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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

29 Days of Android Apps for Teachers and Students

As you may know, in December I started a blog about Android apps for schools. Today, because it is February 1st I decided to put together a list of 29 of my favorite apps that I think educators and students should try over the next month. The list is embedded below as a Google Docs presentation.

Think Binder - A Place to Share Notes and Chat

Think Binder is a new website that gives students a place to create online study groups. In each group students can share files, share links, chat, and draw on a collaborative whiteboard. Students can create and join multiple groups. As you will see in the video below, getting started with Think Binder takes just a minute.
Embedded below is my brief video overview of Think Binder.

Applications for Education
For students working on group projects, Think Binder could be a good place to organize their findings and hold brainstorming sessions through chat. The collaborative whiteboard space could be helpful for drawing diagrams of ideas for group discussion.

Video - What is an IPO?

The tech and business worlds have been buzzing all week about the seemingly impending Facebook IPO. Your students may have heard about it too. This would be a good a time to teach students about how companies end up on the stock market and why they offer shares in their companies. CNN's Explain It To Me series has a new video explaining what an IPO is and why companies like Facebook put shares up for sale. The video is embedded below or you can watch it here.

Search for Images by Drawing an Image

For a while now we have been able to perform Google Image searches by uploading images from our computers. This morning, through Mashable, I learned about a neat image search tool that allows you to draw an image and search for images that are similar to it.

The Unofficial Google Image Search by Drawing tool provides you with a drawing space and some simple drawing tools to create a sketch. When your sketch is complete just click "search by drawing" and you'll be sent to the Google Image search results that best match your drawing.

The Unofficial Google Image Search by Drawing tool can also be used to upload and draw on an image that you have stored on your computer. If you want to search for pictures of yourself or pictures of people that look like you, you can use your webcam to take a picture of yourself and search through the Unofficial Google Image Search by Drawing tool.

Embedded below is Mashable's video overview of the Unofficial Google Image Search by Drawing tool.


Applications for Education
This approach to image search could be useful for students who have an idea for an image, but can't quite find it by using search terms in Google Image search.

Google SketchUp Tutorial Videos and Math Lessons

Yesterday, I saw a Tweet from Steven Anderson that reminded me of a couple of good series of Google SketchUp tutorial videos. SketchUp is a great free program from Google that allows you to create 3-D models to use in Google Earth or as stand-alone models. Learning to use all of the features of SketchUp can take a while. Fortunately, as with most Google products, there are some excellent video tutorials to help you learn how to use SketchUp.

New to Google SketchUp is a series of 28 videos that will walk you through all of the basics of using SketchUp to create your first models. Some of the videos have been updated recently and now prompt you to click through to the updated version. Below I have included the first video in the series.


Although it is not an official series of videos from Google, SketchUp for Dummies has a series of web tutorials that you can access even if you haven't purchased the SketchUp for Dummies book.

Applications for Education
SketchUp can be used all kinds of educational projects like building models of ancient Rome or building models of the moon base that Newt Gingrich is going have people living on in eight years. SketchUp can be used in geometry lessons such as those offered by 3D Davinci. 3DVinci's SketchUp page has some very good resource for mathematics teachers, particularly Geometry teachers. 3DVinci presents a collection of mathematics projects that students can do using Google SketchUp. If you've never used SketchUp, don't worry. 3DVinci hosts video tutorials that will show you everything you need to know to get started using Google SketchUp to teach mathematics.

One Month Left to Enter The Kids' Science Challenge

Back in October I wrote about the Kids' Science Challenge. A post on Fred Delventhal's blog just reminded me about it. There is one month left for students in grades three through six to enter the Kids' Science Challenge.

The Kids' Science Challenge is a national (United States) contest for students in grades three through six. The challenge asks students to innovate and build upon on our current conceptions of how things work. There are three areas of innovation in this year's contest; reducing waste, developing meals to be eaten on Mars, and developing a toy or game that demonstrates an animal's intelligence. The contest is open until February 29, 2012.

Applications for Education
To help students start thinking about the topics in The Kids' Science Challenge, the challenge website has a series of games and videos for students. For teachers, The Kids' Science Challenge offers a page of lesson plans and hands-on activities designed to help students develop ideas related to the contest's three challenge topics.

The Psychology of Color

The Psychology of Color is an infographic from Painters of Louisville. This simple infographic explain the feelings that people have in response to certain colors. The infographic also gives some examples of colors used in the marketing efforts of well-known brands and why those colors are used. I dropped the infographic into Zoom.it to make it fit in the space below.

Applications for Education
If you have students developing their own blogs, The Psychology of Color could be a good reference for them to use when they choose the color schemes for their blogs.

H/T to Cool Infographics

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