Books Should Be Free A great Resource for Educators

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Books Should Be Free is a cool website that offers free audio books from the public domain in different formats including MP3, iPod, and iTunes. Just like the other free audio books providers I have covered here earlier, Books Should Be Free is also one of  the websites we would recommend for teachers looking for audio materials for students.

Books Should Be Free has an appealing interafce and easy to navigate structure. There are several categories you can browse to look for what you want to download. It basically features the Popular Genres category where you can find the top 100 and children  books and there is the second category labelled More Genres where you can find books pertaining to different subjects such as Adventure, children, comedy. literaturs, history,humor, non-fiction, philosophy, poetry, romance, religion,science fiction, short stories, fantasy and many more.

books should be free

You can use the search bar on the top of the page to look for an ebook if you have one in your mind. You can also use the search widget down on the left corner to browse through  different categories. There is also another practical feature that Books Should Be Free offers to its users which is that of language search. You can use this search bar to select the language of the  books you want to read of course if they are provided.

Head over to Books Should Be Read and give it a try.

Watch this tutorial I made to Learn more.

Open Library Download Read Share Free Ebooks

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The Open Library is an open project of a collection of more than 2 million free ebooks. This project is part of the Internet Archive and has been funded partly by a grant from the Calefornia State Library and the kahle/ Austin Foundation.

The Open Library is like Wikipedia but just for ebooks. Users can join in and contribute their time and effort to build the directory. The software and documentation is open for everyone. " Whether you fix a typo, add a book, or write a widget, it is all welcome. "

open library

To start using Open Library you need to head over to its main page and sign in for a free acount. Once logged in you can then browse ebooks by subject, author, or lists members have created. You can also contribute your own new information or corrections of the catalog. If you are an author and you have a book to add then go ahead and click on " Add A Book " button on top of the page and add your work.

Open Library is really a great resource of reading materials for both sudents and teachers. I do recommend it.

Watch this tutorial I made to learn more

AudioLiterate Read and Download Free Ebooks

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AudioLiterate is a new website that offers both free and paid ebooks. This is a great resource for students and teachers. The materials AudioLiterate includes are high quality and its users interface is student friendly. Users have the option to either listen to the audiobooks on the website or download them into their devices for later use.
AudioLiterate has a search functionality that enables users to search for and find ebooks they want. They can use author's name, genre or listing ID to refine their searches. What is even cooler about this website is that it seperates paid ebooks from free ones. Sol when you are searching for an audio book you will have the choice to either fetch results from the paid pages or just free ones.


On Audioliterate main page you will find a special section devoted to Featured Free Audiobooks where you can browse through the popular free ebooks as rated by users. There are also several categories to choose from such as : Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fairy tales, Dramatic works..etc

I do recommend this website to teachers and students. Head over to Audioliterate and give it a try.

Watch this tutorial I made to Learn more.

Alphabetimals Learn English Alphabets

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Alphabetimals is a cool website. It allows its users to learn alphabets in such a funny and easy way. Alphabetimals is a compound word made of two terms: Alphabets and Animals. This website has been designed with the purpose of teaching kids how to learn alphabets and say them correctly using a wide range of audio clips. Kids will also be abale to learn different names of animals associated with alphabet letters. For instance, the letter E is associated with Elephant ...ect.


Alphabetimals also provides its users with the ability to listen to the sound of each animal that is associated with a certain letter.There is also a humourous typer down the page that writes your words using  the Alphabetimal Characters where each chacter is represented with its respective animal.

Overall Aplphabetimal is a great site for teachers. They can use it to teach their kids  both alphabets and animals. It is user friendly and has so much appealing colours and materials that your students will love for sure. Give it a try.

Librophile A Resource of Free Ebooks

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Librophile is a platform where you can find free ebooks. I have just discovered it and been going around some of its functionalities and I find it worth mentioning here.Librophile provides several digital reading resources . Some of these resources are paid and the rest are free.

Once you visit Librophile you can start using its search option to look for ebooks you might have in your mind. If you are lucky enough then it might be in the free section. The website's interface is user friendly and it wont take you more than a couple of minutes to get yourself acquiatined with surifng its content.

Librophile allows you to browse the title one by one using criterien such as books genre and popularity. When you find the audio book you want to read then you have the options to either download it chapter by chapter or in one whole zip file. To stay updated about Librophile's recent released you will need to subscribe to their iTunes feed of the audio.
Head over to Librophile and give it a try.

