Tools for Learners
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Tools for Learners
Ms Cowley's list of tools and ideas that simplify the juggling act of being a student (secondary and up). These are the tools I recommend to my own students and staff. I have either used them myself, or they have come highly recommended from students/colleagues (but I either haven't got to them yet, they don't fulfill my own learning needs, or don't suit my own preferences for workflow but may work for yours). NOTE: As with all tech tools, READ THE PRIVACY POLICY. Most of these use US servers, so your data is subject to the Patriot Act and any surveillance the US Government engages in. By using tools that access US servers, your data is not protected under FoIPPA (the privacy law that protects your student data at school).
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DIY Feminist Cybersecurity

DIY Feminist Cybersecurity | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
A super accessible DIY guide for feminists, activists, and friends to take control of their digital spaces.
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The Best Tools for Finding Information When Google Isn't Enough

The Best Tools for Finding Information When Google Isn't Enough | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Google is so entrenched when it comes to finding information on the internet, we named the act after it. However, there are a ton of other tools and tricks that can get you answers to your question when Google doesn't have the answer.
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More Office. Everywhere you need it. - The Official Microsoft Blog

More Office. Everywhere you need it. - The Official Microsoft Blog | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
In March, we announced Office for the iPad®, a major step in commitment to bring Office to everyone, on every device and anywhere they need it. Since then, customers took to the App Store and downloaded Office for their iPads more than 40 million times and we’re delighted with the feedback we’ve received. Customers told us the apps are beautiful. They told us that they appreciated the familiar Office experience … Read more »
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Librarians won’t stay quiet about government surveillance

Librarians won’t stay quiet about government surveillance | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
How librarians became one of the loudest voices in the surveillance debate.
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Crowdfunding Novena, the fully open/transparent laptop project

Crowdfunding Novena, the fully open/transparent laptop project | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Remember Bunnie Huang's fully open laptop? Bunnie and Sean "xobs" Cross prototyped a machine he called the "Novena" in which every component, down to the BIOS, was fully documented, licensed under FLOSS licenses, and was totally modifiable by its owner.
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Google Tips and Tricks Every Student Should Know

Google Tips and Tricks Every Student Should Know | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Whether you're a student in college (or earlier) or a
lifelong learner, Google is an essential tool for learning. Here are a few tips for
using Google search and other apps more effectively to further your education.
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Are You SURE You Know How to Use Google?

Are You SURE You Know How to Use Google? | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Most of you are probably thinking "you bet!" or "what’s there to KNOW?" right about now. I believe you. The truth is, if you know how to enter a query and hit enter, you know how to use Google. At least in its basic form.
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CC Search

CC Search | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.
Jennifer Cowley's insight:

A great search engine to find images, music, video, and media that are licensed under Creative Commons and therefore can be legally used by students in projects.  Remember to reference the media you use both as instructed by your teacher AND to fulfill the requirements of the work's specific CC license.  Some permit you to remix work, others don't.  Some require that you attribute the work to the original creator (and link back to them), others don't.  Read the license carefully.

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SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds

SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Explore the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music & audio
Jennifer Cowley's insight:

SoundCloud includes many tracks that are licensed under Creative Commons so they can be used in student projects (provided they're referenced in accordance with their specific CC license).  A great resource.  You can search for only CC music either from the Creative Commons site (http://search.creativecommons.org/) or by using the "Filter Results" option on the SoundCloud search results page (this option is not available when you're looking at the "Everything" results).

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This Cheat Sheet Is Full of Shortcuts for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and More

This Cheat Sheet Is Full of Shortcuts for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and More | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Keeping your hands off the mouse and on the keyboard can be a big time saver, but only if you know the shortcuts that make navigating the web easy in the first place. This cheat sheet is packed with keyboard shortcuts for common features on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, and even a few for Ello.
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FORCEdraft Doesn't Let You Quit Writing Until You Hit Your Goal

FORCEdraft Doesn't Let You Quit Writing Until You Hit Your Goal | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Windows: We've all done it: in the middle of writing you get a notification that looks a lot more interesting, then another, and another. Suddenly, you're distracted and procrastinating. FORCEdraft is a writing tool that stays open and blocks everything else on your computer until you hit the writing goal you set in the beginning.
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This Graphic Offers Good-Looking Fonts to Replace Dull, Overused Ones

This Graphic Offers Good-Looking Fonts to Replace Dull, Overused Ones | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Everyone knows not to use Comic Sans, but it's not the only played out, overused font all over the web. This graphic offers some great alternatives for some of the web's most popular fonts and typefaces so you can give your website, document, or presentation a fresh look.
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Gratisography - download free high-resolution pictures

Gratisography - download free high-resolution pictures | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Free, use as you please, high-resolution pictures.

