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Archive for the ‘Geek Links of the Week’ Category

Teacher geek sites of the (mid) week (April 28, 2009)

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Happy Tuesday! I’m in considerably better shape this week than I was last week. Here are some sites to get you over the mid-week hump.

For the avid procrastinator and lover of beauty: Neave.com (via @lalianderson)

Interactive designer Paul Neave must have woken up one morning and asked himself “How do I make procrastination seem like art?”. From Anaglyph, an awesome 3D (think 3D glasses…) drawing tool to Planetarium, an easy to use tool to explore the night sky, Neave creates an addicting interactive experience.

For the information junkie: Aardvark (via @abijones)

Question and answer websites are not new to the web. Aardvark is the best-designed question and answer site I have ever used. Ask Aardvark questions via phone/text, your instant messenger, or email. Aardvark will quickly find a self-identified expert to answer your question and mediate dialogue between you and multiple experts until your question is answered. Yesterday, I used it to plan a lesson on quadrilateral angle measurement, start looking for a “reasonably-priced” apartment in Brooklyn, plan a running workout, and figure out the Mariner’s chances for winning the World Series (Aardvark is still working on that one….). Instant messenger is the easiest way to interact with the service. I try to answer as many questions as I post.

For the person who has heard of Remember the Milk but hasn’t taken a sip:

I tried to use RTM a few months ago and my usage petered out after a few days. Now, I can’t get by without it. RTM is an easy-to-use to-do list service. Think note on the refrigerator on steroids. With RTM, it is easy to add, categorize, and visualize tasks. Now, assignments and teaching events don’t take me by surprise (my students surprise me enough as it is….).

For the dreamer: Bank of Imagination (via @LarryFerlazzo)

Larry Ferlazzo describes this site as “strange but interesting”. I agree. It’s hard to explain – you’ll just have to visit for yourself.

Enjoy the rest of your week. Remember the milk the next time you’re at the store, lose yourself in 3D worlds, or figure out if your baseball team will make the World Series.

Written by TeacherC

28 April 2009 at 9:29 pm

Teacher geek sites of the (mid) week (April 21, 2009)

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I’m burned out and it’s Tuesday (and I had spring break last week….). During weeks like these, there are three things that get me through: Chai lattes, Mariners baseball, and geeky websites.

For the history geek: World Digital Library

This week, the United Nations brought the World Digital Library online. The Washington Post describes the site as a “globe-spanning U.N. digital library seeking to display and explain the relics of all human cultures has gone into operation on the Internet for the first time, serving up mankind’s accumulated knowledge in seven languages for students around the world”. Drooling yet?

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For the design geek: Project Planner

Project Planner gives you access to over 100 workflows from online services. According to the creator, “Product Planner was born out of the need to help people understand and create user flows for their web products. The idea is that by looking at examples of other successful web products, you can get a better idea of how to create your own”. Even if you don’t run a website, workflows are relevant to your life. Workflows are models of how we organize resources, roles, and other systems to get things done. Looking at how institutions, businesses, and web services organize their work helps me understand workflows in my classroom and personal life.

For the audiophile: We are Hunted

We are Hunted “aggregates social networks, forums, music blogs, Torrents, P2P Networks and Twitter to develop a daily chart of the 99 most popular songs online”. I’m always looking for quick ways to find new music.

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Enjoy the rest of your week. Impress your friends at cocktail parties with musings about 14th century Ottoman art, make a new playlist, and analyze your workflow.

Written by TeacherC

21 April 2009 at 11:06 pm

Teacher Geek Site of the Week: Bonus Sick-Day Edition

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For the design geek: This week I’ve had more time than usual to read twitter and check out links due to consecutive sick days (The only thing keeping my school from being a sequel to Outbreak is Dustin Hoffman and B actors).

@ddmeyer intrigued me with a tweet about teachers and design theory:

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This morning, @creattica lead me to an amazing design resource: 50 Totally Free Lessons in Graphic Design Theory.

