Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catch of The Day - Scriffon - 8/31/2011

Scri­ffon is a free, min­imal­ist, text-pub­lish­ing web­site open to ev­ery­one to pub­lish any kind of writ­ten work on the web: from es­says to short nov­els to how-tos.


You can cre­ate drafts of your writing and spend the time you need to polish them on Scri­f­fon. Then pub­lish and share them to the world when you feel as though they're ready. Even after publishing, you can mod­i­fy them and pub­lish them again.


Scri­f­fon ap­proaches text pub­lish­ing dif­fer­ently from ordinary blogs. Ev­ery writ­ing pub­lished on Scriffon is pre­sent­ed in the same bare-bones format with an em­pha­sis on clar­i­ty and read­abil­i­ty. Au­thors and readers can focus on their texts.

A unique feature of Scriffon is the col­lab­o­ra­tive trans­la­tions. You pub­lish the orig­i­nal ver­sion of the writ­ing, and you are the on­ly one who can ed­it and update it. But ev­ery us­er of Scri­f­fon can contribute to the trans­la­tions of that writing.


Scri­f­fon stores both your drafts and your pub­lished works so you can ac­cess them from any web-connect­ed de­vice.


You can follow Scriffon on Twitter and Facebook

Note: The Scri­f­fon website is also available in French.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Catch of The Day - - 8/30/2011


SchoolsWorld is a beta stage website that offers everyone in education the chance to learn from the archive of videos from Teachers TV, which is no longer active. hosts the full 3,500 Teachers TV videos, distributed under license from the Department for Education.


SchoolsWorld plans to shortly move the archive to a new player, and to later launch its own fully-developed website with added functions and educational materials.



SchoolsWorld supports the professional development of educators, enabling them to enhance their skills, develop their practices, and connect with others in the field, through engaging videos, practical resources, and an active online community,.


What SchoolsWorld offers:

  • Instant access to up to date professional development videos and resources
  • An opportunity to learn from other educators by seeing inside their classrooms
  • Practical tips, lesson ideas, and classroom resources
  • Help to meet classroom targets and achieve personal goals
  • Content covering the latest developments in the education agenda

SchoolsWorld is operated by an independent media company, Ten Alps plc.


Similar: Teachers Media



StudyBlue Adds Premium Features

StudyBlue, a subject of previous posts here, is a free online tool to mobilize your lecture notes and make flashcards.


Recently StudyBlue began offering StudyBlue+, a paid upgrade from their free service. StudyBlue+ includes these premium features:

  • Advanced study filters to study the toughest stuff more.
  • Unlimited study reminders.
  • Hide cards you know to spend more time on ones you don’t.
  • Make study guides, package a folder of flashcards into a tidy deck.
  • No ads.

Upgrade pricing is $10/month ($80/year) and users can earn a free month for every three referrals that sign up.


Go to earlier posts about StudyBlue


Monday, August 29, 2011

Catch of The Day - LearnEnglish - 8/29/2011


LearnEnglish, the British Council’s free website for learners of English, includes interactive features such as user comments, discussion forums, content rating and polls, and rich-media materials such as podcasts, flash games, and video.


In Listen & Watch, you will find lots of listening activities and video content. Other sections include a new Grammar section, IELTS exam practice materials, and a Business & Work section. You can become a member and contribute to the site, interact with other learners, and download free resources.


At the companion site, TeachingEnglish, there are free classroom materials to download for teaching kids and adults, from short activities to full lesson plans. You will also find articles on teaching and free teacher development and training materials.


The LearnEnglish materials are designed for non-English speaking learners or teachers of English working chiefly in secondary education. To become a member of LearnEnglish, you must be age 14 or older, at least 16 to become a member of TeachingEnglish. No one under age may submit comments, blog, or interact on these sites.

Younger students can join LearnEnglish Kids, a fun and safe place for younger students. Children are not allowed to publish personal or contact information on the site and all comments are moderated before being published.


Sign up to receive the free monthly LearnEnglish newsletter with news on the latest content. You can also follow LearnEnglish on Facebook and Twitter and watch LearnEnglish videos on YouTube.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Rearview Mirror 8/27/2011

For those of you who may have missed a Catch of the Day or who didn't have the opportunity to look at some of them during this past week, here's a second chance.




Easy Notecards is an online studying tool for both students and teachers that uses interactive notecards to help you to learn new material.


BAM! Body and Mind is a site designed for kids 9-13 years old to provide the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.


ipl2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment for library and information science students and professionals.


