Monday, February 28, 2011

Catch of the Day - DnaTube - 2/28/2011

DnaTube is a non-profit project which striving to provide a useful visual scientific resource for its visitors.


The DnaTube site includes video-based scientific studies, lectures, and seminars. Since 2007, the DnaTube user community has been sharing their scientific experiences and videos, flash animations, and PowerPoints.


The Topics section enables users to find videos for common topics mostly in biology, chemistry, and physics. There is also text information available for each topic. Users can search topic names, add their own videos to related topics, and discuss the concepts in the forum section.

By clicking on Category, users can browse content by kind (Lectures, Experiments, Seminars, etc) or topic (Ecology, Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Astrophysics, and more).


It is the ope and belief of DnaTube that these video-based explanations of scientific concepts will be of service to people working to enhance their scientific knowledge.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Catch of the Day - Method Test Prep - 2/25/2011

Method Test Prep provides test preparation for the ACT and SAT from any web-connected computer, making it easy and convenient for students to prep.


The learning methods used by Method Test Prep are designed to be efficient so that "a student can improve their score after a few hours of focused study." The creators of of the site include certified teachers who have experience helping high school students.


In the Method Test Prep audio lessons, a professional tutor explains the concepts and questions that the test-taker will see on test day. Students follow a simple checklist and get immediate feedback with a complete explanation for every completed practice question. Performance is tracked and strengths and weaknesses are pointed out and broken down.

With Method Test Prep, you can:

  • Access strategy guides for each part of the test
  • Complete two full-length practice exams
  • Work on hundreds of practice questions with immediate feedback
  • Receive valuable test-taking tips
  • Take practice quizzes to measure comprehension

Course materials necessary for Method Test Prep online courses include downloadable and printable study guides.


Listen to sample audio


A 14 day free trial is provided to individual students, after that the subscription rate is $39.99/month to access either the SAT prep course or the ACT prep course. Access to both courses is $59.99/month. Method Test Prep also works with schools. For more information and a free school trial you must complete the school inquiry form.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Catch of the Day - Historvius - 2/24/2011

Historvius provides easy access to a map-based directory of historic sites and destinations, "from the most famous national treasures to the oft-forgotten hidden gems."


Run by history enthusiasts with a passion for the web, Historvius is a community-based site that trys to make it quick and easy to locate historic sites around the world.


The flexible search function allows users to search the Historvius database by exploring the map, selecting a location, choosing an historic period, or by a keyword or phrase. Users can filter search results to drill-down to their exact objectives.


You can even upload your favorite historic sites to Historvius. No registration is required and you can include as much or as little information as you choose.


Historvius originated from a wish to make information about historic sites more accessible to those planning a trip. The goal of Historvius is to give usersall the key information about a location in one place.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Catch of the Day - Knowcase - 2/23/2011


Knowcase is a collaborative notebook that enables groups to brainstorm, capture ideas, take notes, and track todos.


Users can arrange information in an outline-style hierarchy. Then share the information with your teammates using a simple KnowcaseURL, such as


Share and collaborate with your colleagues, students, parents, or the whole world, whomever you want to give the URL. Quickly save ideas, notes, todos in Knowcase's distraction-free environment.


Knowcase is very similar to Quicklyst which I wrote about last week.


Go to the post about Quicklyst.

Disclosure of Material Connection:


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Have a question on Learning Disabilities or Response to Intervention?

Lessonopoly users have a special opportunity to ask questions about Response to Intervention (RTI) and learning disabilities (LD) to Dr. Sheldon Horowitz from the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Dr. Horowitz will respond with a podcast and possibly a video which will be shared on Lessonopoly.


This is a great opportunity to ask anything you've ever wanted to know about LD or RTI. Click here to ask your question. Deadline is the end of this week, February 25.

Possible topic areas to ask questions include:

  • How to build student self-advocacy skills
  • Tips for talking with parents
  • Ways to foster preparation for IEP meetings
  • LD and Math or Science

Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., is the director of professional services at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Dr. Horowitz has taught at the primary, secondary, and college levels, and worked as a consultant to school districts throughout the New York City region.


Go to an earlier post about Lessonopoly


Catch of the Day - Mobl21 - 2/22/2011

Mobl21 is a mobile learning application that lets teachers create micro lessons on any subject. Students then download them to their mobile devices as study guides, flashcards, quizzes, and more. Mobl21 supports a dynamic, unstructured way of learning.


