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Friday, October 20, 2017

Molecularium: Molecule Building Game


My Molecularium is a new free game app that challenges players to build a wide variety of molecules. It is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play.

This app is part of the Molecularium Project, which is the outreach and education effort of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Nanotechnology Center. The mission of the Molecularium Project is to expand science literacy and get people of all ages excited about science.

Applications for Education
This is a fun and engaging way for students to learn about molecules and the world around them. Games are a great way to introduce and reinforce ideas.


Stelum: Things Made Simple


Stelum is a new collaborative platform to find and share simple explanations for complex ideas and topics. The purpose is to provide people with simple and easy to understand explanations of a wide variety of categories including science, technology, history, famous people, society, ideas, beliefs, and culture.

These ideas are explained on cards called Simplexes which anyone can write, but only the best are featured and promoted. Simplexes are a new way to work with information.

Applications for Education
Teachers could use Simplexes to introduce ideas to students. Students could use the site to learn about any number of topics.

5-Day Teacher Challenge


The 5-Day Teacher Challenge from Rushton Hurley, founder of Next Vista for Learning, is just wrapping up. The idea behind this challenge is to help teachers improve what they do with simple ideas, all while having some fun in the process. While this is the last day of the official challenge, there is no reason you can't work one or more of these challenges into your weekly routine.

Here are examples of some of the challenges:

  • Select one of your challenging students and make a call to their home to report something good they have done. Keep it 100% positive. 
  • Select an activity you are planning and give students the option to propose an alternative approach for them to demonstrate their mastery of the content. 
  • Go for an entire day without raising your voice to improve how you communicate to optimize learning conditions in your classroom. 
  • Find a teacher in your school and plan a team-teaching activity. 
  • Find someone who helps make the school work well like a secretary, custodian, bus driver, or cafeteria worker and find a way to celebrate them. 

Students Evaluating Student WorkShowing Learning at a Higher Level Through Vocabulary, Collecting Students' Insights, and a Student with Autism Explains Autism are some Rushton's guest posts.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mercury Reader Chrome Extension


Mercury Reader is a Chrome extension that makes websites and articles easier for students to read. This extension strips away ads which can be distraction and it pulls the information from an article into one simple and easy to read document. Images will still appear in the new version and hyperlinks will still work just as they did in the original article. Mercury Reader allows the user to change the size of the text, adjust the font, and select either a light or dark theme. There is also an option to send the text to a Kindle.

Applications for Education 
This app is very useful for students (or anyone) who is easily distracted, need to enlarge text, or who might have a preference for light or dark backgrounds.


New Features in SeeSaw



SeeSaw released some great new features at ISTE back in June and they are at it again! SeeSaw is a digital portfolio which provides students with a platform to share their work. Over the last year, there was an increase in the number of teachers using SeeSaw to distribute assignments to students and then collect those assignments from students. To help make this process easier, SeeSaw has launched several new and exciting features.

  • Activities- Teachers can create their own activities or select grade-level specific assignments from the SeeSaw library. Teachers also have the option of sharing their activities to a school-specific library so other teachers in their school can have access to them.
  • Simplify workflow- Differentiate lessons by sharing lessons with the entire class or with just a few students. Students can select from a number of tools to show what they know and all responses will appear on a single page.
  • Save time- It is possible to share activities between classes and reuse activities from one year to the next. 


Disclosure: SeeSaw is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com