Visa, in partnership with leading consumer advocates, educators, and financial institutions, has created the Practical Money Skills for Life program to help students of all ages learn the essentials of personal finance.


No Friday posts until September :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Catch of The Day - Practical Money Skills for Life - 8/25/2011


Visa, in partnership with leading consumer advocates, educators, and financial institutions, has created the Practical Money Skills for Life program to help students of all ages learn the essentials of personal finance.


Through a variety of resources including lesson plans, profiles of inspiring teachers, discussion of relevant economic topics, and more, Practical Money Skills for Life hopes to facilitate educators who are helping students to learn the financial literacy necessary in the 21st century. The Practical Money Skills program provides access to such free educational resources as articles on personal finance, interactive games, and more.


In conjunction with state and federal government, Visa co-sponsors numerous community-based events and the annual Financial Literacy in Education Summit. Visa also donates computer labs along with the Practical Money Skills curriculum to high-needs schools.



View the Practical Money Skills for Life PDF brochure

The Educators Advisory Council is a diverse group of leading educators promoting financial literacy that advises Visa on the content and direction for the Practical Money Skills for Life program.


Inkling Updates to v2.0 for iPad


Inkling, the subject of two earlier posts here, offers digital textbooks for the iPad that are interactive, flexible, and less costly than traditional paper textbooks. They have recently released Inkling 2.0 for iPad.


New features in version 2.0:

  • Have discussions anywhere in the book with anyone else who uses it: classmates, professors, Facebook friends, or people from anywhere.
  • Virtually every Inkling title has a designated expert. You’ll see  the notes of the expert in a different color.
  • Suggested discussions and popular comments help you grasp concepts more quickly and focus your attention on the stuff that matters most.
  • All the notes, highlights, bookmarks, and links that you create and “star” are organized into one handy spot in the cloud: the notebook.
  • Search results from Wikipedia or Google appear right inside in the book where you can save them to the notebook for instant access.


Go to earlier posts about Inkling



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Catch of The Day - ipl2 - 8/24/2011

ipl2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment for library and information science students and professionals.


ipl2 provides in-service learning, volunteer opportunities, and a collaborative research forum. ipl2 is also an educational, research, and service laboratory educating students at graduate schools of information and providing library services to internet users.


Authoritative collections, information assistance, and information instruction for the public support and enhance library services. Thousands of volunteer library and information science students and professionals have answered reference questions for the Ask an ipl2 Librarian service.


They have also participated in designing, creating, and maintaining the ipl2's collections. The ipl2 digital collections include Resources by Subject, Newspapers and Magazines, Special Collections created by ipl2, and special collections for Kids and Teens.



View the ipl2 information brochure (PDF)

ipl2 is hosted by Drexel University's College of Information Science & Technology in cooperation with a consortium of colleges and universities with programs in information science.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Catch of The Day - BAM! Body and Mind - 8/23/2011


BAM! Body and Mind is a site designed for kids 9-13 years old to provide the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.


The site is focused on topics that BAM! has learned are important to kids — such as stress and physical fitness. The site uses kid-friendly language, graphics, games, quizzes, and other interactive features.


Some features of BAM! Body and Mind:

  • KABAM is a comic creator that helps kids resolve conflicts and stressful situations with the help of the cartoon BAM! bunch
  • An exercise personality quiz that leads to a custom activity list for each user
  • The BAM! Game Room includes interactive games to help kids learn about issues like bullying, advertising, peer pressure, and more

BAM! can also be useful to teachers, providing them with interactive, educational, and fun activities linked to the national education standards for science and health.


BAM! Body and Mind is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Catch of The Day - Easy Notecards - 8/22/2011


Easy Notecards is an online studying tool for both students and teachers that uses interactive notecards to help you to learn new material.


Create, study, print, and share interactive notecards with your students or classmates. The unique feature of Easy Notecards that distinguishes it from other notecard/flashcard tools is the ability to create notecards tied to a specific textbook. Users can even enter the chapter or chapters the notecards are linked to, making it easier to find what you are looking for.


Easy Notecards features:

  • Images can be attached to individual notecards
  • Helpfulness Ratings so you'll avoid wasting time with low-quality notecards
  • View notecards one-at-a-time or all-at-once
  • Mark specific notecards for later review
  • Print card sets as notecards
  • Test yourself with quizzes
  • Favorite cards, books, and members
  • Powerful search tools



Watch a video intro to Easy Notecards

Easy Notecards is totally free.


Web Downloads from Your iPad Straight to Dropbox

With this free web tool, URL Droplet, you can easily (well, sort of) download web files from your iPad or other mobile device directly into your Dropbox account.

