Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to find good educational videos: WatchKnow

"Wikipedia co-founder launches online educational-video library." Sounds promising, doesn't it?
Larry Sanger, who co-founded the Web site Wikipedia, has launched a site that provides free access to a library of educational videos for students ages 3 to 18. (Most of the clips are from Youtube, it seems, but they are organized in a more 'teacher-friendly' way.) It even gives you the option of filtering for "age appropriateness". Time will tell if the feature works, but it's a great idea!

The site -- www.watchknow.org -- features links to more than 11,000 videos in 2,000 categories that include history, math, science and other subjects. Sanger described it as "YouTube meets Wikipedia."

Videos connected to kids' books (Lit->picture books->)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Copyright "friendly" images

We've all had the problem of searching for the perfect image for a presentation, site or blog, finding it and then not being certain about whether or not it can be used. One solution is to search within images that are already "shared" by their creators. Take a look at "Copyrightfriendly" to view a list of media collections with "generous copyright licensing". As it says on the site "[t]hough you may not need to ask permission to use them when publishing on the Web for educational purposes, you should cite or attribute these images to their creators unless otherwise notified!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

MagSearch - what's on the "free" internet?

While not exactly a Web 2.0 app, I stumbled across this great site for searching the "free" magazine content that is out there. Available as part of the "Virtual LRC", (created by Michael Bell, former chair of the Texas Association of School Librarians), MagSearch allows the user to search articles in a variety of "student relevant" magazines, and via a directory of social/environmental issues. It's worth a look.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Create your own mini digital books

I'm always on the look out for interesting web-based apps that can be used on a Smart Board. While Bookr doesn't qualify as an app exactly, it's a fun way for a teacher or teacher-librarian to create content for primary kids, and even allow older kids to develop their own material. (And it's great fun to use a Smart Board or LCD projector to show it to the class.

Taking images from Flickr, the user assembles a multi-page, digitally flippable mini book. Tell a story, illustrate a poem, make an ABC book... be creative! Text can be added to some or all of the pages. (It's even possible to have an image on one side and text filling the facing page.) The final product can be shown from a "bookr" page or embedded onto a class website or blog. Lots of fun.

Here's a sample I "whipped up". (Click on the page corner to flip, or on the black bar at the bottom of the book to open it in full size.)

Ans here's a brief video demo: