TGIF ~ April 16, 2010

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students

I’ve mentioned some Google search tips before, but this piece from the New York Times highlights a few more. Need a quick way to search for something within a particular website? Want to search for information about something that happened within a particular range of dates? Need to find the area code for a location? Read the article to find out how to do all of these things and more. (http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2010/04/02/02gigaom-10-simple-google-search-tricks-58674.html)

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

Are your students looking for copyright-friendly images or music to include in projects? Copyright Friendly Images and Music is a wiki produced by Sheldon Workshops. It provides links to several sites that contain collections of images, clipart, and music that are either in the public domain or have Creative Commons licenses, which allow them to be used as long as the owner is cited. A few of the sites, unfortuately, are currently blocked on our network, but there are at least some that are accessible in each category. (http://sheldonworkshops.wikispaces.com/Copyright+Friendly+Images+and+Music)

Fact ~ Just a bit of information

Yesterday Ning, a web service that allows anyone to create their own social networking site, announced that they will no longer be offering their free services (Ning will still exist, but only as a paid service). I’m a member of several Nings, the owners of which are now scrambling to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately in our current economy, this is not the first time this has happened. Small companies come up with great ideas and offer at least portions of the service for free to attract users. Teachers jump on them, because, well, teachers like free stuff. Some of these companies survive and grow and others realize that if they want to eat they’re going to have to start charging (or putting ads on the sites, which for teachers can be just as bad). So, my lesson from all of this is to be careful when counting on any free web tools provided by companies that do not have a known track record. Use them, enjoy them, but be aware that they could be gone tomorrow….and always have a Plan B.

Have a great weekend!

Anne

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