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Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Week in Review - Waiting for Snow

Good morning from Maine where my dog, my new snowshoes, and I are waiting for some snow to accumulate so that we can go play. While we wait, I'll do some blogging.

This week I had the honor of keynoting the third day of the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. This is a wonderful annual event that honors the legacy of Christa McAuliffe. The video tribute to Christa McAuliffe that was played before the keynote was truly moving. If you live in New England and you haven't attended the conference before, put it on your list of "must attends" for the future.

Here are the most popular posts of the week:
1. 10 Google Search Tips All Students Can Use
2. 6 Apps Students Can Use to Create Quick Audio Recordings
3. New Course - Google Drive and the Common Core
4. Create Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional People, Places, and Events
5. 60 of the Best Websites and Apps for Teachers
6. Manifest Destiny in 141 Interactive Maps
7. Create Your Own Interactive Primary Source Document Activities

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Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

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A Short Guide to Google Maps for Educators

In the last month or so I have had a lot of requests to share my short guide to Google Maps for Educators. Since I originally published the guide a couple of things have changed in Google Maps. Therefore, I have updated the guide and I'm republishing it now.

In this guide you'll find directions for using the measurement tools in Google Maps, directions for creating your own maps, directions for sharing maps, and links to additional resources about using Google Maps in education.


Poverty in America - The Living Wage Calculator

The Living Wage Calculator is a website developed and maintained by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier at MIT. The purpose of the Living Wage Calculator is to provide a snapshot of what it actually costs to survive in counties and cities in the United States. The Living Wage Calculator shows the differences between minimum wages and minimum living wages for each county and some cities in the U.S. The calculator accounts for eight different household scenarios from single adult to two adults and three children living in the same household.


Applications for Education
The Living Wage Calculator only accounts for the basic monthly expenses in each scenario. After looking at the Living Wage Calculator's data for your county, ask your students to try to account for other expenses that a typical family has. After they look at the data for their county ask your students to try to locate help wanted postings that provide a minimum living wage in their county. Then have them determine what type of education and training those jobs require.

Thanks to my friend Josh White for sharing this with me on Facebook. Josh is not a teacher. He is my old college roommate and the person who exemplifies life-long learning better than anyone I know. 

Smithsonian and ePals Spark!Lab Invent It Contest

Here’s a great opportunity to engage your students in innovation and inspire their creativity.  ePals and the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation are holding the second annual Spark!Lab Invent It Contest, where students create their own unique inventions and compete with others around the world to win prizes from LEGO, Smithsonian, ePals and Camp Invention, a program of Invent Now, Inc. During the process, students can learn about the history and process of invention from creative idea to successful marketing and may even have a patent application filed in their name.

The contest is open now and entries are due January 4, 2013. Finalists will be announced on January 17, Kid Inventor Day, after which nominees may campaign for the rest of the month to garner votes. Winners in each age category will be announced on February 4.

Learn more about the contest rules, deadlines and prizes here and check out other resources and projects from Smithsonian on ePals here.



Disclosure: ePals is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

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