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9 Of The Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives To Microsoft Office | makeuseof

9 Of The Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives To Microsoft Office | makeuseof | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

By Aaron Couch

 

"Microsoft Office has dominated the market of text documents, spreadsheets and slide shows for years, and for good reason – it’s one of the very best. However, there’s one drawback and that is the price. Sure, it’s a relatively good investment, but for one reason or another you choose to not pay for it. What do you do?

 

"Thankfully, there are other options – and good ones. These range from web-based apps and local software to free and paid. Although some do cost, all have free options and the price you pay for the paid software is a fraction of what you would pay for Microsoft Office. Through this article I will touch upon any unique features such as mobile capability, cost, user interface and compatibility with Microsoft Office files."

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Donna Browne's curator insight, February 5, 2013 6:28 AM

I have been using Open Office for many years with good results.  Also try

the Ipad app OnLive Desktop which provides access to Office programs free of charge.  It is available free at the App Store. 

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Building the independence of learners through thoughtful uses of technology
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Social emotional learning lessons - free ebook downloads

Social emotional learning lessons - free ebook downloads | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

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A high quality archive of ebooks, monographs, chapters, brochures, and articles on social emotional learning from a variety of sources. A great deal of first-rate resources here.

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Media-Making Tutorials from KQED Education—An Educator Innovator Webinar

Media-Making Tutorials from KQED Education—An Educator Innovator Webinar | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"KQED Education has developed a set of multimedia tutorials to help teachers and youth understand how they might leverage free, predominantly online tools to create media projects. Join this conversation to hear how several teachers have used these tutorials with their students as they've engaged in multimedia

argumentation via KQED's Do Now Twitter-based civic engagement project."

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How to convert a PDF to ePUB

How to convert a PDF to ePUB | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

ePUB files offer a number of advantages over PDFs. Here's how to convert the latter into the former.


Via Marianela Camacho Alfaro
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Close Reading Relief: Re-engage Students with Digital Microstories ~ MiddleWeb

Close Reading Relief: Re-engage Students with Digital Microstories ~ MiddleWeb | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

by Mike Fisher


"Too much close reading is boring, say these ELA experts. Invite students to read & write digital microstories. It's fun and they'll strengthen key CCSS skills."


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Good strategies here along with excellent resources as well as samples demonstrating useful apps.


Thanks to Sarah Tantillo

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7 Guidelines for Building a STEAM Program ~ EDTECH

7 Guidelines for Building a STEAM Program ~ EDTECH | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

by Melissa Delaney


"Educators offer advice to districts looking to create successful STEAM programs for their students."

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Classes should do hands-on exercises before reading and video, Stanford researchers say

Classes should do hands-on exercises before reading and video, Stanford researchers say | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

by David Plotnikoff

THE FLIPPED FLIPPED CLASSROOM


"A study of how students best learned a neuroscience lesson showed a distinct benefit to starting out by working with an interactive 3D model of the brain."

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 9, 9:37 AM

There are probably times where lecture comes first, reading comes first, hand's on comes first, and video comes first. It is part of the vital role of teaching.

iCoachP53's curator insight, April 10, 10:50 AM

Whole part whole...

Bill Ferguson's curator insight, April 10, 11:52 AM
I have been thinking this for a while. Elementary students need to try first. Discussions after go a long way towards increasing their understanding of the topic.
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Create and monitor engaging flipped learning

Create and monitor engaging flipped learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"One other product I have been getting excited about is Verso. This platform is not quite a learning management system, and has built in interactivity. I like it because it is crazy easy to use. It is sort of the anti-LMS way to have students engage with your content."


Nik Peachey's insight:

This looks like a great free product to create flipped learning. It works with tablets on Android or iPad and also in the browser. Very simple to use and great way to make sure your students are engaging with content before class.


Via Nik Peachey
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Smith_Lin's curator insight, March 25, 8:48 AM

Something else to investigate

Fiona Harvey's curator insight, March 28, 3:02 AM

If students are using this in their schools, Unis need to step up their game re interactivity.

 

Looks like a great idea, and we should try this.

Melissa Marshall's curator insight, April 8, 10:44 PM

This app has been a plaything of mine for the last couple of weeks, and I am going to play over the holidays to see how it works. It is very easy to use: upload a video, write some notes/activities and there is the lesson. Seems a simple way to make flipped content for those starting to flip. 

