family Safety Centre is a portal made by Google where it aggregates a huge number of Internet security tips, videos and articles. Besides the tools offered by Google services, users can also watch videos made by other parents on how kids can use the internet safely. Family Safety Centre also provides ways for parents on how to report abuse or inappropriate content on its services.
NetSmartz
NetSmartz is a great website that educates its users on Internet Safety for kids. It addresses parents, teachers, teens, educatos, law enforcement . This is what it says about parents :
Wired Safely
Wired Safely is another fantastic website that teaches about online  kids safety. It covers topics such as: cyberbulling, cyberstalking,cyber crimes, online harassement , identity theft, email safety, malware and adware, phishing, downloading music safely and online gaming safety.
SafeKids
SafeKids is much more of a blog than a website. It covers internet safety for kids and has several  articles all of which tackle the issue of kids surfing the net safely.
Cybersmart
Cybersmart provides activities, resources and practical advice to help teens, kids and parents safely use the internet. It also offers training and resources for schools and materials for library staff.

Solos
Solos is another website that offfers education on internet safety for kids and parents.

2- Google Good to Know :
This is Google`s official section where it provides pieces of advice and tips on how users can stay safe online. It includes videos and images. check it out it is a great resource.
Google Good to Know is a great resource for educators. It offers free tips on online safety and how your data are managed in the cloud. I consider Google Good to Know as an important website that educators need to access and share with their students. I am also adding it to the List of Internet Safety Tips Parents and Teachers need to be aware of.

Google Good to Know covers four areas. They are:
1- Stay Safe Online
In this section, you will find tips and advice for staying more secure on the web. Among the topics you can learn about here are : Passwords, Phishing, Malware, Secure Sites, Safe Networks, Mobile security, family safety, shopping saefty, signing out of public computers and Googles security tools.

2- Your Data on The Web
In this part, you will learn how web sites store cookies and get to know your preferences. You will also learn about IP Address and accounts.

3- Your Data on Google
Here you will be able to have an idea of how Google deals with your data and personal information. You will read about topics such as Search logs, Advertising, Google accounts and web history, Google producs and privacy, Making search more relevant, making search faster , and helping  society.

4- Manage your Data
This section offers an ” overview of some of the ways that you can manage what you share online, with Google and with others. We offer a collection of privacy tools, the most popular of which are described in this section.”
3-  Google Digital Tour

This is another webpage created by Google just recently to inform and teach teenagers how to protect their online privacy and fight off against cyber bullying.
Today I am introducing you to a real treasure, a website that will definitely help you open your eyes to many issues dealing with cyber safety. Google Digital Literacy Tour has been designed specifically for educators and teachers or at least a big section of it targets teachers and students and that is why I am including it here after all.
iKeepsafe  teamed up with Google  to develop a curriculum that educators can use in their classrooms to teach digital responsibility.

Here are some features of this curriculum

  • It is interactive and discussion filled
  • It includes hands-on and scenario activities
  • It has several workshops and each workshop contains ”  a resource booklet for both educators and students that can be downloaded in PDF form, presentations to accompany the lesson and animated videos to help frame the conversation “

Here is a snapshot of what every workshop has
4- Webnauts Academy
This is a great web page by PBS Kids which offers elementary school students tips on how to stay safe online. It teaches them how to behave responsibly while using internet and upon finishing their missions in the Academy, students will graduate. There are also resources for teachers on how to include the topic of online safety in their classrooms.

5- A Thin Line
MTV has released a resourceful platform called A Thin Line where it provides teenagers with a range of materials and lessons on how to monitor what they do online. It basically teaches them about the potential results of misbehaving online. It covers topics such as sexting, digital spying, instant messaging and over textmessaging.
6- Minor Monitor
MinorMonitor is another web application that helps in monitoring kids activity on Facebook. It can :
Provide you with your kids’ details such as status updates, friend lists , photos, and checked in places Automatically analyzes and identifies possible bullying, drug use, sexual references, solicitation, profanity and more.

6- Google Safety Centre

Google recently the launch of an online safety centre for teens on Goolge+ in an attempt to ease out the worries of parents. These new safety enhancements are meant to protect teenagers, “encourage safe behaviour through appropriate defaults and in-products help, and make abuse reporting tools easy to find and use.”
Google+ is now rolling out to teens whose age is 13 and up. This move has been unexpected especially with the growing concern worldwide over issues of cyberbullying and the raise of cyber crimes. Simultaneous to this release, Google announced the launch of an online safety centre for teens on Goolge+ in an attempt to ease out the worries of parents. These new safety enhancements are meant to protect teenagers, “encourage safe behaviour through appropriate defaults and in-products help, and make abuse reporting tools easy to find and use.”

Google+ safety center provides a wide range of resources to teachers, parents and teens to help them learn more about how to use Google+ in a fun, smart and safe way. It has a lot of materials that we can use with our students in the classroom to sensitize them about the online privacy issues. I do recommend these tools to educators.
There are three guides provided by Google+ safety centre :

Teens Guide
This guide provides tips to teenagers on how to use Google+ and navigate the social web safely

Parents Guide
This one here is to help parents teach their kids how to stay on the right side of the line while online
Educators Guide
This is for teachers to show their students how to operate safely and responsibly in their social experiences online
7- Parents Guide to Facebook

This is a thorough guide of Facebook privacy setting. Parents and teachers can read the guide to learn more  about Facebook privacy setting, profile settings, group settings and much more. It can help educate kids and teenagers on how to safely use Facebook.
Welcome to the fully updated 2012 edition of A Parents’ Guide to Facebook(PDF)! It’s designed to help you understand what Facebook is and how to use it safely. With it, you will be better informed and able to communicate with young Facebook users in your life more effectively. That’s important because 1) if something goes wrong, we want our children to come to us and 2) as the Internet becomes increasingly social and mobile, a parent’s guidance and support are ever more key to young people’s well-being in social media and technology. The guidebook is published in partnership with the iKeepSafe Coalition.

The guide covers how to:

* Configure Facebook’s new timeline (what used to be called your profile)
* Review your activity log
Use the site’s new in-line privacy tools
* Use Facebook’s “social reporting” tools to resolve problems
* Protect your online reputation
* Use Facebook Mobile safely
* And much more. Do check it out…

8- Safety Land
This is an awesome game that is played virtually in the city of Safe Land. The aim is to teach teenagers and students how to recognize dangers while using the internet. As users start to move from building to building, a set of questions are posed to them that they need to answer and upon each correct answer they get to catch a cyber criminal and send him/her to Safety Land jail and at the end get a certificate that they can prtin out.
9- Own Your Space

This is a great ebook that includes a wealth of resources and materials on how teenagers can be safe while browsing the internet. It has 16 chapters and each one of which deals with a certain topic starting from teaching  teens about the different malware and spyware and the importance of having security patches to providing lessons about the potential dangers of unsecured networks and how to lock them down.

10- Tools to manage your inbox and fight off spam
This is a collection of free tools to control your inbox and keep it clean and away from scammers and spammers.

Free resources to teach about bullying

Bullying has long been a practice much disdained by parents and now penalized by the force of law. Literally speaking bullying means to purposefullly hurt somebody either by words or actions. Bullying can be caused by individuals as well as by groups. Schools are  the old  haven of this kind of behaviour. There are several efforts to stop bullying in our schools and protect our kids but we still need to do much more.
As an educator and a concerned citizen, I would like to share with you some websites where parents and teachers can learn  how to stop bullying. All thanks go back to Makeuseof for their hard work to come up with the websites.

Stop Bullying

Stop Bulling is a website that provides information from various government agencies to anwser questions about what is bullying, what cyberbullying is and many more. There are many documents, images, and text that are in public domain in Stop Bullying. You can use and share these resources with students parents and colleagues.

Bullying UK

This one here provides detailed advice om a range of problems including Cyberbullying and outside school. It features a section called guidance for schools where teachers and education professionals can get advice and tips on how to deal with bullying.

Kids against Bullying

This is a great website where students can learn many things about bullying. It has coloring games, word games, videos by and for kids. There is also a special section where celebrities speak about bullying.

Anti Bullying Network
The Anti Bullying Network is as its name suggests, a website devoted to fighting bullying. It includes links to several other resources that you will definately find educative on this topic. It also features websites for young people in its homepage with links some great websites where students can learn how to protect themselves from bullying.

 

11- be able to detect plagiarized works in students assignments

Free plagiarism detector tools for educators

This post is about free Plagiarism  tools that teachers can use   to deter students from cheating on assignments, which raises the quality of work for your course. Instructors can see at a glance assignments that are original and ones that contain content copied from the Internet. I have assembled all these tools in a guide below for you to download and share. Let ‘s first start with a little introduction.

Technology has always had a close relationship with education. If you try to investigate further into this relationship you would be philosophically enthused. How come technology which is a mere product of a higher mature education can in the same time be the prime engine in the advancement of education itself ? Humanity’s technological progress has impacted and, in several cases, transformed the way people are educated. Starting with the simple abacus that once made learning easier a millennia ago to the highly sophisticated word processing tools and cloud based mobile apps, education has witnessed a tremendous change both in the wasy this education is attained and also delivered.
While the information technology, internet and other developments have positively reshaped the way education is built and delivered, there emerged some devastating side effects alongside these developments. Plagiarism is one negative example among many of what the impact of this digital boom on education has brought about.

We are living in a world that is digitally focused. Internet has made it pretty much easy for everyone to have a free unlimited access to all kinds of information. One single click in a search engine such as Google would suffice to get answers for your bewildereing math equations. Yes Our students have grown up  in a ‘free culture ‘ era where the idea  that everything online should be free is taken fro granted. They can download music, videos, movies, documents, researches anything they can have access to without even thinking twice about copy rights and intelectual protety infringements. As educators and teachers, we should do all our best to change and redress the situation. Our students are developing bad habits using technology when they can do way better if this same technology is used properly.

What is plagiarism ?

According to the Meriam-Webster online dictionary. to plagiarise means :

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In General Plagiarism is adopting someone else’s ideas and presenting them as your own in whatever form it entails.

 

Forms of Plagiarim 

According to Plagiarims.org all the following are considered plagiarism :

  • Turning in someone else’ work as your own
  • Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your world, whether you give credit or not.

P.S : Some tools included in the guide are not free and they have free trial period but given their importance I could not compile such a list without mentioning them.

12- Create screen capture videos and tutorials

5 great free screen capture tools for teachers and students

I have recently received some emails from teachers asking me about some  free screen capturing and annotating tools. In fact there are  several such tools online but only few work effectively for us in education. There are also various extensions and add-ons for both Chrome and Firefox users that let them exactly do  the same thing these tools do. Anyway the following is a meticulously prepared list of tools teachers and even studnets will find useful particularly when preparing annotated pictures for tutorials and other lesson related activities.

1- Bounce
Bounce is a great screen capturing tool. It lets  users not only  capture a screenshot of anywebsite they want but can also add annotations and comments and share the finalized work with others using a specific URL.
2- Awesome Screenshot
This is my favourite and I have it installed on my Chrome browser. This extension allows users to :

  • Easily take screenshots of web pages
  • You can select whether you want a screenshot of the whole page or just a selected part
  • You can add annotations and draw boxes
  • You can also blur out information and add text to any screenshot you make

3- Aviary
Aviary is a great photo editing software that I have already covered in a seperate post a year ago. Aviary offers a very handy extension called Talon that works both for Chrome and Firefox and that does the same work as the previous tools above.
4- Jing
Jing is a cool that allows users to :

Share their screen captures with others

  • Easily capture a screenshot
  • It provides  awesome  annotation tools
  • It is free but it also offers a pro version for $15

5- Skitch
This is a great screen capture tool for Mac users. Skitch allows its users to :

  • Capture their screens
  • Easily annotate their pictures
  • Draw on them with  swanky graphics
  • Share them online or save them to their desktops

A list of some of the best free screencasting tools to record your screen and make awesome tutprials

Have you ever wondered how video tutorials are made ? You might be wrong and think it needs advanced technology knowledge to do them. It is in fact way easier than you have ever thought. The tools below will enable you to make your screencast and broadcast it to the world to see it. Screencasting is all about sharing your screen with others, not in real time ,of course, but in a short or long recorded videos.
Educators will find these tools very useful , for they can now create their own `how to` videos and share them with their colleagues and students. As I said earlier, the procedure is very simple and , in most of the time , all it takes is a moderetally high internet broadband and a registration. You will need to open accounts in some of  these websites so that you can store the tutorials you make and share them using links. The registration is free and takes only a couple of minutes. Since this blog targets educators then these tools are for educational purposes but others in different sectors can also use them if what they do entails a screencast.  Ok here is the list:
1- Screencast-O-Matic
Screencast-O-Matic is my favourite screencasting tool of them all. It is free and easy to use . With one click you can start recording your screen and right from your browser on Windows, Mac, Linux and does not require any software installation. it is all online.
2- CamStudio
Camstudio is also a great screencasting tool. It allows its users to screen record and  ceate awesome video tutorials and share them through a generated link with others online. It is also easy to use and the only thing you need to do is download it for free into your computer.
3- Copernicus
This is another free recording software that works with Mac. It enables its users to :

  • Take screenshots and save them
  • Record video and save it directly to RAM
  • Use the movie feature to create how to movies
  • It is free and weights 4.9 MB

4-Jing
Jing allows its users to create images and videos of what they see on their screen and share them with the world instantly and easily. Just to let you know that Jing has two versions one is free and the other is premium. So the free Jing offers just : five minutes of screen recording and some mark up tools for images but the pro version offers way more. However, educators might make do just with the free Jingle.

