35 Sites to Find eBooks

150 Free Textbooks- meta collection from Open Culture's blog

4eBooks- computer programming books; very large collection

Academic eBooks- covers humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, formal sciences and professions & applied sciences.

askSam eBooks  and Databases- askSam viewer needed for downloaded books

Bartleby-small site contains classic literature, poetry and reference works.

Bibliotastic-free downloads for indie authors; rating system for titles

BluePortal- computer-related titles, such as Facebook for Dummies, Javascript Bible and the Digital Photography Workflow Handbook.

Bookyards- currently 800,000 ebooks

eBook Lobby- categories include art & photography, children's books, literature & fiction and sports.

eBooks Directory- close to 1700 titles; includes textbooks, lecture notes; updated daily

Flatworld Knowledge- free textbooks

FreeBookSpot- 96 categories and over 4,4000 titles

Free-eBooks- register for free; download on iPhone or computer; includes magazines

Free Computer and IT Books

FreeComputerBooks- 12 major categories and 150 sub-categories; includes tutorials. lecture notes and computer and math eBooks.

FreeBook-s- download for iPad, smartphone or eBook reader; this is a search engine which looks through many collections to find eBooks.

FreeTechBooks- covers computer science, engineering, programming, textbooks and lecture notes.

GetFree eBooks- free legal downloads

Globusz Publishing- ePublishing house which has free downloads

Google Books- thousands of public domain titles for free download

KnowFree- ebooks, video training, educational materials; IT books and magazines

Kobo- includes NY Times Bestsellers, Oprah's Book Club

Lendink- loan and borrow "officially lendable eBooks for your Kindle and Nook."

ManyBooks- more than 29,000 eBooks; download to iPod, eBook reader or PDA

Memoware- some categories include literature, (biography, horror, children, western...) reference, (education, computers, history..)

New Jersey State Library- sixteen categories on current topics

The Online Books Page-"over 1 million free books on the web".

OnlineComputerBooks- just what the title says....free computer books

Online Free eBooks- mainly pdf downloads; nine categories

Planet eBook- free classic literature

Project Gutenberg- 15,00 titles, all in the public domain. Easy download text files written in ASCII; readable on all computers.

ReadPrint- "thousands of books for students, teachers & the classic enthusiast".

Science Books Online- textbooks, lecture notes, monographs

The Universal Library- hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, it has one million titles, most of which are older works (before 1923)

Let's Talk About the Cloud

The other day, I was asked by an administrator to explain in simple terms what cloud computing was. I thought about it for a second, and then said this: Your files are on your desktop computer right now, right? Well, imagine if they were out there (I pointed to the sky) and you could access them wherever you had Internet access. I further explained that using their servers instead of ours would be much more practical and safe, given that a company like Google has their own huge group of tech people and thousands of servers with secure encryption. The cloud would be like a big bubble protecting all our files. Web 2.0 is a big part of cloud computing as it involves online programs which we allow us to collaborate with others. I personally like cloud computing. I use GoogleDocs and I am trying to interest my school district in Google Apps for Education. (After all, it's good enough for Brown University...) I know that people feel very concerned about personal files being out on the web, and I never store anything that sensitive in the cloud.

Here's a short video which explains cloud computing:

Yes, There's Now an App For This Blog!

If you have an iPhone, you can download the app for my blog: http://itunes.apple.com/my/app/bloapp/id436962200?mt=8 and by snapping the QR code on the upper right column of this blog you can add this blog to the app.
This was made possible by Bloapp, which allowed me to create my own app! With my Photoshop knowledge, I was able to create my own header and logo which were the exact dimensions needed. Very cool, wouldn't you say?

Free Geography Games

Geography-Map Games is a free Flash-based site which tests students' knowledge of world geography. There are many different quizzes offered, from cities of the UK to provinces in Canada. There is a section which tests your knowledge about flags of the world and capitols of the world. Geography-Map-Games can be appreciated by all age groups, with junior versions of U.S. cities, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Europe. Students must be registered if they want to save their scores.

