Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Catch of the Day - Edheads - 30 Sep 09

Today's fresh-from-the-sea catch is Edheads

Edheads brings you high-quality, free interactive activities for your classroom such as Design a Cell Phone, Crash Machine, Virtual Knee Surgery, Simple Machines, and others.

Edheads helps students learn through games and activities designed to meet state and national standards. By partnering with school systems in the United States, Edheads is able to research, design and test their activities with real students.

Edheads Home Screenshot

Edheads stated mission is to create unique, educational Web experiences designed to make hard-to-teach concepts understandable using the power and interactivity of the Internet. To set a new standard for excellence by delivering in-depth content in a fresh, exciting style allowing the user to learn intuitively in an online environment.

Virtual Knee Surgery Screenshot

All the Edheads activities will have connections to national standards in their teacher guides which can be found with each activity.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catch of the Day - EasyBib/BibMe - 29 Sep 09

In today's catch we snagged a pair of bibliography/citation tools, EasyBib and BibMe

EasyBib is an automatic bibliography and citation maker. Users can cite books with just an ISBN number and websites with just a URL. EasyBib claims to be the fastest way to create accurate, comprehensive works cited lists.

EasyBib allows switching between APA, Chicago/Turabian, and MLA styles. Harvard system author-date format is supported through APA. There are footnote and parenthetical citation wizards. Import citations from third-party databases

EasyBib offers a free version and a paid MyBib Pro version. A Pro account charges a recurring $4.99 monthly fee but longer term subscriptions save up to 75%.

Link to the EasyBib Knowledge Base

BibMe is a FREE automatic bibliography generator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. BibMe can quickly and accurately automatically complete citation information for you by accessing databases from Amazon, FindArticles, Yahoo! News, and CiteULike. BibMe will format the citation information according to the rules and guidelines of the style guides.

If you prefer, you can manually enter your citation information. BibMe also contains a quick citation guide to show students the correct syntax for citing in various formats.

BibMe started in January 2007 as a student project in the Information Systems department of Carnegie Mellon University. It was designed with the goal of taking the hassle out of creating a bibliography. The creators wanted to develop a tool that would enable users to spend more time working on their essays and research papers, and less time worrying about their bibliographies.

Link to BibMe FAQ.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Catch of the Day - Great Web Sites for Kids - 28 Sep 09

Great Web Sites for Kids is today's bountiful catch.

Great Web Sites for Kids is a service of the American Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children.

Great Web Sites for Kids is a site directory of high-quality web content made for young people. The database is categorized and searchable. Look for sites by keyword, URL, or intended audience.

The main categories include Animals, The Arts, History & Biography, Literature & Languages, Mathematics & Computers, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Reference Desk.

The ALSC Great Web Sites Committee, consisting of nine members from around country, administers and evaluates ALA's Great Sites within the criteria and procedures established for selection.

Quick video tour of Great Web Sites for Kids

View full size

Great Web Sites for Kids also includes links to sites for parents, caregivers, teachers and others.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Catch of the Day - Grammar Bytes - 25 Sep 09

Today's tasty snack is Grammar Bytes

Grammar Bytes is a resource for English language arts teachers all about grammar.

Grammar Bytes features several sections including Terms, detailed definitions of common grammar terms; Exercises, where students can test their grammar knowledge with fun interactive exercises; Handouts to accompany the interactive exercises; Presentations, short lessons that introduce grammar skills; and Tips & Rules, quick advice for common points of grammar.

Robin Simmons created Grammar Bytes and has maintained it since 1997.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are You an "Old School" Tech Star?

I tried to design a diagram that would illustrate how the nature of computing has transformed over the last several years. I wanted to demonstrate how some people who were on top of technology 5 years ago and genuinely believe they still are have really fallen by the wayside.
old v new

Catch of the Day - Audio Pal - 24 Sep 09

Audio Pal is today's delicious catch

Audio Pal lets anyone easily integrate audio into their website, blog, or wiki.

You can record your audio message in four different ways:
  • By phone using a toll-free number in the US
  • Typing in up to 600 characters of text and using TTS*
  • Record your own voice using a microphone
  • Uploading an MP3 audio file
You will then be sent an email containing a link to pick up your Audio Pal message.