First, copy the URL that links to the file you want to download - tap and hold the link text or image, then tap Copy.


Go to in Safari, or whatever browser you're using, and paste the copied URL into the box. Optionally, enter a name to save the file as, then click Save. The file will shortly appear in your Dropbox root folder where it can later be accessed from your computer or other device.


Start a download from wherever you are, at work, in a cafe, on a bus, and it will finish saving the file to Dropbox on its own.

Note: You will need to give URL Droplet permission to access your Dropbox account.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Catch of The Day - FreshBrain - 8/18/2011

FreshBrain provides a safe social-networking-based environment where teens can explore technology-related activities, create projects of their own, show and share their work, and connect with other students while learning technology and 21st century skills.



FreshBrainActivity is a comparatively simple, pre-designed task typically independently undertaken by one or more students who take an idea and create something useful. An Activity usually would be completed in a few of days or weeks. There are two types of activities: Open and Sponsored. Open activities are always available to students to complete. Sponsored activities are available for a limited duration with a deadline and rewards.


A Project is a more extensive task where one or more students take an idea and turn it into something substantial. A project can range from something that one person completes in a number of weeks to one completed by a team of students over a number of months. A Project usually involves going through a systematic process to simulate real world scenarios where things are justified through some quantifiable metrics, including preparing an action plan and building the actual end product.


Students who take on projects may request a FreshBrain advisor who will provide the necessary guidance to help them be successful. Advisors are trained on the FreshBrain processes and tools and must complete a background check.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catch of The Day - The Corpus of Contemporary American English - 8/17/2011

The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) is the largest freely-available corpus* of English, and the only large and balanced corpus of American English.


The Corpus of Contemporary American English was created in 2008, at Brigham Young University, and it is now used by tens of thousands of users every month. COCA is also related to other large corpora including the British National Corpus, the 100 million word TIME Corpus, and the new 400 million word Corpus of Historical American English.


The Corpus of Contemporary American English contains more than 425 million words of text equally divided among spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic texts. It includes 20 million words for each year since 1990, and the corpus is also updated at least annually. Because of its design, it is suitable for looking at current, ongoing changes in the language.

You can search for exact words or phrases, wildcards, lemmas, parts of speech, or any combinations. You can search for surrounding words within a 10 word window (e.g. all nouns somewhere near faint, all adjectives near woman, or all verbs near feelings), which often gives you good insight into the meaning and use of a word.


With COCA, you can also easily carry out semantically-based queries of the corpus. For example, you can contrast and compare the words near two related words (little/small, democrats/republicans, men/women), to determine the difference in meaning or use between these words.

*a collection of written or spoken material in machine-readable form, assembled for the purpose of studying linguistic structures, frequencies, etc.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catch of The Day - Middle School Chemistry - 8/16/2011

Learn about atoms and molecules with hands-on inquiry-based activities and molecular model animations at Middle School Chemistry.


Middle School Chemistry is a source of guided, inquiry-based lesson plans that covers basic chemistry concepts as well as the process of scientific investigation.


You can download the entire Middle School Chemistry e-book in PDF format for free . The book helps students ask and investigate scientific questions, design and conduct experiments, understand their observations, and record and communicate results. The book is 615 pages (20.5 MB) and takes about 3 minutes to download for broadband users, 30 minutes for dial-up.


For teachers, the Middle School Chemistry website includes:

  • Comprehensive lesson plans
  • Detailed procedures for activities
  • Science background for teachers
  • Molecular model illustrations and animations
  • Downloadable PDF student activity sheets and student reading


The Middle School Chemistry onsite hands-on workshops by authors of the book engage teachers in the elements of inquiry and show how to incorporate inquiry-based scientific investigations into your middle school science curriculum.

Middle School Chemistry is a project of the American Chemical Society.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Catch of The Day - Zondle - 8/15/2011


Zondle turns questions into games. Kids can play free games they like to learn exactly what they need to learn.


Zondle separates topics from the games so you can play your topic in lots of different games, preventing the games from becoming predictable and boring. This makes learning more fun and much more effective. The hundreds of topics available on zondle means there are thousands of possible combinations of topics and games, currently 624,260 possible combinations.


You can find review question games for all topics and levels. As well as using the content already on zondle, you can create your own question topics and zondle will turn them into games. You can then share them with or recommend them to anyone you like.


Watch the video All about zondling

Try zondle without joining, but you only get to play 5 questions in a topic. You will have to join to use all the features, but it is free.


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