5- Wink
Wink is a tutorial and presentation creation software that lets its users :
Capture screenshots, add explanations, boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users.
Record voice while making a tutorial
It is free and easy to use
It requires a download
It is compatible with several operating systems , you just need to choose you OS when trying to download it

The above five tools are the main FREE screencasting  tools available online. As I said before, educators can contend themselves with just one of them especially Screencast-O-Matic but if it happens that you want more developed screen recording tools and sotwares then here are some names that you can keep in mind when trying to purchase one:

12 screencasting tools for creating video tutorials

FREE

AviScreen – As the name would imply, this capture program records the video into AVI files, but can also do BMP photos. It’s Windows only and does not record audio.

CamStudio.org – An open source program for capturing your on-screen video and audio as AVI files. Windows only, and absolutely free.

Copernicus – A free program for Macs that focuses heavily on making quick and speedy films by recording the video to your RAM for quicker access. Does not include any support for audio.

JingProject.com – Beyond recording video, Jing allows you to take a picture of any portion fo your desktop, draw on it, add a message, and immediately upload your media to a free hosting account. You are then given a small URL that you can give to whomever needs to see the image or video. Works with Macs and Windows machines.

Screencast-O-Matic.com – A Java-based screencasting tool that requires no downloads and will allow you to automatically upload to hosting. According to their site it works well with Macs and Windows machines, but does have some issues with Linux.

Wink – Screencasting software that focuses on making tutorials with audio and text annotation abilities. Outputs to Flash, PDF, HTML, EXE files and more.

Commercial

Adobe Captivate – While Adobe is almost always synonymous with quality, it also always means it’s going to be expensive. Pricing starts at nearly $700.

AllCapture – Capture in real time, add audio during recording or after completion. Can output to Flash, EXE, ASF, DVD, SVCD and VCD. Free trial available, Windows only.

HyperCam – Windows only system for recording screen activity to AVI files along with system audio. Free trial with $39.95 for full version.

iShowU – Offers a wide-range of presets that allows you to record directly into Quicktime and up to 1080P in both NTSC and PAL formats. Also does audio and the file is ready to be published as soon as hit stop. Mac only.

ScreenMimic – Software for the Mac that offers transitions, audio dubbing, can output to HTML, Quicktime and Flash. Free download and $64.95 for the paid version.

ScreenRecord – Outputs to Quicktime directly and can record your clicks and all on-screen activities. Offers a free trial and then $19.95 to purchase.

13- Curate web content for classroom learning

10 must have bookmarklets for teachers

Today I will be talking to you a little bit about Bookmarklets and how we can use them for educational purposes. First off, a bookmarklet is ” a sort of small applet that is stored as URL of a bookmark in a web browser. This applet can provide as much functionality as a standard browser plugin provides.” Think about them like add-ons and extensions that we install on our browsers.
What is great about bookmarklets is that they are less resource-intensive meaning that they do not eat up your computer resources such as processing power, and memory as plugins do. They also provide a variety of functionalities from translating to socialising.
Bookmarklets are also cross- browser and work on  all kinds of browser versions even the newest ones. They are very easy to install and use, just click on any link, hold down your mouse button and drag and drop.
There are in fact several useful bookmarklets that teachers and students can use. Some of these bookmarklets are listed below. Just keep in mind that most of the social networking websites have thier own bookmarklet that you can drag and drop into your toolbar. So if you use a certain service on a daily basis, then you better search for its bookmarklet that might be provided in their homepage.
Here are some examples of interesting bookmarklets that I personally use on my browser:
1- Pin it  This is fo Pinterest. All it takes is a single click to pin an article.
2- Scoop.it  This is for Scoopit , the content curation service, if you are a Scoopit member then install it on your browser.
3- Short URL  This one here shortens long URLs using the Bitly service.
4- Capture Screenshot  You can use this to capture screenshots of the web page you are browsing and upload it to Flickr, Evernot and other services. ( when you click on this link scroll down to the bottom to find the bookmarklet to drag).
5- Google Site Search  This one here allows you to search any website for the content it has regardless of whether it has a search facility or not.
6- Readability  This bookmarklet will change your online reading experience for good and I mean it. It lets you change the layout of a page in ebook or newspaper format. You can also select a better background with more formatting options for text.
7- BugMeNot  As its name suggests this bookmarklet is used to log in to websites that entail having an account with them before reading their content. You do not have to open your account with any website you read and BugMeNot will take care of that. It provides a username and password to use straight.
8- Download PDF  This one allows you to download a whole web page into a PDF to embed in your email or print out.
9- Gmail This  Use this one to send emails containing text you selected in a paragraph somewhere in a webpage. ( when you click on this link scroll down to the bottom to find the bookmarklet to drag do not click on the button that says download bookmarklet instead click on the button that say Gmail This and drag it.)
10-PrintWhat You Like  This one helps you format web pages the way you like to choose the size you want to use for printing.
14- Use and provide students with task management tools to organize their work and plan their learning

A list of great task management tools for educators

1- Free Time Management Tools
Talking about task management is inherently talking about time management and the list of tools I compiled in this article will provide you with the necessary tools to manage your time online.

2- Free Sticky Notes tools
Sticky Note tools are also very important elements in managing your task online and organizing your infrmation, links , resources, and online data. Check out the list I  created for you.

3- Free Note Taking Tools
Check out these 9 free tools that you can use to take notes online. All the tools are very simple and easy to use and some require a sing up.
3-  Workflowy
This tool can help you organize your personal to-do lists, collaborate on large team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, and much more. This is a great tool for students to use in their classrooms. They can for instance use it to organize the assignments and tasks they need to finish.

4-  Tasskr
Tasskr is a simple task manager that teachers and students can use to create projects and tasks in a matter of seconds. It is very easy and has a user friendly interface. You can use it without even signing up but this is not a good idea if you are planning to save your projects. You better register there and be able to control and track your tasks and projects.

5- Trello
Trello’s simple, intuitive interface makes task management effortless. Using boards and cards, you have complete flexibility with how you want to get organized.

6- Any.Do
Any.Do is another great task management tool that lets you capture all the things you want to do and helps you in getting them done.

7- Thought Boxes
Thought Boxes makes it easy for you to get organized, complete your tasks, and collaborate. It is all web based and all your lists are on one page.
8- 42 Tasks
42 Tasks is a free app that you can use to manage your tasks from anywhere with an internet connection. It lets you create, manage, and share your projects and tasks and collaborate in a group.

9- Todoist
Todoist is a great personal task manager that is very easy to use and has a user friendly interface. It requires a sign up and it is free of charge.

10- Lazy Meter
Lazy Meter is a to-do list tool that helps users get their tasks organized. It also has a system of reminders that works both on web and mobile devices.

11- Wipeelist
Wipeelist is another awesome to-do-list  that resembles Todoist mentioned above. It is free and very easy to use. It requires a sign up.

12- Squareleaf
Squareleaf is an intuitive whiteboard where you can arrange and store your to do lists in the form of sticky notes .

13- Strike
Using Strike , you can easily set up tasks and control their progress. You can create lists for a project, add new tasks and collaborate with others on unfinished tasks.

14- Sticky Screen
Sticky Screen is one of the easiest online to do list tool . It  is very easy to use .  You can set it as your homepage and whenever you opened a new tab in your browser , your to do list items will just pop up at your face . No way that you  can ignore or forget about them anymore .

8 free calendar tools for educators for better time management

1- Short Calendar
This  is basically a web tool that allows users to create calendars for a set number of days and email them to their inbox. It is combines the services of a to-do-list with cladlendar generating thus a simple use-case. It might not be the ideal tool for organizing a month worth of tasks but it is absolutely perfect for a short term planning.
2-  Calendrica
Calendrica is web tool that lets users create personal calendars online and for free. It offers various ready made templates to which you can add images, text and customize month and year. The images can be uploaded from both your computer and the web.
3-  Compact Calendar Creator
This utility allows users to instantly create compact calendars online and save them in PDF format. You can specify the start and end dates and mark the holiday dates for any country based on your Google Calendar account.
4- Jotlet
Jotlet is another great calendar creation tool. It allows users to create their own online calendars to mark tasks, events, and notes. These calendars ce be printed out, imported, exported, and you can also obtain a URL for your calendar to share it with other.
5- DayViewer
This is a free web service that lets you manage your events in auser friendly interface. You can add events, tasks, notes, payments and organize them in the whatever way you want.
6- iDoneThis
This a smart mini-assistant tool that reminds its users to log what they did each day. It is email based and keeps asking you what you did every day. It then records your answer in a month-view calendar so you can easily check your progress.
7- Weekis

This is a free online weekly planner that allows users to : drag events from one day to another and organize them in an easy to use intuitive interface. It also automatically puts events in the right place based on day/dates.
8- Coolendar
This is a free and simple online calendar that lets its users manage an online calendar. You can add lists of events and tag and filter them  them too.

Workflowy easily organize and manage your tasks Workflowy is a great task management tool that I have included in the List of Best Task Management  Tools for educators and which I will publish in the next coming days. Workflowy is more or less similar to Tasskr in that they both are easy to use and have an intuitive outline format.

Workflowy has been created with the sole purpose of organizing and making your life easier. It can help you organize your personal to-do lists, collaborate on large team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, and much more. This is a great tool for students to use in their classrooms. They can for instance use it to organize the assignments and tasks they need to finish.
Workflowy has also a mobile version and can be used on iPads. The way this tool functions is very easy and simple. It even provides a series of video tutorials to walk you through all the steps of creating and managing your tasks. Here is a video to show you the fundamentals of Workflowy in 24 seconds.

Tasskr a great task management tool

I am actually working on an article featuring some of the best free task management tools  that I will share with you in the next coming days. One of the tools included in this list and that has been recently created is called Tasskr.

Tasskr is a simple task manager that teachers and students can use to create projects and tasks in a matter of seconds. It is very easy and has a user friendly interface. You can use it without even signing up but this is not a good idea if you are planning to save your projects. You better register there and be able to control and track your tasks and projects.
To start using Tasskr, you need to provide a project title and once this is added you can then click on the +sign to add tasks to that project. You can also delete the whole project or  use the tools on right hand side to move forward or backward any item you added.
There is also a schedule section in Tasskr where users can see their upcoming tasks. To add a task to the schedule, simply add the date to your task description.
Tasskr  is really dead simple task management tool that I recommend for teachers. Stay tuned for the next coming post of  a list of the best task management tools for teachers.

Wipee list: easily control and manage your to do tasks

Wipee List is another to do list tool .It works like Todoist and Ta-dalist i have covered in earlier posts. Wipee List is very simple , handy and easy to use that is why i added it to my To Do List Tools i am assembling here .

Some features of Wipee List

  • It is free
  • It requires a sign up but it is very instant
  • It has a great looking interface
  • It lets you create awesome to do lists
  • It has a sophisticated authoring tool
  • It lets you add your reminders
  • You can share your lists with others via a generated URL

How can i get started using Wipee List ?