Example of an embedded Audio Pal message

AudioPal is developed by Oddcast, a company dedicated to creating a wide array of innovative animated speaking avatars and audio driven products for corporations, small businesses and consumers. Oddcast has emerged as an industry leader in avatar technology and has won numerous awards and thousands of clients, including several Fortune 500 brands. Every month, millions of speaking avatars are created and played back online.

Audio Pal allows users to update the audio at any time and it's free.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Catch of the Day - - 23 Sep 09

Today's scrumptious catch is offers free math games and worksheets using cards, dice and other manipulatives. You can find math games and exercises for skill building in and reinforcing just about any math topic including fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, and geometry.

The games at have been developed and tested in classrooms with real students and educational professionals. They are aligned to NCTM standards and offer different versions to facilitate differentiated instruction.

Math games and worksheets from are in downloadable PDF format. You can store them on your computer's hard drive or a USB flash drive and search for topics and keywords. Print them as needed.

Note: Although grades 9-12 are shown in "Free Math Games by Grade" there is currently no content in these categories.

The games and activities available on are meant to be used to either support any math curriculum or just have fun with math!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Catch of the Day - Myna Audio Editor - 22 Sep 09

Myna audio editor from Aviary is today's very fresh catch, released just last week.

With Myna you can remix music tracks and audio clips, apply sound effects, and record your own voice or instruments free online. No software to download.

Myna is a powerful audio editor that makes it simple and easy to upload, record, and remix audio clips online. Even if you are new to audio editing you can get started right away on

Myna features:
  • Powerful Clip Editing - Trim, Loop, Stretch and Reverse your audio clips, width editable loop points, and interactive time stretch capabilities.
  • Automation - Easily add fade-ins, fade-outs, pan from left to right, and modify gain over time, with editable control points.
  • Effects - Add non-destructive effects to your audio clips including Pitch Change, Reverb, Delay, Parametric EQ, and more.
  • Import / Export - Import your own audio files, or search one of the provided libraries. Mix it down and export directly to your desktop or publish back to your account.
  • Share and Learn - Collaborate with other users. Follow step-by-step tutorials to learn new skills.

Aviary, based in Hewlett, NY, has created a suite of browser-based tools, accessible and free for all to use. Their stated mission is to "make creation accessible to the world." Aviary's online software offers anyone with internet access the ability to create digital content directly from their favorite browser.

Myna Demo Video

Along with the release of their online audio editor, Aviary announced a partnership with APM Music whose Quantum Tracks library containing thousands of professional stems, loops and beats can now be accessed by anyone using Myna to try for non-commercial purposes. APM Music is the largest provider of music for use in film, television, radio, video games and new media production.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Catch of the Day - Shmoop - 21 Sep 09

Reeled in a big one today, Shmoop
Shmoop is a website loaded with teaching and learning resources in literature, US history, poetry, bestsellers, civics and biographies. Shmoop's stated mission is to make learning and writing more fun and relevant for 21st century students.

In each category you will find a large selection of well-written study guides. Each study guide includes an extensive analysis of a specific topic. For example, a literature study guide includes a summary, themes, quotes, plot analysis, study questions, characters, literary devices, and more. In a US history study guide, you'd find a timeline, people, test review, opinions, in depth analysis, and more.

Shmoop is written by a team of educators and experts from top universities most of whom are graduates of or students in top Ph.D. and Masters programs. More than 90% of their writers have experience teaching at the high school or college level.

Screencast of Shmoop features

Shmoop offers more than 100 study guides and apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Each Shmoop app includes a story overview; chapter summaries; plot, character, and quote analysis, study questions, Quiz-O-Rama, and more.

Shmoop Classics for Kindle offer the full original text of some of the greatest works of literature and Shmoop's smart, fresh analysis, interlinked with the original text. Nearly 200 titles are available.

Take a quick tour of Shmoop for teachers, librarians, and professors.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Catch of the Day - ReadWriteThink - 18 Sep 09

Today's featured catch is ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink is a source of high-quality lessons, standards, web resources, and student materials for teachers of English language arts and reading.

