Today I went to class at Diigo University. Never heard of them? Well, it is amazing what you can learn through D.U. This is part of a small exercise I am going through to see how much I can learn (or in this case, serve as a hunter-gatherer of useful and interesting information to pass along to others. The objective here is to see how different Internet information tools work for learning about new resources, ideas or just “good stuff”. The only requirement for me on this search has been to be able to link it back to education. For me, these links are in my head as I opened my mind and removed myself from the traditional box that surrounds many educators and educational institutions. I hope you will find something here in this list that will be useful as you practice your craft of shaping minds.
Google Public Domain E-books and EPUB
Google is now using EPUB, a free and open standard for electronic books to make over 1 million books public domain books available for download to readers. I tested this earlier with my new Sony Reader and it was amazing how quickly I could gather a collection of Classics for my Reader. Want Hamlet, Homer, London, Melville or one of many others? Check out the public domain books on Google and add some to a reader that supports EPUB or PDF.
100 Useful Online Calculators and Conversion Tools for Science
Need to convert something to new units, calculate a value for some function, access to a dynamic periodic table or one of many other calculators for math or science. Check out http://onlineengineeringdegree.com/?p=56
Food for Thought- Technology making so students can’t write?—NO
This is a short essay by Clive Thompson that does a nice job of laying out the current situation with a little help from Lunsford from Stanford.
Stanford Study of Writing
The Stanford Study of Writing is a five year longitudinal study. This is the site for this study which includes the research questions, methods and preliminary findings. You will also find several parallel studies resulting in student theses and dissertations. http://ssw.stanford.edu/index.php
Do you like Music?
This site has several interesting tools where you can “dial up” and listen to virtually any song access their lyrics. Give it a try. Talk about a music collection at your fingertips. Also includes Free Play music and music under Creative Commons. http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/Music+Tools
Looking for Interactive Applications for Teaching English to use on your IWB?
This site links to resources that can be used with IWB’s in English teaching classrooms. Most of these look to be for the younger students but there may be something here that would be interesting.
A Portal to Media Literacy by Michael Wesch
This is a 1 hour lecture by Wesch that looks at teaching and learning in the Web 2.0 New Media world. He explores the nature of today’s classroom in regards to the message emerging from the physical structure and organization of the room and how that is in conflict with classrooms without wall as structured across the Internet. Wesch then digs into current research and some of his techniques. Some very interesting stuff here especially as he brings the online work back into the classroom for a very engaging in-class full class learning activity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4yApagnr0s. You should also check out his Netvibes portal that was created for his mediated cultures: digital ethnography. This came from the video and can be accessed at: http://www.netvibes.com/wesch#Digital_Ethnography
The Great Idea Finder
Do you wonder about inventions and their inventors? How about the Karaoke Machine or the Kodak Camera? This site provides insight to many inventions and inventors. http://www.ideafinder.com/history/index.html
Failure is Not an Option…But It Should Be
A wonderful post that challenges us to look at school as a place where failure is acceptable, perhaps even celebrated. It is through these failures that we learn. Scientists and inventors are wrong far more than they are correct. Let students learn to learn. http://www.quisitivity.org/2009/08/failure-is-not-an-option-but-it-should-be/
Nine great reasons why teachers should use Twitter.
A nice collection of reasons to use Twitter. Collaboration, Global, Reflective, Professional Development and more. Check it out… http://mrslwalker.com/index.php/2009/03/29/nine-great-reasons-why-teachers-should-use-twitter
CK-12 Foundation- (Open Source Publishing)
The CK-12 Foundation is a not-profit organization that is working to reduce the cost of text books through the use of Open content and web collaboration. This is just one more step toward the new publishing model that textbook companies need to fear and fear it they do. http://about.ck12.org/
This is an interesting follow-up of the post above. This is the California Learning Resource Network where they had a Free digital textbook initiative with review and results. Here you can see the entire report or look at the summary findings. Notice how many open content books made the list in competition with the big publishers. Yes, publishers need to look at the future as written on these pages. http://www.clrn.org/fdti/