Storybird Free Tool to Create Story Books for Kids

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StoryBrd is a nice website that allows kids and parents to create their own story books  online. This service is free up to this moment and all it requires is a quick sign up. Besides enabling users to produce digital stories of their own, StoryBird features a section that is called art gallery where users can have access to a wide range of artworks to use and embed in their stories.

StoryBird  also lets its users create their own community of readers by reading others' works and commenting on them. Additionally, the stories can be shared publicly so that everyone can see them or be shared privately with a restricted group of users.


Teachers can use this website to encourage their students to write their own stories and rate each others writings and probably give gifts to the best stories. StoryBird is a great site to nurturing creativy and imagination.

Head over to StoryBird and give it a try.

Watch this video to learn more about StoryBird

Storybird Quick Tour from Storybird on Vimeo.

StoryLine Kids' Audio Stories Read Out Loud

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StoryLine is a great website that reads out stories out loud for kids and beginners.It is one of my favourite  story telling websites . It is  partly free and has several stories recorded in audio and video with each one of them being read by someone.

StoryLine can help in improving kids pronunciation way better than many other tools you might be using.I have been tweaking around with some of its features and just found it awesome. It has a quick loading time and offers  a good user interafce that is full of shining colours to attract kids attention.


There is a wide range of stories to choose from and once you find the one you want to listen to you can then select which internet connection you have whether it is small , medium and large then you hit play and there you go. What is even cool about this website is the accompanying activities each audio has. Kids will have post and pre listening questions to answer which is a sort of comprehension check.

Head over to StoryLine and give it a try

Reading Bear Kid's Learning Resource

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Reading Bear is a great  educational project propelled by Wikipeida's co-founder Larry Sanger that aims to teach kids about reading  and concepts of the English language. This is a good initiative  towards helping language teachers and providng them with a resource of high quality materials.

Reading Bear  includes a wide range of varying media materials for kids. Kids love to learn through media and they are more motivated when visual aids are integrated. It even becomes easier for a kid to learn new things when they are presented in pictures, presentations, and sound clips.

reading bear

There are several interactive quizes in the website. Students can work on them before they check correct anwser at the end. There are also around 14 presentations but Reading Bear is planning to increase it to 50 soon. I think this is a website you should try with your students.

Watch this tutorial I made to Learn more.

SOPA and PIPA for Educators ( Infographic )

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SOPA and PIPA are officially tabled now. Yes a big sigh of relief , the internet was just a step away from a smothering censorship. The house of Senate in USA was about to discuss a possible enactment of the SOPA ( Stop Online Piracy Act ) and Protect Intellectual Property Act ( PIPA ) propsed by the huge media corporations such as Comcast, News Corp, Disney, Universal Music, Warner Music, Paramount Picture,.etc.The unfair monopolisation of the audio visual field by these media gurus together with their  unimaginable gains have been seriuosly threatened by the democratization Internet brought about. The masses now are digitilaly free and they have free and unlimited acess to all kinds of materials without having to pay anything and all at a single click. This has madened these media monsters and wanted to exerce some pressure by paying for some senators to try to raise the issue of piracy and all that buble. Nobody believes them anymore .


Anyway to better understand what SOPA and PIPA are al about, you can read the following infographic prepared by Luming Consulting. Click on the picture to zoom it

Watch this video to learn more about SOPA and PIPA

Google Image Ripper Provides Better Image Search

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Google Image Ripper is a web tool that allows its users to search for and download images. It is not associated with Google in anyway except that it uses almost the same  search algorithm. Google Image Ripper "improves on the existing Google image seach tool by allowing you to safely and easily search through the results as thumbnails and also offers  a gallery of full-size images without having to surf to each website."

google image ripper

Performing  an image search using Google Image might look bloated and slower compared to Google Image Ripper. What I really do not like about Google Image is the fact that you always need to go to the source website and click on the full image to see it all or download it. I know this is paying credit to the source but adding their links under the image is all it takes. Imagine you want to download several images, you will spend a lot of time just going in and out of the search page and the website. Google Image Ripper works on this and provides you with search results in a minimalist layout display featuring thumbnails with a download link so you do not need to leave the seach page to download the link.

