Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The True Meaning of Memorial Day



Please don't forget what it's all about.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Catch of the Day - Interactive Websites - May 28, 2010



Interactive Websites provides a huge selection of links to standards-based cross curricular web resources for grades Pre-K through 12. These resources are intended to enhance online learning opportunities.


Explore a collection of interactive resources for …

  • Reading
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Assessment

Most of the sites interact with the user through either a text-based or graphical user interface.


Interactive Websites is a project of the Jefferson County (TN) Schools.


Take a short video tour of Interactive Websites.



Thursday, May 27, 2010

Catch of the Day - Helping With Writing - May 27, 2010

Helping With Writing provides a number of tools to help kids develop their writing skills.


At Helping With Writing you will find lessons, worksheets, student writing examples, grammar lists, rubrics, and more.


In the Sentence Structure category are seven lessons to help teach students proper English grammar and punctuation. Each of the four sub-sections in Sentence Openers - Collective Nouns, Nouns, Prepositions, Verbs - includes seven lessons on that topic.


Tessie's Tips on Writing provides students with further writing support and study ideas.


Helping With Writing includes a worksheet supporting each of the lessons. These can be found in the Literacy Worksheets category. Student Writing Examples provides you can see what young writers can achieve after working through Helping With Writing lessons.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Catch of the Day - Teacher Planet - May 26, 2010

Teacher Planet is an enormous free directory of online teacher resources. Among the content you'll find at Teacher Planet ...

  • Lesson plans and templates
  • Rubrics
  • Worksheets and other printables
  • Themed units
  • Teacher tools
  • Links to websites
  • Much, much more


The site boasts over 10,000 themed resources such as lesson plans, worksheets, and rubrics.


Originally launched in 1999, the goal of Teacher Planet is "to provide teachers with resources and tools that will make their lives a little bit easier, leaving more time and energy to pursue personal and family interests."


Teacher Planet offers a weekly e-Newsletter currently read by over 190,000 educators from around the planet, making it one of the most widely read teacher publications in the world.



Take a short video tour of Teacher Planet


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nibipedia for iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad

You can now use Nibipedia on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

App Store Description
"Nibipedia is not just a Youtube Wikipedia Mashup. It is a useful
educational tool. When you search nibipedia it gives you vetted videos
from the best Youtube Channels chosen by our Facebook group of
educators. Save your favorite searches.

The app costs $1.99. Click here to preview Nibipedia at the iTunes App Store.

Read an earlier post about Nibipedia


Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

This is a tale about how statistics and numbers can be misrepresented to lend credence to a particular viewpoint or to support conclusions that don't necessarily follow logically.

Recently there has much made of the results of a survey conducted by research firm NDP that showed Android phone sales accounted for 28% of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2010. During this same period, 21% of those sales were iPhones[1].

It should be noted here that industry researcher Gartner reported Android phones accounted for 9.6 percent of all smartphones sold in the first quarter of 2010. Gartner also reported the first quarter of 2010 was Apple's "strongest quarter yet," with a 112.2 percent increase in mobile device sales[3].

Some blog authors claimed that the Android user base had overtaken that of the iPhone. To my way of thinking, a product's user base would include every current owner of that particular brand of smartphone.

Through the end of 2009, the number of iPhones sold was 41.2 million, the number of Android phones (all brands) sold was 8.5 million[2]. During the first quarter of this year, 8.7 million iPhones were sold[2]. I couldn't find a firm figure for first quarter Android sales, but using the percents cited in the NDP report and some simple math, Android sales would be around 11.6 million. This, however, far exceeds the current average daily shipment of 65,000 Android phones reported by Google[4], which would be about 5.9 million for a quarter.

Using the most liberal of these figures means that total Android sales through the end of March 2010 is about 20.1 million, or about 40% of the approximately 50 million iPhones sold through that time. Thus, though the Android phone appears to have made strong gains in the smartphone market, its user base is still significantly smaller than that of the iPhone. (And, both are much smaller than that of the Blackberry.)

Some have gone as far as claiming the first quarter numbers signify a preference for Android phones over iPhones. Although that may be the case, it doesn't necessarily follow directly from these numbers. Perhaps the strong sales are among customers who would like an iPhone but haven't wanted to deal with AT&T. These consumers are buying Verizon rather than Android. Maybe the Android buyers are consumers who might buy an iPhone, but don't want to use AT&T. Furthermore, during that time there were buy one, get one offers on some Android phones as well as other promotional offers.

So, what do the numbers really mean? That, my friend, depends on what you want them to mean!

[1] Android Shakes Up U.S. Smartphone Market, May 10, 2010,
[2] from,
[3] Researcher: Google Android Sales Skyrocket, May 19, 2010,
[4] 65,000 Android phones shipping every day: Google, May 13, 2010,

Catch of the Day - QUIZinator - May 25, 2010


Quizinator is as an online resource library that you can use to organize and manage collections of questions and answers. You can group and categorize these items in any way that meets your needs. Also, QUIZinator lets you store any images you want to associate with your questions.


