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Monday, November 4, 2013

GeoGebra for Windows 8, iOS, and Android

This fall GeoGebra released new apps for Android, iPad, and Windows 8. All three of the apps include the graphing and modeling tools available on your desktop. The apps also include GeoGebraTube in which you can search for the things that other GeoGebra users have created. The video embedded below provides an overview of the Windows 8 GeoGebra app (the video does not have sound).

Kahoot - Create Quizzes and Surveys Your Students Can Answer on Any Device

Kahoot is a new service for delivering online quizzes and surveys to your students. The premise of Kahoot is similar to that of Socrative and Infuse Learning. On Kahoot you create a quiz or survey that your students respond to through any device that has a web browser (iPad, Android device, Chromebook). Your Kahoot questions can include pictures and videos.

As the teacher you can control the pace of the Kahoot quiz or survey by imposing a time limit for each question. As students answer questions they are awarded points for correct answers and the timeliness of their answers. A scoreboard is displayed on the teacher's screen.

Applications for Education
Students do not need to have a Kahoot account in order to participate in your activities. To participate they simply have to visit Kahoot.it then enter the PIN code that you give to them to join the activity. Using Kahoot, like Socrative and Infuse Learning, could be a good and fun way to conduct review sessions in your classroom. Using Kahoot could also be a good way to gather informal feedback from your students.


Medium - A New, Simple Option for Blogging

Medium is a newer blogging service that I tried earlier this summer when it was in a closed beta. Last week Medium opened to everyone who has a Twitter account and an email address. The simplest explanation of Medium is that it is like Tumblr without the re-blogging feature and without themes. Medium provides a simple interface for writing your blog posts. You cannot change the theme or template for your blog. All posts appear in large, easy-to-read text on a white background. You can add pictures and links to your posts, but you cannot add any widgets or other customizations to your posts.

Medium allows you to follow categories of blog posts. Each of your own posts can be sent to a different category based upon its topic. One of the nice aspects of Medium posts is that when you're browsing a category you can see an average read time on each post before you open it.

Applications for Education
Because Medium is an open platform students can explore any of the blog post categories on the site. This is similar to students clicking "next blog" on Blogger or clicking "Stumble" on Stumble Upon. For that reason I would hesitate to use it with students younger than sixteen. But for older students it could be a good, simple platform on which they write reflections about learning or respond to other blogging prompts that you give to them.

The Playground of Mathematics - Math Practice in 13 Languages

There is certainly no shortage of mathematics practice sites available on the web. The Playground of Mathematics is one of those sites that I would have lumped into the category of "just another practice site" if it didn't support thirteen languages. On The Playground of Mathematics students can practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills in their choice of thirteen languages. Students can use the site without registering. The Playground of Mathematics keeps track of the problems that students have answered correctly during their visits to the site.

Applications for Education
The activities on The Playground of Mathematics don't contain any fancy graphics or any kind of feedback other than correct or incorrect. That said, if you're looking for math practice activities that students can use on their own in their native languages then The Playground of Mathematics is worth a look.

Listen Edition and Socrative Combine to Offer Audio-based Lessons

Listen Edition is a service that organizes lessons around public radio stories. The stories are made available through recordings on Listen Edition. Each story is accompanied by a lesson plan, a list of vocabulary words for students, and now a pre-made Socrative quiz. Teachers can save lesson plans in their Listen Edition accounts.

Listen Edition is only free for the first 90 days. I usually don't mention services that only have free trial periods, but I think this is one service worthy of an exception to that rule. To be clear, Socrative is still completely free for everyone to use.

Applications for Education
Short audio recordings an make the news and other stories accessible to more students. Listen Edition allows your students to listen to the stories multiple times before answering the Socrative questions. Socrative offers good tools for seeing how your students are responding to questions online.

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