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Monday, December 20, 2010

Android App Inventor Is Now Open to Everyone

This summer Google launched App Inventor for Android to a limited number of early adopters. App Inventor for Android makes it possible for people without any coding skills to develop applications for Android-powered phones. Now App Inventor for Android is open to everyone to try in Google Labs. Labs is the place where Google launches products that are skill in development but can be used by those willing to accept that there might be some bugs.

App Inventor for Android is a drag and drop program for developing Android applications. Even if you don't have an Android-powered phone, you can still develop an application using the emulator built into App Inventor for Android. App Inventor for Android provides detailed step-by-step directions for building your first application. Watch the video below to see the App Inventor in action.


Applications for Education
App Inventor for Android is an exciting development for educators and students. Teachers and students can develop mobile applications to exactly match the needs of their courses. 

A Party for 7 Billion

National Geographic's January cover story is about the global population reaching 7 billion people. As an online supplement to the print article, NGM has a neat video about the space needed to host a party for 7 billion people. The answer might surprise you and your students. Have your students try to figure out an answer before showing them 7 Billion: World Party.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Teaching Kids Real Math With Computers
Google Maps for More than Social Studies

Personal Finance Lessons for Middle School Students

Mint.com, the popular personal finance management service, in collaboration with Scholastic has launched a free personal finance curriculum for middle school use. Math and Money is a collection of four short lessons (2 primary lessons and two "bonus" lessons) about personal finance. Lesson one is designed to teach students about wages, taxes, and costs of living. Lesson two is designed to teach students the benefits of saving their money in a bank. The bonus lessons expand the first two lessons. Scholastic hosts printable materials that you can download and use to support the lessons.

Here's a seven minute video from Mint.com designed to teach viewers the importance of having good consumer credit.



H/T to TechCrunch.

Applications for Education
Math and Money aren't the most in-depth personal finance lessons I've come across, but they could make good introductory lessons to personal finance for elementary and middle school students. If you would like to try a more hands-on version of lesson one from Math and Money, take a look at Life on Minimum  Wage which is a lesson I developed for use with some of my special education students.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Captains of Industry - Economics Simulation Game
10 Resources for Teaching and Learning Economics

The Year in Rap - Top News of the Year

As the year winds down there will be plenty of "year in review" news videos and news articles. Not too many of those, if any, will be quite like Flocabulary's Year in Rap. As you might guess, the Year in Rap is a short overview of the year's biggest news stories. Watch the video below.

The Year in Rap: 2010 from Week in Rap on Vimeo.

Trunk.ly - Bookmark While You Tweet

Last spring I got really excited about a service called Packrati.us that bookmarked in Delicious every link that I Tweeted. I'm still using Packrati.us, but now that Delicious is possibly shutting down, being sold, or otherwise altered, I'm going to give Trunk.ly a try. Trunk.ly is a bookmarking service that integrates with your Twitter and Facebook accounts to save the links that you share on those services. If you have a Delicious account, you can import your Delicious links into your Trunk.ly account. Using Trunk.ly every time you share a link via Tweet, reTweet, or Facebook post that link is saved to your Trunk.ly account.

Update: I've heard from Packrati.us that their service also works with Diigo, PinBoard, Historius, and Instapaper.

Applications for Education
Educators in the habit of sharing links with their PLNs via Twitter should consider Trunk.ly as an easy way to share and save at the same time.

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