1st Anniversary Grab Bag Podcast!

Today the Tech Savvy Educator is officially one year old! I know, I know, one year and we’re already walking, talking, blogging, and collaborating. Just imagine what we’ll be up to during year two.

I choose June 1st of 2005 as the official launch so that I would have time to focus on blogging and community building in the summertime while not teaching. That having been said, I’ve been a bit slow on the blogging as of late (something which I apologize for as I was just chatting with a friend about finding the time to write). So for this special day (many blogs rarely make it three months, let alone one year), I have a small “grab bag” of links for you that I’ve collected over the past year for the purpose of future exploring, sharing, and using in my classroom. Unfortunately, with all of the other sites and ideas I’ve shared, discussions I’ve participated in on the forum, and the general business of the school year, I’ve neglected these poor links, and have yet to share them with the rest of the community.

Podcast – 1st Anniversary Grab Bag (a bit long as I had a lot to say, sorry about the size)

The podcast gives a few details of the site and how it might be useful. I also wanted to thank all of the moderators, readers, and forum members for participating this year. I know I thank those individuals a lot, but they really do deserve every bit of thanks as it’s difficult to find the time to read, post, comment, and share resources during the usually hectic and busy school year.

Create comics using images from Flickr and cartoon speech bubbles

Create your own book using your own photos, stories, and blog entries

Create maps of the world where territories and countries are re-drawn using a wide range of demographics including population, imports, tourism, etc.

Remotely operate an electron microscope from your classroom to look at insects and other “bugs”

Teacher Laptop
Website providing special offers to educators for laptops and other computers from major manufacturers

Freesound Project Geotags
Free sounds from around the world recorded by amatuers and marked on a Google Map by their location

Amusement Park Physics
Explore what principles of physics are behind several amusement park rides


  1. Ben,

    Happy Birthday to the Tech Savvy Educator!

    Am downloading the podcasts as I type, but wanted to say I really apprecate your sharing all the sites you posted. As I am downloading the podcast, I’m also downloading BookSmart to play with. That will keep me out of the pool halls for a few days playing with the new goodies you posted 🙂
    Do appreciate what you do! Thanks!


  2. What’s with WorldMappers’ maps? What a wonderful resource, but the maps look like they were done by Salvador Dali.
    Working wih younger student’s, I could see that as a problem.

  3. Thanks for the kind words Casey. It’s been fun this year sharing and learning, so I’m looking forward to next year with a community that’s really starting to establish itself and gain some momentum.

    As for Worldmapper, I actually thought some upper elementary classrooms would really benefit from the site. Many look at the same old map and have no idea that more than 1/3 of the world’s population live in Southeast Asia. While I agree that it’s a bit odd the maps are drawn in that curvy manor (not nice neat boxy territories like I’ve seen other demographic maps do), the idea of countries being redrawn in order to show their importance based on population or energy use might be beneficial when comparing it to a regular world map. Perhaps a good conversation starter nonetheless; “If India and China are HUGE when it comes to population and the US is tiny, then why is it on the toy import map or energy map the US is the largest?”

  4. After listening to your podcast, I see how the maps work. Not the traditional looking map, but I see the purpose in their design.

    One other question, I use a cartoon making program at school, but am interested in the natural use of Flickr with Bubblr. However, I have strong concerns about the appropriateness of some of the photos in Flickr. Using the tag “car” as you did in your podcast, it looked pretty clean, but that’s not always the case. A student clicking on an innocent picture of a car could end up in that person’s folder where things other than cars could be.
    Any suggestions to keep it from turning into a problem?



  5. I was thinking the same thing Casey, which is why I choose the term cars; it seemed pretty harmless. Other terms, even simple ones like “boy” or “girl” might turn up some rather unwanted images.

    The first solution that comes to mind, given you have enough time to prep for using the website, is to design an activity in which you’ve given them pre-chosen tags that you’ve already had a chance to preview during another time. As long as you limit them to just searching by tags, then you won’t run the risk of entering a user’s album and seeing other images that wouldn’t be related to the subject.

    OR, you could get really ambitious and create your own account at flickr, then upload a bunch of images you’ve collected on the web (copyright free of course), taken yourself with a digital camera, or let the students upload their own using a scholl camera. That way you have control over all of the images in that particular account.

    Perhaps not the best solutions, but working starts?

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