Friday, March 23, 2012

16 Free Alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint: Create and Store Online!

 I have never been a fan of PowerPoint. My school computer is a Windows Dell and at home I have all Macs. Microsoft's version for the PC is a better interface than the Macintosh. Coincidence? Hardly. Microsoft has succeeded in gaining the lion's share of the computer market, but Apple has had an incredible showing the last several years. I will always be a Mac girl. All right, I seem to have gotten off point. When students are working on presentations for class, it is always easy for them to lose track of where they last saved it, and that's why using the cloud works out best. EXAMPLE: Due date for the school project is after the school vacation and one kid chimes in "But our family is going to the Bahamas for spring break!" No problem, dear. Do you have access to the Internet at your hotel? (They answer "yes") Then you'll be able to get to your project on the website. Here are 16 free presentation programs which store your projects in the cloud:

9Slides

280 Slides- Beta ended on this program in December 2011; nice, simple interface

Ease- part of GNOME desktop


Google Docs Presentation- not my favorite, but it does the job 

KOffice- online open source software includes KPresenter; works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Kizoa- free slideshow and collage maker


Libre Office Impress-the presentation part of this free office suite

NeoOffice- made for Mac computers; includes a  presentation module; download required; also available for Android smartphones.

Powtoon- "bringing awesomeness to your presentations"; use their cartoon characters to make a great presentation for you

Prezi- "make your presentations zoom"

PreZentit- "Create, share and show your presentations online"

Sliderocket- my students love the program for its ease; teachers love it because students can't lose their work because it resides on their site

ThinkFree- office suite like MS office

Monday, March 19, 2012

Political Corruption: A Timely Topic: 22 Places to Find Resources


Former Illinois governor Rod Blagjovich reported to prison in Colorado to begin serving a 14 year prison term. He might be the current corrupt politician in the news, but he's hardly the only one with a colored past. If you teach history or political science, here are a list of resources.

Bartelby.com- search "political corruption" and you'll get results from all over the world

Chicago Times Articles on Political Corruption

Daryl Cagle's Political Corruption Cartoons- many cartoonists represented here from all over the country

Government Statistics- chart shows corruption by country

Infoplease Encyclopedia

Newsweek Magazine- articles on political corruption

N.J. Corruption- my state has been in the news a lot lately...

Political Cartoons- democracy and corruption

Political Corruption in American History- this timeline covers 1760-2010

Political Corruption Lesson Plans- from the Lesson Planet
Presidential Scandals

Rage Against the Machine- N.Y.Times lesson plan compares Blagjovich scandal with a Times article about machine politics from 1876.

Rod Blagjovich- Illinois Governor who was impeached for trying to sell Obama's vacated senate seat

TeacherVision Resources on Political Corruption

Time Magazine- articles on political corruption

Timeline for Scandals in American History- from Google; covers 1900-2009

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