With QUIZinator, you can create a new exam, quiz, study guide, or worksheet by selecting items that you want from your question library, then simply dragging-and-dropping the selected questions into your document, and saving.


You can quickly update your documents within QUIZinator using the question library. Any changes to items in the library instantly update all documents containing them.

With QUIZinator's drag-and-drop sorting capabilities, you can easily make different versions of an exam by reordering questions and even their answers in just seconds. You can have more than one set of answers to a multiple choice question. This ability to store multiple answers for the same question gives you the flexibility to use the same question with different selections of answers.


You can manage and print your QUIZinator documents and library items totally free anytime you have an Internet connection, using any browser.



Monday, May 24, 2010

Shmoop Now Has Photo Slideshows



Shmoop announced today that they now have Photo Slideshows in literature, US history, and civics.

To find these photo slideshows, look for the new “Photos” tab in US History, Civics, and in many of their Literature Learning Guides.


Further, you can grab a mini Slideshow and post it on your blog or website just as you might embed a YouTube video.


Read an earlier post about Shmoop.



Get More Browsing Space with This Firefox Add-on

If you use a netbook, you know screen real estate is a premium. I found this nifty little Firefox add-on that frees up some pixels by auto-hiding the menu bar, giving you a bit more browsing space. Cleverly, this add-on is called Hide Menubar

Hide Menubar - Menu bar hidden

If you need or want to see the menu bar, temporarily reveal it by just hitting the ALT key. ALT Key

Click here to get Hide Menubar from the Firefox Add-ons library.

This is important, though. The menu bar will still be there after you restart Firefox. Right-click the menu bar and uncheck "Menu Bar".

Catch of the Day - OpenOffice Templates for Education - May 24, 2010, the free, open-source office suite, offers a nice collection of templates for educators and students to use.

You can search or browse the site to find useful templates. There are currently nearly 70 templates in the education category including thesis templates, school forms, grid/specialty papers, calendars, outlines, lesson planners, and more. You may also find handy templates in the Business and Private

The Template Repository is a place where you can find user-made templates as well as submit and share new templates made by you.

These templates will also work with NeoOffice, a Mac port of OpenOffice.

See earlier posts about Open/Neo Office


Sunday, May 23, 2010

But, I Don't Wanna Fish!

This past week, two things happened to me that highlight one of the principle issues with getting teachers to use more technology in their classrooms.

In the first incident, I learned that the woman who teaches media literacy (a class which, as it turns out, is not at all what I thought it was or should be) in our school is having her kids create a newspaper without any digital component. This teacher isn't that old, but in her experience newspaper means an ink-on-paper document. Even though most of today's newspapers have some sort of online product, it simply didn't occur to her to complement the students hard copy product with a digital element.

Because my mind is attuned to looking for every chance to integrate technology, I saw this as an integration opportunity that was jumping up and down, waving a flag, and screaming, "Here I am! Look at me!" That's because I live in a technology-rich world. It is infused into nearly everything I do. That teacher doesn't live in such a place. She's on the fringe of that world.

In the other case, a teacher told me I could collect her laptop as she was done using it this year. I asked her if she didn't want to take it home over the summer. "Why would I want to do that? We have a computer at home," she answered. I pointed out that with her laptop at home, she wouldn't be in conflict with others in the house to use the computer. Also, I suggested that with the laptop, she could go out on their deck or by the pool and use it. In her world, the computer is in a fixed location and it's only function is for working. You go to where the computer is with specific tasks to accomplish, you don't bring the computer to where you are and use it for connecting, learning, entertainment, etc. She wouldn't want to take a computer with her, that would represent taking work with her out into the fresh air and sunshine.

I don't fish, but I have many friends who do. So, at one point, I thought maybe I should take a crack at it. My friends helped me get outfitted, took me along, and introduced me to fishing. But, I just didn't get it. I couldn't see why this was something I wanted to do.

That's where these teachers are right now. We've outfitted them with laptops, interactive whiteboards, projectors, document cameras, and more. They've been introduced to the mechanics and theory of technology integration. But, because their own lives are not entwined with tech, they have a hard time seeing how this stuff is something to which they should want to give their time and attention.

We need to help our colleagues discover how technology can enhance their own lives on a personal level, because right now they just don't get it. It's not part of their mindset. Integrating technology is not inherent  in  the  essential  character  of  their thoughts and actions. The opportunities to use technology don't appear naturally to them, they struggle to find them. And sometimes the struggle overwhelms them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Catch of the Day - Nibipedia - May 21, 2010

Nibipedia is a database of high-quality educational video content. The value of that content is enhanced through community collaboration. Users of Nibipedia can explore, add, and share comments, references, and other related material.

Much like a wiki, members of the Nibipedia community can annotate and "nib" videos. A nib is a small visual image marking a specific location in the video and linking to either a Wikipedia article or an Amazon book, DVD, or CD. In the future, additional text sources will be available from which to choose.


Nibipedia is fairly intuitive and easy to navigate. Use a key word search or browse the video channels and playlists to find Nibipedia content. Nibispheres are groups of related annotated videos on particular topics.

Participating in the annotation process and adding relevant links to videos provides an opportunity to engage in learning and understanding while at the same time helping to create a rich source of educational video.