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Make Presentations Different

Make Presentations Different | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"With SlideIdea, presentations are no longer a one-man show. SlideIdea gives presenters the tools to engage their audience through their audience’s smart phones, laptops, and tablets. Each SlideIdea presentation is provided a unique URL (i.e, www.sld.im/12345 ). Regardless of the location, an audience can simply input the URL into their internet browser and then immediately follow along with slides, participate in polls, ask questions, or even network."


Nik Peachey's insight:

This looks like a great free tool for creating interactive presentations and recording and publishing them. Just downloading it myself.



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Filipe Cálix's curator insight, February 16, 1:38 PM

Slideidea, uma nova ferramenta online de criação de slides, permite-lhe criar excelentes apresentações a partir de uma coleção de templates moderna e muito completa.

Mas onde Slideidea se distingue verdadeiramente da concorrência é nas suas possibilidades de interação com a audiência: cada apresentação recebe um url único, para partilha, que permite, ao público acompanhar a apresentação slide a slide, fazer comentários, votações, questões, etc.

Slideideia permite ainda importar (e melhorar) apresentações Powerpoint e ficheiros Pdf.

Não chega? Muito bem: com Slideideia pode ainda gravar as suas falas durante a apresentação. Excelente!

Rosanna López 's curator insight, March 30, 3:40 AM

Otra forma de hacer presentaciones....

Melissa Marshall's curator insight, April 8, 10:45 PM

This is an excellent idea for letting kids work through your presentations at their own pace. I wonder how it integrates with Keynote for importing existing work?

I am definitely going to have a play with this one. 

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The Evernote Blogging Platform

The Evernote Blogging Platform | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Postach.io helps you instantly create custom sites using Evernote by converting your notes to blog posts and pages.


Nik Peachey's insight:

Really nice blogging tool if your students use Evernote. They can sign up and publish directly from their Evernote account.


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John O'Connor's curator insight, March 19, 5:03 AM

Been using Evernote with students recently and can only give positive feedback. Interested to see how the blogging platform will work.

Larissa Bonthorne's curator insight, March 19, 4:09 PM

Useful for those staff and students who wish to create blogs from their Evernote posts.

Kelly Brown's curator insight, March 30, 7:41 AM

@Amy Vitala

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Turning documents into conversations

Turning documents into conversations | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"NowComment is fast, powerful, and feature-rich: you can sort comments, skim summaries, create assignments, hide comments, reply privately, and much more."


Nik Peachey's insight:

This looks like another useful tool for creating flipped learning.


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Mika Auramo's curator insight, April 3, 11:23 AM

Vaikuttaa lupaavalta vuorovaikutteiselta työkalulta yhteistoiminnalliseen oppimiseen.

Thoreauback's curator insight, April 9, 10:14 AM

WOW! I use freewrites in my face-to-face class because I don't believe a person can write without thinking. Yet, the document students are writing about is always distinct from the free write. In LMS discussion boards the situation is the same.

 

Do you remember how annotations use to appear in the margins of really good books? This is the same. The two-pane interface puts the document right in front of the student and lets them attach their comments to specific paragraphs, pictures or videos.  How perfect is that?

 

I want to try this for a quarter.

Mary Clark's curator insight, April 11, 11:02 AM

While much of this can be done in Google docs, there are several features which can extend the conversation.  Teachers do need to share documents via email.  

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27 Ways to Assess Students Understanding ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

27 Ways to Assess Students Understanding ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Via juandoming
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5 Infographics to Teach You How to Easily Create Infographics in PowerPoint - HubSpot

5 Infographics to Teach You How to Easily Create Infographics in PowerPoint - HubSpot | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
5 infographics and free templates that will teach you how to easily create professional-looking infographics in PowerPoint.

Via John Evans, juandoming
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Elizabeth Brookfield's curator insight, April 8, 2:34 AM

Some great ideas her for cost effective infographics

McSotos's curator insight, April 8, 9:16 PM

Για τις μαθήτριες και μαθητές του ΒΈπιπέδου(χαχα)

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Why Feedback Needs To Be Integrated Into Flipped Classrooms

Why Feedback Needs To Be Integrated Into Flipped Classrooms | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Flipped classrooms are getting plenty of headlines and attention lately in educational circles. While conceptually they sound great the reality is that they require a great deal more effort on behalf of both students and teachers.

Via Kent Wallén, juandoming
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Mozilla Webmaker's Thimble: A "Gamechanger"—An Educator Innovator Webinar

Mozilla Webmaker's Thimble: A "Gamechanger"—An Educator Innovator Webinar | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

description by Graphite


What's It Like?