Head over to Wipee Lst and sign up for your free account
Click on add an item
type in your item
use Quick reminders sticky note if your item has a priority
Applications of Wipee List in education

Again just like what we said for Ta-dalist and Todoist Wipee List can also be used by educators to take notes and organize their online work . I would love that you introduce these tools to your students, K-12 ones i mean, and show them how they can organize their notes and to do lists  . It is about time that our students get to know these educative technological tools to help them with their learning and better prepare them for the 21st century work environment .
Strike app: easy collaborative task list making tool

Strike is a great ‘to do list’ making tool .It is very simple and easy to use . I am adding this application to the list i am making here about To Do List tools we can use in education . I have already covered some tools like : Squareleaf , Wipee List, Ta-dalist, Todoist . All of these tools can work perfectly well in education .
Some features of Strike

Strike offers several features and services to its users . Here are some of them :

  • It is free
  • it requires a sign up but it is quick
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It lets you create to do lists and store them online
  • It offers several designs , backgrounds and themes for your lists
  • You can share your lists via  a generated URL

Applications of Strike App in education

If you liked this tool then why not try it out with your students in the classroom . Show them how they can use it and make to do lists for them and let them track homework and assignments just from one platform.
That’s it about Strike App : Easy Collaborative Task  List Making Tool .

Ta-dalist: the web’s easists to do list tool

Ta-dalist is a simple tool that lets you create to do lists for yourself and even for others . This tool is very simple to use and completely free . I want to include it here because i know educators might need it in their daily work . You do not need to keep your lists in sticky notes to hang on the door of your fridge or use paid applications online . Ta-dalist offers you all the option you need to keep your to do lists neat and accessible everywhere with internet connection.

 

How can i get started using Ta-dalist ?

Log on to Ta-dalist main page and sign up for a free account . Registration takes only a minute after which you will have your own unique URL where you can see all the lists you create .

  • Click on Sign up for free account
  • Once signed in click on create a new list
  • Give your list a name
  • Add items you want to do
  • You can email a list of these to do things to yourself
  • You can also be notified of changes to this list via RSS
  • Click on edit to change your lists or customize them

That’s it about Ta-dalist : The Web’s Easiest To do list Tool .

Sticky screen: set to do list items in your homepage

Sticky Screen is one of the easiest online to do list tool . It is my favorite tool of them all . Sticky Screen is very easy to use . What sets this application apart from all the other to do lists management apps i have covered here is that you can set it as your homepage and whenever you opened a new tab in your browser , your to do list items will just pop up at your face . No way that you  can ignore or forget about them . This is really perfect for us in education . We can use it to remind of us of tasks we need to do or assignments and homework we want to deliver to our students or set it as a reminder of meetings we will have or simply gather all of these items in one page . I am using it as my home page and honestly speaking , hasn’t it been for this tool many tasks will have been waiting there forever . I have loads and loads of things to do and i just keep forgetting about some of them because of stress of work but now i have to face it , things stare at me telling me hey you have stored us here so get us out of this page please .

How can i get started using Sticky Screen ?

Sticky Screen is free of charge and does not require any sign up .
Head over to Sticky Screen Main page and start typing your notes . The notes are updated automatically as you type .
Here is a screenshot of how Sticky Screen looks like

If you liked this post , why not tweet or facebook it with your colleagues , they might be in need of it as well .
That’s it about Sticky Screen : Set to do list items in your homepage .

Todoist and wedoist: individual  and group task management tools

Todoist and wedoist are  twin websites that do the same job . Todoist is a task management for individuals and Wedoistis for groups . Both of the tools are easy to use and require only a 20 seconds registration . I have already covered another tool called Ta-dalist which is also dead simple to use to create to do lists but these twin services i am talking about to day are much more flexible and have more options than Tada-list .

Some features of todoist and Wedoist

Here are the main features that Todoist and Wedoist offers to its users :

  • The service is completely free
  • It allows you to create to do lists and save them online
  • The service is very secure and has a solid back up system
  • It has a powerful and intuitive interface
  • It has built-in calendar with recurring dates
  • It lets you create sub projects and sub tasks
  • It integrates reminders , GMAIL , Outlook , widgest , API
  • It supports mobile access and provides browser plugins

How can i get started using the service ?

Head over to Todoist main page
Click on sign up and follow the instructions
If you are interested in Wedoist then click on its button on the right hand side and do the same
Watch this tutorial video to learn more

Applications of Todist and Wedoist in education

Both of these tools are very important in education . Students and teachers can use them to create and organize their to do lists online . You can use Wedoist list to assemble all the tasks and assignments students have to do during a whole course or for a particular span of time .Go ahead and try them they are great .
That’s it about Todist and Wedoist : Individual and group task management tools.

15- Use polling software to create a real-time survey in class
Polling has long been a source of inestimable knowledge particularly for researchers. Gone are the days when one needs so much paper work and travelling to make a single poll or survey. Thanks to the massive influx of technology, what used to take months to survey takes only a couple of days.
There are now a wide range of great web tools that allow users to create and conduct  polls and surveys instantly and for free. I have compiled a list of some of the best survey tools specifically for teachers
Before you start exploring these tools, let us go through some of the educational uses of polls/ surveys :
Teachers and educators can use polls/ surveys to :

  • Glean feedback from students and learners
  • Gain background knowledge on what information students had learned in previous classes
  • Save time where it can be available to students outside classtime
  • Learning about students interests and progress
  • Evaluating teachers teaching methods
  • Practice exams and mock exams
  • Maintaining a healthy learning environment
  • develop learning materials and
  • Investigate upon students learning pace

15 great free and easysurvey/polls creation tools for teachers
1- Kwiqpoll
This is a simple poll making tool. It does not require any registration. Just visit the homepage and start creating  you poll right away. You have the choice to provide multiple choice answers. You will also be provided with a generated URL to use when sharing your polls.

2- Flisti

This is another great simple poll tool. It is very easy to use and resembles Kwiqpoll in that it does not call for any sign up. Just head over to its main page and start working on your poll. You can add as many answers as you want to

your poll. Again , you can embed your polls in your blog, wiki or website

 

3- Urtak

This tool allows users to create polls using yes or no multiple questions. Besides the services it shares with the two above tools I mentioned Urtak also allows visitors to your poll to provide their own questions.

4- Vorbeo
This is another free and simple to use poll tool. Teachers can use it to create their own polls and customize them the way they want by adding colours, adjusting width and many more before sharing them on their blogs or websites.

5- Polldaddy
This is another popular polling service that allows users to create free polls and surveys containing up to ten questions.

6- Micropoll
Micropoll allows users to instantly create a poll using a set of questions and answers then one email address. It also provides embed codes to share polls online.

7- Quizsnack
I have already included this tool in the list of Teachers Quiz tools and I am adding it here because it also has an option for users to create their polls and share them online. It is also just as easy and simple as the other tools mentioned above.

8- Obsurvey

This is a great utility for creating instant surveys. It is dead simple, just visit its main page , type in your questions and answers using their text editor and there you go.

9- Kwik Surveys
This is another great polling service. It allows users to design their own surveys, form, polls and feedback forms. It is free but it does require a sign up.

10- Polleverywhere
This is a great polling tool. I could not go ahead with my list without mentioning it here. It has different pricing plans and also has a free plan but very limited and allows for just 40 responses per poll. Check it out

12- Poll Junkie

This is a simple free service for creating instant polls. It lets users specifiy an expiry date for their polls and also opt for email notification to be notified each time there is an anwser to the poll.

13- Yarp
This is another easy and simple poll creating tool. It basically allows users to create their own surveys or online invitations. It does not require any registration.
14- Swayable
This survey creation tool has a particular service which is that of creating a survey that includes two photos and a question. It is awesome try it out. It also requires a registration.

15-  Survey Mapper
This is a free real-time geographic survey and polling tool which has also the same basic functions as most of the tools above. There is also a featured tutorial on its homepage to walk you through the process of creating a survey. It requires a registration.

16- Understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials

Teach your students copyright issues

One of the most important things to teach your students when using  multimedia tools in the classroom is the copyrights issues and Creative Commons. Our students need to develop a responsible culture towards what they share online and what they embed in their projects be it images or videos. Yes it starts from your classroom and do not underestimate your influence on your students. You might sound a little bit  preachy but they would definitely grasp it. No tolerating stolen materials from internet. These can be internal rules to be glued to your classroom wall. Make it clear to them from the start that you are going to use technology throughout the whole year but in doing so the following rules should be respected . Include any rules to regulate the use of technology but never miss out on copyrights and Creative Commons.
Unfortunately, many students think about internet as just as an easy and free  source of information they can use whenever they want. Yes this is true but not when copying whole paragraphs and presenting them as yours. I have already compiled a list of very important tools teachers can use to detect plagiarised work in their students assignments, check it out you might need to use some.

As for the use of Creative Commons, here is a great video from Common Craft that sheds more light on Creative Commons Licenses. You can use it with your students too.

The full history of copyright from origin to its current meaning

Just a couple of days ago I posted here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning a post under the title ”  Teach your Students How Wikipedia Works ” I was so glad to see your positive reaction to it which proves to me that you liked the content and most important of all and since most of my readers are educators and teachers that you will also pass some of the article juice to your students.
I know how important it  is to teach this generation of students about the copyrights and plagiarism. These are the 21st century students who are digitally focused and who have a free unlimited access to all kinds of inforamtion online. If we do not teach them how to better use this resource of knowledge then we would be responsible for upbringing a generation of plagiarizes and content scrapers, a culture which will definitely kill any sense of creativity, innovation and imagination.
Given the importance of copyright and plagiarism in today’s education, I always make sure to share with you resources to help you learn more about these two topics and the following are some of the free resources I have shared with you before:

1- Teach your Students Copyrights Issues
2- Six  Free Tools to Easily Cite Resources for Teachers and Researchers
3- Free Plagiarism Detector Tools for Educators and Teachers

17- Exploit  computer games for pedagogical purposes

The gaming revolution in education

Gaming  is one of the favourite things kids and even some adults love to do on their mobile devices. Some spend hours with eyes glued to their screens Playing Nintindo or Angry Birds, others create groups and teams and play until early hours of morning. I do not blame parents when they would come complaining about their kids spenidng more times in front of their computers playing games then they would do on homework assignments.
Gaming can be a real obstacle to learning if used with no moderation. But you can turn gaming into a positive element in your kids learning process if correctly controlled. Below is an infographic that features some amazing facts about how video games  has revolutionized education. Check it out and share it with others.

Video games improve the brain performance

Everybody talks about the gamification of education. Researches and studies are being conducted on this issue and altough it is too early to draw conclusions yet we have got an interetsing infographic from the folks at FrugalDad about the importance of video games in education I personally was surprised tp learn that video games can help kids grow socially and cognitively They are also a great way for bolstering students critical thinking skills and and improving their brians’ perofrmance Read the infographic below to learn more

 

18- Use digital assessment tools to create quizzes

Free tools to create and administer quizzes

Gone are the days when teachers would spend hours creating a single quiz. Technology has now facilitated the task making it very easy to generate quizzes very quickly and in different forms.The following are some of the best free tools available online that can help teachers create quizzes.
Just remember that no software would ever replace the human brain. The teacher might use these tools but it is he who knows what his/her students have been studying, their performance level and expectations. Use these tools as you see fit.
1- Yacapaca
Yacapaca is a great web tool for educators. It allows teachers to have access to a plethora of already made quizes. They can also make their own using the provided tools there.

2- Hot Potatoes
Hot Potatoes is another awesome tool that allows teachers to create interactive quizzes. This one here requires a download.
3- Web Quest 
It is basically a Web-based software for creating WebQuests in a short time without the need for any HTML Coding. I have been going around its main features and was enthralled by the great wealth of educational materials it has.
4- Quiz Me Online
This is basically a social network for students where they can create and take pre-made quizzes. It is really a great learning tool for students for they can also be able to take notes, create their own flashcards and join study groups.

5- Learn Click
Learn Click allows users to quickly create simple and online quizzes.The format of these quizzes is mainly fill-in the blanks.
6- Seterra
This is a  website that provides a wide range of  geography quizzes. These quizzes can be downloaded and they cover  everything from  country identification to identifying physical geographic features like mountains, seas, and rivers.

7-  Google Forms
In your Google Docs account select Forms and start creating your quiz. The process is very simple and easy. You can choose between multiple choices questions and other forms. When you are done you can then download and share it.
8-Flubaroo
This a great tool for teachers. It helps them grade quizzes that they administer through Google Docs. It is also very easy to use and provides step by step directions for using the script.
9- Snacktools
This website offers several services to web users and among the things it has is Quiz Snack. This latter allows users to create free quizzes and polls and post them on their blogs or wikis.
10- Road to Grammar
Road to Grammar has several educational resources such as games, quizzes and lessons for English language learners. There is feedback for each quiz here to show the learner whether the answer is correct or not.