Teachers can develop content that students can access from their mobile devices with Mobl21. Students can then learn anywhere, anytime, and at their own pace.


With Mobl21, students always have instant access to learning material. Consequently, students can now make use of that down time between classes, on the bus, or waiting for practice, to review notes or study materials.

Educators can create learning material and publish to multiple users or groups using Mobl21. Tools allow teachers to monitor access to content  and view test performance.


Here's how Mobl21 works:

  1. Sign up for a free account.
  2. Log on to and create content.
  3. Have students download the free app to their phones.
  4. Add your students as users and share your content with them.


There are Mobl21 apps for desktop/laptop, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Blackberry, and Android.


See a video overview of Mobl21

With Mobl21 students can study with the technology they love whenever they want.

Disclosure of Material Connection:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Catch of the Day - QR Codes - 2/21/2011


Are QR Codes the Next Big Thing? I see a lot of questions in my Twitter stream on this subject. Rather than spotlight a specific website or product, the Catch of the Day is a little different today. I'm going to try to provide some information and answers about QR codes.


A QR Code is a two-dimensional graphic code, readable by QR code readers, often using mobile phones. The code consists of tiny black squares arranged in a square pattern on a white background. Information such as text, a URL, or other data can be encoded in a QR code image.


Scanning this image will display the above paragraph on your phone.

QR (Quick Response) codes originated in Japan where they are very common. They initially were used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. They are now used to take information from an impermanent media, such as a magazine, a sign, a label, or a a poster and move it on to your mobile phone. Once the QR code is on your phone, you may see textual information displayed, be linked to a URL, or import vCard contact info directly into your phones address book.

QR codes can store and digitally present much more data (including URLs, GPS coordinates, text, etc) than a standard one-dimensional barcode. Another advantage of QR codes is that instead of requiring a dedicated hand-held scanner to read them, many mobile phones can scan and read them inherently or with free third-party apps.

On my iPhone, I use I-nigma as well as ATTScanner, and ShopSavvy (all free in the iTunes app store) to read QR codes. A list of QR code readers for the iPhone can be found here. For other phones try this list.

The use of QR codes is free of any license and anyone can visit any of several free QR code generating sites to create and print their own QR codes for others to scan and use.

Free online QR code generators: QRnoteKaywaDelivr, GOQR.ME

The use of QR codes in the educational community is in its infancy, but growing here are a few sources of ideas for using QR codes in the classroom:

If you have a novel use for QR codes in your classroom or school, please note it and share it in the comments.


Wikipedia entry "QR codes",

Marc Lyne, What Is A QR Code And Why Do You Need One?, Oct 15, 2009,


Saturday, February 19, 2011

yummymarks-a Delicious alternative

If you are still looking for an alternative to the Delicious online bookmarking service, you may want to take a look at yummymarks.


Yummymarks is a simple way of keeping track of the websites you want to revisit. Yummymarks allows you to take your bookmarks to any computer, with plugin capability promised for major browsers.

You can't directly register for yummymarks, login using your Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Steam, or Open ID account.


There is a Google Chrome extension for yummymarks, bookmarklets, and a tool for importing your existing bookmarks from Delicious and Pinboard.


Go to an earlier post about Delicious alternatives



Friday, February 18, 2011

Creately Desktop is Live

Just released, Creately Desktop, a feature-rich desktop diagramming application from Creately, the popular online diagramming tool.


Creately Desktop starts at $75(US) and comes with a 1 year subscription to


Go to an earlier post about Creately Desktop


Catch of the Day - DocsTeach - 2/18/2011

Find and create interactive learning activities with primary source documents that contribute to the development of historical thinking skills at DocsTeach.


You can use DocsTeach activities for classroom demonstrations, as full-class activities, as small-group tasks, or as individual in-class or homework assignments.


Use your DocsTeach account to manage and share both activities you find and those you create.

  • Mark activities that you like and want to share with your students, then later find them in your account.
  • Share activities with your students by simply providing a unique web address for that individual activity.
  • Students can complete the activities independently and even email the results.
  • Create a classroom within your account where your students can access and complete a series of activities.
  • Create and name multiple classrooms to share different activities with different classes.


