Public Domain? Meet Government Shutdown

A neat trick for finding many public domain resources has been thwarted by the partial government shutdown.  Recognizing that the resources created by the Federal Government (images, video, documents), are funded by tax dollars, they are in the public domain thereby free (and great for education!). It may or may not be well known that a Google search for the thing you are looking for followed by (all lowercase) returns to the searcher results limited to government websites. (e.g. hot air balloon  will result in many images from NASA and other .gov sites with hot air balloons that are in the public domain.

With the events of the past week, many of the Federal Government websites including the National Park Service’s Public

USG Closed Sites

Domain Image Library, NASA and NIST are not available. Frustrating for people who like this great resource for presentations, webcreations, and multimedia projects, but it is good to be aware. Looking for some alternatives? Maybe not as diverse but the MorgueFile is one of many other great resources for education-friendly images.


There is a chance

After some reflection, I realized that I have been reading blogs since “attending” a K12 Online Conference session in 2006 on RSS and how to use it. I have learned about so many things and feel like I know some of the people whose blogs I have been reading for so long. I have now also been thinking more about Twitter as a professional development tool. I know some bloggers have migrated from blogs to Twitter, some take a hybrid approach and do both, and some on Twitter never blogged, they just Tweet and the information is great (some of my colleagues and friends love it) but for whatever reason I have had a tough time getting into Twitter.

Today I read a blog post by Wesley Fryer (Moving at the Speed of Creativity) which introduced me to TweetChat – a tool that looks very user-friendly and allows one to easily follow and participate in scheduled educational chats. Simply enter your Twitter account information (yes, I have an account, though it is pretty quiet), select the desired hashtag to follow, and I think I have a chance at successfully following some of the chats now. Thank you, Wesley Fryer I love your blog and – I am looking forward to a new adventure. 🙂

Getting Ready for Election 2012

It seems like we just went through a presidential election cycle, but we’re gearing up again. For the 2012 election, C-SPAN has produced a new Electoral College map which is available at no cost to anyone with a C-SPAN Education Membership. The membership can be great for many disciplines as there is public speaking, public policy relating to all content areas, and, of course, government content. The account also allows for access to more content than an unregistered visitor and when logged in, the videos can be edited within C-SPAN’s video library to allow only clips to be seen which saves a great amount of time.

To become a member, visit the C-SPAN Classroom site and register. For the Electoral College poster, visit the special offers page.