Yesterday I spent the afternoon learning about new software called freemind. This software has many new purposes. It's useful for students to create an essay outline, business folks to keep track of ideas & notes during a meeting, and for instructors to present material.

I'm not a big fan of Power Point. I tend to focus on discussion and questions, and I use Power Point as a way to introduce questions and keep track of students' responses. I will include pictures and links to it, but I find it frustrating at times moving from Power Point to the Smartboard, and to the Internet. It can be time consuming...and annoying. Power Point presentations also seem to take forever to build (at least for me). I'd rather have notes with links on them and have the links open and move through the points. Well, Freemind helps me do that.

I can create a visual outline without using bullet points and moving through screens. Students can see all of my links while I talk about each one. My points can be created into links and link to files, videos, websites, and more.

I tried it for the first time last night. I created a lecture in an hour (finding links, photos, etc.) and I used it in my lecture this morning. Students seemed to respond well to it. Although it was a lecture, there was a lot of information they could take in while I talked about particular points and link to different items. The best part was that my notes were organized and the links I needed where at my fingertips when I needed them without having to toggle between Power Point, the Internet, etc. If anything, it helped me stay organized.

So check it out!

This reference page came through our library. It's amazing. On one website, you can see the front page of over 700 newspapers worldwide. The site also contains an educator link that has lesson plans on how to use the front pages in a classroom. It's mostly for K-12, but it's still interesting. It's also an interesting way to see what's going on in many cities and states across the world. What biases are apparent on the front page? What do the editors deem the most important to include on the front page? These are the questions that are interesting to investigate.

The Newseum is an actual museum in Washington, DC and there are several links that convince visitors to take the trip. All-in-all, it's an interesting visit and perhaps a way to keep up on the caveat: if you're interested in reading an entire story that continues on page 2, you'll have to visit the original newspaper site and perhaps purchase the paper or a subscription.