You can create DocsTeach activities that vary according to their placement on Bloom’s Taxonomy and correlate with Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.


DocsTeach activities are classified according to the National History Standards as outlined by the National Center for History in the Schools



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Catch of the Day - The Plant List - 2/17/2011


The Plant List is a collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden to list all known plant species. The Plant List is a tool for resolving or verifying the spelling of plant names and finding the botanically accepted name for a plant and all of its alternative synonyms.


Version 1 of The Plant List, released in December 2010, intends to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plant (flowering plants, conifers, ferns, etc) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). Algae and fungi are not included.


The Plant List contains more than 1.2 million scientific plant names of which nearly 300,000 are accepted species names. It includes no vernacular or common plant names.


The Plant List provides the Accepted Latin name for most species, with links to all Synonyms by which that species has been known. Unresolved names for which the data sources did not contain adequate evidence to decide whether they were Accepted or Synonyms are also included.


The Plant List is a work in progress. In the future they hope to include improved and extended versions of the data included in Version 1 of The Plant List and to include other data sets which were not included in Version 1.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Catch of the Day - - 2/16/2011

The objective of is to level the education playing field by bringing the best teachers in the country together and making them available to everyone.

20110209-jee7mtpbigy2g5t5x555n8phjg.jpg is designed to provide everything a learner needs to succeed by creating a one-to-one learning environment with the instructor. An emphasis is placed on graphical explanations and working through solutions. Each lecture video is accompanied by detailed notes featuring the lesson's most important points and common student stumbling blocks.


An interesting feature is a powerful search engine that locates the exact time in a lecture that a topic is discussed. Instructors moderate student comments to make sure students' questions are answered.


With, students have an opportunity to get the best possible education even when their teachers are unavailable to them.


  • Students can learn at home. Learning does not stop when students leave school.
  • At home, learning is self-paced with no peer pressure or fear of failure.
  • The comprehensive syllabus and searchable videos cover almost all curriculums.


20110209-qsf1yjn3x42j4ar4mfij4c2xbi.jpg covers mathematics, science, and computer programming at the high school and college levels.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Catch of the Day - Quicklyst - 2/15/2011


Quicklyst is a new beta online tool for taking simple outline-style notes.


Quicklyst is easy to use. Click on the Take New Notes button in the upper right corner of your browser's window. Enter a title for your notes, click in the area below the title box and start typing your notes. Pressing enter on your keyboard will add a new line to your notes. Use tab (indent) and shift+tab (un-indent) to create an outline. You don't even need to register to start using Quicklyst. However, to save your notes you will need to sign up.



Quicklyst makes it possible for registered users to study on the go using a smartphone or other mobile device via their mobile-optimized website or with a QR code, with an Amazon Kindle device, and printable study guides.


Quicklyst uses DuckDuckGo Search to provide instant access to the most popular Internet sources, including Wikipedia and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Catch of the Day - Perfect800 - 2/14/2011

Perfect800 is a solution for students trying to increase their SAT Math score. Perfect800's library of SAT Math questions, answers, and explanations is a free resource for improving students' SAT Math scores.


Perfect800 works "to uncover each and every 'trick' for our students, so they are fully prepared for test day. We have similarly embedded all answer choices with unique tags so that we can identify when students 'fall for' trick answers, or in other terms, calculate the incorrect answer using inputs from the given information." Perfect800 works interactively with individual students to identify problem areas and point out the “trick answers".


Perfect800 is a problem-based learning solution supplemented with lesson plans. Teachers have the flexibility to use Perfect800 as a complement to other SAT prep methods or as a stand-alone program. Perfect800 has lesson plans to use as reference points during practice. If a student is having difficulty, he can simply go to the section of the lesson plan that addresses the sticking point, making studying more efficient.


Perfect800 content, question explanations, challenges, lesson plans, etc, has been developed by former SAT instructors who received perfect scores on the exam. The lead content developer, Robert Gange, majored in Math at UC Berkeley.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

EmbedPlus Adds Crop and Classroom Suggestions

EmbedPlus, a free video-based tool that can help teachers share YouTube videos more effectively, which was the subject of a post last week has just created a page of ideas for using EmbedPlus in the classroom.


Also, they have added a a Crop tool to let users cut, splice, and chop a video to show only selected parts during play.


Go to the earlier post about EmbedPlus


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