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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PhotoMath Could Change the Way We Think About Teaching Math

PhotoMath is a new iPhone and Windows phone app that will provide users with the solution to math problems. PhotoMath users can take a picture of a math problem in a book and have the problem completed for them. The "steps" button on the app will show users the steps needed to successfully solve the math problem.


PhotoMath from MicroBLINK on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Obviously, PhotoMath is an app that students can use to check answers to math problems that have been assigned to them from a math textbook. What I am curious about is how this app could encourage teachers to change the way they think about math assignments. David Wees and Scott McLeod have already started this conversation. I encourage math teachers to join the conversations that David and Scott have started.


By Request - 5 Resources for Teaching and Learning About Anatomy

This afternoon I received an email from a teacher seeking resources that her middle school students could access as part of an anatomy lesson she is developing. Rather than sharing that list with just one person, I am posting it here too.

eSkeletons is a great resources produced by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. eSkeletons features interactive models of mammal skeletons. Select a model from the menu on the home page then click on any bone in the model to view it in detail. After select a bone to view you can choose from a menu of viewing angles. In many cases eSkeletons offers a short video about the bone you've selected from the menu.

BioDigital Human offers interactive 3D models of the human skeleton, muscle systems, and nervous system. You can turn on and off different views according to which body systems you want to view. The models can be rotated 360 degrees and the labels have an audio play-back option. In addition to the website, BioDigital Human is available as an iPad app and as Android app.

Healthline Body Maps features interactive 3D models for learning about human anatomy. Body Maps allows you to zoom-in on specific parts of the body or view the body as a whole. Whether you zoom-in on a specific portion of a model or view it as a whole, you can choose from eight layers to view. The layers start at the skin and end with the skeletal system. Body Maps has male and female models.

Important note about BioDigital Human and Healthline Body Maps:
If you are going to use either of these sites in your classroom, please beware that the models are all parts of the human body are visible depending upon which layers and views you select.

The Human Body Study Jams from Scholastic are slideshows and animations that provide a short overview of various topics in science and math. There are six human body Study Jams; skeletal system, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, muscular system, and circulatory system.

Visual Anatomy is an iPad app designed to help students learn the names of muscles, bones, organs, and systems in the human body. To use the app students select a system then click on the pinmarks in each image to learn about those parts of the body. The free version of the app has 300 pinmarks in standard resolution. The paid version of the app has 700 pinmarks with high resolution images.

Knoema World Data Atlas - Reference Data Visualizations and More

Knoema's World Data Atlas offers a huge collection of data sets, maps, and charts for almost every country in the world. There are dozens of data categories to pick from. Some of the data categories that you will find include GPD Per Capita, Government Debt, Migration, Housing, Energy Consumption, and Agricultural Production.

You can find a maps, charts, and data sets on Knoema's World Data Atlas by selecting a country then choosing a data sets. Alternatively, you can choose a data set then see a list of countries represented in your chosen data set.

Each data set, map, and chart can be exported, downloaded, or embedded into a blog post or webpage. Registered Knoema users can use the data sets to create their own data visualizations.


Applications for Education
The obvious fit for Knoema is in a social studies setting in which students are comparing economic indicators. Knoema's library of data sets and visualizations also includes data sets and visualizations appropriate for use in lessons on environmental science.

How to Search Twitter for Educational Content

"Perform a Twitter search" is one of the suggestions that I often make to teachers who ask me how they can find more resources for the subjects that they teach. A Twitter search can often reveal resources and ideas that you might not find through your typical Google searches. You don't have to have a Twitter account in order to search on Twitter. In the video below I provide a short demonstration of how to search for educational content on Twitter.


Sites mentioned in the video above:
Twitter Search
Cybrary Man's Education Hashtags

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Novels on Location - Read Your Way Around the World

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about a neat use of Google Maps called Novels on Location. I revisited that site today and found that the list of novels is now up to 517. The idea behind Novels on Location is to help readers find novels according to the story's geographical settings. When you visit Novels on Location you can find novels by clicking on the placemarks that you see or by using the location search bar in the upper, right corner of the site. If you want to contribute to Novels on Location you can do so very quickly by simply entering a location then entering the title and author of your favorite book set in that location.

Applications for Education
You could use Google Maps Engine Lite to create your own classroom version of Novels on Location. Ask your students to write short short book reviews in the placemarks that they add to a shared Google Map. If you have students creating video book trailers, those videos could be added to their placemarks too. If could be a fun challenge for your call to try to collectively "read around the world" by locating stories set on each of the seven continents.

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