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Alfredo Corell's curator insight, May 30, 2014 5:53 PM

dowload immediatly awesome free picturas from Gratisography

GranGoddessa's curator insight, June 3, 2014 10:10 AM

Free, use as you please, high-resolution pictures.

4twenty2's curator insight, June 12, 2014 4:15 AM

Fantastic resource with some great images - easy to use, brilliant for innovative presentations or compelling blogs!

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Beyond the Basics: Six Tips for Better Formatting in Microsoft Word

Beyond the Basics: Six Tips for Better Formatting in Microsoft Word | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
If you've worked with Word much at all, you know how frustrating it can be getting formatting just the way you want it. While you can't remove all of the frustration, you can eliminate a lot of it by learning how formatting works in Word and what tools are available to help you control it.
Jennifer Cowley's insight:

For years I have watched students use their word processing software as expensive typewriters, sometimes to the extreme of using the 'Enter' key as a carriage return instead of letting the programme wordwrap.  It's not enough to learn to type (though too few students learn that even), you need to know how to harness the power of the software, or doing all those assignments on a computer is wasted time and resources.

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Imgembed: The new standard for fair, online image use

Imgembed: The new standard for fair, online image use | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Imgembed lets all image owners track where their images are being used online, and set permissions for every website using them. They are also able to monetize their images by setting CPM pricing.
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Free Online Grammar Check, Plagiarism, Spelling, and More

Free Online Grammar Check, Plagiarism, Spelling, and More | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
Grammar, Plagiarism, and Spelling Check; Free Online Proofreading; No Downloads...Allows you to find those pesky mistakes and correct them before your teacher does...

Via Nik Peachey
Jennifer Cowley's insight:

Currently free (they "may" offer a premium service in future).

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MFaculty's curator insight, December 24, 2013 11:02 PM

I just 'test drove' this online application - it was very fast and accurately caught my spelling errors. As a basic tool for students, I think it is, or will be, one that they can use before they turn to the writing tutors. I don't advocate trying to replace professional writing tutors with this (or any other) online tool, but it would certainly reduce the number of common errors made in student writings.

 

Since it is a free service, I would recommend educators consider giving it a test drive in their writing courses to determine whether or not any value is added in doing so. While there are plenty of word processing tools avialble for students to use in order to hone in on their writing, this one is free and seems to adequately, and quickly, perform the basics.

 

Not really an endorsement, as much as a recommendation for other to consider testing for themselves.

ella88's curator insight, January 29, 2014 5:09 PM

Many studies have addressed the issue of identifying the different dimensions of culture. In the presentations concerning culture by Madlin Reck and Anne Tornow the ways in which national culture may influence management processes, including Hofstede’s dimensions of culture have been discussed extensively (Luthans & Doh, 2012).

Darlene Stark's curator insight, May 13, 2014 9:39 AM

Kirby Mack

Mrs. Stark

Desktop Publishing

4/25/14

Afghanistan and the Taliban: Before, After and Now

The Kite Runner was set in the years 1975-2001. Everything during these years went from being peaceful, to bad, to even worse. The Taliban during these fateful years have taken control of Afghanistan and its government. They were thought of as heroes to the people of their once peaceful country, but their way of controlling their government is sadistic. In the present, they are even involved in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

During 1975, Afghanistan was a quiet place to live. There were economic hardships, but the residents of this pleasant country got through it. Kabul is the capital city of Afghanistan. It had the most economy problems in the country. Most of them were poverty difficulties. The president of this country at the time was Daoud Khan. Then, when winter came along, resistance towards communists began. Amir from The Kite Runner even knew of these communist attempts to rule his country. “Huddled together in the dining room and waiting for the sun to rise, none of us had any notion that a way of life had ended.” (Hosseini 36). The Afghan Islamist part of the resistance was favored by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States instead of the Afghan traditionalist and royalist parts. The uprising has just begun for the communist takeover in Afghanistan.