"Thimble is an online webpage editor and set of remixable projects designed to help kids learn how to write the Web. As part of Mozilla's Webmaker project, Thimble displays two windows at once to show kids how the code they write creates the webpage they see on a browser. As kids edit code in the left-side window, the changes they make to things like color, font, and images immediately take effect on the right. Thimble projects featured on the Webmaker homepage are great for beginners and experienced programmers alike. Comments included in each project explain its code and how to change it. Thimble also lets kids compose their own webpages from scratch when they're ready to work independently. Using Thimble lets kids experience the joy of discovering that they, too, can create and publish webpages using authentic code.


Is It Good For Learning?

"Because it's designed to show kids how what they do changes how their webpages look, Thimble a great way to learn code, web design, and problem-solving skills. Thimble gives kids immediate feedback about personally meaningful work. Alerts about "bugs" in the code help kids easily find and fix any errors that keep their webpages from looking just right. Once students get some experience coding, they'll be ready and eager to see how they can use Thimble to publish their classwork and projects online using text and multimedia. The comments in each project and the online community of volunteer Webmaker mentors provide immediate support as students remix projects and begin making their own webpages. As a free, open, and well-supported platform, Thimble, like Scratch, provides one of the most inviting and supportive environments available for kids who want to code and feel like they're a part of the current learn-to-code and social coding movements."

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Introducing Prism, Hot Literacy Tool for the Common Core ~ November Learning News

Introducing Prism, Hot Literacy Tool for the Common Core ~ November Learning News | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"The November Learning team is excited to share a hot new literacy tool, introduced to us by a brilliant teacher, Laura Robertson, from The St. Anne's Belfield Studio School in Virginia. This intuitive and multi-functional digital literacy tool can transform the way


 teachers approach close reading with their students, while sparking lively text-based discussions. Prism is a tool for "crowdsourcing interpretation." Students are invited to provide an interpretation of a text by highlighting words according to different themes or categories. Each individual interpretation then contributes to the generation of a visualization which demonstrates the combined interpretation of all the users. Prism helps to reveal patterns that exist in the subjective experience of reading a text and can serve as the launching pad for any number of common-core aligned activities, projects and learning experiences." 

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Sample Student's curator insight, April 16, 3:11 PM

What a fantastic tool. Text analysis is really important and committing one-self safely to this analysis is often problematic. Prism has the potential to support equity, engagement and involvement in text analysis as a collaborative tool. Perhaps it could be coupled with an individual and private activity, followed by the Prism highlighting activity. The individual would then be able to compare their responses with those of others and re-examine their decisions. Beyond this though, it links really well with the "Why did you say that" thinking routine. As a collaborative followup, two ideas occur to me - the first is simply to ask individuals to explain their actions and reasoning. The second is for individuals to explain why others might have made decisions different to their own, followed by interaction between partners, enhancing the complexity of the thinking around certain points.

I really love this. And it is suitable for any age and type of text.

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Twitter for Teachers - YouTube

by Erin Klein

"twitter 101 for teachers"


Jim Lerman's insight

A lot of useful suggestions are packed into this brief, well done, 10.5 minute video. Especially useful for educators who are trying to figure out how Twitter can be helpful in their personal professional development.

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Schools Shift from STEM to STEAM ~ EDTECH

Schools Shift from STEM to STEAM ~ EDTECH | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

by Melissa Delaney


"Students in DeSoto West Middle School's iSTEAM3D Magnet Academy aren't just learning about cities, they're building one from the ground up — complete with running water and working lights. They're using MakerBot Replicator 2desktop 3D printers to create roads, homes and businesses that bring their imagined city to life.


"The lesson integrates all of the subjects students learn about in school — from the mathematics of engineering bridges to the art of designing the objects that will go in their cities. It's the type of project to which students have become accustomed since iSTEAM3D launched last fall.


"The unique moniker reflects both the international movement to add the arts — which can include the fine, language and musical arts — to STEM education and the school's desire to help students pursue a different kind of 3D: discovering, designing and developing."

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7 Habits of Highly Emotionally Intelligent People ~ Fast Company

7 Habits of Highly Emotionally Intelligent People ~ Fast Company | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

BY HARVEY DEUTSCHENDORF


"People with high emotional intelligence tend to do better at work. So what habits do they have that set them apart?"

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DIY Professional Development: Resource Roundup ~ Edutopia

DIY Professional Development: Resource Roundup ~ Edutopia | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Why wait for a formal workshop environment to start improving your teaching craft, when there are so many opportunities to build your network and learn new skills on your own? We've compiled a list of the best resources for do-it-yourself PD to get you started.
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Download videos from ALL video sites, Free!

Download videos from Youtube, SoundCloud mp3, Facebook, VK, Xvideos, Vimeo, Metacafe, Putlocker and more.