Head over to Google Image Ripper and give it a try

All My Books A Desktop Library for your Ebooks

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All my Books is a personal data base software that allows its users to store, and organize their ebooks right in their desktop.Internet is ripe with free ebooks and PDFs and you might have already amassed a number of them in your hard drive. The thing is when you do not organize these ebooks they get stored in places you might easily forget. Sometimes you want to check an ebook that you have installed somewhere on your computer but feel lazy to go around  looking for it. With All my Books, every ebook will be available in clean organized shelves that will pop out at your eyes the moment you  open the software.

all my books

All my Books is a kind of a library on you desktop where you can organize your ebooks.The only thing with this software is that it did not come completely free and you will have only a 30 days trail period after which you need to pay $39 to get it. I think if you like the service and have the means to afford it then It is really worth it.

To start using All my Books you need to head over to its main page and download the software. Once installed you can then start uploading your ebooks from your hard drive.For every ebook you uploaded , you will need to provide its title, binding, number of pages, etc.You can even add your own categories and fields to make it easy for you to organize your data.When you want to look for an ebook you have already stored in All my Books , you will just type in its title and there you go.

If you are looking for free educational ebooks then check out The List of Websites where to Download Free Edooks.

Soapbox A Free Tool to Increase Students Engagement

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Soapbox is a new beta web service that allows teachers to get their students engagement and develop their interaction. Saopbox provides a platform for the presenter's audience to give their feedback and participate in the discussion in real time. With Soapbox " speakers are able to transform traditional lectures into lasting conversations by integrating audience thoughts and opinions without any interruption."

Some features of Soapbox

Here is a list of the main features that Soapbox offers to its users:

  • It is easy to use
  • It is free and has a good user interface
  • It lets students get engaged in the discussionby addding and voting for questions
  • It has a confusion barometer to let students indicate their areas of confusion
  • It lets users easily create polls
  • It has a smart filter to prevent duplicate submissions
  • It has an archive for answered questions
  • It allows users to have co-moderators help them managing the session

Watch this video to learn more about Soapbox

Head over to Soapbox and give it a try.

Google Released Inclusive Booklet for Educators

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Google has recently released a great resource for educators everywhere. It has amassed all its education programs from primary school to university as well as a suite of free and open tools that " reach families and classrooms around the world" into one place called " Google in Education: A New and Open World for Learning ".

google for education

This new and all inclusive booklet from Google is meant to highlight how Googlers all around the globe are using Google products to enhance and develop teaching and learning. It covers debates and subjects ranging from physics to fiction. I personally see new  this move as a simple reaction from Google towards Apple,s latest releases which are mainly iBooks and iBooks Author. Geoole is feeling a strong competition coming from Apple in the domain of education and is now trying to shift this focus towards it services and we wont be surprised if we hear about new releases from its education department in the near future. Anyway, we do not care who competes against whom and all we want is a good service that lives up to the educational needs of this digital era.

For more information about Google s products for education and to help you stay updated about their future releases in education I would direct you to their website

Google+ Safety Guide for Educators and Parents

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Google+ is now rolling out to teens whose age is 13 and up. This move has been unexpected especially with the growing concern worldwide over issues of cyberbullying and the raise of cyber crimes. Simultaneous to this release, Google announced the launch of an online safety centre for teens on Goolge+ in an attempt to ease out the worries of parents. These new safety enhancements are meant to protect teenagers, "encourage safe behaviour through appropriate defaults and in-products help, and make abuse reporting tools easy to find and use."

Google+ safety center provides a wide range of resources to teachers, parents and teens to help them learn more about how to use Google+ in a fun, smart and safe way. It has a lot of materials that we can use with our students in the classroom to sensitize them about the online privacy issues. I do recommend these tools to educators.
There are three guides provided by Google+ safety centre :
Teens Guide
This guide provides tips to teenagers on how to use Google+ and navigate the social web safely

Parents Guide
This one here is to help parents teach their kids how to stay on the righ side of the line while online

Educators Guide
This is for teachers to show their students how to operate safely and responsibly in their social expereinces online

Google Earth 6.2 Great New Features

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Google 6.2 is  the latest version of Google Earth released yesterday ( 26/01/2012). This new update has several new features that improve the overall viewing experience of its users and lets them virtually explore the globe in  new intuitive ways. It provides seamless imagery with an advanced search functionality that never existed in the old versions. Google 6.2 has also introduced for the first time the ability  to share images from withing Google Earth  using Google Plus.

The following are some of the new features you will find in Google Earth 6.2 once you start using it.

