Tons of Free Online Philosophy Courses from Leading Universities

April 28, 2015
In today’s post we are sharing with you a terrific resource we uncovered through Open Culture.  This is especially useful for philosophy teachers and students but is also ideal for anyone interested in learning more about the ‘mother of all sciences”: philosophy. Open Culture has this extensive list of free courses provided by a wide variety of leading universities and covering everything related to philosophical thought from philosophy of mind to Kant’s epistemology. The courses come in different downloadable formats that includes: video, audio and iTunes audio. You can browse through the selection and download the courses you are interested in and watch or listen to them at the comforts of your own couch.

Below are 10 of our favourite courses from the list. Check out the full list from this page.

1- Critical Reasoning for Beginners - Free iTunes VideoFree iTunes AudioFree Online VideoFree Online Audio + VideoMarianne Talbot, Oxford

2- Darwin and the Evolution of Thought – Free iTunes iOS Course – Clarence Mark Philips, University of New Orleans

3- Hegel: The Philosophy of History – Free Online AudioLeo Strauss, U Chicago

4- Heidegger: Being and Time - RSS FeedWeb SiteSean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard

5- Introduction to Philosophy – Free iTunes iOS Course – Mark Clarence Philips, U. of New Orleans

6- Kant’s Critique of Judgment – Free Online Audio- JM Bernstein, New School

7- Philosophical Problems – Free iTunes Audio – Jack Reynolds – La Trobe University – Australia

8- Philosophy of Mind - Free iTunes AudioFree Online AudioJohn Searle, UC Berkeley

9- Philosophy of Religion – Free iTunes iOS Course – Clarence Mark Philips, U. of New Orleans

10- The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps - Free Course in Multiple FormatsPeter Adamson, King’s College London.

Two Great Apps for Creating Educational Screencasts on Chrome

April 27, 2015
Following the post we shared a few days ago featuring some powerful Chrome apps for taking screenshots, today we are sharing with you two great tools you can use on your Chrome to record screencasts.These web based apps will provide you with an easy way to create educational tutorials and step by step  guides to share with your students.

1-  Screencastify
"Screencastify is a simple video screen capture software (aka. screencast recorder) for Chrome. It is able to record all screen activity inside a tab, including audio. Just press record and the content of your tab is recorded. So you can easily create a screencast for video tutorials, record presentations etc. It also supports desktop capturing, allowing you to record anything on your screen (not just tabs). Videos are recorded as webm/vp8 files with ogg vorbis audio and can be saved to disk or uploaded to Youtube or Google Drive with a single click. "

Watch this video to learn more about Screencastify

2- TechSmith Snagit
"With TechSmith Snagit for Google Chrome™ you can take screenshots or screen recordings of anything on your screen including your browser, desktop, and applications you have running. TechSmith Snagit for Google Chrome™ will share your screen, so you can share your ideas and insights with anyone you’d like."

Watch this video to learn more about TechSmith Snagit

Two Simple Ways to Create A Table of Content in Google Docs

April, 2015
There are actually two ways to add a table of contents to a document in Google Docs. Both of these ways require that you create headings and subheadings in your document. The first way is through using Google Docs' built-in feature which can be accessed by clicking on "insert" button then select "table of contents". Watch this excellent tutorial from Shannon Hermandez to learn more about how to create a table of content using Google Docs built-in functionality.

The second way is through using a third party add-on called 'Table of Contents'. This  is a powerful Google Docs add-on that allows you to easily create a table of content in the sidebar. The great thing about this feature besides providing readers with a quick overview of the main points covered in your document is that it makes it easier for them to instantly jump to any section in the document by simply clicking on any of the headings  listed in the table of contents.

More importantly, the table of contents is automatically created out of the headings in your document. And when you add another heading you simply hit the refresh button and it will be automatically added to the table of contents. However, be forewarned that in some cases where you have several headings or your document is really very long, the functionality of table of contents can be very slow.

A Good Inventory To Identify Students Learning Styles

April 26, 2015
There is a lot of debate among scholars regarding the validity of the multiple learning style's  theory, for while one camp refute it on grounds of being non-scientific and lacks in scientific data to back it up , another camp views it as a rigorous conceptual framework  that helps in understanding how students learn. And if we avoid  dichotomous or dualist thinking, we would say that as a conceptual construct, the theory of multiple learning styles does definitely have an added value to the pedagogical discussions surrounding  learning strategies and instructional modes. The overarching premise here is that different learners use different modes to analyze and process input.  While some learners find it easier to comprehend and retain information visually coded, others learn best through verbalization and other auditory means.

