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Social Studies Curriculum
Welcome to the ITEC 2006 wiki space. This resource is to support the ITEC session "Get the most bang for your buck". This session is dedicated to finding free web based resources for educators. All of the tools showcased in the session will be described here.
• Tapped In
Tapped In is the online workplace of an international community of education professionals. K-12 teachers and librarians, professional development staff, teacher education faculty and students, and researchers engage in professional development programs and informal collaborative activities with colleagues.
If you want a way to save and organize the useful Web pages you run across, it's time you signed up for Backflip, a free, Web-based service that lets users create a personalized archive of their Web discoveries.
del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website -- the primary use of del.icio.us is to store your bookmarks online, which allows you to access the same bookmarks from any computer and add bookmarks from anywhere, too. On del.icio.us, you can use tags to organize and remember your bookmarks, which is a much more flexible system than folders.
eSnips is a social content-sharing site, where you can publish and share any media type. You have practically unlimited flexibility in choosing what you want to share, and with whom, in 1GB of free space. You can share it with just yourself, a group you invited or the whole world.
• Google Docs
• Use our online editor to format documents, spell-check and more.
• Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text.
• Download documents to your desktop as Word, PDF and more
• View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
Plus, since its online, you can:
• Invite others to share your documents by e-mail address.
• Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
• Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.
• Post your documents to your blog.
• Google Groups
Google Groups is a free service which helps groups of people communicate effectively using email and the Web. Every group has a home page hosted by Google where members can start new discussions or reply to older topics. Every group also has its own email address to help its members stay in touch with each other. Members can read and search all public Google Groups content, including more than 1 billion postings from the Usenet bulletin board service, dating back to 1981. Every group has its own Google-fast search, making it easy to find discussions locked away deep in your group's archive. This new version of Google Groups lets you easily create your own announcement lists, mailing lists and public discussions in just minutes. The new Google Groups also makes it easier to read and participate in discussions. All the replies to an initial post are now gathered on one page. You can bookmark topics you're interested in, and have new replies to that topic delivered to your inbox. And as always, there are no pop-ups or banner ads displayed within Google Groups-only relevant text ads.
QuickTopic fills the gap by providing a super-easy single-topic web forum that's also fully email-enabled. You can start a topic in ten seconds, and participants can use just email to participate, or they can use the web board, or both as the need arises.
QuickTopic is about instant collaboration. It's frictionless. Have you ever tried a new way to collaborate with a group, only to have it falter because even one participant didn't want to learn how to use it? When you're collaborating, everyone must be comfortable. That's why our core principle is "keep it simple".
• Live Journal
Web based resource built on open source.
LiveJournal is a simple-to-use communication tool that lets you express yourself and connect with friends online.
You can use LiveJournal in many different ways: as a private journal, a blog, a social network and much more.
Easy to use website where you can post your thoughts, interact with people and more.
Easy and Powerful way to start blogging.
Currently tracking 56.1 million blogs
Technorati is the recognized authority on what's going on in the world of weblogs. We help people search for, surface, and organize bloggers and their daily posts.
Can be used as a ePortfolio or a personalize web presence. Provides the user with their own weblog with Podcasting capabilities. Each user can tag their content which makes it possible to connect with others with similar interests thus they can create their own personal learning network. Elgg is different from other social networks due to the degree of control each user is given over who can access their content.
• My Wikispaces
Wikispaces lets you create simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together.
Make a free wiki as easy as a peanut butter sandwich. Requires registration. Wikis provide a resource for both web page development and collaboration.
Drupal is software that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a great variety of content on a website. Tens of thousands of people and organizations have used Drupal to set up scores of different kinds of web sites.
Drupal includes features to enable
content management systems
collaborative authoring environments
file uploads and download
• School Notes
SchoolNotes.com is the leading resource for linking educators to the community. SchoolNotes.com provides individual teachers and school organizations a simple-to-use tool for placing homework and other school information on the Internet without having to worry about programming or any other complicated means for posting information on the world-wide-web.