Which ones should you read first? I would flip through the list and find ones that intrigue you. I hope to read a few this week:

1. #33: The Basics of Graphic Design

2. #34: Want to know how to design? Learn The Basics.

3. #22: Color Theory: Overview

4. #27: How Colors Impact Moods, Feelings, and Behaviors

5. #1: Typography, Part 1

6. #17: Grids: Order Out of Chaos

7. #43: A Few Lessons From Real World Usability

Have you used any design resources you think other teachers should use? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

(I’m in the middle of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte)

Written by TeacherC

2 April 2009 at 7:13 am

Teacher Geek Sites of the (Mid) Week (March 31, 2009)

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It takes a good website to get me through the middle of the week. Here are a few I’ve been geeking out to (in a teacher kind of way) this week:

For the budding filmmaker: Xtra Normal

Create animated movies with this awesome tool. There is an easy-to-use interface for typing a script (text to voice!), adding movement and facial expressions, choosing actors, designing the scene and props, and adding the finishing touches to your short movie. You do not have to sign up to try this website (but if you want to save your movies, you might want to – it’s free). I was thinking about classroom uses (Will I ever be able to enjoy a website in a non-teacher geek way again?) – this could be a great way for students to generate their own content. My only concern was the content monitoring of other films (I am not sure if posted films are moderated). I plan on using this to add movies to my blog.

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For the geek historian: Playing History (Thanks to @a_armstrong for the tip!)

I.love.history.games. I make daily references to the lessons I learned playing The Oregon Trail (to ford or not to ford?). Use this website to find and play free historical games. I’ve been enjoying The Battle of the Atlantic Game.

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For the GTD nerd: chron me

I use this simple stopwatch to keep myself on-task. Chron me shows split times on the screen and these are exportable to .csv files. Ten minutes of twitter/web distractions for every 50 minutes of work? Enforceable with chron me. (If I really need to get work done, I find a friend who uses all of my social networking vices (twitter, facebook, etc) and tell them I will pay $1 for every facebook post, $2 for every twitter post, and $10 for blog posts that they catch in a certain time window…..whatever works…..)

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For the thrifty consumer: Woot!

Teachers need things on the cheap. From luxiorious wine packs to golf clubs and iPods, woot! posts one unbeatable deal per day. Many items run out within minutes or hours of posting so I follow their twitter feed (@woot) and put it on mobile alerts. I scored a cheap iPod a few days ago.

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Enjoy the rest of your week. Impress your friends with obscure facts about the Battle of the Pacific, make an animated bromance film, or indulge in retail therapy. Maybe I’ll owe you money if you see me on twitter….

Written by TeacherC

31 March 2009 at 7:46 pm

Teacher Geek Sites of the (Mid) Week (March 25, 2009)

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It takes a good website to get me through the middle of the week. Here are a few I’ve been geeking out to (in a teacher kind of way) this week:

For the art historian: http://smarthistory.org

The note from the creators says it all: “smARThistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional and static art history textbook”. Artwork is organized by theme, artist, time period, and other topics. There are videos, podcasts, and other multimedia enhancements to explore themes, history, and the artists.

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For the wordsmith: http://www.savethewords.org

Oxford Dictionaries wants us to adopt words using this cleverly designed website. Words call for your attention and you choose the ones you pledge to use in conversation.

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For the escapist: http://www.trazzler.com (twitter: @trazzler)

I love Trazzler’s twitter feed: “Explore the world of travel with Trazzler.com. Get a new hand-picked dream trip every day”. I love my 5th graders, but we all need a vacation sometime….


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For the audiophile: Spinner.com New Release FULL CD Listening Party

Listen to new releases in full with no restrictions (you can skip around tracks, play and pause, skip time within tracks, etc) before you buy.

Enjoy the rest of your week. Day dream about a Spanish island vacation or impress your friends with your grandiloquence.

Written by TeacherC

24 March 2009 at 11:54 pm