Nibipedia was founded by Troy Peterson and Terry Schubring in Stillwater, Minnesota, in 2008.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catch of the Day - Mapwing - May 20, 2010

Mapwing is a web tool that lets users build, share, and explore virtual tours for free.


With Mapwing you can use your digital photos to create virtual tours that include interactive maps, images, and comments.

Your virtual tours can be shared with students, colleagues, friends, or the entire world.


The Mapwing basic service lets you build an unlimited number of virtual tours for free. Basic Mapwing virtual tours can include up to 20 points per tour, an interactive map, and a comment area. You can link to your virtual tours and chat with other Mapwing users.

Mapwing Pro gives you additional features to build the highest quality virtual tours: 50 location points, no advertisements, customizable tour pages, download tours, and customer support. The cost of Mapwing Pro is $15 (US) a tour ($195 for unlimited tours)

Harrisburg University

At Mapwing you can browse a gallery of virtual tours from around the globe and connect with a growing network of users.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catch of the Day - - May 19, 2010

Created by two mathematics teachers, is devoted to offering fun, challenging lessons and activities in mathematics for students and teachers at the junior high, high school, and college levels. offers teacher and student resources for ...
  • Junior High Math
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2
  • Geometry
  • Pre-calculus
  • Calculus

There are three related subscription sub-sites to,, and A one-year individual subscription is $29.95 (US) with discounts available on multiple subscriptions withing a single school district.

The popularity of the recreational activity geocaching has led to develop a series of activities called MathCaching where students use the internet to find hidden boxes revealing clues to the continuation of the games. Success at MathCaching is dependent upon solving mathematical problems.

Math and the Movies is a fun resource where you'll find math-related clips from theatrical films. The clips are accompanied by related worksheets.

doodle.png by tom16602 on Aviary is financially supported through sales of its Teacher Resource materials.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Catch of the Day - - May 18, 2010

At you can find many free browser-based utilities which can be used to perform a variety of tasks without installing any extra software on your computer.

20100513-bd7w2tmgmqs7byrmacwimqeh8x.png provides tools to let you …

  • Analyze words, sentences, structure, or style of any text
  • Learn, teach, or research the English language
  • Write easily readable English texts
  • Perform math calculations
  • Convert measurement units
  • Convert images into other formats
  • Get keyword suggestions for English language websites
  • Perform backlink analysis
  • Search the Internet for the best websites, or best websites in specific categories
  • More


English language tools include readability tests, vocabulary builder, and dictionaries. A variety of calculators are among the Math tools. With Text tools you can analyze text, look for unusual and frequent words, and sort and reformat text.


Check out to find a wealth of free, useful tools. 


Monday, May 17, 2010

Catch of the Day - Bookmarklets: Enhance Your Browser - May 17, 2010

Bookmarklets are simple free tools that extend the capabilities of web browsers. The term bookmarklet is a combination of the words bookmark and applet. Bookmarklets work in virtually any JavaScript-enabled browser and on any platform (Windows, Mac, etc). You do not have to download or install any additional software to use bookmarklets.


Bookmarklets are tiny JavaScript programs stored as bookmarks. Bookmarklets have access to the current page. Consequently, they can be simple "one-click" tools which add functionality to your browser, in the same manner as the typical browser add-on/extension.

You often have the choice of using either a browser-specific add-on/extension or a bookmarklet to perform the same function. In such cases, because I use multiple browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE) on both Mac and Windows machines, I almost always opt for the bookmarklet. Syncing bookmarks across my browsers (using Xmarks) means that once I've added a bookmarklet in any one browser, I now have access to that functionality in all my browsers. I don't have to try to locate add-ons for each browser (if any even exist) and install them individually.

Typically, a bookmarklet won't lose it's ability to function if your browser upgrades as can sometimes happen with add-ons. Adding a bookmarklet won't require a browser restart, either. Bookmarklets have a negligible effect on your browser's memory use since they are only executed on demand.


Bookmarklets are typically installed by dragging the bookmarklet onto your browser's link toolbar or by right-clicking the link, then clicking the bookmark option.

Here are links to some popular bookmarklets you might find useful ...

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bookmarklets available for many uses. You might like to visit Collection of Google Bookmarklets for bookmarklets related to a number of Google services.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Teaching Memorial Day - A LiveBinder Collection

A LiveBinder collection of online resources for teaching about the American holiday, Memorial Day.

Catch of the Day - WorldHistory - May 14, 2010

WorldHistory is the bountiful catch today


At WorldHistory you can find interactive maps, timelines, videos, geocoded photos, and museum artifacts.

WorldHistory users can create their own biography timelines and maps, add their own ancestors and view them on historical maps.


Browse WorldHistory by ...

  • Maps
  • People
  • Events
  • Artifacts
  • Timelines
  • Ancestors

You can easily create and populate a timeline about any subject you like.


If you have an artifact from your family history or have an image of an historical artifact, you can add it to the collection



Take a short video tour of WorldHistory

WorldHistory allows you to connect people, events, places, and even your own ancestors all to each other.


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