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Monday, April 27, 2015

GeoGebra Quickstart Guides for Desktop and Tablets

From time to time I receive requests for help with GeoGebra. Not being a mathematics teacher, my hands-on experience with the program is limited to just messing around and trying things. When I'm asked for resources for learning how to use GeoGebra I point people in the direction of the GeoGebra website and YouTube channel.

On the GeoGebra YouTube channel you will find more 200 video tutorials. If you're just starting out with GeoGebra on your desktop or tablet, the GeoGebra quickstart videos will be of use to you. The videos are silent, but the visuals are clear.


Remind 2 Me - Send Future Reminders to Yourself

A couple of weeks ago I published a post about a service called Future Me that enables you to write letters to be sent to yourself at a future date. That service works well but a few readers expressed concern about Future Me's gallery of public letters. Remind 2 Me is similar in concept to Future Me except that it doesn't offer a public gallery of letters.

Using Remind 2 Me is very easy. To have reminders sent to you, just write out your reminder to yourself, enter your email address, and enter the date on which you need the reminder sent. You do not need to register for an account to use Remind 2 Me.

Applications for Education
My vision for Remind 2 Me in a classroom is the same as the one for Future Me. Both services could be used at the beginning of a school year. Students could write about what they hope to learn that year, what they do or don't like about school, and goals that they have for themselves. Then at the end of the school year students can read their letters and see how they've changed over the year.

Vizlingo - Short Videos to Illustrate Words

Vizlingo is an interesting little service for creating and sending short video messages. Here's what it does; you type in a short phrase like "hello world" and Vizlingo will play a short video clip for each word in the phrase.

Through the Vizlingo iOS app you can select which video clips you want to use and then send your video message to your friends via email, social networks, or YouTube.

Applications for Education
Vizlingo might be a fun little way for students to practice recognizing some vocabulary context clues. Not all of the video clips I went through on Vizlingo really matched the words I had typed so I had to sort through to find appropriate clips to match my words.

Use Monster Heart Medic to Diagnose a Healthy Lifestyle

This is a guest post from Sabba Quidwai (@AskMsQ) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

A recent app developed by UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, and funded by a National Institutes of Health SEPA Award, serves as a great example for what we can achieve when we use technology in the service of community. This time, the collaboration resulted in educating people about the importance of healthy lifestyles and habits through the creation of Monster Heart Medic. This free, new app for iOS - and soon coming to Android - is a well crafted educational adventure game that explores the cardiovascular system by examining how it is affected by healthy living.


Meet Ragnar! A friendly 3 eyed monster who needs students’ help! Ragnar is not feeling very well and needs children to help him get better! The game is cleverly crafted through an interactive narrative. As students build their knowledge of the cardiovascular system and healthy living, they earn health achievements. Through hands-on tests, interactive simulators, discussions with health professionals, animated monster stories, and arcade games, players learn about common cardiovascular conditions, diagnostic tests, and what steps can be taken to get and keep a healthy cardiovascular system.

From learning about the different parts that make up the cardiovascular system, to truly embracing the role of a healthcare provider, students use medical tools like a stethoscope and pressure cuff to help diagnose cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the app does a brilliant job of bringing to life and helping children visualize the dangerous effects of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

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We all know how much children love customizing characters and Ragnar is no exception! Children can customize him with hats, moustaches, hairstyles and much more. Even with the fun music and character customization, the ultimate goal and lessons of the game are never lost. The different game levels reinforce the importance of healthy food and lifestyle choices. As students diagnose and treat Ragnar, they will learn how to make these choices for themselves so that they do not end up like this monster!

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While Monster Heart Medic is geared towards children, teens and adults can greatly benefit from some of the fun as well. The exciting game play serves as a great tool for clinicians and parents. They can use it with children to enhance and develop their health literacy and make informed decisions about how to lead and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This past year, I co-taught Advanced Topics in Education (ATEd), a project-based course where physician assistant students at the Keck School of Medicine of USC explore the changing dynamics in how people today communicate and investigate how they can use these different platforms that technology has afforded us to deliver patient education outside the four walls of the examination room. Monster Heart Medic serves as a brilliant example of how we can help tackle problems in healthcare by reaching out and delivering education; this time through a exciting game!

Learn more from Sabba this summer! She will be leading workshops for EdTechTeacher in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Two Good Mathematics Glossaries for Students - One in English and Spanish

Like a lot of kids, when I was a middle school and high school student the vocabulary of math often tripped me up. Once I wrapped my head around the meaning of terms I had an easier time understanding and solving the problems. Having a glossary of terms often helped me out. Here are couple of excellent mathematics glossaries for kids.

Math Vocabulary Cards is a free iPad app designed for elementary school students. The app offers exactly what its name implies, a series of flashcards of mathematics vocabulary terms. Each card contains a term, a diagram, and a definition. By default the term is hidden and students have to guess the term based on the definition and diagram. Students can also use the cards with the definitions hidden and the terms revealed. Math Vocabulary Cards can be used in Spanish or English. Simply select a language at the bottom of each card. Students can browse through the entire gallery of flashcards or choose a specific category of terms to study.

Jenny Eather's A Maths Dictionary for Kids has been around for years now. Every year it is updated with more great content for kids. The dictionary provides simple and clear definitions of math terms. Each definition includes a small diagram or simple activity to illustrate the term's definition. A Maths Dictionary for Kids does not have a search option, but it doesn't need one as all definitions appear alphabetically just like in a physical dictionary. Nearly all of the content in the dictionary can be printed.

Parts of this post originally appeared on one of my other blogs, iPadApps4Sschool.com.

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