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Even Amir from The Kite Runner even knew about this before it all happened. “And then in December 1979, when Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of the Afghanistan I knew”(Hosseini 36) The Taliban during this time were thought of as refugees and were part of a resistance movement to expel the Russian troops from their country. The United States and Pakistan provided financial and military support so the Afghans could win against the Soviet soldiers. Despite the fact that there were civilians in Kabul, the Afghans did not care and used missiles, provided by the United States, to drop on the city resulting in civilian casualties and killed Soviet troops. In 1989, Ahmed Shah Massoud, took over Kabul as new leader. They ended up overthrowing President Sayid Mohammed Najibullah, who headed the Afghan government. In 1994, the Taliban were more powerful because Pakistan favored them and did everything in their power to support them. “Pakistan support for the Taliban is based on strong religious and ethnic bonds between the Taliban and Pakistan” (Amghar, Web 6). The militants of the Taliban are Sunni Muslim Pashtuns. They are thirteen percent of Pakistan’s population. They are basically most of the Taliban in general.

In 1996, Osama Bin Laden moved from Sudan to Afghanistan and met with Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s leader. “Bin Laden was involved in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998” (Amghar, Web 6). On September 11th, 2001, Bin laden prompted the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This resulted in the United States asking the Taliban to immediately hand over Bin Laden. General Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, told the U.S. that he would support the capturing of Bin Laden. Instead, they couldn’t take down Bin Laden and Al Qaeda because of the ethnic and religious ties with the Taliban. Basically, Pakistan let the Taliban do what like to the people in there cites by robbing them and raping women. “The Taliban were exceedingly ignorant, which made them cruel” (Arbabzadah, Web 1). The Taliban used to be heroes to the people of the country, but now they are just plain evil. In The Kite Runner, Amir’s friend Farid said the Taliban would look for any excuse for violence. Amir bought a fake beard because it is considered a sin to shave and that all men should have beards. He saw Kabul during this time and was unfamiliar with it as it is not how it used to be when he was a kid. Afghanistan is just plagued by the Taliban with no hope for escape.

 

 In conclusion, the Taliban before, after, and now are a deadly force to reckon with. I have to say that religion has a strong connection with them as they think of most things as sins. Amir from The Kite Runner depicts Afghanistan as a peaceful state. Now, he thinks of it as a wasteland that is ruled by a stubborn government with a false sense of religion. In my opinion, as much as I hate the Taliban, they must be removed from Afghanistan and Pakistan because they can cause a lot of trouble for those countries and can stir up many civil wars within those countries.

 

 

Works Cited

Amghar, Adderrahim. "Home." The Resurgence of the Taliban in Pakistan. Nazareth College, 2014. Web. 01 May 2014.

Arbabzadah, Nushin. "The 1980s Mujahideen, the Taliban and the Shifting Idea of Jihad." Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 01 May 2014.

Bai, Laxmi. "Security Research Review." : Volume 1(3) Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Afghanistan. Bharat-Rakshak, 2005. Web. 01 May 2014.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003.

 

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Jamendo - The #1 platform for free music. Free music downloads for private use - Royalty free music licenses for commercial purposes. More than 55,000 albums by independent artists.

Jamendo - The #1 platform for free music. Free music downloads for private use - Royalty free music licenses for commercial purposes. More than 55,000 albums by independent artists. | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
The #1 platform for free music. Free music downloads for private use - Royalty free music licenses for commercial purposes. More than 55,000 albums by independent artists.
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Jennifer Cowley's curator insight, November 9, 2013 2:04 PM

If you're working on a project and want to include some music, ALL the music available on jamendo is licensed under Creative Commons so it's legal to use it in projects.   Canada doesn't have the same fair use clauses in our Copyright legislation as the US does where students have more freedom to use copyrighted work in for educational purposes, so it's important for Canadian students to use either public domain, GNU, or CC licensed work and to do so within the parameters of the license.  When using music in your work, even if it is licensed, be sure to REFERENCE it correctly according to the style required by your teacher (MLA, APA, etc.).

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10 Things You Can Do On a PC Without Ever Touching the Mouse

10 Things You Can Do On a PC Without Ever Touching the Mouse | Tools for Learners | Scoop.it
You may not realize it, but you can do an awful lot from your keyboard. You can launch apps, switch between windows, edit text, and even clean out your email, all without ever moving your hands.
Jennifer Cowley's insight:

If you really spend any amount of time on a computer, and especially if you have an RSI like I do, keyboard shortcuts are lifesavers.  Not only do they save you movement, they can also save you lots of time.

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