Into the Driver's Seat
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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 9:28 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. 

Into the Driver's Seat
Building the independence of learners through thoughtful uses of technology
Curated by Jim Lerman
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appear.in :: Alternative to Google Hangouts

appear.in :: Alternative to Google Hangouts | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Description by TechBoomers

 

"Appear.in is one of the simplest Google Hangouts alternatives, as you don't have to sign up for an account, and you don't have to download or install a program.  Basically, you just go to the website, and pick a name for your chat room.  Once you're inside, just copy the web address and send it to up to 8 other people whom you want to talk to (over email, phone, text message, etc.).  When they enter the address into their Internet browser, they'll join the chat.  Then, you can talk to each other on video, exchange text messages (including Internet links), and even lock the chat room if you don't want anyone else joining the session.  Appear.in also has an app for mobile devices."

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Biocubes: Life In One Cubic Foot | Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Biocubes: Life In One Cubic Foot | Smithsonian Ocean Portal | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
How much life can you find in one cubic foot?

The answer will surprise you. It turns out, quite a lot! Biocubes are hollow one foot cubic frames, that can be placed almost anywhere. They have been used to study mussel beds, rivers, trees, fields, coral reefs, and even the ocean midwater where there is nothing to cling to and no place to hide. 

The Biocube program was inspired by a feature article in National Geographic that involved Smithsonian scientists and led to a book, "A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity." The sites featured in the book were documented by photographer David Liittschwager, assisted by a professional field crew and in consultation with various biologists. David set out to document how much life would pass through one cubic foot over the course of a normal day. The cubes were placed around the world and highlighted the staggering biodiversity revealed by studying one cubic foot at a time. Almost every cubic foot sampled yielded more than a hundred different species. Because of the standard sampling size, biocubes can be used to show interesting differences among living communities from different continents, different habitats, and wild versus domesticated land.
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Mathigon

Mathigon | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Discover Mathigon, a groundbreaking new education platform that adapts to every individual student. Mathematics has never been so colourful.

 

Description by The Scout Report

 

"Mathigon provides a series of free, interactive, online courses that are designed to complement 6th grade through college level mathematics instruction. The website was founded by Philipp Legner, who studied mathematics and the University of Cambridge and mathematics education at the London School of Economics. Legner, who currently works at Google, wanted to design a website that enabled learners to examine mathematics concepts by actively engaging in problem solving. Each course explains key concepts and skills through a series of short explanations, helpful visualizations, problem sets, and quizzes. Learners receive feedback as they work their way through each course. Visitors to this website can find courses by browsing through the course library, which sorts available courses by grade level (6-9; 10-12; College, Fun and More) and by topic (Geometry; Functions and Equations; Probability and Statistics; Calculus and Mechanics; Applied Mathematics, etc.)"

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Blended and Personalized Practices at Work

Blended and Personalized Practices at Work | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Description by EdSurge

 

"Nonprofit The Learning Acceleratorrecently released an interactive website, “Blended and Personalized Practices at Work,” that highlights how six different school models handle data, blending in-person learning with online learning, and mastery-based grading. The six schools include CICS West Belden in Chicago, ReNEW Data Academy in New Orleans, and Pleasant View Elementary School in Providence."

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How The Activity Learning Theory Works

How The Activity Learning Theory Works | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
How The Activity Learning Theory Works 

Vygotsky’s earlier concept of mediation, which encompassed learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts, was the basis for Engeström’s version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). Engeström’s approach was to explain human thought processes not simply on the basis of the individual, but in the wider context of the individual’s interactions within the social world through artifacts, and specifically in situations where activities were being produced.

In Activity Theory people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals. In the social world there are many artifacts, which are seen not only as objects, but also as things that are embedded within culture, with the result that every object has cultural and/or social significance.

Tools (which can limit or enable) can also be brought to bear on the mediation of social interaction, and they influence both the behavior of the actors (those who use the tools) and also the social structure within which the actors exist (the environment, tools, artifacts). For further reading, here is Engeström’s own overview of 3 Generations of Activity Theory development. The first figure shows Second Generation AT as it is usually presented in the literature.

Via Gust MEES
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Giacomo Bono's curator insight, April 1, 2015 12:46 PM

Social interactions with close others, technology, and our motivation to master environments all work together to change us. An important process not represented in this otherwise cool model is close relationships with older peers and adults (i.e., community) who know kids and the learning task at hand well enough to use the ZPD to support their learning.

HCL's curator insight, April 1, 2015 7:08 PM

An interesting article on the Activity Theory where "people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals." This article explores how this theory can be applied in education, "...teachers should be aware that everything in the classroom has a cultural and social meaning. " 

Kim Flintoff's curator insight, April 1, 2015 7:15 PM

A useful framework that can move well into higher education to inform learning design.

