10 STAR WARS POSTERS FOR EDUCATORS

Richard Wells has done it again! Check out his new Star Wars theme poster series! Source: 10 STAR WARS POSTERS FOR EDUCATORS

Cost & Benefits of Online vs. Traditional College

Online and hybrid college courses and programs are becoming more prominent in higher education. While we are still early in the evolution of online education, there are some interesting trends appearing. For example, online courses are (on average) pricier than their brick and mortar counterparts; but largely because of the disproportionate number of for-profit schools. At the same time, attending a course virtually can preclude paying out of state tuition. More students in business students take courses online, but the breakdowns in other courses of study are negligible. However, the most important element of online education is that it is still a struggle for students to finish a degree online.

Online vs Traditional College
Source: Affordable-Online-Colleges.net

The Power of Google Books

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

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If you’re unfamiliar with Google Books, it is a repository of books that Google has scanned and published digitally using Optical Character Recognition (OCR); this means that you can search for words within a book itself. Depending on copyright status, books can be offered in complete form, in snippets, or available for purchase or loan from a library. Due to a recent legal ruling, you are about to hear a lot more about this service as it will no doubt be more broadly expanded and dispersed in the public forum.

WHAT IS GOOGLE BOOKS?

In an October decision of the case Authors Guild vs. Google Inc., the Second Circuit Court ruled that Google Books does not violate copyright and, rather, rightfully operates within the realm of Fair Use. In the original 2012 ruling, presiding Judge Dennis Chin stated that Google Books “…advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders (Meyer: Atlantic).” In the recent October 2015 ruling, the Circuit Court “rejected infringement claims from the Authors Guild and several individual writers, and found that the project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law(Axe: Reuters).” What this means for the public is that Google Books and the Google Books Library project will continue to provide scanned and digitized content to the public for free.

In addition to more popular academic, fiction, and nonfiction works, Google Books has partnered with dozens of libraries around the world in order to digitize their collections and make them available to users wherever they are. For example, you can access the special collections at Oxford’s Bodleian Library or large sections of Harvard’s Library of out-of-print books. Oxford has lauded its partnership with Google as being in accord with the library’s mission:

The Bodleian Library’s mission, from its founding in 1602, has been based on Sir Thomas Bodley’s vision of a library serving the worldwide ‘Republic of Letters’, with the Library’s collections open to all who have need to use them. To this day over 60% of readers who use and work in the Bodleian Library have no direct affiliation with the University of Oxford. The Google Library Project in Oxford testifies to our ongoing commitment to enable and facilitate access to our content for the scholarly community and beyond. The initiative will carry forward Sir Thomas Bodley’s vision and the ethos of the Bodleian Library into the digital age, allowing readers from around the world to access the Library’s collections over the World Wide Web. — Ronald Milne, former Director of Oxford University Library & Bodleian Librarian.

USES IN THE CLASSROOM

Google Books is an especially powerful tool in the classroom. Educators and students now have access to resources from around the world. Using the advanced searches available with OCR and Google’s algorithms, academic searches can be more comprehensive and encompassing. Additionally, users can create “book shelves” (reading lists) to help organize their research or share information with others.

google booksTo begin your research on Google Books, go to: books.google.com. Enter your search the same way you do in order to Google anything – using a question, key phrase or term, or subject. This will return a list of books that are relevant to the search topic that you entered. You can then refine your search by selecting “Search Tools” and filter by availability (preview available, Google eBook, Free Google eBook), Document Type (Book or Magazine), Time published (by a particular century or a custom range), and sort by relevance or date.

google booksWhen you open a book, if it has been scanned for OCR, you can search within the text for a word or phrase. This is especially helpful for books without an index! You can clip sections of the book, share the book as a link, embed it into a page, or even create shelves on which to curate your Google Books Collection. This is a great way to create a reading list for students. To do this, simply go to your Google Books Library → “create shelf” → “edit properties” to ensure that it is set to public, and share via a link.

With the recent ruling on Google Books, there is no doubt that more resources will become available to the public, allowing educators and students greater access to content and material from around the world.

PowerPoint Myths: Busted!

I learn something new from Jonathan every day! Numbers 4, 5, and 6 were news to me!!

Jonathan Wylie: Instructional Technology Consultant

powerpoint myths

PowerPoint gets a bad name, but in my opinion it is often just misrepresented. Are their a wealth of PowerPoint alternatives available for little or no cost? Indeed there are, but do you really know all that PowerPoint is capable of? Here’s a rundown of some common PowerPoint myths and the reasons that PowerPoint is still a worthy tool…in the right hands.

Myth #1: PowerPoints are boring

Let’s get this one out the way from the beginning. We have all sat through some terrible presentations at one point or another. We were bored, tired, and spent more time watching the clock than watching the slides. Death by PowerPoint, right? The real truth, as you probably know, is that it was not PowerPoint that made you bored, it was the presenter. Their performance, and maybe their slide design, were not good enough to keep you interested. Thankfully, performance skills can be…

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Learn Chinese with Pleco

This is reblogged from my post at FreeTech4Teachers.

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Courtesy of Pleco

In the last few years, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) has become a prominent language in American Classrooms. As learning Chinese requires not only learning the spoken word, but learning a new text and character system, touch screen tools have become incredibly helpful in teaching students how to craft Chinese characters.

Source: Pleco

One of the best, free tools for students learning Chinese is Pleco, available in bothPleco iOS and Android Pleco. The free dictionary includes over 100,00 entries that are updated regularly. Students can look up words by…

[Read the complete post at FreeTech4Teachers].

Explore Online Content with InstaGrok

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers.

One of the most challenging things to tackle in education today is the glut of information that is available to students right in their pocket! With a few swipes, students can come up with thousands of resources; however, evaluating all of those sources serves as a challenge for students. Enter, instaGrok. InstaGrok is a search engine that brings together information in the form of an interactive mind-map, including text, videos, and more. It is available for free online, iOS App, and Android App.


After entering a query, instaGrok creates an interactive mind-map on the topic including multiple sources. Each node… [read the complete article on FreeTech4Teachers].

Plot Functions, Create Tables, & Animate Graphs using Desmos

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers

Desmos is a graphing calculator that allows you to plot functions, create tables, animate graphs, and more, all for free! In addition to creating static graphs and tables, users can integrate with sliders or animate them. For example, check outthis graph that incorporates interactive sliders and rotation. You can see numerous examples of graphs that includes these features here.

Desmos is available for free online, as an iOS App, and as an Android App. If you are an educator, they curate a list of activities that integrate Desmos’s features, scaled for class and grade-level. For example, in the Hexagon Activity, students learn relevant vocabulary terms and features necessary in Geometry; they are presented with a variety of hexagonal shapes and then ask a series of questions to help them identify the shape that the computer has selected. To identify the correct shape…

You can read the rest of this article on FreeTech4Teachers.