As a free community service, SchoolNotes.com increases opportunities for families to be more involved in their children's learning while facilitating family-school-community partnerships which strengthen education through improved communication.
Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank tool that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Internet, gathering good Internet links, and turning them into online learning activities. Filamentality will let you create WebQuests and Hotlists. This site will also house the WebQuests and Hotlists so students and teachers will have them available anywhere, anytime.
Joomla! is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet. It is used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Joomla! is easy to install, simple to manage, and reliable.
Digital Photos and Video
• Auto Screen Recorder
Available for Windows only
AutoScreenRecorder 2.0 Free is a completely free screen recorder to save your screen activities into video files. It is free for unlimited personal and business use. It has no expiry date and can be distributed with free of charge.
Autostitch™ is the world's first fully automatic 2D image stitcher. Capable of stitching full view panoramas without any user input whatsoever, Autostitch is a breakthrough technology for panoramic photography, VR and visualisation applications. This is the first solution to stitch any panorama completely automatically, whether 1D (horizontal) or 2D (horizontal and vertical).
Photobucket provides free video and photo sharing. Easily host and link your images and videos to social networks, auction sites, blogs, and message boards. Photobucket is reliable and very easy to use.
Video and Image Sharing
This is an online photo management and sharing resource. You will have your own page to show off your photos. People can leave comments on every photo. Makes many photo sizes, such as thumbnail, medium and large . Rotate photos easily. Set privacy levels on each photo and decide who can see them and comment on them. Upload photos by email or from your cameraphone. Post photos to just about any blog (LiveJournal, Blogger, Moveable Type, Typepad, Manila, you name it!).
Flappr is a Flash 8 interface for Flickr. Its goal is to provide a more explorative way of browsing the best repository of publicly shared photographs on the Internet.
This is a site that lets you add thought balloons to photos you find on Flickr. The text doesn’t appear on any photos posted on your Flickr site. The picture with the caption is built on the Captioner website. You can save the picture with the caption embedded in it to your own computer; bookmark your creation and visit it again; or send the URL to friends so they can see what you've done.
· Sudoku with pictures from Flickr
This site allows you to play the game with pictures instead of numbers. You can build your own game with your photos in Flickr and determine the level of difficulty.
· You Tube
Posting your clips to this free service is a breeze. Videos are limited to 100MB each, and you have to give each clip at least three tags before YouTube will accept it. Linking to clips from your blog requires copying and pasting HTML code. YouTube offers only one news feed of the site's most recently uploaded videos; and some of the videos on the site are R-rated.
· Google Video
You can upload your own video clips to the site, don't expect them to appear online just like that--the company must decide if they meet Google Video standards first. Uploading a video is completely free. It only takes a few minutes to upload and share it with friends via email or posting to your blog or website.
· Clip Shack
The mission of ClipShack is to be the easiest, most fun site for sharing and playing with video. It converts your uploads to Flash animations, ensuring that most people will be able to see them without having to download a plug-in.
Blip offers free video blogging, podcasting, searching, and sharing. Create your video blog on the site, or simply post links to clips from your own blog. Most of the site's videos are tagged, and Blip.tv generates a news feed of the latest video uploads for your convenience. Better yet, Blip.tv automatically posts videos to the Internet.
· Computer Darkroom
This resource offers tutorials on Photoshop, scanning and reviews of products.
Free word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs that are compatible with their Microsoft Office counterparts and that work in a browser. Works on the web is not platform specific and comes with 1 gig of storage space. Can be used eith on or offline.
· Cosn (TCO tool)
This tool specifically investigates the workstation, network and server cost of ownership in the K-12 environment, providing an instrument and a process that schools and districts can use in determining their total cost of ownership (TCO) for technology.
techLEARNING.com is produced by
Technology & Learning Magazine
, with contributions from hundreds of K-12 teachers, administrators & other experts in the field. It has specific pages for teachers, technology coordinators and administrators.
