Public, private, home school, and “just for fun” teachers will appreciate the free resources available through the Discovery Education web site. Start at their home page: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/ and scroll all the way down to the bottom to see the links.
As with any free tool, you’ll have to put up with a little bit of advertising, but the sites are fairly well organized and easy to use. I didn’t run across any tools that required the user to set up an account. What a relief, in this market-driven world!
One of my favorite links is Learning Adventures under Free Teacher Resources.
Hour of Code is happening this week! Hour of Code is an organized push to introduce students of all ages to computer programming–for free! Activities are designed for all skill levels, all platforms (laptops vs. tablets vs. smartphones), and several different computer programming languages.
Here is what the Hour of Code founders say about themselves:
Launched in 2013, Code.org® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Our vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
Hour of Code activities can be enjoyed without signing up for an account. But if you love it, you may want to create an account. It’s still free. Activities will be available after this week as well. It is a fun enrichment activity that will help prepare our students with skills for life.
Get started here: https://code.org/
Today’s featured tool: Animoto
Animoto is a cloud-based video production site. Users must create an account (free), then they can produce 30 second videos for free. You can use the stock music, videos and photos from the site, or you can upload your own files. Animoto links in to various social media sites, so take advantage of all those online photo albums you’ve already created.
Get started at www.animoto.com
Be sure you have permission to use any copyrighted images or music. But royalty free music can be found here: http://www.danosongs.com/ as well as on the Animoto site.
View the video I produced in less than 2 minutes here.
I just attended a great info session about internet safety, and I’d like to share some of the tools that were presented. I plan to concentrate on a different category of products each post. Today’s products: filters for desktops
Google has a search safety mode that can be activated on desktops (not mobile devices). Search “safe search” for step by step instructions on how to set it up on your computer. Then lock it, write down your pass code and put it somewhere private. The settings will need to be changed for each profile that is on your computer.
You Tube also has a safety setting (again, only for desk tops). Search “safety mode you tube” to see instructions. Again, the setting needs to be locked with a pass code if you don’t want young users to simply turn it off. This also needs to be set for every profile on the computer.
In addition to those two safeguards, you may want to install one of the following products to filter internet results and have some time controls on your Macs or PC (not mobile devices): K9 is a FREE filter that was highly recommended. Two good fee-based filters are Net Nanny and SafeEyes. I use Net Nanny at my home, but I may switch to K9 now that I learned about it.
Next post: safeguards for mobile devices