Nik Peachey's insight:

This is a very powerful media downloading tool. Very useful for anyone who doesn't want to take the chance of that useful piece of media disappearing or the connection going flat when you need it.


Via Nik Peachey
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Kim Spence-Jones's curator insight, January 30, 9:47 AM

A tool like this is a must-have for anyone who wants to include video clips in presentations. Relying on a network connection is just too scary!

Nataliasterns's curator insight, January 31, 9:42 AM

para desc videos

Rob Hatfield, M.Ed.'s curator insight, February 8, 4:26 PM

This can be a teachers friend when the internet goes down or blocked. Thank you for sharing this valuable and free service.

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Oppia - Interactive learning creator

"It's hard to learn to play the piano just by watching a video of a great pianist. Interactive learning is much more effective! oppia.org helps you make embeddable interactive educational "explorations" that let people learn by doing."


Nik Peachey's insight:

Interesting tool created by Google. Anyone can use it to create interactive learning experiences.


Via Nik Peachey
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, March 3, 5:18 AM

Interesting tool created by Google. Anyone can use it to create interactive learning experiences.

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OneNote now on Mac, free everywhere, and service powered | Office Blogs

OneNote now on Mac, free everywhere, and service powered | Office Blogs | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"When we started OneNote we set out to revolutionize the way people capture, annotate, and recall all the ideas, thoughts, snippets and plans in their life. As many of you have attested, OneNote is the ultimate extension for your brain, but it’s not complete if it’s not instantly available everywhere. We’ve already made a lot of progress in that direction with our mobile, tablet and online web experiences. But there was still a gap. People frequently asked us for OneNote on Mac, and for more ways to capture content."


Nik Peachey's insight:

One of Microsoft's best products is now available free for Mac. Great tool  for online note taking.



Via Nik Peachey
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Aunty Alice's curator insight, March 19, 1:05 PM

Am keen to try it out. It could be the answer to my prayers

Larissa Bonthorne's curator insight, March 19, 4:08 PM

Many of the students use OneNote on their iPads, so this may be a valuable tool for staff to learn about, as well.  It is now available as a free Mac program.

Anne Macdonell's curator insight, March 28, 5:47 AM

HOW long have we been waiting for this?

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One-Third of U.S. Students Use School-Issued Mobile Devices -- THE Journal

One-Third of U.S. Students Use School-Issued Mobile Devices -- THE Journal | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

by David Nagel


"New research indicates virtually all middle and high school students have access to mobile devices and are using them for schoolwork. And nearly a third of them are using mobile devices issued by their schools.


"According to the report, "The New Digital Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students' Activities and Aspirations," issued by Project Tomorrow in an event taking place in Washington, DC today, 89 percent of high school students (grades 9–12) and 73 percent of middle school students (grades 6–8) have access to smart phones. Another 66 percent in both groups have access to laptops. Sixty-one percent of middle schoolers and 50 percent of high schoolers have access to tablets. And 48 percent of middle schoolers and 39 percent of high schoolers have access to digital readers."


Read more at http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/04/08/a-third-of-secondary-students-use-school-issued-mobile-devices.aspx#P80oB04Mf5Gke1EW.99

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, April 8, 5:38 PM

This is important information.

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A doctor's prescription for social media

A doctor's prescription for social media | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"As an experiment,  I immersed myself in social media for the past three months.  I started this blog, joined Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, bought a domain name, and posted on Facebook for the first time in years.

 

Even within this short period of time, I reaped tangible benefits: I interacted with top physicians from across the world, kept up with the  medical literature, participated in discussions with patients about how how rheumatic diseases affect their lives, joined webinars about improving the patient experience, and provided educational information to physicians and patients about autoinflammatory diseases, my clinical interest.

 

Social media has changed the way that I think about and practice medicine, and it’s only been a few months"


Via Andrew Spong, eMedToday, Pharmacomptoir / Corinne Thuderoz, Celine Sportisse, Philippe Loizon, juandoming
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Wilf ILIFFE's curator insight, April 5, 2:56 AM

No mention of the pharma industry, though.

Bettina Gifford's curator insight, April 5, 10:00 PM

A doctor's perspective about the benefits of social media involvement..

Javier Antonio Bellina's curator insight, April 8, 5:48 AM

Las ventajas de estar en Internet.

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Fundamentals of Blended Learning

Fundamentals of Blended Learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Since online learning is becoming a rapidly growing form of education, many of the traditional institutions and teachers utilize it in their classrooms. At the same time, the instructors do not rej...

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