  • Images are no more patchy. Google Earth 6.2 uses a sophisticated technology to provide a refined imagery that " preserves the unique textures of the world s most defining geographic landscapes".
  • Google Earth 6.2 provides the best earth viewing experience to both mobile and desktop users
  • It allows its users to share a screenshot of their current view in Google Earth via Google+. To use this service just log on to your Google account in the upper right hand corner of Google Earth and click " Share ".
  • It offers the autocomplete feature to its search functionality with several search layers showing all the relevant search results and not only the top ten as used to be before.
  • Google Earth 6.2 has also added biking, transit and walking directions.

Download Google Earth 6.2 and start exploring the world.

Google Takeout Back up your Data

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Goolge Takeout is a service that is provided by Google for its users to help them back up their data and even transform it to other platforms . Google has more than 70 products published online and most of them are free to use. At average every user has access to ten of its services which remains a high percentage compared to Googles competitors.

According to the recent updates, Google has changed its terms of privacy policy and makes it very easy for everyone to understand its rules without too much legal bubble. Instead of having a privacy policy for each product, Google has a universal privacy policy for al of them. This is just one update among hundreds coming up soon. I do not know if these changes have anything to do with the recent debates on SOPA ( Stop Online Piracy Act ) and PIPA ( Protect IP Act ) or just a step forward in the improvement of user- experience as Google itself claims.

As is the case with every virtual platform, some users change their mind about certain services as soon as they try them and  so they look for ways to undo what they did. for Google users who have been using its products for a certain period of time and want to quit, they need to use Google Takeout. This service will enable them to back their data and take it with them to other services if they want to.

Google Takeout lets you download your data into your computer. You can either download all of it at once or go around selecting the services from which to download it. Google products covered by the Takeout are : Circles, Contacts, Docs, Buzz, Knol, Picasa web album, Profile, Google Voice, Google+ Stream and Google+. Unfortunately Blogger is not included but if you have a blog and want to back up its data you need to head over to its setting and click on "other" and then export blog.

Head over to Google Takeout and give it a try.

Watch this video tutorial to learn more

What Freshmen Need to Know about College

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Beginning college can be a duanting experience, one that ca be a costly adventure adn filled with high expectation.. but is it worth the sacrifice ? It definately is. I personally consider going to college as one of the most important phase in our life especiialy if it is a successul  experience. Anyway not everyone has the chance to do so and hopefully governemnets will start thinking seriuosly about how to make graduate studies affordabel for everyone and why not even free.

This post here is an infographic covering some amazing facts about freshmen and the top most popular college majors. It is a follow up to to the two previuos posts entitled: How to Choose your College, and Affordable Education for Everyone.

Read the infographic and share it with your students and colleagues.

Freshmen Facts
Via: Bachelors Degree Blog

Affordable Education for Everyone

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As we have seen in How to Choose Your College, the decision one makes as to what kind of college he/she  wants to join is based on several reasons and teachers, educators and in some cases parents also play a big role in this orientation. Now supposing one has already picked  the college and field of study they want to major in the biggest hurdle that stands in their face in this stage is the tuition issue.

Tuition fees are sometimes high and almost unaffordable and that is probably  why many students just give up the whole idea of pursuing university studies after all. There is no blinking the fact that college degrees open up a promising potential for decent jobs and therefore it is worth the sacrifice. Here is an infographic that has been designed by online college shedding more light on the topic of tuitions and how to afford your graduate studies.

Affordable Education for All
Via: Online College Resource

How to Choose The Right College

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Getting the right higher education orientation is not an easy thing . We have already had ours and some of us were lucky enough to have been properly directed towards the field of study most relevant to his/her skills but several others were misguided. As educators and educators, especially those dealing with k-12 students, we need to make sure our students are properly mentored as to what will and will not work for them once they graduate.

I am not saying that we wil be giving them sessions of higher education counsuling for this is not our job and there are people who can do this but what I am hinting at is those practical  general tips that can help students get the maximum from a prospective university course. Below is an infographic that will exactly provide you with the ideas you need to do this kind of guidance. It covers yardsticks students should rely on when thinking of joining a college. It also provides pieces of advice as to how lead a successful college experience.

Read the inforgraphic and share it with your students.

Getting Into the College of Your Dreams
Via: Online College Hub

Map Your Data for Free Using World Map

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The World Map is a great service provided by the Centre for Geographic Analysis ( CGA ) at Harvard univerrsity. It allows users to publish, explorre, edit, and visualize geographically referenced information. World Map is easy to use and can be a great help especially to Geography teachers but everyone else can use it to present visually appealing mapped data.