If you want to better understand which learning style that would best characterize your learning, educator Brett Bixler has this excellent resource called 'learning styles inventory' composed of a number of questions whose answers will help categorize you within a given learning style. As Brett stated, this inventory has not been validated by any scientific studies and its main goal is to help you "think about yourself and to consider different learning alternatives {and} not to rigidly classify you". Here is how this inventory  works. For each of the 24 questions listed, you will have to click on one of the three buttons (seldom, sometimes, often) that best represent your  answer . When you are done answering all the 24 questions, click on “determine style” to see the learning style suggested for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think of it.

A Beautiful Graphic On Bad Digital Habits

April 26, 2015
In the midst of this digital hype and the ubiquity of technology, one should pause for an instant and reflect deeply on the implications of being constantly connected. More specifically, the implications of connectivity on our social, cultural, intellectual and emotional well-being. Important as it is but the question here is not about how much time we spend interacting with  technology but rather how are we using it and to what benefits? Asking questions such as these is supposed to trigger your critical awareness regarding the different ways you use your time and consequently enable you to make the best of your time.

In the process of our interaction with technology, we get to develop a set of habits that we keep doing almost every day (e.g checking emails, social media websites…etc); however some of these habits get so grounded in our daily practice that they become addictive.This is especially the case with those who spend tremendous amount of time playing online games or those who are obsessed with sharing with others on social media every bit of their lived experiences. The visual below from StudyWeb features some examples of bad digital habits created by Internet. Apart from number 5 which we think does not apply to us as educators and teachers, all of the other habits are really worth some serious meditation. We invite you to check them out and, as always, share with us what you think of them. Enjoy

productivity tips
Courtesy of Make Use Of.

Some Good EdTech Tools to Use in Class

April 24, 2015
Sometimes the right tool can help augment your classroom or make a tedious chore a little bit easier. Here are some utilities that teachers have been talking about. Perhaps one of these may reduce some hassle from your day too.

1- Sway 
 A new online presentation creator from Microsoft that is getting attention from the education community.

Create video chats with colleagues and students easily, no account needed.

3- LearnCube 
 Set up virtual classrooms to teach languages online.
Helps nursery schools keep parents up-to-date on the progress of their children.

5- Permission Click 
Digital permission slips, payment, and data collection for K-12 schools (and daycares too!) 30 day free trial!

Want more? Check out these collections of tools .

Apps For the Classroom -
This is curated by educator Charissa Hoff.
This one is curated by educator Taylor Hansen.

Some Very Good Tutorials to Help Students Develop Online Search Skills

April 24, 2015
The key to unlocking the educational potential of the virtual world is through knowing how to effectively search it with the minimum time and efforts possible. Effective search in this sense refers to the ability to locate targeted information online using ‘informed search queries’. It does take time and practice to develop such an ability but it is worth every single second you spend learning it. Once you learn the skill, you will save so much time that would  be have been wasted tracing those search queries that render six figure number of responses.

We have been sharing several tutorials, tips, and graphics on how to help students develop effective search strategies which you can access from this page. Today we are adding another excellent resource from USC Beaufort Library. This is basically a tutorial made up of 20 well crafted lessons all geared towards helping learners build effective web search skills. The lessons are very short and feature only the basic things learners need to get started in the right direction. We have been browsing this collection of lessons and we found them a real treasure trove that teachers should definitely access and share with their students. Here is a round-up of the lessons covered by USCB Library’s Bare Bones Tutorial:

  • Lesson 1: Search Engines: a Definition
  • Lesson 2: Metasearchers: a Definition
  • Lesson 3: Subject Directories: a Definition
  • Lesson 4: Library Gateways and Specialized Databases: a Definition
  • Lesson 5: Evaluating Web Pages
  • Lesson 6: Creating a Search Strategy
  • Lesson 7: Basic Search Tips
  • Lesson 8: Searching with Boolean Logic and Proximity Operators
  • Lesson 9: Field Searching
  • Lesson 10: Troubleshooting
  • Lesson 11: Ask Search Engine: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 12: Clusty Search Engine: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 13: Dogpile Metasearcher: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 14: Gigablast Metasearcher: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 15: Google Search Engine: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 16: MSN Directory / Search Engine: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 17: Yahoo! Directory / Search Engine: A Closer Look
  • Lesson 18: Graveyard for Dead Search Engines
  • Lesson 19: Final Exam
  • Lesson 20: Beyond "Bare Bones"