The Battle of the Timelines “Timetoast vs. Xtimeline”

timeline

This past week I had my students use one of the following timeline creators,(Timetoast, Xtimeline) to discuss the major events leading up to the Declaration of Independence. Since both of these tools are free and simple to use I thought that they would be a great fit for my class.

Both tools required no instruction to use and my students found them easy to navigate. They do require the latest flash player and an updated web browser. As my students progressed with these tools I did notice that not having a spell checker was an issue. Since nothing was underlined red they assumed everything was spelled correctly, which was not the case. But as far as use and functionality they both seemed to work well for my students.

From a teachers perspective I found that timetoast was a bit friendlier to use. Timetoast has a text view option that allows you to see all of the content for each date so that you do not need to click on each event to read the student material. This was really helpful and saved time in the grading process.

Check both of these tools at the following addresses:

Here is a link to a previous post on “14 Ways For Students To Create Timeline

Video Project:Free Sound Effects and Music Tracks

As the year progresses and my students begin to look for new ideas for projects they begin to see the value of not only sound effects but sound tracks. Music is a powerful element in a movie. Which leads them to begin using music in

Iconic microphone image based on the design of...

Iconic microphone image based on the design of the RCA Type 77-A microphone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

their videos. This ends up causing some copyright issues. But finding sites and collections of audio files that are safe for school projects and without violating copyright laws can be a bit difficult. Below is a list of sites that me and my students have compiled over the years that provides students with almost all types of audio files that they would need to create most types of video projects or podcasts. All of these sites do provide free audio files however there are files that are for sale as well so students should be aware of this before they randomly start looking and downloading files.

  1. soundzabound – Royalty Free Music for SchoolsThey state the following on their website “the ONLY royalty free music library which meets all the licensing and technology requirements needed for education!” You do need to create an account. There are a great selection of sound tracks with many different genres.
  2. freeSFX.co.uk – Download Free Sound Effects List of many different mp3 sound effects from nature and man made. Worth a look for sound effects for movies.
  3. Royalty Free Sound Effects (FX) Library for Download  Great collection of sounds and simple to search
  4. Free Music Archive  Great collection of music that can be used for school projects and podcasts safely and FREE.
  5. Free Sound Clips | SoundBible.com  Another great collection of sounds and music that is royalty free and safe for podcasts and school projects.
  6. Free Stock Music for Educational Use  The name says it all great for sound tracks for movies.
  7. Free and legal music downloads – Jamendo
  8. freesound :: home page  One of the biggest collections of sound effects and music on the web. Great site to start with to find sound effects.
  9. Freeplay Music, Broadcast Production Music Library, Free and Mp3 Music Downloads, See Usage Terms. Good site for sound track music for videos.
  10. Mp3Skip.com – Free MP3 Downloads  Another good site for video music.
  11. film music | mobygratis.com  Really good music for films.
  12. Danosongs.com Free music site for videos.

Here are some past posts on Audio resources that might also be helpful.

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5 Edtech Resources for Students

This year I have put together a list for my students of five sites that they might find helpful in their classes. These sites are ones that over the past few years my students have routinely used. I do not necessarily think that they are all great but there is something about them that students seem to like and have proven to be helpful in their studies.

Search Engines

InstaGrok: This is a great search engine that shows how facts and concepts are related. This is a great visual tool to teach kids about how searches are conducted on the web.

Fact Monster: This site allows students to find information quickly and keeps them on one site so that they do not get lost in a variety of links looking for information.

Images

Pics4Learning: Great website for students to use to find images for projects and other assignments. Teachers can use and feel safe that all images found on this website are appropriate for school.

Writing Tools

Wordsmyth: is and easy to use dictionary that provides definition pronunciation and alternative words for students to use.

Bibme: Is a great free citation and bibliography maker. It is simple easy to use and auto

Image representing BibMe as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

fills in a lot of details for the students.

 

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Hundreds of Great Ideas and Just One Classroom!

Well it is that time of year again and I can already hear the school bell ringing. Like many teachers I am hitting the web and my classroom resource creating and organizing lessons. As I peruse the web looking for ideas and resources I can feel my stress level rise as I see hundreds of ideas and resources to use in my classroom.

The problem is the web has so many great ideas that it can be overwhelming. Just today I came across two great posts one from edudemic.com titled “50 Educational Technology Tools Every Teacher Should Know About” and Getting Smarts “50 Essential Edtech Tools By Category” each had 50 different tools or resources. This just added to my stress and frustration about what to do in my classroom. I quickly realized that I need to have a specific goal in mind so that I can focus on one or two aspects of Edtech in my classroom. So over the next two weeks I will be posting about 4 or 5 really good tested Edtech tools to use in the classroom. Each post will focus on a specific content area with Common Core in mind. My hope is to help myself get organized and maybe help someone else out in the process.

GAME ON! as the 2012-2013 school Year starts!

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myHistro: A Great Teaching Timeline Tool

Tallinn, view

Tallinn, view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the great things that I have enjoyed about blogging is communicating with people all over the world. Recently, I had a message from a reader  Valeria from Tallinn, Estonia who brought to my attention a great website called myHistro. This is a great site that combines maps, timelines, images, video and puts it all together in a presentation format. This is a great tool to teach students about a sequence of events like battles and other historical events.  Click the link below for an example of a basic myHistro presentation on the battles of the Civil War.

Click here to see a good basic example of a myHistro presentation.

This is a great tool to be used in the classroom. Check it out at www.myHistro.com and thanks again to Valeria for bringing it to my attention.

Click here to read about other great timeline tools.

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Videos that Make for Great Teacher Professional Development

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

While I normality like to post my ideas and thoughts on education and technology. Occasionally, however I come across a post that is just so outstanding and on the mark that I feel it is just too good not to pass on to my readers. “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)” was written last February and while I have written about and discussed many of the videos contained in this post I really like the fact that they are all placed together for teachers to look at and think about. This is the time of year when many teachers have the time to look at and think about new ideas and teaching strategies. So I encourage any teachers looking to expand their teaching techniques, philosophies and teaching strategies to look through these outstanding videos and reflect on them.

Click here to read Ammar Merhibi’s “Ten Videos Every Educator Should Watch (and Reflect on)”

And Ammar thanks for taking the time to put this post together. To read more from Ammar Merhibi check out his blog “Eductechnalogy

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Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Time Search is a great resource that I came across near the end of this past school year. It is a great research tool to assist students looking for information about many different topics in a history course. The timeline approach is one students always seem to appreciate and often captivates their attention. The way that the information is displayed and linked together seemed to really interest students. I found my students often discovered topics that intrigued them and really seemed to captivate their attention. Many of the students who used this began asking me questions about a variety of history topics that we were not covering in class. This lead to a few of my students research and studying different events in history in addition to the topics covered in class. Anytime I find a resource that has this effect on students it is one I bookmark and use in future classes. If you teach history you need to have a look at this site along with their parent site History World. Check them out with the links below.

Click here to check out Time Search.

Click her to check out History World.

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