Friday, October 30, 2009

Catch of the Day - Encyclopedia of Life - 30 Oct 09

The Encyclopedia of Life is today's fresh and exciting catch

The Encyclopedia of Life is an ambitious project, a system of websites that makes information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

EOL Home Page Screenshot

A goal of the Encyclopedia of Life is to "transform the science of biology, and inspire a new generation of scientists, by aggregating all known data about every living species. And ultimately, to increase our collective understanding of life on Earth, and safeguard the richest possible spectrum of biodiversity."

EOL Sample Content Page

The Learning and Education Group at EOL seeks to explore and promote EOL's use in schools. It also collaborates with groups such as natural history museums and nature centers to show how EOL can extend learning beyond the classroom.

Encyclopedia of Life Video Tour

Link to the Encyclopedia of Life FAQ.

The Encyclopedia of Life is comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized. It is constantly evolving with contributions from both professional scientists and interested amateurs. The Encyclopedia of Life is available in six languages including Spanish and French.


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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Catch of the Day - EnglishCentral - 29 Oct 09

EnglishCentral is today's fresh-from-the-sea treat

EnglishCentral aims to become the web's leading conversational English language learning destination.

EnglishCentral Home Page Screenshot

What makes EnglishCentral unique is a combination two key elements:
  • A focus on helping users with their spoken English, using speech recognition technology that listens to users' speech and then scores that speech based on their pronunciation and syntax.
  • Allowing users to choose content they like from an extensive database of video content covering popular subject areas.

Try the EnglishCentral Demo
EnglishCentral Demo Screenshot

EnglishCentral lets you choose from content in more than a dozen categories such as Movies & TV, Sports, Technology, and Music. There are three levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium, and Hard.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Catch of the Day - Differentiated Instruction at Internet4Classrooms - 28 Oct 09

Today's catch is Differentiated Instruction at Internet4Classrooms

Differentiated Instruction at Internet4Classrooms
provides teachers with a resource to help implement differentiated instruction for their students.

Differentiated Instruction at Internet4Classrooms Page Screenshot

Find information about classroom planning, instructional theory, and learning styles as well as sample units and lessons. Each category offers a number of links to related content.

Learning Styles Resource Page Screenshot

Differentiated Instruction at Internet4Classrooms
connects you to both both theoretical and practical information.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Catch of the Day - Dropbox - 27 Oct 09

Dropbox is the fresh catch for today

Dropbox is a free utility that allows users to easy share files across multiple computers on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Sharing files using Dropbox is a completely seamless operation. Simply save a file in your Dropbox folder on the computer you're using and it will be automatically synced to every other computer on which you have installed Dropbox with no intervention required on your part. Saving or opening a file in your Dropbox folder is exactly the same as doing it in any other folder on your computer. Move files into or out of the Dropbox folder and they will sync across all your machines.

Because copies of your files are stored on Dropbox's secure servers, you can access them from any computer or mobile device using the Dropbox website. If your hard drive fails, your files are safe on Dropbox and can be restored at any time. Store up to 2 Gb free. Dropbox keeps a history of every change made so that you can undo any mistakes and even undelete files.

Dropbox Website Screenshot

Dropbox features:
  • File sync
  • File Sharing
  • Online backup
  • Web access
  • Security and privacy
  • Mobile access

Dropbox Video Demo

There is a free Dropbox app for the iPhone/iPod Touch. It lets you access your Dropbox on the go, view many of your files, download files for offline viewing, and much more. There is a mobile-optimized website available for users of other mobile devices.

I have personally found Dropbox to be a tremendously valuable tool since I work on four different machines, both Macs and Windows. I wouldn't want to be without it.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Catch of the Day - ClipartETC - 26 Oct 09

ClipART Etc is today's fresh delicacy

ClipART ETC provides free clipart for students and teachers. They currently boast 58,000 pieces of free clipart, a huge collection that is searchable or you can browse it by category and sub-category.

ClipartETC Home Page Screenshot

Every item is available in multiple image sizes and formats. Find complete source information for proper citations in school projects. A friendly license allows teachers and students to use up to 50 educational clipart items in a single, non-commercial project without further permission.

Flags and Emblems Sub-catergory Page Screenshot

Clipart ETC galleries can now be viewed using the Cooliris browser plug-in. This plug-in allows users to quickly survey all of the clipart illustrations in any gallery without having to click from one page to the next.