11- Testmoz
This a tool that allows users to create and administer multiple choice tests online. It also lets administrators see who has taken the test and how many questions they answered correctly.

12- Zoho Challenge
This is another tool that you can use to create and administer tests.. You can include either multiple choice or open-ended quesions or a both of them.

13- ProProf Quiz Maker
Using this tool teachers will be able to control which users can access a test and also be able to place a limit on how many times a test can be taken. Quiz takers can get feedback on their performance too.

14- That Quiz
This is one of the oldest tools online. It is very known and many educators use it worldwide. That Quiz allows users to write and find quizzes that students can take. You can also share your quizzes with other teachers and check thiers. This is really a great website.

15- Quiz Tree
This website provides a plethora of games and activities that you can use as quizzes with your students. Most of these materials are web based and some are even available for download.

16- Fling the Teacher
This is a website that offers more than history quiz games. Each quiz has an average of 40 to 50 questions. Users need to create their own custom game character before they start using it.

19- Use of collaborative tools for text construction and editing

A list of great free  collaborative tools for educators

PROJECTWRITER– a great new tool for group writing projects

I just learned through this press release that the popular Boom Writer announced today the release of  ProjectWriter. This is a tool that  teachers can use to conduct engaging nonfiction group-writing projects with their students for Science, History, & more. “ProjectWriter is ideal for dissecting whole units of study into smaller sections, letting students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and terms being taught.”

Here how you can use ProjectWriter with your students:

1- Create a project

First up, create your project. Imagine you’re teaching a unit on Ancient Rome with the primary learning objectives consisting of Geography, Culture, Government, and Religion. Simply create a section for each of these areas of focus. The project will go one section at a time in the order you’ve set.

2- Start section 1

Enter assignment instructions for your students. For example, ask them to write a summary of a unit’s particular area of focus including particular vocabulary words or terms to be included in the piece. Include a max word count to give them an idea of how much they should write.When you’re ready, start the writing phase and set a deadline for students to complete their entries by.

3- Let your students write

Each student writes their entry for the section and submits it to you for approval. As students submit their finished pieces, you can review and approve or request revisions if needed. You’ll also be able to give individualized feedback on each student’s entry.

4- Peer sharing and review

Students then peer review their classmates’ anonymous entries before voting for the piece they think is best. Students review no more than four submissions at a time, and they can vote more than once.

20 free collaborative web tools to use in class

LUCIDPRESS- a good real-time collaborative tool for teachers and students  Today, Lucid Chart  released  Lucidpress, a web-based, drag and drop layout and design application. With an intuitive user experience and the same real-time collaborative features of Lucidchart, I believe this application can help educators and students create beautiful print and digital documents. Think, a simpler Adobe InDesign meets Google Docs. Some of the things you can do with Lucidpress include:

  • Create stunning documents in less time than ever before. We’ve eliminated the frustration of traditional design and layout tools—make flyers, brochures, newsletters, magazines, and photobooks.
  • Quickly create digital documents for viewing on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Free yourself from the bounds of the printed page with scrolling areas, and enchant your audience with videos, galleries, and interactivity.
  • Receive feedback from your peers directly on the document. Collaborate with anyone on any browser, anywhere. With live chat, document presence, and commenting,

6 good ways to create online learning spaces for your students

Some social media platforms provide good places to create a collaborative space for your students. This collaborative space can be used for a wide variety of reasons most important of which are: connecting with students outside the school, connecting with parents, posting assignments and homework, and sharing important dates and classroom projects to mention a few. The good thing about these platforms is that they are free and do not require any advanced tech wizardry to run them.
So if you are planning to create a collaborative space for your students , here are some platforms to consider.
1- Create a Facebook page for your class

since almost everybody today is on Facebook why not capitalize on this and create a classroom community for your class where they can share learning resources and keep updated about important notices from class. This can be done in few easy steps, here is a great visual guide to walk you through the process of setting up a Facebook Page for your class.

2- Google Plus Community for your class
Google Plus has also another important feature called ” communities”. As a teacher, you can use this feature to create a community for your class and invite your students to join it. Once they become members, they can post links, resources, share documents, comment on each others contributions and many more. Here is a good visual guide to help you create a Google Plus community for your class, check it out HERE.
3- Create a blog/ website/ wiki for your classroom

Another good way to provide your students with a virtual space to collaborate and expand their learning is by setting up a classroom blog or website. There are several educational pluses for giving your students a chance to blog; it can help them establish their own voice, hone their writing skills, and improve their digital literacy skills. Shy students and those who require much time to pull together their thoughts will find in such a space a good opportunity to participate and contribute in classroom discussion.

4- Create a Twitter account for your class

We can not talk about virtual collaborative spaces without mentioning Twitter. Teachers can use the power of connectedness of this social media outlet to hook up students and provide them with a microblogging space where they can share links, resources, updates, polls and many more and only in under 140 characters.

Here is a wonderful visual guide to assist you in setting up a Twitter account for your class.

6- Create a hashtag for your class

Hashtags can also be used to generate discussion around a given topic. For instance, teachers can create a classroom hashtag and share it with students to use when tweeting to their peers. Here is a visual guide on how and why to use hashtags with your students.

5- Create a Pinterest board for your class

social bookmarking is another powerful way in online collaboration. There are now several web tools that allow users to collectively bookmark web content. The good thing about social bookmarking is that it generates interaction around bookmarked content via the use of tags, comments, and highlights. This could be a good way for students to interact with what their peers share. Pinterest is one of the best free social bookmarking platform I would recommend for teachers and here is a detailed visual guide to help you set you a Pinterest board for your class.

Scoot and doodle- a good collaborative learning platform for students

Scoot & Doodle is an online, collaborative studio where friends and classmates easily get creative together, face-to-face and in real-time. This is an open ended, creative environment where students can get to explore new ideas, new ways of thinking and problem-solving, naturally.They can also use it to  collaboratively  tinker with ideas, draw, work on problems and create stories with others.

Some of the features Scoot & Doodle offers to its users :

  • Draw, annotate, edit & work together on shared photos, documents & templates
  • it is integrated with Google Plus hangouts
  • You can use it to liven up your storytelling, drawings, and notes.
  • Revisit, build on, and share your ideas from your personal portfolio

Wiziq offers free membership to k-12 college educators
WizIQ today announced free membership for K-12 and College teachers. To be eligible, a teacher needs an email address associated with their educational institute. That’s all WizIQ needs. WizIQ’s free teacher accounts give educators at accredited institutions access to a range of teaching tools. To many educators, the virtual classroom for which WizIQ is best known only means live classes, which they might not need considering they see their students in person every day. But with the WizIQ Virtual Classroom they can also:
● Offer online courses for their school
● Run virtual office hours and homework help
● Run summer school online to address transportation and facilities issues
● Give AP students a jumpstart with virtual summer class sessions
● Let athletes or homebound students work with their classes live even if they can’t be there
● Easily set up classes – without IT help
● Bring subject matter experts into their classrooms virtually
● Support group and project-based learning
● Engage hard-to-reach parents with: o Virtual parents’ nights,  o Virtual conferences,  o Adult education and             community outreach,  o Virtual math and literacy nights,  o Broadcast live school committee meetings on the web
● Record lectures or flip their classrooms
● Conduct virtual field trips
● Run professional development when and where staff are available
● Share teaching resources among schools
Teachers can take full advantage of every WizIQ feature, including screen-sha ring, polling, video-conferencing, shared whiteboards, and more.
The WizIQ Virtual Classroom features are generally available only to paying members, but teachers and their students will now enjoy free access. Teacher accounts come with several other benefits, such as the ability to
create live and asynchronous courses complete with uploadable courseware and 15 GB of free storage for class recordings. These recordings are hosted in the cloud.
About WizIQ: WizIQ is a Chandigarh, India-based company with an office in Boston, MA.
WizIQ’s online learning and teaching platform connects educators and students through
its WizIQ Virtual Classroom technology and courses, with nearly 2 million registered users.
WizIQ’s teaching tools work from a web browser and now from a native iPad App. WizIQ’s
tools are unique in that they are both personal enough for the individual tutor and scalable enough to meet the needs of universities and major training and teaching organizations.

Top 27 free tools to collaborative , hold discussions, and backchannel with the students

1- ChannelME 

ChannelME is a great web tool. It allows its users to browse a particular website simultaneously. They are  able to look at the same content of a web page with  friends  in real time and even chat with each other .

2- Search Team
It allows its users to search in small teams and collaborate to find the best search results. It is a collaborative tool that we can use with our students. Searching the web in such a way has never been this easy.

3- Mind42
Mind42 is a great collaborative mind mapping  tool . It is a browser-based online mind mapping application that allows you to keep track of all your ideas and create easy mind maps .It does not require any download or installation software , just open up your browser and launch the application

4Entri
Entri is a free collaborative tool for writing and sharing documents . It allows you to write your drafts and share them with your friends to get feedback before you publish them .
5- Bounce
It is “ a little application that lets people quickly add feedback to any webpage and toss that back and forth with other people” . It is a fun and an easy way to share ideas on a website. Just type in the URL of the site and Bounce app grabs a screenshot for you to add notes and share it with others.

6-Wiggio
Wiggio makes group work much more easier as its easy and straightforward design provides everything you need to work productively in your groups. It is simple to use and has a very nice and flexible interface that makes it easy for students, parents, and teachers alike.

7-My Simple Surface
My Simple Surface is a very simple online whiteboard. It allows users to jot down  and organize their ideas and share them with others.

8- Hackpad
This is a  tool to develop collaborative note-taking and writing outlines. Classroom projects and group works can be a lot easier using Hackpad.

9- Synchtube
Synchtube is a great free service for watching videos. It allows users ,beside watching their favourite videos, to chat and talk about their videos in real time.

10- Dabbleboard
Dabbleboard is a great collaborative tool. It is basically a virtual whiteboard that allows users to create, collaborate and share. Teachers can use it for presentations, homework assignments, and study sessions.The basic version is free

11- Wizehive
Wizehive is a great web tool.  It allows its users to share files, manage projects, track their activity and collaborate with others. It is basically a secure and private collaborative workspace that combines several tools into one single platform.

12- Wunderkit
Wunderkit is a free collaborative workspace. This is a website that offers an open space for users to collabortae on projects and work they do.

13- Skype in Education
Skype in Education is a website created by the popular voice service Skype. It is designed specifically to meet teachers and students needs. This is basically a free global community of educators exchanging help and resources between each others in such an open way that any teacher can join instantly.
14- Titan Pad
It provides a free collaborative workspace for users. It is based on EtherPad set up to enable users to work on their documents in real time.

15- Thinkbinder
Thinkbinder is a free collabortive platfrom where students can easily create study groups. The website also features an open space or what is called a whiteboard where learners can work collaboratively together in solving problems and sharing sketches.

16- Dweeber
Dweeber is another collaborative platform that is designed to help students work on their homework. This website requires a free sign up and once students are logged in then they can instantly start building up their community of learners .
17- TeachBook
TeachBook is a professional community for educators. It is an online platform where teachers meet to discuss and share educational resources, videos , lesson plans and many more.
18- TodaysMeet
TodaysMeet helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in realtime. You can have your own room with your students where you they can use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and many more.

19- Chatzy
Chatzy is a free web tool that lets you easily start a free private chat.  It has no registration steps and does not require any installation .

20- Vyew
Vyew is a web tool that allows you to meet and share content in real-time or anytime. You can also upload images, files, documents and videos into a room. Users can access and contribute at anytime.

21- Scribblar
Scribllar is a great simple and effective online collaboration tool. It provides a multi-user whiteboard, live audio, image collaboration, text chat and more.

22– CoSketch
CoSketch is a multi-user online whiteboard designed to give you the ability to quickly visualize and share your ideas as images. Anything you sketch will show up for all other users in the room in real time.
23- Twiddla
Twiddla is a no setup web-based meeting playground where you can mark up webpages, graphics, and photos, or start brainstorming on a blank canvas.

24- Slideshare Meetings
Slideshare, the popular document and presentation sharing platform, has also a collaborative feature in that it lets users switch slides together, highlight a particular area of the slide and many more.