Woreld Map stores more than 1800 data sets for users to use. These data sets are accompanied in most of the times by illustrations and explanations on how to use them. Users also have the option to upload their own data sets and customize their maps the way they want. Once finished, you can then embed your map in your blog or website, print it out, or view it in Google Earth.

Watch this video to learn more about World Maps.

Head over to World Maps and give it a shot.

ActivePresenter A Free Screencasting Software

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ActivePresenter is a cool web service. It is a screencasting software that allows its users to record everything that is displayed on their screens. I am adding this tool that I have just discovered to the list of Free Screen Casting Tools I have been compiling here.
Screencasting services are great tools for educators. They can be used to create awesome tutorials and presentations. I know most of these tools are not free but at least we have a bunch of free ones now in our hands that we can use to do many things. ActivePresenter has two versions one is paid with many more features and the other one is free with less features. We can content oursleves with just the free version for it is generous enough.

Some features of ActivePresenter

Here is a lis of the main features that ActivePresenter offers to its users:

  • It has a free version with intersting features
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friend'y interface
  • It lets you record full motion video with high quality resolution
  • It lets you capture screenshots with simple mouse clicks
  • It lets you generate appropriate annotations for each action
  • I ha no watermark
  • It lets you change, add, remove, parts of your video
  • It syncs audio, video and overlays
  • It lets you share your videos with other
  • You can also upload your video to popular video sharing sites

Here is a sample video output to learn more about ActivePresenter

Head over to ActivePresenter and give it a shot

Facebook Video Player Watch Videos and Read Posts Simulatnaeously

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Facebook Video Player is, as its name suggests, a chrome extension that allows its users to play Facebook videos without having to put their Facebook browsing to pause. What actually happens when you want  to watch a video on your wall is that the moment you start playing it, you can no longer scroll down or up because you will not be able to see the video. This is a feature that bothers many users and I am one of them too. I do not like to spend several minutes doing nothing but watching a video, sometimes the video is only audio and does not really deserve that pause.

If you are a Chrome user which I hope you are given of the importance of Chrome, then you will no longer have to paralyse al your Facebook activity to watch a video. Using Facebook Video Player will enable you to both  watch a video and  scroll   down through your Facebook posts.

After you install the add-on and restart your browser. You will see that any video you will play within Facebook will be shifted to the right pane away from the centre posts section.Go ahead and check your posts while the video is up there playing. I think you might be in need of such a tool too. Head over to Chrome store and install Facebook Video  Player.

Drawpr Share Files and Docs for Free

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Drawpr is a cool website that allows its users to upload and share their documents with friends and colleagues. This is a tool I have just discovered and I am adding it to the list of free File Sharing Tools I am collecting in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Drawpr is free and easy to use. It offers an empty bucket that can be filled with docs and files. Users can just drop and drag their docs into that bucket and this latter will generate a link for them to share with others. The uploaded files can remian in the bucket for up to 28 days after which they will be removed if no action was done.

Users can benefit from the services of Drawpr without even being signed up but in case of registrations, users will be able to host their files for a longer period and they can also have much freedom in managing their docs and files the way they want.
Head over to Drawpr and give it a try.

The Best 10 Tablets for Educators.

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 The world is going mobile and so teaching and learning. We no longer talk about the use of only " traditional technology " ( computers and laptops ) in education for this is taken for granted but there emerged a growing need for the use of smart mobile technology. The majority of students now use a mobile device of some sort. Stats show that 95 of k-12 students in the United States own a phone.In fact these numbers are not surprising for we have a direct contact with students and we know exactly how much they use their phones and how excited they get to check out their phones the first thing when they have their break.

Educational Technology experts and curriculum designers are shifting the focus towards levelling this mobile technology into our classrooms. The move is still decent but promising. I said promising because we strated to see signs from the prominent world companies like Samsung and Apple trying to gear parts of their technology towards education. Just recently,  Apple has announced the release of iBooks 2 and iBooks Author that are considered to be the start of a digital textbook revolution.

With all these developments going on you might be asking yourself which mobile gadget I should get for myself to keep me  swimming  with the current. This is a hard decision to take alone especially that most of you are educators and not mobile technology experts. Anyway, there is always someone to hep. I am a teacher sharing with you the same pedagogical background but I am also a web2.0 and mobile technology  researcher. I have recently launched a website, The Best of Mobile Technology,  that is designed specifically to cover all the news, tips and reviews of the latest things in the mobile sphere.So being able to combine the technical part together with the educational background I think I know exactly how to help educators in their daily endeavour to implement technology into their work. In this regard I will be posting a series of articles to help teachers make their best decisions when it comes to what mobile gadgets to look for. Today's post is the first one of its kind to cover Tablets and will hopefully  help you answer the question which tablet to buy.