Blog dedicated to providing information to what is “new” in the technology gaget world.
• Folder Share
Available for Windows and OS X
Find, Access, Share your files anywhere
Share files up to 2 GB in size
Unlimited file transfers - no limits on quantity or size of files transferred
Any file type - files are synced and transferred in their original format
• FileMaker Campus Kit
Available for Windows and OS X
The FileMaker Campus Productivity Kit is a specialized, runtime version of FileMaker Pro with a built-in database that includes 5 integrated modules. It does not require FileMaker Pro to run and works on Windows PCs and Macs.
It’s designed to help you be more productive at school, work and in your community—so you'll have more time to do the things you've only been dreaming about!
• Phrase Express
Available for Windows only
Do you find yourself typing common phrases over and over again? Just store abbreviations, answers to frequently asked questions, email templates or text snippets in PhraseExpress and reuse them again and again.
• Scribus: Open Source Desktop Publishing
Scribus is an open-source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/Unix, MacOS X and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout.
Available in Windows only
Occasionally you need to check the spelling of words in an application that does not include a spelling checker and you don't want to launch your word processor just for that. This is when tinySpell becomes handy. It is a small utility that allows you to easily and quickly check the spelling of words in any Windows application. tinySpell can watch your typing on the fly and alert you whenever it detects a misspelled word. It can also check the spelling of every word you copy to the clipboard. It comes with an American-English dictionary containing more than 110,000 words.
Sayz Me is a free text-to-speech reader for Windows. Text is typed in or copied from the clipboard and then read aloud. Words are highlighted as they are spoken. Select voice, adjust reading speed, voice pitch, font, font size and color. Hides in the system tray. Very simple and easy to use. Freeware. BSD style license.
Free Sticky Notes for your Desktop
Stickies is a PC utility I wrote to try to cut down on the number of Post-It® notes I was leaving stuck to my monitor. It is a computerised version of those notes.
StickyPad is an invaluable, easy-to-use tool that lets you place sticky notes on your desktop. You can type notes to yourself, set meeting and appointment reminders, keep track of a to-do list, and anything else you would do with paper notes. Your notes can be printed, pasted into other applications, or emailed to coworkers. You can even make notes translucent and have them float above your other windows, so you can see both your note and what you are working on. When you log off, StickyPad remembers all of your notes, and when you log back on, your notes are still there. Once you try it, you won't want to work without StickyPad again
Free PDF Resources
• Cute PDF Writer
Available for Windows only
Create professional quality PDF files from almost any printable document. FREE for personal and commercial use! No watermarks! No popup Web advertisements! Now supports 64-bit Windows.
• PDF Creator
PDFCreator easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application.
Use to search for details on specific security flaws in Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Windows. The site tracks security holes affecting 4000 other products. Recommended in PC World. It provides a list of the latest viruses.
· Daily Rotation
Need help in keeping up with the latest technology news? This site serves up headlines from almost 200 news feeds, such as BetaNews, Microsoft Watch, and Neowin News. You can customize it to meet your needs.
Brilliant extension for the Firefox web browser. Greasemonkey is a brilliant extension for the Firefox web browser. It allows you to change the functionality of Web sites by stripping out existing features and adding new ones. You can tweak the website to meet your needs even to the point of removing the ads. You can either use the already made “user script” or write the code yourself.
· EDTECH listserv
Welcome to EDTECH. With approximately 3500 direct subscribers internationally and about 8000 readers participating through news groups, gopher and WWW sites, EDTECH plays an influential role in determining the future directions of the uses of technology in education for many universities and school districts.
Let the Digital Goddess do the work for you. On this website you can access her cool Internet picks of the week. On the download spot she highlights many free and almost free resources both for fun and to keep your computer humming along.
• Google Notebook
Available for Internet Explorer and Firefox
Google Notebook makes web research of all kinds – from planning a vacation to researching a school paper to buying a car – easier and more efficient by enabling you to clip and gather information even while you're browsing the web.
