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Saturday, June 29, 2013

What's Inside Coffee? And How Do You Decaffeinate It? - Videos

Earlier today Open Culture shared a video titled What's Actually Inside an Average Cup of Coffee? The video, produced by Wired, gives us a short run-down of the chemical contents of brewed coffee. After watching the video I went looking for related videos on YouTube. I found How Do You Decaffeinate Coffee? published by Brain Stuff. In How Do You Decaffeinate Coffee? viewers again learn about the chemicals in coffee and how how to remove the caffeine from coffee. Both videos are embedded below.



Applications for Education
After watching How Do You Decaffeinate Coffee? I contacted my brother-in-law who is a professor of organic chemistry at Cedarville College and a friend of mine who is a chemist at Boeing to see if this process is something that could be done by high school chemistry students. Both of them think it is.

Google+ Is Two, Have You Tried It Yet? You Should

Google+ turned two this week. Many teachers (and many others) have ignored it even though it has some great features. I outlined my favorite things about using Google+ in this post back in May. The short version of that post is that the connected nature of conversations and the Communities feature make it easy to connect and follow conversations. Using the Communities feature in particular can be a great way to connect with a group of like-minded professionals.

If you haven't tried Google+ yet, here are four videos to help you get started.

Instagram, Food, and Regional Differences

I'm not likely to be accused of being a hipster anytime soon, but this evening I did Instagram a picture of part of my dinner. Brown bread from a can is a central part of a "traditional Maine suppah" of baked beans, red hot dogs, and brown bread. Some folks wash it down with Moxie too (I forgot the Moxie today). My Instagrammed picture sparked a bunch of questions on Twitter. This got me thinking about how much fun it could be to learn about various parts of the world through pictures of food.

Applications for Education
You wouldn't have to use Instagram or Twitter to spark your students' questions about foods from different parts of the world, but it might be a more authentic method than simply Googling "foods from place X." Reach out to your personal learning network on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook and ask people to share a picture of a "traditional meal" or "traditional ingredient" from their region. You might be surprised what your students ask and what they find out about other parts of their countries and the world. This activity could pair nicely with these maps of 128 dialect differences in the United States.

Digg Reader - Another New Google Reader Alternative

This weekend is the last weekend that Google Reader will work. If you haven't found a replacement for Google Reader yet, here's another option. Digg has just released a new RSS reader called Digg Reader. You can import your Google Reader subscriptions with just one click. All of the category folders that you have in Google Reader will be imported into Digg Reader too.

Digg Reader has a simple interface that is currently missing a couple of features that I must have including the option to see how many unread items I have in a category. The other feature that I would to see is the option to add other social networks to my sharing menu. Currently, Digg Reader only supports sharing to Twitter, Facebook, and Digg.

If you're looking for other Google Reader alternatives, here are my five favorite Google Reader alternatives.

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Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from rainy Maine. This week I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and at the AAFCS conference in Houston. Thank you to everyone that came to my presentations. It was great to be able to connect with many of you this week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Using Images as Research Prompts to Teach Search Strategies
2. Search Tips and Strategies Tip Sheet
3. 18 Google Earth & Maps Lessons for K-12
4. Learn a Language On the Go With Duolingo Mobile Apps
5. Learn Art History with Smarthistory

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