Math Can Be Fun

Here's a great way to supplement your math textbook and keep your students interested--Mudd Math Fun Facts. Hosted by the Harvey Mudd College Math Department, this site currently has 203 fun facts covering algebra, calculus, geometry, probability and more. You can search for a random fact by subject area or by level of difficulty. To those math teachers who thought there wasn't anything on the web for their classes, this is a nice place to start.

Web 2.0 for Newbies

Chances are you are quite overwhelmed with all the technology that has bombarded you this school year.  I consider myself a real tech geek, and even I have had a headache many times because I felt that I just couldn't keep up with how fast Twitter postings, Google Reader postings and web searches arrived on my desktop. With that said, I have narrowed my list down to the 12 basic Web 2.0 tools I feel I can't live without. With so many choices, I kept my list to those apps which are free, easy to learn and use. Basics....just the basics are here. Please add your choices to the comments section at the end of this post.

Teacher Discounts Are Out There...

I found this blog post on the Gift Card Granny website, but it's not related to gift cards. The posting lists 66 businesses which give various discounts to teachers. From the Container Store to J. Crew to Seaworld, discounts are available just for the asking.  FYI: You can also find many free things for teachers on my website of teacher resources.

The Biggest Book

This was just too amazing to pass up. I can't believe they actually printed a book that large.

Share Files Without People Having to Download Your File

Dropdo is a very simple way to share a file with someone. Just upload to their site, get a URL, and share it with your colleagues and friends. There are even Chrome and Firefox extensions to make the process easier.

Listen to Radio Stations Online

Now that summer vacation has arrived, I'm sure you're trying to relax with a good book or catching up on some chores you left behind. I'm taking a few grad courses for professional development and always enjoy having music playing in the background while I work. Pandora has been a favorite, but they seem to play the same songs every time I'm on one of my channels. I came across TuneIn today and found it a great choice. With access to over 50,000 radio stations around the world, TuneIn offers many different types of music, from rock, blues, children's, adult contemporary to talk radio. There is something for everyone, including the TuneIn mobile app, which can be used on the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, Blackberry, Palm and more. Free is definitely good.

Promo Video For ISTE Philly Rocks!

Pegby Lets You Collaborate Online

I saw this neat little app on The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness and I have to say it's a great way to work with your colleagues on a project. The premise is simple: create a card, put it on your board, design the number of columns you want, add more cards to your "stack" and share with others.
Here's a quick video which shows Pegby:

Pegby in Two Minutes from Pegby on Vimeo.

This Picture Needs a Caption

I came upon this picture online and thought about how it really needs a caption. Why don't you submit your idea in the comments section?

The ABCs of Web Literacy

The University of Pennsylvania's Penn Libraries have designed a super interactive tutorial on web literacy. The step-by-step tutorial covers five areas: authority, accuracy, bias, currency and coverage. Students using this guide will be able to properly evaluate a website and decide whether or not to trust the information on it.

Here are some other resources to help evaluate a website:
Evaluating Web Pages Pathfinder
Evaluating Websites: Criteria and Tools
Kathy Schrock's ABCs of Website Evaluation

Cloud Computing and Syncing For Free?

Glide OS 4.0 claims to be the "first complete online operating system" which is made up of collaboration  and productivity apps. With 30GB of free storage, (250GB is $50/year) Glide allows up to six family member accounts and will sync from the cloud with your desktop computer or mobile phone. Click here to watch a quick video on the product.

Animated Maps Teach History

The Map as History is a wonderful site which claims to be the "largest online collection of animated maps." There are subscription offers for libraries, schools and universities, as well as free access to 14 maps. 

Why I Order Graphic Novels for the Library

I know that there are many teacher-librarians and media specialists who do not feel that graphic novels have a place in the school library. I've heard comments such as "They're the same as comic books!" and "High school students shouldn't be reading picture books". Today's digital learners are constantly preoccupied with visual stimuli, including video games, computers, TV, movies and cell phones that it's no wonder that our book circulation statistics have shown a decline in the last few years.