And since Google Notebook lives in your browser, you won't be left with a scattered collection of notes, Word docs, and browser bookmarks to sort through; all your web findings will be gathering into one organized, easy accessible location that you can access from any computer.
• Annenburg Media
Annenberg Media's multimedia resources help teachers increase their expertise in their fields and assist them in improving their teaching methods. Many programs are also intended for students in the classroom and viewers at home. All Annenberg Media videos exemplify excellent teaching.
• Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of Federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find. The result of that work is the FREE web site. For an overview of what's available here at FREE, please visit the site map.
• Sites for Teachers
Hundreds of educational web sites rated by popularity for all curricular areas. Includes lesson plans, worksheets, activities and more.
We provide free and easy to use resources for teachers dedicated to improving the education of today's generation of students. Includes free downloads for both Windows and OS X, lesson plans, rubrics and tips.
• Intel Education Initiative
Provides resources to use in the following categories: Learning with technology, Thinking Tools, Professional Development, Science and Math, and Community Education for Youth.
• Next Vista For Learning
Available in QuickTime
Next Vista works to make learning more engaging, with a focus on helping students start strong with any topic they study. Its central project is a free, online library of teacher- and student-made short videos for learners everywhere. Next Vista believes a strong four-minute video could save students days or weeks of frustration by providing a variety of presentations on the topics that give them trouble.
• Teachers’ Domain
Available in QuickTime and Flash
Multimedia Resources for the classroom (Science and Social Studies)
Available for Windows, OS X and Lynix
Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (preschool and K-6). It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who helps guide children as they use the program.
Available for Windows and OS X
This is the homepage for ArtRage, the easy to use, stylish painting package that lets you get painting from the moment you open it up. You can paint with oils, sketch with pencils, sprinkle glitter, and more. You can paint with gold leaf, silver foil, and other metallic colors. You can even load in your photos as Tracing Images to help you recreate them as paintings.
For the professional user, ArtRage also offers multiple Layers for painting, and layered PSD document import and export so you can easily use it alongside your existing tools.
• Blender Open Source 3D Graphics Creator
Available for Windows, OSX and Linux
Blender is a full functional integrated 3D creation software suite. It lets users create high quality 3D graphics, movies and replay real-time, interactive 3D content. Over the last decade, Blender has evolved as an in-house tool for a leading European animation studio. Blender is powerful technology used for creating broadcast quality 3D content.
Available for Windows
We have developed and designed Clover, an authoring tool that engages students and teachers in a technology-rich design process to construct animated narrative vignettes (simulations) that deal with school interactions. The tools leads students through the process of constructing a vignette - writing a narrative, writing a script, sketching characters and scenes, animating scenes, and responding to vignettes created by other students
• The Wisconsin Education Association Council
This information was compiled from information gathered by the National Education Association, the U.S. Department of Education and WEAC. It was last updated June 2, 2006. It provides a multitude of free resources and opportunities for educators.
• Reach Every Child: a compilation of free resources for educators from the Horace Mann Company
With budget constraints, teachers are always looking for freebies . . . and software is no exception. Alan Haskvitz has compiled a list of places that review and provide these materials without charge. He encourages you to be aware of come-ons and shareware deadlines.
• Eclipse Crossword Puzzle Maker
Available for Windows
Just give Eclipse Crossword a list of words and clues and it does the rest. In seconds, you’ll have a crossword puzzle with just the words you want.
This is one of the leading information sites on the Internet. Answers.com's collection of over three million answers is drawn from over 60 titles from brand-name publishers, as well as original content created by Answers.com's own editorial team. The site offers useful answers in categories like business, health, travel, technology, science, entertainment, arts, history and many more. Offers 1Click answers which allow you to click on any word on the screen and get instant facts on that word in a pop-up screen. Available for Windows and Mac OS X.
Literacy Curriculum Resources
• Learn Out Loud
Internet's largest directory of free audio & video learning resources. Free audio books, lectures, speeches, and much more.
