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Instructify.com: Reviews of Free Teaching Tools for Teachers by Teachers

by | Posted April 2nd, 2014

Instructify.com is chock full of reviews and links to free resources for instructors. While the main demographic seems to be K-12 instructors, there are certainly tools here for college writing courses. The site is a bit clunky and silo-y, but the resources reviewed here are incredibly useful. With close to 1,500 posts there is surely something here for everyone.

I am particularly drawn to the “writing” tag (of course) – instructify.com/tag/writing. This tag features reviews of gems like Let Them Sing it For You, comic strip creators, Vintage Technology, and more. Remember, all the tools and resources featured on Instructify are free.

Books Without the Burden

by | Posted April 1st, 2014

Books are expensive; textbooks are outrageously expensive. And heavy. So even if you’re a die-hard print lover, this list of free books available online can ease your burden (both financially and physically).

The first and most obvious is the heavy hitter: Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg runs off of donations and impressively manages to provide over 42,000 high quality free e-books, and most are available in multiple file formats.

For textbooks, we have textbookrevolution.org. The site can be a bit annoying to navigate – broken links scattered through the navigation become frustrating quickly. On the bright side though, textbookrevolution has over 1000 free textbooks available on a variety of subjects. There’s also en.wikibooks.org, an open source/open collection of informational books that utilizes the familiar wiki structure to crowdsource the content.

Finally, if you’re looking for a beach read to throw on your kindle, there’s publicbookshelf.com. Public Bookshelf has a community built around romance novels, and as such some of their top hits include Sense and Sensibility, Princess Zara, and a fictional biography of Jane Austen.

The full list at justenglish has 103 entries separated into even more categories, like foreign language novels, poetry, and even illustrated children’s books.

Open Access Online Feminist Journals, curated by HASTAC scholars

by | Posted April 1st, 2014

hastac_logoYou’re going to want to bookmark this post, or at least bookmark the resource – A free list of free online peer-reviewed feminist journals. Shoutout to HASTAC scholar Lori Beth De Hertogh and post commenters for putting the list together.

Many of the journals listed here are relevant to rhetoric and writing – Harlot; Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology; and The Fibreculture Journal: Digital Media + Networks + Transdisciplinary Critique, to name a few. In addition to considering this list for publication potential, also consider the use of these feminist journals in your scholarship and classrooms.

Imagination Library

by | Posted April 1st, 2014

80% of preschool and after-school programs serving low-income populations have no age-appropriate books for their children (Source). These same children often go without age-appropriate books available at home as well. This can set them up at a disadvantage from their very first moments in the education system.

Dolly Parton is out to change that. Imagination Library is her project, founded in 1996. Families who sign up can receive one age-appropriate book each month, starting at age 5. Imagination Library serves families in America, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

If you know a child that could use an opportunity like this, point their parents this way and pass on the #weekoffree love to those who need it most.

How To Start Your Own Magazine with Joomag

by | Posted March 31st, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if you could own a magazine company? What if I told you can and you could do so for free? YES, for free. Create your stunning digital publications and let the world know about them through Joomag. Use Joomag to create a free online interactive magazine. Upload videos, sounds and animations for your audience to enjoy right off the page of your magazine. You can also design catalogs, reports, brochures and photo albums; don’t worry, this is all still free.

It gets better! Create your magazine, and share your link with anyone. There is no limit to how many magazines you can create or how many issues you can have. Your magazine is accessible and compatible on any mobile device. Publishing the next Sports Illustrated or Poets & Writers magazine is a click away.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 7.07.30 PM

Tiki-Toki: Online Timeline Creation Tool

by | Posted March 31st, 2014

Tiki-Toki is a free web-based timeline creator. But what does that mean exactly? The timelines you can create with Tiki-Toki move across the screen left to right, allowing the user to embed images, audio, video, and text. What I love most about this tool is the visual design elements that allow for the creation of beautiful timelines. And as we know, the visual rhetoric of a piece can make or break its effectiveness and credibility.

The newest feature Tiki-Toki offers is 3D, which allows your timeline to move front to back while time still moves left to right. Sounds confusing with mere words, so have a look at this history of the Tower of London – tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/137152/Tower-of-London-3D.

Ready to get started? Check out the timeline Tiki-Toki created that walks you through its features while telling you the history of the tool – tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/43/Beautiful-web-based-timeline-software/#vars!date=2010-11-11_13:15:40!.

beautiful-timeline

Remember The Milk

by | Posted March 31st, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 2.15.05 PMLooking for an easier way to manage your tasks and run errands? Just Remember The Milk (RTM)!

”Manage tasks quickly and easily. Get reminded, anywhere. Organize the way you want to. Locate your tasks. Work together to get things done. Add tasks wherever you are.”

RTM is a free web-based and cross-platform time management program. RTM syncs with your GPS, saves commonly used locations, receives reminders or alerts from AIM, Skype, SMS, and can postpone tasks. With this program/app you will “never forget the milk or anything else.” Remember Them Milk is Free, why not give it a try?

Trial by Fire

by | Posted March 29th, 2014

Being controversial on purpose won’t get you invited to a lot of parties, but it might make you a better writer.

Defending your ideas can be terrifying; most people instinctively avoid confrontation. But debate sharpens both your ideas and your rhetoric. Early rhetoricians studied the subject for the express purpose of speaking in the public forum. They knew that ideas forged in the fire of controversy naturally become stronger – or, if they aren’t strong in the first place, burn out. And there’s nothing wrong with that. A weak idea that burns out is almost always a learning experience.

For some tips on how to actually go about raising some hell, check out this article at copybot.