In   The Best of Mobile Technology,  I have a section there called Tablets Review where I make reviews of the best Tablets out there in the market and from this section I am selecting you this list of the best ten  tablets. Just keep in mind that for you to get a good tablet you need to always  look into features such as :  screen size ( 10.1 inches is the best ), The micro processor power in GHz the bigger the better, see if it is a dual core or quad core with the last one being the better, camera pixels, and video power that is calculated in pp, USB port, kind of operating system it runs....etc. I know the design is not a big deal for many people but yes you can also take it into account.

Here is a list of the best Tablets. Click on any title to read the entire review. I ordered the tabs according to their importance.

1- Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 ( This tab has just been released a couple of weeks ago in CSE in Las Vigas )

2- Asus Eee Pa Memo ( This is also just some weeks old )

3- Acer Iconia Tab A700 ( this is also just a couple of weeks old )

4- Apple's iPad 2

5- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

6- Motorolla Xoom 

7- Blackberry Playbook

8- LG Optimus Tablet

9- Sony Tablet 

10- HTC Flyer Tablet

If you have suggestions or questions feel free to contact me and I will be glad to give a hand.

474747 A Start Page and Directory of Best Websites

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474747 is a great website I discovered today. It is not about math as you might have initially thought, it is like a startpage. Not knowing what a start page is ? This is a page where users aggregate all their favourite websites that they access on a daily basis so that it becomes easy for them to consult their websites without having to type in the URLs each time they want to visit them. A startpage is a must have service for heavy internet users like me. It saves you time and makes your online surfing much more easier. There are many online services that provide start pages and among these ones Google. I am personally using iGoogle to manage and organize the websites I constantly access all in one single page.

474747 is a start page service that allows users to have a quick access to a sort of directory of online websites at a simple click. It arranges websites in different categories and organizes them into grids. There is evern a " choose country " option where you can select your nation and start getting country-specific suggestions of websites to use.

474747 features a list of categories such as : Mail, Social, News, Shopping, Banks, Travel, Business, Estates, Sports,Jobs, Phones, Government, Health , Weather .....and the list is too long. There is also a Google Search bar at the top of the page that you can use to seach directly into Google.

Head over to 474747 and give it a try.

Reminder Guru Get Free Reminders via Email, SMS, or Phone Calls

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Reminder Guru as its name suggests is a web service that allows users to get reminders. I know probably most   of you use reminders of some sort to mark important events and remember crucial dates  be it on the computer, smartphone or calendars but Reminder Guru is completely different from the tools you know. It lets its users get reminders through phones via text messages or in the form of an email to their inbox.

Reminder Guru is free and easy to use. Just head over to its main page and sign up with them. Once you are signed in you can start setting your options to create a reminder. You can choose whether you want the reminder to be a one time deal or recur on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. The next thing you do is to provide your email address and phone number. You will be then directed to select the way you want to get your reminder . you can choose from three ways : through email, a text message, or a phone call. There is a security code that you will have to type in to finalize your reminder. Reminders can be viewed and easily deleted from your account anytime you want.

Head over to Reminder Guru and give it a shot.

Five Free Tools to Organize and Schedule Meetings

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In an anwser to the emails I have been recieving lately from teachers asking for free tools to organize and schedule their meetings , the following article will helpfully provide some of these tools. Just go ahead and compare them and you will probably find the one you feel at ease working with. I can not say which one is the best for they are all great and they more or less perform the same job.

Here is the list

1- Wiggio

 Wiggio makes group work much more easier as its easy and straightforward design provides everything you need to work productively in your groups. It is simple to use and has a very nice and flexible interface that makes it easy for students, parents, and teachers alike.

2- Doodle

It is a tool for scheduling meetings. If you are planning a meeting with different people and you don't want to impose your opinion on them as for the timing of that meeting then use Doodle to make a poll and invite your group members to vote for an appropriate time when they can all meet. It offers a democratic way for scheduling meetings

3- Sign Up Genius

This is a free online tool to create and manage group sign up lists. It offers its users several services such as :

  • Wizards for creating sign ups
  • private or group sign up
  • automated email reminders
  • customizable templates
  • Easy administration tools and stats

4- Volunteer Spot

this is another free tool that allows its users to create online sing up forms and volunteer scheduling. It does not require any registration or software installation. Just go ahead and give it a try.

