Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shmoop Poetry Essay Contest - Win an iPad

Online study guide provider Shmoop just announced an essay contest for high school students. Shmoop's Poetry Essay Contest asks students to write a 500 word analysis of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. The winner of the contest, judged by Jim Burke, will receive an iPad. The entry deadline is May 28, 2010. You can find all of the entry requirements and contest details here.

Teacher Zone Offers Good Math Videos

Teacher Zone is a new free service being offered by the mathematics tutorial service Ten Marks. Teacher Zone is a compilation of more than 1,000 mathematics tutorials videos created by Ten Marks tutors. The videos cover everything from basic elementary school mathematics skills through high school Algebra and Geometry skills.

The videos in the Teacher Zone collection are all hosted on YouTube but you can only be access the categorized collection by registering for a free Teacher Zone account. Theoretically you could find the videos on YouTube on your own, but that would probably be a lot more time consuming than registering with Teacher Zone. The other advantage of registering for a free Teacher Zone account is that if YouTube is blocked in your school, Teacher Zone makes the video available in a secondary format that is less likely to be blocked by school filters.

Here's one of the videos from the Teacher Zone collection.

Applications for Education
I know from talking with mathematics teachers in my school that they sometimes hear from parents who want to help their children with homework, but they need a refresher themselves. The videos from Teacher Zone could provide that refresher that parents are looking for before they try to help their children with math homework.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Five Sources of Fun Mathematics Games
Ten Problem Solving Games for K-8 Students
The Importance of Proper Mathematics

RCampus - Create and Conduct Courses Online

RCampus is a free, web-based, platform for creating and conducting courses online. Using RCampus teachers can create a course, collect students' assignments, and maintain a gradebook. RCampus provides all of the tools you would expect to find in an online course management system. Through RCampus you can post assignments, host discussion forums, post videos, post images, post links, collect assignments, and manage a gradebook.

When it comes time to assess the assignments you've collected from students, RCampus has a tool that can help you save time. iRubric is RCampus's tool for creating rubrics. When assessing assignments using iRubric, just click the cells that reflect the scores, click save, and the scores are sent to your gradebook.

RCampus also offers some useful features for students. Outside of the environment of your course, students can create and join learning communities in RCampus. These communities can be used for creating study groups. RCampus also gives students a space for creating an eportfolio that they can maintain for all courses they take on the RCampus platform.

Learn more about RCampus in the video below.

Thanks to Ms. Greene for the tip about RCampus through a comment on my post about Udemy.

Giving Getting - Give or Get Free Stuff

Giving Getting is a new service, launched in January, with the goal of helping people exchange free material gifts. The process for using Giving Getting seems straight-forward. If you're in need of something, register and request it. Giving Getting will then try to match you with a donor that has that item to give.

Applications for Education
An unfortunate fact about teachers is that many of us spend money out of our own pockets for classroom supplies. A service like Giving Getting could help teachers reduce the need to dig into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Find Money for Your School - Grant Gopher
Donors Choose - Teachers Ask, Students Learn
iLove Schools Helps Teachers Get Supplies