NeronFarm’s free professional development e-modules cover reading topics such as struggling readers, dyslexia, and comprehension strategies. Must register.
Science Curriculum Resources
• Ocean Explorer
Not platform specific
The NOAA Ocean Exploration program strives to engage broad audiences to enhance America's environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. This Web site provides an innovative way for students of all ages to learn about the oceans by offering near real-time access to a series of multidisciplinary ocean explorations. It also provides compelling imagery, video, and topical essays related to the ocean. This education section of the site includes 165 hands-on and standards-based lesson plans, a curriculum for teachers of Grades 6-12 that presents lesson plans in a comprehensive scope and sequence through subject area categories that cut across individual expeditions, an opportunity for live webchats, interactive video webcasts, and text-based forums with ocean explorers, and more.
• Visible Proofs
Not Platform specific
Welcome to the Visible Proofs Education site. Explore several forensic topics through the online activities and lesson plans below.
• Virtual Fish Tank
Available on all browsers and platforms
What makes VirtualFishtank.com different from any other website is the ability to Build-Your-Own-Fish online and release them into the Virtual FishTank(TM) exhibits at the Museum Of Science, Boston, and the St. Louis Science Center. You can create your own fish, save them, go to the Museum and use an interactive kiosk to retrieve and release them into the Museum tank. This represents a new dimension for museum exhibits, where traditional walls disappear and the experience is available in homes and schools everywhere. We could explain to you for days about how simple rules can lead to complex behaviors, but, really, isn't just experiencing that here online a lot more fun?
• Rainforest Alliance
Not platform specific
The Rainforest Alliance's education materials for each grade level contain wonderful supplemental resources to help engage children and provide educators with the tools needed to effectively teach conservation . While you can access these materials directly from the grade-specific pages, check out this page for easy access to the many resources that make up this curriculum.
The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Social Studies Curriculum Resources
• Beyond the Fire
Available for all platforms. Uses Flash.
Beyond the Fire: Teen Experiences in War introduces the real-life stories of 15 teenagers, now living in the United States, who have survived war. Each visitor to the site, designed to provide teens with an experience that is unique, interactive, and educational, receives a passport that is customized and retrievable with each visit. Site visitors store their responses to the refugee stories in their passports. Each visitor also is provided with an online travelog. After each teen story is finished, the travelog provides a thought-provoking question about that refugee. Students record their answers to the questions in the travelogs. When a student has explored all 15 teen stories, his or her responses are reviewed by a moderator and posted on the site. (A printable version of the travelog questions also is available.) The site includes 15 teen refugee stories, timelines, photographs, movies, country facts, an interactive world map, lesson plans and other resources, a teacher message board, and more.
• The Valley of the Shadow
The Valley of the Shadow is a digital archive of primary sources documenting the lives of people in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War. Here visitors can explore thousands of original documents showing what life was like during the Civil War for the men and women of Augusta and Franklin. The site, part of the University of Virginia's Virginia Center for Digital History contains thousands of letters and diaries, census and government records, newspapers and speeches, all recording different aspects of daily life in those two counties at the time of the Civil War.
• Globalization 101
Dedicated to providing students with information and interdisciplinary learning opportunities on this complex phenomenon. The goal is to challenge you to think about many of the controversies surrounding globalization and to promote an understanding of the trade-offs and dilemmas facing policy-makers.
· Google Earth
A 3D interface to the planet. The idea is simple. It's a globe that sits inside your PC. You point and zoom to anyplace on the planet that you want to explore. Satellite images and local facts zoom into view. Tap into Google search to show local points of interest and facts. Zoom to a specific address to check out an apartment or hotel. View driving directions and even fly along your route. We invite you to try it now. Try out the just released beta version released September 13, 2006.
· Free Social Studies Resources from the Feds.
More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of Federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find. The result of that work is the FREE web site. For an overview of what's available here at FREE, please visit the
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