Problem #1- Dealing with kids who say they hate reading
That always hurts to hear, but I'd rather they were reading a magazine or a graphic novel, because then they would at least be reading, right?

Problem #2- Special education students who have various problems
I have students who not only have ADD, they dislike reading. (see problem #1) Cool pictures in a graphic novel can possibly keep their interest, especially if the artwork is awesome. The books I have purchased include a few Twilight Zone stories, classic novels (Beowolf, Frankenstein) and Anime.

Here are a few articles about graphic novels in the school library:
How Graphic Novels Thrive in High School Libraries: A Discussion 
2011 Great Graphic Novels for Kids- from ALA
Graphic Novels, Seriously- from SLJ
Must Have Graphic Novels Secondary

Explaining QR Codes

I'm sure you've noticed these boxes and wondered what they were. I'm quite confident that most of the teachers in my school do not know about them. QR stands for Quick Response, and is made up of black modules in a square shape on a white background.Actually, you could call it a 3D bar code.  The encoded text in the square can represent a web address or text. Camera phones (with a QR app) or QR readers can read the encoded message. If you can scan the QR code I have on this page, it will lead you to my website, A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet, where you will find teacher resources by grade level. QR codes are used for many applications, whether it's in an advertisement in the newspaper or on someone's business card. Believe it or not, there are many ways to use QR codes in education. Here's a great presentation put together by Steven Anderson which offers many suggestions by other teachers how they use QR codes in the classroom. I'm sure your students will love the idea of using their smartphone in the classroom; that is, of course, if cell phones are allowed in the classroom.

Related: Here's a great site to create a QR code (for free) and put it on a tee shirt , hat, mug and more.
QR Code Generator

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

The History Channel has produced a wonderful interactive on the Civil War, which is presented in the form of infographics. Roll over an image of the human body and see how many soldiers died from amputation. Roll over each image on a map and highlight the 5 deadliest battles. Each page has related articles and videos on the Civil War and the ability to share the infographic. I highly recommend Civil War 150 for all history classes. Thanks to the Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness for sharing.

Animated Engines Shows How Engines Work

Matt Keveney has created a site which explains how a variety of engines work. Animations cover internal combustion, steam and stirling engines and offer the user control over the speed of the engine. Animated Engines a  great resource for science classes or anyone thinking of a career in engineering. Thanks to Dave Andrade for posting!

Penzu: A Free Online Journal

A colleague approached me today to ask for suggestions for a new class she is teaching in the fall. One of the things she wants her students to do is keep an online journal (private, not shared with the world) and allow the teacher to view excerpts during the semester. I came across a free app called Penzu, which looks liked a sheet of lined paper when you view it online. Students can email parts of their journal to the teacher and don't have to worry about saving their entries, because Penzu has an autosave feature. Here's a video which gives an overview of Penzu:

Locate 10,000 Online Newspapers With a Click

Here's a free super resource that offers 10,000 plus newspapers from A to Z. View a Google map of the world and locate a newspaper with one click! You can also translate the newspaper into over 60 different languages. Click here for Newspaper Map. Thanks to Dianne Krause for posting.

eduTecher Has a Load of Free Resources

If you're looking for a site which is visually appealing and easy to navigate, eduTecher is the site for you. Here you will be able to find free web resources you can use or share with other teachers around the world. With a section called eduTecherTV, you can watch videos on different web tools. Searching for classroom resources couldn't be easier. Choose your grade level and subject area and you are given a long list of resources to choose from. Each tool is given a description, and you can add your own comment or tag, share with a colleague or just go to the site for that tool. eduTecher is an excellent site!

Free Art Curriculum from the J. Paul Getty Museum

With lesson plans, images and multimedia, this new K-12  Performing Arts in Arts curriculum has been introduced at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Covering visual arts, dance, music, history and language arts, the site is designed for all student levels and meets state and national standards.