5- Sign App Now

Sign App Now is a great application that lets users create simple and easy sign up sheets. It has two versions one is free and one is premium with 5 dollars a month. I think the free version is enough for you and has the basics of making a sign up sheet.

Make your Own Books for Free Using Apple iBooks Author App

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In conjunction with the release of iBooks app, the digital textbook app, Apple has also announced the launch of its new iBooks Author app that is designed specifically to help users create ebooks.. It seems quite obvious that Apple is moving some of the focus of its technology into education. They  knows that there is a big potential in this ' promising market " and so a few smart investments in it will boost up their company's gainings. As educators and educational technology experts we would but welcome all these innovations and wish that the competition would heat up between all the major corporations to come up with new products to fooster education.

Some features of iBooks Author App

Here is a list of the manin features that iBooks Author app offers to its users :

  • It is free
  • It lets users create  apple ebooks
  • It provides a variety of different book templates
  • It offers several customization options to users such as the layout, design , cover etc
  • It lets users include multimedia features to their ebooks
  • Users can choose and customize theor ebooks 'table of contents, chapters an sections
  • There are several page layout users can choose from
  • It allows for importing text directly from a page or Word file
  • Users can integrate some interactive widgets into their pages such as images, 3D objects, video, photo slideshows, quiz questions,custom HTML and keynote presentations.
  • Users can preview their ebooks on their iPads before publishing
  • Ebooks are stored in the library of iBooks store

iBooks Author seems to be a great idea in the democratization of knowledge sharing and information access but to what extent this new experience will succeed is a question that   needs  some time to see how things go  before judging the usability of this app.

For more educational apps reviews head over to my website The Best of Educational Technology

Here is a video about iBooks Author

A List of Great Educational Infographics

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I see there is a lot of interaction with the infographics I post here and that proves that you like the visually appealing posts. I do too and I think most of the people like to learn visually. Your students would love to have visual aids integrated into their classroom . It will drive off some of the boredom that looms around and would  give life to group work activities. I have been covering several infographics  in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. All of these infographics are educational and can be used in classrooms.

The following is a list of some of  the most important infographics that you need to bookmark and share with your colleagues and students.

First here is a short video featuring the importance of Infographics in education.

Infographics as a Creative Assessment from Kathy Schrock on Vimeo.

here is the list.

1- What Freshmen Need to Know about Colleges

2- The Internet League You Need to Know

3- Affordable Education for Everyone

4- How to Choose The Right College

5- Five Funny Infographics for Teachers and Students

6- Left Vs Right Brain Learn Where you Belong to

7- The Digital Promise for Education

8- Do We Teach to The Test

9- The Downfall of American Public Education

10- Google Search Tips

11- Google Vs Facebook Privacy Settings and Security Issues

12- What are The Easiest Languages to Learn

13- Language and The Brain Intricate Relationship

14- Mobile Learning The Next Trend in Education

15- YouTube Killed Tv

16- Tips on how to Use Google To Improve your Search Skills

17- The Effect of Social Media

18- Understand how our Mind and Memory Work

19- How Educators Use Social Media

20- Amazing Facts about Students Learning Via Smartphones

21- Google and your Memory The Obscurerelationship

22-  SDTs in Campuses Alarming Stats and Facts

23- SOPA and PIPA for Educators

Tilt View Newsy Videos from Around The Web

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Tilt View is a cool website. It allows users to watch the latest news report. It is more or less similar to YouTune Trends for they both stream what is currently hot on the media. Tilt View monitors news websites in real time and aggregates the breaking news to display in the form of YouTube news videos.

Tilt View is a very simple and easy to use website. It is also user friendly and does not require any kind of software download or sign up. Just head over to its main page  and you will instantly see news reports get laoded up and start playing. You can use the buttons on the site to pause a video, skip to the next or last one.