25- Neat Chat
Neat Chat is a web tool that lets you have an online conversation with a group of friends or colleagues. No signups or software installs are required.

26- Stinto
Stinto allows users to create their own free chat and invite others to join by sending them a simple link. Your chat is automatically disposed when not in use for some time

27- Zoho Writer
Zoho Writer is an online word processor that allows you to create and share documents online. Users can easily share  documents online with friends on an individual basis and also in group and in real time.

My simple service a great collaborative whiteboard for students My Simple Service is a very simple online  whiteboard. It allows users to jot down  and organize their ideas and share them with others. This management utility resembles to a big extent the other tools I posted about here awhile ago  articularlyDabbleboard and TitanPad.

My Simple Surface can be a great tool for students and teachers. They can use it to brainstorm ideas for writing assignments or create mind maps to outline stories they want to write about. In fact once you try it you might come up with other ideas on how to use it in your classroom.
Here are some features of My Simple Surface :

  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It provides a set of clear instructions on how to use the service
  • It lets you create different thought, sibling and child boxes
  • It lets you customize the font and colour of the text
  • You can link your thought boxes to URLs
  • You can share your writing interface with up to three email addresses
  • It works on iPad too.

SEARCHEEZE BOOKMARK AND WORK COLLABORATIVELY with others

Searcheeze is a great web tool for students and teachers. It is basically a content curation tool. As you probably know content curation or digital curation is ‘ the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital contents.’ Knowing how to effectively curate content online is an imperative skill that students need to have. There are actually several free web tools that can help them do that and Searcheeze is among my favourites.
Searcheeze is very easy to use and does not require any software installation. Just head over to its main page and register for your free account. Once logged in you can then use the bookmarklet they provide. Just drag and drop it into your bar and whenever you find an interesting web page, be it image, video or text, you can instantly bookmark it. Searcheeze also provides the ability for users to organize their curated content in newspaper like styles.
Searcheeze is not like many of the other bookmarking tools online in that it has some awesome features rarely found in a free service. For instance, it allows users to bookmark only specific parts of a web page instead of the whole page. They can highlight the text they want and drag it to their bookmarklet. The same goes on to pictures and videos. Users can create collections and name them so that each time they want to bookmark something they can send it to a specific collection. When you go to Searcheeze account you can then arrange your content and publish it for others to see. Users can also work together in curating their digital content via sharing and adding.

SYNCHTUBE watch videos, chat and share docs in real time

Synchtube is a great free service for watching videos. It allows users ,beside watching their favourite videos, to chat and talk about their videos in real time. It provides a social video watching experience. Synchtube supports a wide spectrum of media types. It initially started with just YouTube videos and expanded to include : YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Blip.tv, Soundcloud, Ustream, Justin.tv, Twitch.tv, Livestream, Slideshare, and Imgur.
Synchube can be a great learning tool for students. Teachers can use it for tutorials and remedial work. They can for instance select the video they want to share with a group of students. They copy the vido URL into Synchtube and invite students to watch it together and while it is playing, students and teacher can create a backchannel where to discuss the content of the video, add comments, and share thoughts.

Synchtube allows users to synchronise different types of media across the web. They can also create instant rooms, invite friends, watch videos, listen to music, share documents in real time. This is all for free. You just need to register.

HACKPAD a great coolaborative  wiki for educators

Hackpad is a great and simple  wiki service that I have discovered a while ago. It is simple because it does not have all the complicated features you would normally expect from Wkis such as PbWorks. I like its interface and I think it can be a great learning tool for students.
Hackpad resembles TitanPad and Typewithme but has some extra awesome features. All of these tools can be used to develop collaborative note-taking and writing outlines. Classroom projects and group works can be a lot easier using Hackpad.   Some features of Hackpad

  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It requires registration but you can sign in using either your Facebook, Google account or by creating a Hackpad-specific account.
  • It lets you create a collaborative space
  • You can include video and images by copy and paste
  • You can link to your Dropbox files too
  • It lets you create a table of contents containing your links at the sidebars of your documents
  • You can create your Hackpad collection where to organize your documents
  • You can invite collaborators by name or email, or just share the URL
  • It is easy to edit and customize documents
  • Use Task Lists to keep track of your plans
  • Use taskbar app for OSX to find pages from your desktop
  • You can either make your documents public for everyone to view or keep them private for you and the people you choose

DABBLEBOARD a great collaborative virtual whiteboard

Dabbleboard is a great collaborative tool. It is basically a virtual whiteboard that allows users to create, collaborate and share. Teachers can use it for presentations, homework assignments, and study sessions.The basic version is free and is generous enough for us in education but if you want more functionality then you can use the paid plans.
Dabbleboard does require a sign up. Once logged in, users can then start sharing together in real time.There is even a chat option that collaborators can use to text back and forth while working on their projects. This tool resembles the other collaborative web applications I have covered here before mainly Google DocsType with Me and Titan Pad.
Some features of Dabbleboard

  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has an intuitive interface
  • It lets users collaborate and share docs
  • It lets users scribble nice drawing with the use of their mouse
  • It is fast with a simple toolbar
  • Users can customize everything they draw. They can remove, resize, delete, and add as they like
  • It allows real time sharing and collaboration which means that your collaborators can instantly see what you add or delete

WIZEHIVE a great free collaborative workspace for educators

Wizehive is a great web tool It allows its users to share files, manage projects, track their activity and collaborate with others. It is basically a secure and private collaborative workspace that combines several tools into one single platform. Wizehive combines a form builder, task manager, activity feed and workflow sheets. Educators and teachers can use it to share projects and assignments with their students. They can also use it to share conversations, notes, tasks, calendars, files and all other kinds of data. It is very secure and private so no issues for your students or their parents. Users can enter what they want to share with others either from withing Wizehive, via emal or from Twitter and other mobile devices.I believe this is a great collaborative tool that students can bebenfit from a lot. It does require a sign up but does not call for any software download or registration.

TODAYS meet create collaborative workspace for free

Today’s Meet is a great web tool that allows users to create private rooms where to collaborate and work  together. This is basically a collaborative workspace for teachers and their students. Today’s Meet  can be used by teachers to create backchannels and interact more with their students. It is free and easy to use. It does not require any registration or software download. Just head over to its main page and type in the name of your room and select its life span ranging from one hour to one year and then click on ‘ create my room’. Today’s Meet can be used by students to do several things such as :

  • Taking notes
  • Giving feedback after a lesson or lecture
  • Collaborative work on a project
  • Create discussions between different students

WUNDERKIT FREE COLLABORATIVE WORKSPACE FOR EDUCATORS

Wunderkit  is a website that offers an open space for users to collaborate on projects and work they do. Wunderkit has two both a basic free version and an advanced pro edition. Wunderkit requires a registrations. Once logged in, users can then start creating their own workspace and name it before inviting others via Facebook and Twitter to join it.Any workspace created can either be open to public or just private so that only you and your members can see it.
Wunderkit has also a social part where  users can also add comments, notes, like status updates and start discussions. Inside a workspace there are three built-in apps and each one of them will help you organize a different aspect of your project in a truly simple way. No need to install anything they are ready for use.

Titan pad a free collaborative workspace for educators

Titan Pad is a great web tool for educators. It provides a free collaborative workspace . It is based on EtherPad set up to enable users to work on their documents in real time. This is similar to Type with Me that I covered earlier. These collaborative tools do not require any sign up and they are all web based.

To use TitanPad, head over to its homepage, click on ‘create a Public Pad’. Once created, you can then share the URL of this pad with your friends and people you want work with. There is also a chat window to talk to your colleagues while working on documents.

3 free tools to create free study groups online

Below are three good web tools to use in class to enhance collaboration and participation among students. Check them and share with us what you think of them. Enjoy
1-Thinkbinder
Thinkbinder is a free collaborative platform where students can easily create study groups. The website also features an open space or what is called a whiteboard where learners can work collaboratively together in solving problems and sharing sketches. Using Thinkbinder , students will be able to chat with each other, share links and resources, share videos and presentations and many more.
2- Dweeber
Dweeber is another collaborative platform that is designed to help students work on their homework. This website requires a free sign up and once students are logged in then they can instantly start building up their community of learners . There is a whiteboard for learners to work and collaborate on doing home work.
3-Scribblar
Scribblar is an online meeting platform. It is like the previous tools for it allows its users to work collaboratively using a whiteboard. It also provides tools for learners to create text, draw lines and add images. Scribblar supports PDF files and allows students to upload  PDFs with up to 5 pages.

 

 

 

 

 

20- Find and evaluate authentic web based content

3 effective ways search the web educators must know about

Using websites in the classroom is one of the easiest and less stressful ways of integrating technology into teaching. There is a large and constantly expanding collection of resources and learning materials online. The web with its growing repository of information and knowledge has certainly turned into a window on the wider world outside your class, and is of course, a readily available set of authentic material.
Acessing the content of web sites and using it with students in the classroom is not a task with no risks. There are a set of measures and steps to be taken before one can ensure the usability and appropriateness of what to include within a course book.
Several educators underrate the ability to efficiently and quickly search through Internet content and find suitable resources  thinking that it is a simple task that  any internet user can use with such an ease that no prior search knowledge is needed. This is completely wrong and , as a matter of fact, this is one of the most useful skills that both teachers and learners need to urgently acquire.
There are three basic ways of searching on the net, and I will briefly describe them below hoping that by the end of this post you will have grasped some techniques to effectively and quickly search the web and find  content to use in the classroom.
  Search Engines :

Although there is a variety of search engines, Google is , undisputedly, one of the most well known of them all with billions of indexed web pages in its online database. As you might probably know, a search engine is analogous to a telephone directory , or any other kind of database of stored information. You search for a name or title and the directory gives you back more information about that entry. But with billions of pages to choose from the task gets even much harder to easily and quickly find what you are looking for. So how do you find exactly what you want ?
To answer this question you need to first know what the process of indexing a web page means. When someone first publishes a content into the web , search engines such as google sends out their robots to explore and crawl the content and categorize it. When Google recognizes the existence of such a content it then stores it into its database for a later use, Google uses a very complicated algorithm to carry out all the above mentioned operations and I will not talk about them here because that is not our issue. What Google specifically know about a web page when it indexes it  is its address on the web, its title, when it was last updated and a few keywords associated with the content itself. These keywords are usually provided by the designer of the website and are generally meant to describe what the page talks about. The key to a good and smart searching in Google is the ability to define your keywords accurately.
Among the techniques you can use to refine your search query is the ” phrase search technique ” which invloves wrapping part of a phrase in inserted commas which will let Google treat those words not as individual entities but will instead look for sentences on the web page which contain those words in that particualr order. Thus, instead of searching for Cheap Flights to Canada , which can search for any or all of these words in any position and order,on a page, try searching for ” Cheap Flights to Canada” as part of a phrase you might  expect to find on a web page. This technique is particularly useful when looking for lyrics or specific chunks of a text. The ultimate trick with Google is to try to imagine the web pages you are looking for and then try to visualize the content of these pages which will  help you decide on what key words to use in your search.
To learn more about some other useful tips to effectively search Google, I invite you to read:
Google Search Tutorials Part 1
Use Google to Search and Find Images Easily
Educational Image Search Engine Part1
Educational Image Search Engine Part2

2- Subject Guides:
Not all search engines are keyboard based . Some do not use this algorithm at all. In fact , it is thanks to Google for the introduction of this highly useful technique into web search. With this invention, internet search technology  has been largely revolutionized to the instant that we now talk about instant search, voice search, image search , people search and many more. However as I said earlier not all engines use key word techniques.
If we look at Yahoo , which existed way before Google, this search engine uses subject guides  and divides its content into subject areas and subdivisions of those areas. So instead of a keyword search from the main page, users browse the section that best reflects their interests and their search. For instance, you want to search for the biography of a certain singer, you have to access the Yahoo directory then click on Entertainment, then Music, then Artists.and finally search for the biographical information you want. This process means that Yahoo will only  search in ” Entertainment, Music, Artists rather than in its entire directory.