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Getting Learning Spaces Ready for School

Getting Learning Spaces Ready for School | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
August is here and so is the start of school.  That’s always a special time filled with a little bit of apprehension and a lot of excitement.  That also means getting ready for your kids and the start of a great new year.  This year, take some time to ready the spaces where you and your kids will work together.  Here are my suggestions.
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Learn With QR Codes! 22+ Apps, Web Tools and Activities | Tech Learning

Learn With QR Codes! 22+ Apps, Web Tools and Activities | Tech Learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
QR codes, Quick Response barcodes, inspire curiosity in our learners. QR codes get learners out of their seat scanning to discover what the knowledge they will uncover with their mobile devices. QR codes are mostly attached to websites or text, but we can also attach QR codes to audio, video, games, polls, or multimedia presentations. Below are a few ideas on how to make your QR codes more interactive. Once you are comfortable implementing a QR code activity, try getting your learners to create their own QR codes. Below are a few tips and resources to get your students started with learning with QR codes. Feel free to download the slides as a pdf and find the bookmarks here.
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4 Tips for Meaningful Student Portfolios

4 Tips for Meaningful Student Portfolios | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Holistic portfolios allow students to showcase all the best traits and qualities of themselves.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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College Classroom Lessons that Keep Learners Engaged

College Classroom Lessons that Keep Learners Engaged | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
I recently had a college professor ask me, "Help, I teach a 4-hour course and don't know what to do." So, I created this quick guide. For Full Version Click Below... Lesson Ideas-3 ~Mia

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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The Best Teaching Resources on the Web

The Best Teaching Resources on the Web | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Want to give your pedagogy a shot in the arm? These handy sites can help.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
Jim Lerman's insight:

Aimed at higher education, but high school teachers will find plenty here too.

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Free Technology for Teachers: Six Good Places to Find Free Music and Sound Effects

Free Technology for Teachers: Six Good Places to Find Free Music and Sound Effects | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Via WebTeachers
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Willem Kuypers's curator insight, Today, 4:15 AM
Toujours bon d'avoir quelques adresses pour de la musique et des sons gratuits.
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12 Apps for Live-streaming Video

12 Apps for Live-streaming Video | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Live-streaming video is latest frontier of social media. Established social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) have their own apps, while first-movers in the space (e.g., Meerkat) are busily trying to differentiate themselves.

Live-stream content ranges from impromptu video blogging to produced efforts by industry veterans. For small businesses, live-streaming video may be a helpful, new way to engage an audience and establish a brand with little or no cost.

Here is a list of live-streaming video apps. There are fun, live-streaming apps to connect with and update followers, and there are live-video platforms with advanced production and lead-generation tools. Many of these apps are free.
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5 Tools to Help Students Learn How to Learn

5 Tools to Help Students Learn How to Learn | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Helping students learn how to learn: That’s what most educators strive for, and that’s the goal of inquiry learning. That skill transfers to other academic subject areas and even to the workplace where employers have consistently said that they want creative, innovative and adaptive thinkers. Inquiry learning is an integrated approach that includes kinds of learning: content, literacy, information literacy, learning how to learn, and social or collaborative skills. Students think about the choices they make throughout the process and the way they feel as they learn. Those observations are as important as the content they learn or the projects they create.
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Voice Recognition Software Finally Beats Humans At Typing, Study Finds

Voice Recognition Software Finally Beats Humans At Typing, Study Finds | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"Computers have already beaten us at chess, Jeopardy and Go, the ancient board game from Asia. And now, in the raging war with machines, human beings have lost yet another battle — over typing.

Turns out voice recognition software has improved to the point where it is significantly faster and more accurate at producing text on a mobile device than we are at typing on its keyboard. That's according to a new study by Stanford University, the University of Washington and Baidu, the Chinese Internet giant. The study ran tests in English and Mandarin Chinese."

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A School Replaces Curriculum with Exploration

A School Replaces Curriculum with Exploration | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
A School Without Multiple Choice

The Agile Learning Center (ALC) rejects basing education on rote memorization and standardized test preparation. In fact, there is no standard curriculum at ALC, nor are there distinct classes grouped by ages. Instead, students learn what they want when they want. One group of students might devote time to learning code in order to create a video game, while another might want to write and act in their own theatrical production. Perhaps one group simply wants to play with hula-hoops. All are acceptable and encouraged at ALC, which currently has one location in Manhattan and four others in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
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A Preview of Our Hats & Ladders Career App Demo

A Preview of Our Hats & Ladders Career App Demo | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Description by EdSurge

 

"What’s the First Lady’s favorite edtech tool? Today, it’s likely ThinkZone Games, the grand prize winner of theReach Higher Career App Challenge. In a YouTube video, Michelle Obama describes how ThinkZone’s Hats & Ladders appcaught her eye: “Their game-based app—Hats & Ladders—helps middle and high school students explore a variety of careers through self-assessments, fun activities, and mini-challenges. It’s a cool, exciting app that will open up a whole new world for our young people.”

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