I have discovered a wonderful new addiction- audiobooks! I know, these have been around forever, and I am slow to come around, but I never realized I had a reason to listen to a “book on tape”. This summer, I spent many hours in the car taking my kids to see their dad. We drive through the Flint Hills of Kansas and my favorite radio station just doesn’t get that far!
One day, we were stopping at the library before heading out and I decided to look at the audio books. I found one of my favorites, that I hadn’t read in a while in a CD version- The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I listened to is all the way up, and all the way back, and so the addiction began!
I am an avid reader and am even the founder of a local bookclub. I have now started listening to books on the way to and from work. For 30 minutes each way, I can immerse myself in a story. I have found it the perfect way to unwind from a crazy day, but enough about me already!
Today I was catching up on my Google Reader, and ran across a post by Wes Fryer. In his blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, he posted about a great service offered to Kansans who enjoy audiobooks. Please head over to his blog to find out more. Leave it to an Oklahoman to hear about it before this Kansan. Oh well, as long as the information gets to people, the how isn’t important, right??
Many of you may already know of Animoto. It is a web site designed to help you to create professional quality videos. I have played around with it several times, but always felt limited by the fact that I only had 30 seconds without having to pay a yearly fee.
While at the Google Teacher Academy, someone (I can’t remember who though) mentioned that they emailed the company and asked for it free for classroom use, and they were granted free access. I decided that it was worth a shot and was directed to the education program. They do offer the program free for those using it in the classroom with students!
I plan to both use this to convey information to students as well as to have them create short videos. In fact, one of the first projects I am planning will be a blogging assignment in which they watch a short animoto created video about types of technology.
While looking at some of the teacher academy info at Google, I ran across some great free posters– the only catch is that you must print them. These are great resources to use with kids and teachers alike. Several may be printed on standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper. I have the one pictured here in my classroom above my smartboard. It has done a lot to teach my kids how to search the internet. There are at least two others on the site that I will likely use during instruction time this year.
Here is a nice site for creating time lines. You are even able to insert pictures and video! This is a free service that will allow you to both create new timelines and view those made by other others. You can even have a class timeline that all of the students can add too. The example below shows a person’s life, but you could do timelines of the Civil War, Westward Expansion, or Presidents of the United States. It is really a fun tool! Enjoy!
The site is located at http://www.dipity.com/