3- Real Language Search
A real language search such as Ask (www.ask.com) allows users to type simple questions as search queries . This does not mean that Ask will try to analyse and understand the question but rather selects the keywords from the query and construct a search based on them. The final result page a user would get will definitely contain the answer to his/her question at the top ( of course if Ask has been able to find a direct answer ) and links of related websites below that. For instance, if you want to look for a biographical information about someone you better phrase your search query as such: When was xx born ?
As educators, It is really worth taking the time to explore all the three sites and spend some time simplifying them to your learners. Learners can really benefit from an exposure to all three types as they activate different linguistic and mental processes. Keywords are good for exploring word relationships and lexical areas. Subject searches help define and refine ideas and contexts. Real search can provide useful practice in question formation.

21- Use of mobile devices like tablets

8 free resources on the use of ipad in education

I know that most of you have got a tablet device of some sort but if it happens that you have an iPad then this post will relate to you more. Below is a set of resources dedicated exclusively to the educational uses of the iPad. Emerging Ed Tech has done a great job in providing this list. Check them out.
Update : Check out these two new articles of relevant interest : Free Comprehensive Guide to iPad Apps Evaluation  andBloom’s Taxonomy for iPad

1- Apple’s Education Resources for iPad
Apple, the creator and owner of iPad, has provided some great links to education related apps. Here are two of them

2- Apps in Education Blog
This is one of my favourite blogs when it comes to looking for iPad apps. It is run by Reg Swanson who is a fellow educator. He provides iPad apps fo all sorts and covering a plethora of academic subjects.

3-iPad Curriculum
This is another great website for teachers looking for iPad apps. It has an awesome search facility that lets you check the price, grade/level, and subject of each app. For instance you can look for only Grammar apps or writing apps etc.

4- iPad in Schools
This is a resource listing. It provides apps organized by grade level. You can find apps for Elementary School, Middle School, High School..etc.

5- iPad Educators
This is a Ning-based social networl created by Sam Glicksman that provides  various resources pertaining to the use of iPad in education. You will find videos, discussion groups,blogs, and many more.

6- iPads in Education
This is a Scoop It page that provides listing of resources on iPad and its uses in education. It has links to some great content online.

7- iPadagogy YouTube Channel
This is a great YouTube channel dedicated to videos about the uses of iPad in education.

8- iPad for Educationa andTraining
This is an awesome community of like minded people in LinkedIn talking about the uses of iPad in education and providing some great resources on this topic.

9- iPads in Education Daily
This is another great ScoopIt page where you will have access to a plethora of different resources on the use of iPad and mobile learning in education

Free comprehensive guide to ipad apps evaluation iPad is probably one of the most used tablets by educators. Based on your wide interaction with the previous post entitled ” 8 Free Resources on The Use of iPad in Education ” together with some emails I got from some of   you I learned that you are looking for more resources particularly apps to use on the iPad . Well Silvia Tolisano has some good news for you. She has made a great guide on evaluating iPad apps.
In this guide Silvia suggested several ways for you to select an app and has also provided a checklist that is also equally useful. I recommend that you read the guide for it will be of great help to you inr iPad apps search

List of excellent ipad apps for educators

1- Quick Voice Recorder
Quick Voice is a cool mobile app. It allows its users to record their ideas, voice memos, voice email, dictation, lists, meetings, classes, or entire lectures! It is completely free and works for both iPhone and iPad. If you want to learn more about it and download it then check out Quick Voice Recorder main page.

2- Discover — Wikipedia in a Magazine
3- Evernote
it is an application that allows its users to take notes , brainstorm ideas and even do recordings . If you are an educator with an iPhone or iPad then Evernote is a must for you .

4- Dropbox
It allows its users to view their photos, videos, and documents (.rtf, .txt, .doc, .pdf, etc). What really amazes me about this app is that once you install it on your computer , any file you save to it will be automatically saved to all your computers, iPhone and iPad. Learn more at Dropbox main page.

5- Skype for iPad
This app allows its users to Call, video call and instant message anyone else on Skype for free. You can also use Skype Credit to conduct calls towards mobile devices as well as landlines for low rates. Learn more at Sype for iPad

6- Radial  
Radial is a cool mobile app. It allows its users to type quickly on their iPads. As you know , one of the inconveniences of the idevices is typing. Learn more at Radial speed up your typing.

7- Zite
Zite is an awesome mobile app for educators. It “ gives you personalized news, articles, blogs, videos and other content from a variety of both mainstream and niche publications and sites”. Learn more at Zite personalised magazine for your iPad

8-Show Me App
Show Me is a free mobile app. It allows its users to create interactive whiteboard-like lessons on your iPad. It also allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online with your friends or colleagues. Learn more at Show Me – create and share interactive lessons mobile app.

9- Gradekeeper
Gradekeeper is a terrific grade book application for the iPad. It is actually one of the important apps teachers should have on their mobile devices . Gradekeeper makes dealing with grades easy . Learn more at Gradekeeper : a great mobile gradebook.

 

 

 

22- Identify online resources that are safe for students browsing

A list of great free educational kids-safe websites

I have just published a new ebook that I want to share with you here.  The ebook provides free kids-safe websites where kids can better learn via the use of engaging and interactive set of activities and materials. Let me share with you the introduction and you can download the ebook below.

” Internet is a huge repository of all kind of materials including educational resources that can help our kids learn better. Looking for the right websites, however, is where the shoe pinches. You can not just jump into Google search engine and start collecting learning materials. This is not as easy as it sounds and if you do not believe it then give it a shot and try to search for some kids websites and you will see the big amount of ‘junk’ links you would get back. It does take so much time,energy and some smart search techniques to get the best out of your query. And because not everyone is adept in internet search art then we have done the job for you.

We are not experts in search engine wizardry but we do have some modest knowledge about it and which we have shared with you in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning particularly in the section labeled Free Google Tools.  Over the last couple of weeks, I and a couple of other teachers have been digging into several online resources and checking hundreds of websites to come up with a collection of kids-safe websites that we can recommend for you here. While the links that you will find here have all been reviewed and are confirmed to respect the kids safety guidelines and while  we confirm the suitability of the contents of these websites for young children, it is highly  recommended that any time children spend on the Internet be supervised by an adult.

The purpose behind this work is to help parents and teachers get a free and easy access to some great websites where kids can securely learn and develop cognitively. To access any website cited here just click on its due title. ”
To download the ebook as a pdf click here
To embed this ebook in your website or blog use the follwing embed link: Just copy and paste it where you want it to appear.

23- Use digital tools for time management purposes

8 free calendar tools for educators fo\r better time management

Most of you use online calendars both for personal and professional uses. The reasons you would opt for an online calendar are multifarious such as scheduling important dates, meetings, to do lists and many more. However, not all of you use simple ones. The thing with some popular online calendars is that they are too complicated to work with and have many features that we do not even use.
Below is an aggregation of some of handy and practically simple calendars available for free and that teachers can use to organize their tasks and better manage their time. It is taken for granted that you are already using Google Calendar or you know about so I am not including it here.
Here is the list :

1- Short Calendar
This  is basically a web tool that allows users to create calendars for a set number of days and email them to their inbox. It is combines the services of a to-do-list with cladlendar generating thus a simple use-case. It might not be the ideal tool for organizing a month worth of tasks but it is absolutely perfect for a short term planning.
2-  Calendrica
Calendrica is web tool that lets users create personal calendars online and for free. It offers various ready made templates to which you can add images, text and customize month and year. The images can be uploaded from both your computer and the web.
3-  Compact Calendar Creator
This utility allows users to instantly create compact calendars online and save them in PDF format. You can specify the start and end dates and mark the holiday dates for any country based on your Google Calendar account.
4- Jotlet
Jotlet is another great calendar creation tool. It allows users to create their own online calendars to mark tasks, events, and notes. These calendars ce be printed out, imported, exported, and you can also obtain a URL for your calendar to share it with other.
5- DayViewer
This is a free web service that lets you manage your events in auser friendly interface. You can add events, tasks, notes, payments and organize them in the whatever way you want.
6- iDoneThis
This a smart mini-assistant tool that reminds its users to log what they did each day. It is email based and keeps asking you what you did every day. It then records your answer in a month-view calendar so you can easily check your progress.
7- Weekis

This is a free online weekly planner that allows users to : drag events from one day to another and organize them in an easy to use intuitive interface. It also automatically puts events in the right place based on day/dates.
8- Coolendar
This is a free and simple online calendar that lets its users manage an online calendar. You can add lists of events and tag and filter them  them too.

5 free tools to organize and schedule meetings

1- Wiggio makes group work much more easier as its easy and straightforward design provides everything you need to work productively in your groups. It is simple to use and has a very nice and flexible interface that makes it easy for students, parents, and teachers alike.
2- Doodle  It is a tool for scheduling meetings. If you are planning a meeting with different people and you don’t want to impose your opinion on them as for the timing of that meeting then use Doodle to make a poll and invite your group members to vote for an appropriate time when they can all meet. It offers a democratic way for scheduling meetings.

3- Sign Up Genius This is a free online tool to create and manage group sign up lists. It offers its users several services such as :

  • Wizards for creating sign ups
  • private or group sign up
  • automated email reminders
  • customizable templates
  • Easy administration tools and stats

4- Volunteer Spot

this is another free tool that allows its users to create online sing up forms and volunteer scheduling. It does not require any registration or software installation. Just go ahead and give it a try.
5- Sign App Now

Sign App Now is a great application that lets users create simple and easy sign up sheets. It has two versions one is free and one is premium with 5 dollars a month. I think the free version is enough for you and has the basics of making a sign up sheet.

24- Learn about the different ways to use YouTube in your classroom

25- Use note taking tools to share interesting content with your students
9 great note taking tools for techers

1- mySchoolNotebook  is a great note taking tool for students. It, as its name suggests, allows its users to instantly take and edit their notes. Students can use this tool to save and access their noets wherever they are with an internet connection. It even has a mobile app for the Android, iPhone, and iPad.
2- Nottez
Nottez is a great note taking app for educators and teachers. You can use it to take and save  notes online  at the instant of a click. Just keep in mind that it does require a sign up.
3- Gumnotes
Gumnotes is a great note taking tool that allows its users to stick notes easily to their documents. It does not only allow for  note taking but also  for annotating web pages too. You can add notes to websites in Firefox, Internet-Explorer and all other website-browsers. You can also annotate your documents in Word, Excel, and images.
4-Minutes.io
This is a free and simple service for recording minutes during a meeting and share them right away. You do not need to be a tech wizard to use it , it even does not necessitate an internet connection because your drafts are saved on your browser and when connectivity is there then you can  send them
5- Catch Catch is a great tool for both desktop and mobile devices. It allows its users to catch anything online and create out of it a bookmark ; be it a text note, voice note, or images.
6- Primary Wall  is a web based sticky note tool designed for collaborative note taking . It looks like a collaborative whiteboard but with more features.
7- iSearch Notes This is an awesome tool that allows users particularly college students to share class notes. It requires a sign up.
8- Evernote  is one of the famous web2.0 tools online . It is a free application that allows its users  to “ capture anything , save your ideas , and access your information from anywhere using either a computer, or a phone and mobile devices.
9- Springpad  This is more or less like Evernote.It is one of the best platforms where you can quickly and easily save anything you want to remember. Springpad uses the power of the web to create really smart notes.

Free android note taking apps for teachers and students

Note taking is not  only an academic skill but also an activity that most of us perform on a daily basis.As technology advances so do our means to take notes. It is useless now in an age of mobile learning  to keep using  your boring  portable paper notepad  . There is actually an awesome set of apps that you can install on your Android to be able to take notes on the go. These notes are completely free and  easy to use. Check out the list I have compiled below and in case you want a web version of free  note taking tools  to use on your desktop or laptop then check out this list. Here is a list of Free Android note taking apps. Some of these apps offer password protection that you can use to safeguard your notes from intruders.

1- Color Note Notepad Notes

This is a free notepad app for Android that allows its users to quickly capture their ideas and write them down in notes, memos, emails,  messages, and to-do-lists.
2- Evernote

This list without Evernote will be incomplete. This is a popular free Android app that enables users to take notes, capture photos, create to-do-lists, record reminders and many more.
3- A K Notepad

This is another great note taking app for Android users. They can use it to take notes, set reminders, share notes via SMS and email, pin note to their homescreen, and organize these notes with tags.
4- Catch Notes Notepad

This is an app that lets users easily create new notes with text, voice or images. They can also add multiple voice recordings and multiple images to any note.

5- Note Everything  This is a great notepad for Android users. It lets users create text, voice and even paint notes. Notes can be organized in folders.
6- Extensive Notes NotepadThis  one here besides letting its users take notes on the go it also enables them to attach PDF, word and  Power Point. Users can also easily import notes via SD card and web URL.
7- Safe Note  this is a great notepad app that stores notes securely and provides easy access using a password or a secret question and answer.