Road Signs Subcategory Page Screenshot

Link to the Clipart ETC FAQ.
Link to the Clipart ETC Site Map

ClipartETC is a service of Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Catch of the Day - FreeMind - 23 Oct 09

Freemind is the final mindmapping catch

FreeMind is a popular, free, cross-platform mindmapping application. Use it to brainstorm, develop projects, create a knowledge base, take notes, write an essay, and more. It's strength lies in its easy usability with a relatively simple interface.

FreeMind Screenshot

FreeMind's Features:
  • Hyperlinking to local files and URLs in nodes
  • Fast one-click navigation
  • Folding and unfolding
  • Style nodes with built-in icons, colors and fonts
  • Copy nodes and node styles by dragging-and-dropping
  • Export to HTML, PDF, PNG, JPG, OpenOffice
  • Smart copy/paste

Exporting a FreeMind map to HTML generates a text document complete with level indents.

The included FreeMind documentation is in the form of a mindmap. The documentation is a succinct description of FreeMind functions. There is also a very good PDF user guide available.

FreeMind Video Demo

FreeMind is a free open-source software licensed under GNU General Public License. You are free to use it without paying for it. Freemind runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catch of the Day - XMind - 22 Oct 09

Today's special mindmapping catch is XMind

XMind is free, open-source, easy-to-use mindmapping software, allowing you to make and share mindmaps, flowcharts, outlines, org charts, and other visual data representations with a minimum of fuss.

XMind Screenshot

XMind's Features:
  • Inline notes
  • Hyperlinks and attachments
  • Spellchecking
  • Import Freemind formatted documents
  • Export to PNG, GIF, JPG, and HTML

Upload your map to to share your ideas and thoughts with the world. Embed an XMind map into your blog, wiki, or website to enable people to visualize and learn from your ideas. You can share privately or with selected friends by upgrading to XMind Pro.

Double-click to create and edit topics anywhere on the map. Reorganizing topics, moving markers, taking a mapshot, and adding attachments is as simple as dragging-and-dropping.

Shared Maps Page Screenshot

XMind Pro makes it easier to express your ideas and share your information using its Presentation function. One click takes you into Presentation mode, where your map will be shown full screen. Use the navigation toolbar within Presentation mode or keyboard shortcuts to navigate through topics. When a new topic is selected, it will be highlighted and centered on the screen so your audience can focus on it.

XMind Video Demo

XMind is free to download, install, and use including online sharing. There is a subscription-based Pro software version priced at $49.00/year or $6.00/month. XMind runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catch of the Day - MindNode - 21 Oct 09

Over the next three days, I'll be sharing three freeware mindmapping applications. Today's fresh catch is MindNode

MindNode is a clean, easy-to-use mindmapping application for Macs to help collect, classify and structure ideas as well as to organize, study and solve problems.

MindNode Screenshot

The first thing you'll notice about MindNode is the extremely simple tool bar. This makes it easy for kids (and adults) to learn and use.

MindNode's Features:
  • New nodes are created by simply dragging them out of existing nodes
  • The ability to create multiple mind maps on one canvas
  • Expanding canvas resizes automatically to fit the mind map
  • Visually appealing mind maps
  • Full keyboard support
  • Integrates with Quicklook, Spotlight and iChat Theater

Screenshot Showing Inspector, Colors, and Fonts

MindNode supports a number of file formats. You can import and export FreeMind and OPML files or export the mind map as a PNG image, a TIFF image, a PDF, an RTF or an HTML document.

MindNote Demo Video

MindNode is a free application. There is a Pro version ($19.95) with expanded functionality including drag-and-drop reconnecting of nodes, hyperlink embedding, customizing default node, attributes, fold and unfold notes, and more. There is also a MindNode app ($7.99) for the iPhone/iPod Touch that syncs with MindNode Pro.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Catch of the Day - PBS Kids: IWB Games - 20 Oct 09

Today's fresh catch is a smorgasbord of Interactive Whiteboard Games from PBS Kids

Students in grades PreK through 5 will enjoy participating in these collaborative, fun and engaging Interactive Whiteboard Games on PBS KIDS. They can explore curriculum from familiar programs such as Curious George, Super Why and Arthur. Like PBS KIDS programs, all of the games are age-appropriate and reviewed by educators.

Interactive Whiteboard Games Screenshot

The collection includes games about language arts, the arts, math, and social studies. Kids will recognize familiar names such as Between the Lions, Sesame Street, Clifford, Cyberchase, and more.

Interactive Whiteboard Games Screenshot

Monday, October 19, 2009

Catch of the Day - Scholastic Word Wizard - 19 Oct 09

Two Scholastic Word Wizard tools are today's fresh catch

These two free tools, Vocab Quiz Maker and Mini-Dictionary Maker, from Scholastic can be useful to any teacher at any grade level.