ReadWriteThink offers a wide selection of standards-based lesson plans that integrate Internet content into the teaching and learning experience. Lessons include research-based detailed instructional plans. Although written for the teacher, lessons include student-ready materials such as worksheets, interactives, and reviewed Web resources. Lessons can be selected according to grade level and area of literacy practice.

A collection of Web resources is an important component of ReadWriteThink. These resources are subject to a rigorous set of criteria and are thoroughly reviewed. You can select and sort Web resources by grade level and resource type including
  • Instructional Resources such as lesson plans, classroom activities, and teaching techniques
  • Professional Development including research findings, teaching trends, and noteworthy events
  • Reference Library provides specific information or offers general reference resources
  • Student Resources such as online interactive resources for students engaging in a reading or writing exercise

Lessons on ReadWriteThink can be sorted by literacy engagements so that teachers can highlight specific language functions in the classroom. Lessons are designed to engage students in authentic and relevant language learning.

Link to ReadWriteThink FAQ

Established in 2002, ReadWriteThink, is a partnership between the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Verizon Foundation.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quick References from Custom Guides

FREE Quick References from Custom Guides

Here are some ways you can use them:
  • Distribute them at your school.
  • Forward them to users with support issues.
  • Post them on your IT department's website.
These guides are in PDF format and can be easily downloaded and printed. Most of the listed applications have guides for previous as well as current versions of the app.

Access, Excel (W/M), FrontPage, Explorer, InfoPath, Office, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint (W/M), Project, Publisher, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, Word (W/M)

Appleworks, Mac OS, Entourage

Acrobat, Dreamweaver (W/M), Fireworks (W/M), Flash (W/M), Photoshop (W/M), PS Elements

Lotus Notes, QuickBooks, Firefox

Catch of the Day - Extreme Science - 17 Sep 09

Extreme Science is today's fresh catch

Extreme Science is the place to find the biggest, the best, and the most in the world of extremes and learn about the science behind each.

You'll find world records in natural science, including earth science and the plant and animal kingdoms. You will not only find out who the record-holders are, but also the science concepts behind the records.

At Extreme Science you'll find one of the most complete collections of science and technology information and resources available on the Internet. Find resources for students working on science fair projects and teachers needing content for science lessons.

Extreme Science's resources include maps, science calculators, a science dictionary, and numerous science links.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catch of the Day - Brightstorm Math - 16 Sep 09

Today's tasty tidbit is Math content from Brightstorm

Brightstorm is an online learning network for high school kids, their teachers, and their parents. The company was founded on the belief that great teaching fosters great learning. Real teachers from all over the country have developed these video-based classes, offered in a short format that fits the way teens consume digital content.

Brightstorm Math offers over 1800 math videos by real math teachers. These video lessons provide clear, concise instruction about numerous math concepts. Each video lesson includes a few sample problems as well as concept instruction.

The content is available on demand 24/7, so students can get help when they need it and at their own pace.

Subject areas covered by Brightstorm Math:
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus
Finding help with Brightstorm Math

Brightstorm Math video lessons can be shared using email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks to lindseyb16 on Twitter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Catch of the Day - Printable Paper - 15 Sep 09

Today's catch is Printable Paper

Printable Paper has hundreds of papers you can download and print for free. Printable Paper offers lined paper, dot paper, music paper, penmanship paper, note paper, and many more. The selection of graph (grid) papers include logarithmic, polar, isometric, hexagon, octagon, cartesian, and perspective as well as standard grids in various sizes from 1 to 16 lines per inch.

These papers are easy to download and print. Each page is available for free. All pages are available in PDF format: just download one, open it in any program that can display the PDF file format, and print.

All 550+ printable papers on this site are also available on CD-ROM for $39

A tip: You may need to turn off the "shrink to fit" option in the printer dialog which may resize the grid slightly to fit your printer's printable area.

Printable Paper has been featured by LifeHacker, Kim Komando, Woman's World magazine, and elsewhere.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Catch of the Day - DOC Cop - 14 Sep 09

The catch of this day is DOC Cop

DOC Cop is a plagiarism, cryptomnesia and collusion detection tool that creates reports displaying the correlation and matches between documents or between a document and the web.