8- Classic Notes Lite  This one here resembles the Safe Note app and has some other features such as : exporting notes as text to SD, sharing notes via Twitter and Facebook, sending notes to Google docs, Dropbox, and many more.
9- Notes   This is one of the easiest apps for both note taking and securing these notes with a password. It is also multi-language supported.
10- Password Notes  As its name suggests, Password Notes can protect your notes using a password. You simply write all your notes in it and it will keep everything secret.
11- Crypto Notes  This is another free password protected note taking app. Among its features: encrypt/decrypt notes, backup/restore to SD card, sorting notes, email note using integrated email clients.
12- Notely  This is a simple and cloud-based note taking application. It offers a home screen widget for easy and quick access and alows it users to create text as well as picture and video notes.
13- Secure Notes  This note taking app has a password protection option where you can set your own password to protect all the notes you take.

26- Annotate web pages and highlight parts of text to share with your class

13 free web annotation tools for teachers to draw, add notes, and highlights section on the web page

Web annotation tools are among the most important elements   the 21st century digital kit educators need to have. These are free services that allow you to interact with web content by adding notes, commenting , highlighting, bookmarking and sharing. Below is a list I have compiled containing some of the best web annotation tools for teachers to use when navigating the net. Using these tools, teachers will be able to easily capture and draw on a webpage to point out specific elements to share with others. I have also recently published a list of  7 free bookmarking tools for educators that you can check out as well.
1- Diigo     is the first web service that comes into mind when talking about web annotation. I have been using it  for quite some time now and all I can say is It is really  excellent. Diigo has a tool that lets you annotate web pages, add notes and colour specific chuncks of a paragraph to share with your colleagues.
2- Sharedcopy
This is another great bookmarking and annotating web service. It allows users to save a web page and annotate it the way they want via adding comments in text boxes or highlighting important parts. It also has a social ingredient in it in that users can share their annotated content with each other.
3- Awesome Screenshot
This is one of my favourites. It is a chrome and Safari extension that allows users to capture screenshots of their webpage and then draw on them lines, annotate them, add text and comments, and share them with others. If you are a Chrome or Safari user then this is indispensable.
4- Bounce
This is also a great annotating tool. It is very easy to use. Just type in the URL of a webpage and Bounce will then create an image of it allowing you thus to add text and annotate it.You will also be able to share your annotated content via a unique URL.
5- Markup.io
This is mainly a bookmarklet that you can drag and drop onto your browser toolbar. Once there you can then very easily annotate any webpage you are viewing by simply clicking on that bookmarklet. Again when you finsih adding amd drawing on your webpage you can share it with others via a generated URL.
6- Screen Draw
This is an awesome extension from Firefox that allows users to annotate their selected webpages. Users can  circle elements, type in notes, or draw on any webpage they want before saving the annotated work as PNG or JPG files.
7- Webpage Screenshot
This is a Chrome extension that allows users to take a screenshot of a webpage and add their own drawings or arrows.
8- Jing
This is another awesome tool that allows users to create annotated screen capture images. Once you take a screenshot of your webpage you can then add text, arrows, draw on it  and highlight sections of text within it.
9- Crocodoc
This a great tool that lets users annotate , edit and share their PDFs, Power Point files, and Word Documents. It is very easy to use and all it takes is you uploading the file you want to work on and select your marking tool and there you go. You can also share with your colleagues.
10- Yawas
This is another free web annotation tool for both Firefox and Chrome. It allows users to highlight text and annotate webpages and with a single right click save the annotated work to Google Bookmarks.
11- MyStickies
This a free tool that lets users place little yellow squares of digital paper anywhere in a webpage.
12- Draw Here
This a bookmarklet that you can add to your toolbar  in order to be able to draw on top of any webpage when you are browsing the web.
13-  Trailfire
This tool allows users to use trails to guide others to what is important on the web. Users can also place comments on webpages.

27- Use of online graphic organizers and printables

Graphic organizers are visual representations of ideas and topics. They are also called knowledge maps, story maps, concept maps, mind maps, cognitive organizers, advance organizers, or concept diagrams. Literature in the field of education strongly supports the effective use of graphic organizers to enhance students learning . Additionally many educational experts argue that the use of graphic organizers help students retain information for longer period of times. In this regard, here is a list of some interesting links that will provide you  easy and quick  access to some resources and websites where you can read, download and print graphic organizers.

The importance of graphic organizers in education
According to a research published in Mentoring Minds graphic organizers can positively impact education and here is how:

  • They  are important in organizing essential content
  • Fountas and Pinnell attests that illustrated content tends to remain longer in students minds
  • They bring clarity to ideas and record relationships between facts and ideas
  • They facilitate effective student learning via organizing concepts, ideas and facts graphically
  • They help students think in multiple directions
  • They help students generate mental images to go along with information
  • They increase comprehension and retention
  • They can improve students classroom performance and increase achievement test scores
  • They engage the learner with a combination of the spoken word with printed text and diagrams

List of free graphic organizers for teachers and students:

1- Easy Note Cards   is a great educational resource. It offers its visitors a wide range of flashcards. It allows them to create both text based and image based flashcards.

2- Mr. Printables   provides a huge selection of flashcards covering various learning topics such as mathematics, drawing, the alphabets, basic vocabulary ,shapes, scrapbooking, planners, geometry, numbers, words , and more

3- Essay Map   It is like a graphic outline that features the main stages for writing an essay. It has a part for the introduction, and one for developing ideas and the last one for conclusion. I like how this graphic sheet is organized

4- Time Line   is a free graphic organizer created by Read Write Think. It allows students to organize their notes into engaging timelines that features five different units of measure namely: date, time,event,entry or other. Students ,upon selecting the appropriate entry, can add specific descriptions and place it on the timeline.

5- The Graphic Map  as its name suggests is designed to help students and teachers in their writing and reading activities. It works according to an evaluative system that charts the high and low points related to a certain item or group of items like : chapters in a book , sums of money, events during a span of time, scenes in a play.

6- Note Taker    It is mainly a hierarchical outlining tool which allows students to organize their information into up to five levels. This is indeed a great organizational tool that educators can use to take notes on their readings and research.

7- The Webbing Tool   is a free-form graphic organizer and a flowcharting tool that allows “ students to pursue hypertexual thinking and writing”. It is my favorite organizer as it is easy to use and does not require any kind of sin up or download. Just drag your ideas around in the organizer to arrange any layout and relationship that you want.

8- The Story Map  is a free set of graphic organizers designed to help teachers and students in prewriting and post reading activities. It contains four key elements of the story together with their graphic representations mainly : Character Map, Conflict Map, Resolution Map, and Setting Map.

9-  The Plot Diagram  is a free graphic organizer offered for free by our great resource Read Write Think. This tool is mainly an organizational tool which is shaped like a triangle or better say a pyramid. It is used to map the events of a story in literature work.

10- The Persuasion Map   is a great graphic organizer offered for free by Read Write Think. It allows students to map out their arguments for a persuasive or argumentative piece of writing.

11- Compare and Contrast Map
Compare and Contrast Map, as its name suggests, is a tool that allows students to draw their differences and similarities about anything they want , be it characters in a text , political system of countries , or simply state what they like and dislike about a lesson plan.

12- Bio Cube    It allows students to summarize a person’s biography into a neat and well organized sort of outline. It has an intuitive interface where info are organized into different categories. The final printout you get after you are done with customization can be folded into a fun cube shape that can be used for future reference.

14- The Eduplace    is really a great site . It offers a set of printable graphs and charts to use in the classroom with your students . These graphs are very handy and easy to use , so there is no need to spend time online trying to build charts or classroom assignment grills

15- Ed Helpers  provides a wide range of graphic organizers covering different topics . These graphs can be downloaded and , printed and used for free.

16- Teachnology   is an awesome resource site for educators .It provides another vision for the integration of technology into education.
17- Schoolastic    is one of the best graphic organizer provider online . It offers a wide range of graphics covering different topics particularly Reading Comprehension.

18- Teacher Vision  It provides engaging and interactive graphic organizers that can be downloaded and printed .
19- Discovery Education  This website includes a section called Kathleen Schrocks Guide for Educators . This guide provides for free a number ofteacher helpers in the form of slide shows . These slides cover a wide range of topics dealing with technology and education .

20- Educational Oasis   It provides free graphic organizers for teachers . These organizers are in the form of downloadable and printable sheet . The site contains several organizers tabbed under different categories . Some of these organizers can be filled out before being printed .

21- Holt    offers several educative graphics ranging from organizing graphs to vocabulary ones .Just Click on a graphic organizer to download a PDF of it. Each graphic organizer include teaching notes with lessons and tips on how to use graphic organizers in the classroom.

28- Use of online sticky notes to capture interesting ideas
13 free sticky notes tools for teachers and students

Yesterday as I was working on some sticky notes with my students It dawned on me to share with my readers here inEducational Technology and Mobile Learning  some of the free online web tools that allow its users to easily and intuitively  create sticky notes. I checked into the archive I have here and through  some other online resources and came up with this list. read and share.
1- Wall Wisher
This is my favourite among them all. It allows you to add music, text, video and more. It also lets you make your wall either public or private.
2- Stixy
Stixy is another great tool that lets users create their own notes and stick them to a clipboard and also share them  with others. You can also share documents, photos and to-do-lists.
3- Popplet
Popplet is a unique web2.0 tool . It is one of the best applications for visual ideas . It combines presentations , mindmapping and online bulletins.
4- Linoit
Linoit is a free sticky and canvas service that does not require anything but a web  browser . Linoit is pretty much like Wallwisher.
5- Pegby
Pegby is a great task management tool for educators. It allows its users to get their tasks and assignments organized just in the way they like.  It is very easy to use, just peg up a card and attach it to a board . It has three columns one for things you want to do , the other for things that are still in progress and the last one for things done.
6- Corkboard
Corkboard allows you to create corkboards to help you organize your postings . For instance you can create ‘Books I Read’ Corkboard and put all of your books related postings in there . It is very handy and practical and above all it is free to use .
7- Primary Wall
Primary Wall is created with elementary school students in mind .It allows users to organize their notes in such an easy way that no extra or advanced technology knowledge is needed .
8- Discovery Box
discovery Box is a web2.0 tool to collect items in a virtual box . It allows you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. You can display anything from a text file to a movie.
9- Stickr
Stickr allows users to create sticky notes about any webage. These notes are saved into the user`s Stickr account where they can be used as bookmarks.
10- Noterr
This is a greats ticky note tool that lets users arrange their note on a canvas then share it with others.
11- Spaaze
Spaaze is another free sticky note platform where users can organize their notes which can be simple text or videos, images and also links.
12- Listings
Listings is a cool website that allows users to take notes from browser, and also share and collaborate with others in real time.
13- Scrumblr
This is a tool that provides online free space to create and share sticky notes with a group.

29- Use of screen casting tools to create and share tutorials

List of the best free screencasting tools to record your screen and make awesome tutorials

Have you ever wondered how video tutorials are made ? You might be wrong and think it needs advanced technology knowledge to do them. It is in fact way easier than you have ever thought. The tools below will enable you to make your screencast and broadcast it to the world to see it. Screencasting is all about sharing your screen ith others, not in real time ,of course, but in a short or long recorded videos.
Educators will find these tools very useful , for they can now create their own `how to` videos and share them with their colleagues and students. As I said earlier, the procedure is very simple and , in most of the time , all it takes is a moderetally high internet broadband and a registration. You will need to open accounts in some of  these websites so that you can store the tutorials you make and share them using links. The registration is free and takes only a couple of minutes.
Since this blog targets educators then these tools are for educational purposes but others in different sectors can also use them if what they do entails a screencast. Ok here is the list:
1- Screencast-O-Matic
Screencast-O-Matic is my favourite screencasting tool of them all. It is free and easy to use . With one click you can start recording your screen and right from your browser on Windows, Mac, Linux and does not require any software installation. it is all online.
2- CamStudio
Camstudio is also a great screencasting tool. It allows its users to screen record and  ceate awesome video tutorials and share them through a generated link with others online. It is also easy to use and the only thing you need to do is download it for free into your computer.
3- Copernicus
This is another free recording software that works with Mac. It enables its users to :

  • Take screenshots and save them
  • Record video and save it directly to RAM
  • Use the movie feature to create how to movies
  • It is free and weights 4.9 MB

4-Jing
Jing allows its users to create images and videos of what they see on their screen and share them with the world instantly and easily. Just to let you know that Jing has two versions one is free and the other is premium. So the free Jing offers just : five minutes of screen recording and some mark up tools for images but the pro version offers way more. However, educators might make do just with the free Jingle.
5- Wink
Wink is a tutorial and presentation creation software that lets its users :
Capture screenshots, add explanations, boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users.
Record voice while making a tutorial
It is free and easy to use
It requires a download
It is compatible with several operating systems , you just need to choose you OS when trying to download it

The above five tools are the main FREE screencasting  tools available online. As I said before, educators can contend themselves with just one of them especially Screencast-O-Matic but if it happens that you want more developed screen recording tools and sotwares then here are some names that you can keep in mind when trying to purchase one:

All thanks and gratitude go to Sean P Aune who has labored and  gathered this list of screencasting tools .

