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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Life on Minimum Wage - A Hands-on Economics Lesson

Over the last few weeks I have received a lot requests to share the Google Document for my economics lesson Life on Minimum Wage. I thought I had made the document public, but apparently I didn't so I'm sharing it again here.

The purpose of Life on Minimum Wage is for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win (prize not determined yet) at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent.

All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one "business" slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also effected. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects that a business closing has on a small town's economy.

The Physics of Bird Migration

Untamed Science and Pearson OLE recently published a new video about bird migrations. Physics of Bird Migration provides some short explanations of why birds fly in V formations, how they navigate thousands of miles and return to the same places every year, and how they prepare for a long migration. The short video is embedded below.


Applications for Education
Physics of Bird Migration isn't an in-depth video, but it could make for a nice introduction to an elementary school science lesson about physics and or birds.

Vocabla - Learn English and Spanish

Vocabla is a service for learning English, Spanish, and Polish vocabulary. The service can be used online or with the free iPhone and Android apps. The concept behind Vocabla is similar to a lot of other language learning applications. In Vocabla you can create lists of words and phrases that you want to learn. Alternatively, you can select a list that was made by someone else and shared to the Vocabla library. You can study each list in a flashcard style until you feel like you're ready to take a practice quiz. You can earn digital trophies and badges for your scores on the quizzes that you complete.

Applications for Education
The aspect of Vocabla that makes it a nice option for use by teachers is that you can create a list of words and share publicly. All of your students can then use that list to study on their own.

Week in Review - Get On Your Bike and Ride

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. This week I did not travel so I was able to spend some extra time writing and planning for the workshops I have scheduled for this summer. Part of that planning included exploring some of the biking and hiking trails around Sunday River Resort where the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will be held in July. As you may have guessed, I'm looking forward to the summer professionally and personally.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. eduClipper Is What Teachers Want Pinterest To Be
2. 5 Things I Like About Building a PLN on Google+
3. Three Ways to Turn Your Blog Into a Book
4. New Tools Added to Wideo - Create Better Animated Videos
5. Create Quizzes in Edcanvas
6. New Response Types Added to Google Forms
7. Insert Quizzes Into Videos With Soo Meta

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
WidBook is a collaborative, multimedia publishing tool.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Fresno Pacific University offers online courses for teachers.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher.org is hosting workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston this summer.

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