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Free Rice: Start by playing a few rounds of Free Rice, a free quiz site that donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program  for each correct answer.  Your students will love both aspects.  Browse famous paintings, human anatomy,  languages and more.

For Historians, if you have still not spent any time with Reacting to the Past, prepare to have your life altered:  Look also at Reading Like a Historian,  a website with 87 topics (so far) using documents from the Library of Congress.

Your Website: If you don’t have a website, you need one. Yes, the website is rapidly replacing the resume as the first impression (and it should include your CV.)

The easiest is to use are about.me  or Weebly, but there are loads of options. You can get information about  options in this NYT article: Building Your Own Web Site, Free

Social Media: Facebook is another way to do this too.  But think of Facebook as three tools in one and figure out which you want to you.

1. You can create a Facebook Profile (this is a personal space where you collect friends; many professors will not accept friend requests from students).

2. But you probably need a Facebook Page (which is a professional site that people can only “like” not friend.)

3. And then there are Facebook Groups, which students can “join”, but there is no friending or liking involved.  So a Facebook group for your course can be quite separate from you other Fb activities if you want.

I strongly recommend that you try ONE new way to communicate with your students this fall.  Do not establish multiple new channels of communication.  If you are new, I suggest you try either Twitter or a Facebook Group.   Twitter is more hip, and will probably give you more new things you can do, but it is a more radical change to your thinking. It will take you longer to start to understand how this can help your students.

A Facebook Group is more like a discussion page in an LMS.  The key is that you really dedicate a little consistent time to this- you do not need to be on all day long, but you need to be on EVERY DAY for just a little time.

Audio: If you need to manipulate sound files easily Audacity  is a great editor for sound files  and Soundation offers multi-track recording in a free app.

Prezi: If you do not yet have a stash of ppt presentations, OR, you are committed–really committed–to making your ppt presentations into better learning tools (which means a LOT less content) then Prezi might be for you. It makes me a little seasick, but done well, you can have all of your content available to students ( no more emailing ppt!) and present material in a more connected way.

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