30- Exploit group text messaging tools for collaborative project work

Group Text Messaging is a great way for teachers to share content, alerts, reminders,assignments and many more with their students.  They can also use this service to create groups that include students’ parents and keep them updated about heir kids progress. I have compiled a list of  some of the tools you can use to deliver group text messaging.
9 free  awesome group text messaging tools for educators
1- ClassParrot   is a great group messaging tool that allows teachers to reach their students instantly via  texting. It can be used for many purposes such as  : reminding students of upcoming exams, and sending homework updates and event reminders.
2- ClassPager
This is another great texting tool that teachers can use to engage students in group discussions and broadcast updates and information to both students and their parents.
3- gText
This is a free group texting service just like Classpager.
4- Kikutext
Kikutext is a service that makes it easy for teachers to communicate with parents using text messaging so students perform better. You can read my review for this tool here.
5- Remind101
This is a free service that provides teachers with an easy way to text message students and stay in touch with parents.
6- Sendhub
This is a group text mesaging system that allows users to send text and indiviuals and groups of any size. read Sendhub Easy Group Texting to learn more.
7- BeGrouped
This tool as its name suggests provides an easy way to build a group and allow everyone to easily communicate with each other seamlessly and easily. It also supports most major cell phone carriers.
8- SMS Matrix
SMSMatrix can be used to send messages to groups. These messages can be simple text, voice, or even text-to-speech messages.
9- Swaggle
This is a free SMS messaging service that lets you send text messages to groups. Messages can be sent both from the website or directly from mobile phone.

31- Conduct an effective search query with the minimum time possible

The entire guide to google search features for teachers and students

The Entire Guide to  Google Search Features for Teachers and Students is the third ebook I am publishing here exclusively for Educational Technology and Mobile Learning readers. After the success of  80 Alternatives to YouTube and The Comprehensive Guide to Google Free Tools in Education, I am expecting my readers to find this guide of the same importance if not more. Here is an excerpt from its introduction  :
“As educators Google is the backbone of our online activities. Think of how many times you use it to perform a search whenever you are looking for something. Besides  using it for search queries , it is also used as a dictionary, unit and currency converter,

calculator, zip code finder and many more. It is great we have all these options all accessible  from a single platform but do all teachers and students know how to use these and other  features Google has to offer them? Well probably some of you are already familiar with many features in this guide but the majority of our students do not. It is our responsibility to teach them the search skills they will definitely need to survive in the 21st century digital world. Isn’t schooling goal revolves around preparing our students  for tomorrow’s jobs ?……..”

32- Conduct A Research Paper Using Digital Tools

One of the basic aims of education in general is to teach us how  to be a life long researcher, how to discover new fountains of knowledge and illuminate our lives. Knowledge itself is based on research and every discipline be it philosophy, science, technology, art or  humanities,  they all have one common pillar which is research.

With the advance of technology, the nature and means of research has completely changed. It becomes now much more easier to conduct a research and collaborate with people whom you have never met before and in real time. The resources you might need for back up  are ubiquitous online and with a single click you can have access to an ocean of knowledge. This ocean, however, requires an expert crew to guide and direct  the ship to safety. The crew we are talking about here are notbody else but teachers.Those are the real people whose job, if done effectively, will change the whole equation. We are living in a digital world where new sources of information ( blogs, websites, wikis, ..ect ) are sprouting up like mushrooms. If left to themselves, students will definitely drown at the most in this ocean of information, or their learning will be handicapped acquiring new dismal habits such as plagiarism, dependence,  and indolence at the least.This is where the importance of teaching students about effective research fits in. We can use the same technology that our students love to teach them about how they can conduct a research and collaborate with each other.
There are some awesome tools for this purpose but before you start exploring these tools you also need to bear in mind that there are certain important things that you as a teacher need to seriously address. Plagiarism and Correct Citation of bibliographies are top among them all. In this regard I would recommend that you read the following articles : Plagiarism Tools Every Teacher Should Know about,  6 Free Tools to Easily Cite Resources for Teachers and Students
Now that you  have learned about how to properly cite resources and bibliographies in a research paper and are equipped with the right  tools to detect plagiarism in your students work, you can head over and dicover these great research tools. Remember that after you learn you teach and we want students to learn about these tools too so make sure you share with them.

Free research tools every educator need to know about

1- Read Cube
This is a desktop application that offers a new way to organize your research literature. You can create your article library instantly, import PDFs and download related articles. It also recommends relevant articles to your research automatically.
2- Shelfster
This is a great tool for researchers. It helps them  capture information and create useful documents. You can also organize your data into Shelfster projects by dragging and dropping your saved links.
3- InstaGrok
This is a great search service. It allows users to search a topic and instantly get lists of facts on it such as links to further information, videos, images, and even quizzes.
4- Academis.edu
This is where you can find research papers on different subjects. You can also share yours and connect with other researchers from all around the world.
5- UN Data
This is a website that gathers statistical databases from different United Nations agencies and puts it handy for users to access from a single entry point so that anyone can research and download the date that they need without going to individual websites.
6- Zoho
I have already reviewed this great website HERE. It provides a number of research tools such as presentation tools, office tools and many more and all for free.
7- Diigo
I think most of you are familiar with this tool. Diigo is a must for every educator, it provides a safe platform where you can connect with other teachers and educators and also organize your findings online.
8- Bundlenut
This tool allows users to create bundles where to add links and data they find online. Bundle also lets users share their bundles with others.
9- How to Do Research
This is a great map I have already shared before. It is provided by the folks at  Kentucky Virtual Library. It features important research processes and walks students through each one of them. Check it out it is great.
10- Think Binder
This is another great website for students. It lets students create and join different study groups where they can share and exchange links, draw on a whiteboard and share files.
11- Bookmarking Websites
This is a list of some of the best bookmarking websites for teachers and students. You can use these tools to highlight, annotate and bookmark important URLs you want to work on in your research.
12- Sticky Notes
Sticky notes tools are pivotal to every research you do online. They allow you to add notes and comments to things you find online. Check out some of the best tools I have collected particularly for teachers and educators.
13- Wikipedia  is a great resource that researchers have recourse to when collecting data for their projects. There are some important tools that teachers and students can use to get the maximum of this resource , check them out.
14- The Entire Guide to Google Search Features
Google is number one search engine online  and knowing how to effectively use it to conduct a search on  the net is an important skill every researcher needs to master. Check out that guide to learn more.
15- Specialized Search Engines for Educators
Google is a great search engine but it is not the only one out there. There are actually some other awesome search engines that few of us know about. These can also help you in preparing your research. check them out.

6 free tools to easily cite resources for students and researchers

Citing resources is an important skill for the 21st century students and for any other learner or researcher. I have already included it in my ebook “ The 21St Century Skills Teachers and Students Need  to Have “. It is a fact universally acknowledged that citing resources nowadays is way harder than it used to be when technology was not a huge issue.
As technology crouches into our life, new ways of communication emerge giving birth to novel content providers. We have now blog posts, online newspapers, ebooks, tweets, emails,.. and several other forms where learners can get the information they want. Do they know how to properly cite these new resources is where the shoe pinches. Just yesterday I posted about MLA new guidelines of how to include tweets in citations. I got several emails asking me for more resources on this topic and after some online research I came up with the list below. Some of these links I personally use on my research papers and some others are new to me which after reviewing  I found them worth including here.

1- How to Include Tweets in your Citations
MLA has recently issued a guideline showing researchers using its method how to include tweets in their papers.
2- Cite This For Me
This is a citation generator for Harvard and APA. It allows you to generate and organize your citation with a single click. It also offers tips about plagiarims and citation, Check it out it is a real treasure for teachers and students too.
3- Son Of Citation Machine
Citation machine helps students and professional researchers to properly credit theinformation that they use. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for students and  researchers to cite their information sources, that there is virtually no reason not to — because…
4- BibMe
This is an automatic filler that lets you organise your resources in such a systematic and scientific way. It lets you enter the information yourself and create a bibliography to be downloaded in one of the four formats ( MLA, APA, Turbian, or Chicago ). It also supports several types of resources such as websites, films, newspapers, books ..etc
5- Purdue Online Writing Lab
This is a great website that will help you not only properly cite your resources but also conduct your researches. It provides material on quoting and paragraphing your research sources, as well as material on how to avoid plagiarism. It also provides help on how to cite resources using four different styles like: APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of style.
6-Zotero
This one here integrates with  Word and OpenOffice and lets you collect, organize, cite and share your resources using different formats such as MLA, APA,Chicago.. and more.One of the cool features of this tool is that it syns your data online enabling you to have access to them from any other computer or mobile device.

Update : Here are two  more tools I just discovered
EasyBib
EasyBib is a bibliography formatter tool where you can easily compose, format, alphabetize and print out your citation list.
refDot
This is a Chrome extension that allows users to cite books, journals and sites.

33- Use file sharing tools to share docs and files with students online

List of the best free file sharing tools in 2011

Today I am sharing with you a bunch of awesome file sharing tools. These tools will allow you to easily share files and documents with a simple click. Have a look and share with us what you think of them.
1- Just BeamIt
JustBeamIt is a great HTML5-based web service that allows users to exchange files in a fast way. Here are some of the features that Just BeamIt offers to its users:

  • It is free
  • It does not require any sign up or software installation
  • Friends can download files while you are still uploading them
  • It is very easy to use just drag and drop

2- Minus
Minus is a simple file sharing web service with 10 GB free online storage. It lets its users upload  as many files as possible for it offers up to 2GB for each upload which is too much generous. The service is completely free  but requires a registration.

3- Sendspace
Sendspace is another file sharing tool that allows users to do several tasks such as :

  • Monitor and edit files
  • Recover downloaded links
  • Delete files
  • Use the wizard tool
  • Create email groups to send links to
  • Automatic receipt of upload confirmation

4-  Dushare  is is “ a simple direct file transfer service .It makes sending unlimited file sizes between two people as simple as clicking on a link”. Dushare is really an outstanding web2.0 application, files have never been this easier.
5- Embedit

It is a free document viewing and sharing tool that allows its users to embed any document or any webpage in their blog, profile, or website. It works with PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and many more …

6- Sendoid

Sendoid is a great file sharing web2.0 application. It is completely different from other file sharing services in that it is based on peer to peer transfer system . This means that files are never stored into servers and that they are only accessible in a direct way through a generated link ……

7- Let’s Crate

Let’s Crate is another free file sharing application .It is very simple and easy to use . It allows you to share files that amount to 20MB with whomever you want . You can either start using this free service without signing up , a thing which will allow you to save your crate just for 30 minutes , or you can sign up and save your crates forever …..

8- Dropbox

Dropbox is one of my best applications that i use on a daily basis . Dropbox offers a very handy and most of all intelligent way to store and share files online . It is very simple and has no complicated set up .You just need to install a folder in your computer which takes about 5 minutes and then fill in your information …

9- Bee PDF

Bee PDF is a free hosting and sharing website . It allows its users to upload their PDFs and share them with others ..

10- Jetbytes

Jetbytes is “an experimental file transfer service which works without storing files during the transfer and allows to download it immediately”…..
11- Files over Miles

Files over Miles is a browser to browser file sharing tool which allows its users to send files directly to other users using just a browse…..
12- YourFileLink

YourFileLink is a great web2.0 tool . It allows you to host large files , videos and images for free . After you upload your items you can then share them with whomever you want using a generated URL

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