The Word Wizard Vocab Quiz Maker allows you to generate a downloadable, printable PDF quiz including up to 25 words of your choosing.

Vocab Quiz Maker Sample Screenshot

The Word Wizard Mini-Dictionary Maker allows you to generate a PDF glossary of up to 25 words for any theme, book, or vocabulary level.

Mini-Dictionary Maker Sample Screenshot

Scholastic has been recognized as a provider of quality educational content since 1920, remaining focused on encouraging children to learn to read, helping teachers, and supporting parents

Vocab Quiz Maker Demo

When checking out Vocab Quiz Maker and Mini-Dictionary Maker, be sure to review the numerous useful links to other Scholastic products.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Catch of the Day - SnagFilms - 16 Oct 09

The fresh catch today is SnagFilms

SnagFilms is a website where you can watch full-length documentary films for free. You can also snag a film and put it anywhere on the web. With a rapidly growing library of over 900 films you’re likely to find films that match your interests.

SnagFilms Home Page Screenshot

SnagFilms searches for the most compelling documentaries, whether from established or first-time filmmakers, and makes them available to a world-wide audience.

The unique MovieMatcher tool helps you find films that match your interests by selecting keywords from a cloud.

MovieMatcher Demo Video

SnagFilms can be summed up in four words:
  • Find. Whether using custom search tools, browsing by topic, or tuning into one of the preset channels
  • Watch. Streaming films on-demand, 24x7 and with no software installation or downloading required,
  • Snag. Widgets let you take your favorite films with you wherever you go online.
  • Support. A link is provided for you to a charity related to the topic of each film.

Channels Page Screenshot

You can follow SnagFilms on Twitter, Facebook, or via RSS.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catch of the Day - - 15 Oct 09

Today's catch is offers hundreds of worksheets for math, English, geography, and more. Browse by subject and topic or search the collection for customizable worksheet templates.

WorksheetWorks Home Page Screenshot

You can set various parameters to customize the worksheets to fit your personal needs. All of the worksheets created with are in PDF format. Most of the worksheets come with three pages: the student worksheet, an answer key, and a license page.

Setup Page Screenshot is the result of many years of work by a by a small, group of people with a vested interest in education. Their stated goal is to provide quality paper-based teaching materials that are useful, valuable and effective in everyday classroom and homeschooling situations.

Worksheet Samples

Link to FAQ.

Demo Video is still in the beta development stage, so be aware that some functions may sometimes not work as expected.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Catch of the Day - Topmarks - 14 Oct 09

Topmarks, an educational search engine, is today's fresh catch

Topmarks is one of the largest independent educational websites in the UK. Established in 1998 with the goal of making it easy to find the best free educational resources, Topmarks also provides a safe environment for students to use the Internet effectively for learning.

Topmarks Home Page Screenshot

Teachers and students can quickly find teaching resources, homework help and educational websites by using Topmarks' search tool or browse by subject and/or age group. Among the featured content is a large directory of interactive whiteboard resources sorted by subject.

Interactive Whiteboard Resources Screenshot

All of the content on Topmarks is carefully reviewed by qualified teachers and because of the dynamic nature of the web, regularly re-checked.

Search Results Screenshot

Topmarks also offers a selection of religious educational resources for primary-aged children. They include illustrated stories of the Nativity, Easter, and the stories of Joseph and Moses.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Catch of the Day - - 13 Oct 09 is today's bountiful catch is an interactive website designed for K-8 students. There are interactive games, activities, worksheets, and teacher tools that support essential skills.

MrNussbaum Home Page Screenshot sprung from the idea that important concepts, themes, ideas, and fact sets taught in the classroom can be enhanced using the interactivity possible via the Internet. It has been developed so that teachers can have a reliable K-8 site to use in the computer lab or the classroom that likely covers one or many themes currently being taught. includes many research themes geared to making the process of gathering information interactive and enjoyable.

Science Page Screenshot also offers many different kinds of teacher tools such as worksheet generators and others to make the difficult job of teaching much easier. The premium site ($18/year) also offers bookmarking, messaging, and homework deployment services as well as a quiz maker.

A One-minute Video Tour of was created and developed by a real teacher. Mr. Nussbaum is a fourth grade teacher at the Gifted and Talented Center of White Oaks Elementary School (Fairfax County Public Schools, VA). He was formerly a computer and technology teacher at Fairview Elementary School and was nominated for the Agnes Scott Meyer/Fairfax County Teacher of the Year award in 2004.

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