Mark McCrohon recognized the need for a tool like this while working at an Australian university and observing collusion among students. He consequently created DOC Cop.

DOC Cop gathers the evidence, and provides the information required for you to judge whether plagiarism, cryptomnesia or collusion has occurred.

Screenshot of a file plagiarism reportFeatures:
  • Check .DOC and .PDF
  • Multiple report formats
  • Detailed reports via email
  • Plagiarism & Collusion Detection
  • Online support
  • Fast turnaround
  • Real time status indicator
  • Latest plagiarism news
  • Variable string lengths
Screenshot of a web plagiarism report
DOC Cop is entirely web-based, no download or installation necessary, and totally free.

Link to the DOC Cop FAQ.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Catch of the Day - OpenCards - 11/9/09

Today's catch is OpenCards, an extension that can be added to Open Office (featured in last week's Freeware Festival)

OpenCards is a brand new flashcard learning extension for OpenOffice Impress, the presentation module. The basic idea of OpenCards is to use slide-titles as flashcard fronts and the slide contents as the backs. Based on state-of-the-art memorization and scheduling algorithms OpenCards will help you to learn any set of flashcards.

Despite being released only a few weeks ago, there are freely available user-contributed flashcard-sets.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Catch of the Day - JotForm - 10 Sep 09

The current Catch of the Day is JotForm

jotform header.egg by tom16602 on Aviary

JotForm is a web-based WYSIWYG form builder. Its drag-and-drop user interface makes form building remarkably simple and intuitive. No HTML coding or web design knowledge is needed to use JotForm. You can create forms, integrate them to your wiki, blog, or web site and collect submissions from your visitors with ease.

JotForm supports all standard web form field types such as text, drop-down lists, radio buttons, etc. In addition, it allows you to use new and intuitive fields in your form such as Date Time Picker, Star Ratings, or CAPTCHA checks.

jotform screenshot.egg by tom16602 on Aviary

JotForm sends you HTML emails of submissions with an option to receive plain text messages. Secure forms are supported as well as payment collections and spam protection.

A video demo of JotForm

JotForm is completely free for Basic usage. You can create unlimited forms, integrate them into your site, and collect up to 100 submissions and 3 payments a month from your users without any cost. The Premium plan ($9/month) allows unlimited submissions and payments.

Link to the JotForm FAQ.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Catch of the Day - Eyewitness to History - 9 Sep 09

Today's savory catch is Eyewitness to History

Eyewitness to History's tagline is "History through the eyes of those who lived it." The site offers a very large collection of eyewitness accounts of a comprehensive collection of historical events spanning ancient times to the present.

Excerpt from an 1861 account by Pony Express rider Buffalo Bill Cody
As I was leaving Horse Creek one day, a party of fifteen Indians 'jumped me' in a sand ravine about a mile west of the station. They fired at me repeatedly, but missed their mark. I was mounted on a roan California horse - the fleetest steed I had. Putting spurs and whip to him, and lying flat on his back, I kept straight on for Sweetwater Bridge - eleven miles distant - instead of trying to turn back to Horse Creek. The Indians came on in hot pursuit, but my horse soon got away from them, and ran into the station two miles ahead of them. The stock-tender had been killed there that morning, and all the stock had been driven off by the Indians, and as I was therefore unable to change horses, I continued on to Ploutz's Station - twelve miles further - thus making twenty-four miles straight run with one horse. I told the people at Ploutz's what had happened at Sweetwater Bridge, and with a fresh horse went on and finished the trip without any further adventure.
In addition to textual content, Eyewitness to History includes photographic, audio, and video content as well. For example, there is audio of a live 1945 radio broadcast describing the American assault on the beaches of Iwo Jima. Students can watch a video showing the ravages of the Dust Bowl in 1936.

Eyewitness to History home page features include:
  • It Happened This Month
  • Spotlight On:
  • Photo of the Week
  • Voices of the 20th Century
  • History in Motion
  • Notable Quote
A short video tour of Eyewitness to History.

Eyewitness to History is your ringside seat to history - from the Ancient World to the present. History through the eyes of those who lived it, presented by Ibis Communications, Inc. a digital publisher of educational programming.

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