Free Survey Creator “Obsurvey”

This past week as our semester came to a close I began looking to create a survey to see what my students are thinking about the year so far. I have always found these types of surveys to be very reveling and enlightening and because of this have made them a regular part of my classroom routine.

The issue every year is what service to use? Survey Monkey is the most well known but like many other survey creators they require a monthly fee and since I am only creating 3-4 surveys a year a monthly fee of $20.00 is just not worth it. Many of the survey sites do offer a free version but only allow a certain amount of questions or responses which will not work for me either since I have almost 200 students. So I began the search to find a survey creator that is simple to use and unlimited in it application for free.

The best thing was I found one “Obsurvey”. Obsurvey is a great survey creator. It is very simple to use and has a wide variety of questions types to ask such as multiple choice, short answer, essay and others. It provides many different ways to present your audience with the survey by providing code to embed the survey, a link or in a java application. It has many other options like pass wording your survey and a print version as well. You can also print your results in an organized easy to read PDF document. So if you are a teacher on a budget and looking to create a survey for your students at no cost check out “Obsurvey”.

Click here to take a look at their site.

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14 Ways For Students To Create Timelines

CSI timeline

Image via Wikipedia

Timelines are a great way to teach history. Students in my classes often use them to create projects on a given time period or event with great success. I have found that for all students putting events in order helps them to understand the overall development of a particular event like WWI, WWII, and to understand the development of an historical era like the Cold War. It also allows them to see how historical events are related and points out the cause and effect relationship between historical events. Below is a list of 14 great website that will allow students to create excellent interactive timelines.

  1. xtimeline – Explore and Create Free Timelines

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Challenge Based Resource

Writing Tutorial #3

Image by topgold via Flickr

As I begin to develop my curriculum and materials for the upcoming school year I ran across a great website on challenge based learning. This site provides resources and examples that really demonstrate how to develop and implement this type of learning environment. It is an excellent resource to help teachers begin to develop their own lessons. Not only am I excited about giving this a try in the upcoming school year I believe it to be a great resource for other teachers to use.

Check it out at http://ali.apple.com/cbl/

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Free Xbox 360

Image representing Xbox as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Wow, Microsoft is offering a free Xbox to any student who purchases a new PC. To get this deal you must the purchase a PC priced $699 or more and prove that you are a student with a photo ID or an .edu email address online.  This is a great promotional tool for Microsoft.  It even got me thinking about purchasing a new PC.  For more information check out the following address.  http://edudemic.com/2011/05/microsoft-students-xbox/ If you have not bookmarked Edudemic yet it is a great informational website for education and I highly recommend it.

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A Vision of the Future and the Importance of Education

I was reading Charlie Barrow’s Blog the on Sunday and came across a great video that I have not seen before.  It was created and produced by Microsoft and displays possible future technologies and communication tools. Check out the embedded video below.

This really captivated my students attention and got them thinking about other technologies that we might see in the future.  As they pondered the possibilities I asked them if they would like to be part of creating these type of new technologies.  The overwhelming answer was yes. As an educator I saw my opportunity to discuss the importance of a college education and took it.  The great thing was they were more responsive and seemed to make the connection that if you really want to create these types of technologies and enter this field you must go on to college.  Either way this video opened up some great discussion. Try it out with your classes and let me know what they thought.

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Teach Geography with GEOGAMES

Last week I tried out GeoGames with my Middle School Students and they loved it. Geogames is a great little website that teaches students world geography. Students are timed as they put continents and countries on a world map.  This game has three levels and students can mark their improvement by reducing their time within the game.

As the game states on their website: “The game focuses on cognitive concepts such as spatial relationships (where the continents are in relation to each other and to the oceans), nesting (how a city is a unit within a country, a country is a unit within a continent, & etc.), and how countries, continents and oceans have vastly different sizes (scale).”

Check is out at the following address: http://reachtheworld.org/geogames/index.html

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3 Great Movie Clip Websites to Gain Student Attention

With spring break behind us and summer right around the corner the natives are becoming restless. This new excitement in the air can be difficult to deal with at times in the classroom. This is why I have found that adding movie clips from popular films to my entry tasks to be very effective in gaining students attention. These short 1-2 minute video clips seem to calm them down and get them thinking. Once this happens I then can steer them into the topic that we are going to cover in class.

So where can you find these types of video clips? If you know movies well you can look up clips on Youtube and other video hosting websites like Vimeo. If you don’t know movies that well or you can not think of one to meet the needs of your lesson try one of the following three websites.  These sites will allow you to search movies by topic, mood, genre, time period, event, plot and other criteria.  Making it easy to find the clip you need to fit your lesson plan.

  1. This site will allow you to search for movie clips on a specific topic that you are going to cover in class. This is the best site for finding topic specific movie clips for your classroom.  Click here to go to MovieClips
  2. Jinni is like MovieClips and allows you to search movies by mood, plot, genre, time period, place etc.  Click here to go to Jinni.
  3. Anyclip is another video hosting site that you can search for movie clips to use in your classroom. However, this site you need to know movies it does not provide the easy search options found on the other two sites.
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