" After canceling the cable service, started watching more ofetn news online. But visiting different websites to watch news from different sources seems hard work. Choosing which videos to play and clicking on each one made me realize there should be better way to watch watch news online. Created Tilt View so that it gathers important and current news and play it without having to do any work. "

Vidique A Single Platform for Videos from Different Websites

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Vidque is a video platform that aggregates all the videos from different video sources into one single page. It also serves as a  social profile for users where they can store their favourite videos, rank and rate others' videos and interact with the community members.
Vidque allows you to open your free account with them and start curating your content. You will have access to videos from the popular video websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Ted,

Some features of Vidque

Here is a list of the main features that Vidque offers to its users:

  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interafce
  • It lets you save and tag videos you watch online
  • It lets you follow video posting of a website, blog, RSS or Twitter acccount
  • It allows you to watch videos posted by users and websites you follow
  • It remembers which videos you have watched so you dont have to watch them again

Head over to Vidque to learn more

iBooks 2 Is It The 21st Century Digital Textbook Revolution ?

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In its first major announcement since the death of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc has recently released iBooks2 and iBooks Author.It seems like Apple is planning to radically transform the digital textbook market. iBooks 2 which is an updated version of the company's iPad e-reading app that supports interactive textbooks, is a complete reinvention of the textbook as we know it.

There are several reasons why Apple is trying to revolutionize the textbook world and among these :

  •  1.5 million iPads currently used in education
  •  more than 20,000 educational apps are now available
  •  Traditional textbooks are expensive and not interactive
  •   Major educational publishers including Pearson,, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have already partnered with Apple to develop iBooks Author.

This is Apple's video to promote iBooks 2.

Educational technology experts and curriculmum designers see this move as the beginning of the end for the " big backpack" and a major step in taking advantage of the device's portability and cost-effectiveness. Roger Rosner, VP of Apple's iWork, said " Clearly, no printed textbook can compete with iBooks2 interactive digital texts."

Some features of iBooks 2

Here is a list of the main features that iBooks 2offers to its users:

  • It is free
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It is easy and simple to use
  • It allows for highlighting and note-taking
  • Books can be owned forever and re-downloaded at any time from the cloud
  • It offers a more dynamic user experience

This is all awesome and promising and yes iPad with its ability to play video and combine informatio from many resources has definately positioned it as the lead of the evolution of the digital textbook but the question that remians unanswered is that both Students and schools will need  iPads to use iBooks but who is going to afford the cost of this digital transformation ?

Here is a hands-on video to learn more about iBooks2

Head over to iTunes Store to download iBooks 2

Here are some screenshots of iBooks 2

Magma An Awesome Video Platform and Aggregator

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Magma is a great video platform. It aggregates the most popular videos from all around the web into one single page. No more going around looking for videos in various websites Magma does the job for you. Magma , like YouTube Trends, Tilt View and Newsy, depends on a wide range of resources  to enrich its content. It actually features  100 popluar internet videos from some video sharing sites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, Hulu and many more.

Magma stands out fron the pack by using some unique features such as featuring videos not only from video sharing platforms but also from popular social networks like Twitter, Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon etc. All the videos on the homepage are neatly organized under different blocks and into easily browseable categories.

If you want to be able to create your own dashboard of videos where you can add videos and interact with other members of the community you can then sign up with them . You can also use their bookmarklet  to save videos you like.
Head over to Magma and give it a try.

Mowid A Great Video Search Engine

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Mowid is a cool YouTube video discovery engine. It facilitates your video search and brings you the best results. MoWid provides a unique way of exploring new videos on the web by using a tagging system. There are a number of tags that shows up on the screen as soon as you access MoWid homepage. You can use a combination of these tags to get the videos you are looking for. This is a smart way to search for videos and it proves its usability since the first try.

To navigate for video, click on the scrolling tags to add to your filter  and get a list of videos. More videos will show up as you mix and combine more tags. The videos provided are all from YouTube .

Head over to MoWid and give it a shot

Newsy Watch the World s News in Videos Fetched from Several Channels

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Newsy is a good website for people who like to keep track of the latest news events in the world. Some people do not like reading news but rather prefer watching it and Newsy can help them do just that. It aggregates news videos from multiple sources and stream then on its homepage. Among the sources Newsy depends on in fetching its news stories are : BBC, CNN, ABC News, Aljazeera and several others. You can access videos from all these channels right from a single page.

You can either watch videos at random or sort them according to the category or tags such as the most popular, the highest rated or highest commented. What is really nice of Newsy website is the fact that above each video you will find the news sources and below it user comments, and text transcript  of the video. It also allows its users to share the videos they watch either using an embeded code or via different social media websites.

YouTube Trends and TiltView are other similar tools that might interest you as well.

Head over to Newsy and give it a try.