Robotics and Cars For Blind People

Dennis Hong, founder and director of RoMeLa -- a Virginia Tech robotics lab, has created a prototype car which allows a blind person to drive. Now I know this doesn't directly have anything to do with technology in most classrooms, but it is so incredible and does actually relate directly to robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools.Watch this video and see how amazing this is!

EBSCO Mobile for Research On-The-Go

Our school media center is very fortunate to have such incredible support from the NJ State Library. We currently receive a large collection of databases which cover all grades K-12 and which are extremely helpful to our students. Most recently, EBSCO created a mobile app for the iPhone, and is expanding their mobile app to include Blackberrys and Android smartphones. If your school has EBSCOHost, you should introduce your students to mobile access. See how they react when you tell them that even if the Internet is down at school, they can use their smartphone to complete their research! Here's a link to the information about EBSCOHost Mobile.

Teaching With Infographics Section Updated

I have completely updated the section on infographics on my website. You will find information on creating an infographic, free tools for your creation and sites for infographics listed by these subject areas: education, health, history, miscellaneous, science and technology. I believe that using infographics in the classroom can really assist students who normally have a tough time visualizing what a teacher is trying to explain in a lesson.
The section can be found here.

The Best and Worst Jobs in 2011

I don't remember when the job outlook was as bad for graduates as it is today. Career Cast has posted their annual listing of 200 of the best and worst jobs in 2011. Software Engineer was named the top job with an annual income of $87,000. Teachers were #100 on the list, and the worst job was Roustabout, a person who labors on an oil rig or pipeline.

If you know a teacher who is looking for a job, tell them about this super section on Jobs for Teachers. Resources include resume templates, interview tips and much more!

Another Guide from Richard Byrne

77 Web Resources for Teachers is another great handbook from Free Technology for Teachers' Richard Byrne. What else do you have to do this summer?

Connect-Collaborate-Create This Summer

With technology integration becoming more important every day, teachers need to explore all the new tools which are available. What better time to do that than during the summer. Web 2 is a site which is divided into three areas: connect, collaborate and create. You can log in as a guest and browse through the different areas. The large icons guide you with extra information i.e. video or activities you can do with the particular tool. Well worth the visit if you'd like to learn more about Web 2.0. Thanks to iLearn Technology for posting.

Here's another super-sized listing of Web 2.0 tools: Web 2.0

DailyLit Provides Books Via Email or RSS

A great way to motivate your students to read this summer is to introduce them to DailyLit. Once they sign up on the site, students will receive their book installments via email or RSS feed. Reading can be done on a computer or any mobile device, including Blackberry, iPhone or iPad. Thanks to Kristen Swanson for posting on her site.

Easy Way to Create a How-to-Do Page

Set up your lesson, email your link and your page is ready to go! Here's a sample tutorial on creating a Google Form.

FlipSnack: Make a Beautiful Flipping Book

I'm sure you've seen online digital presentations. FlipSnack goes one step further and coverts your PDF file into a FLASH presentation.....a flipping book which can be wire-bound, hardcover or softcover. Not convinced yet that this is really cool? Here is an example of a wire-bound book.

Other online programs which can convert your PDF include:

Edutopia's Summer Rejuvenation Guide

With summer just around the corner, here's a helpful guide from Edutopia to help you "recharge the batteries" for the fall. There are many other wonderful guides on their site for you to download.

Autotopsy: You Are the Forensic Investigator

Students who are interested in forensic science will be interested in this interactive experience. An investigation follows an automobile crash, with you as the one looking for clues. I've also compiled a list of forensic sites for science teachers here.

Free Anonymous Web Hosting

Here's a really easy way to publish a webpage without having to register: PasteHtml. Simply paste you HTML code, formatted text, plain text in their box and click "publish page". You can also take a snapshot of a page webpage and stor it online. Here is a sample I made to show you what it looks like.

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