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Monday, December 2, 2013

Organize and Share Files and Bookmarks on Pearltrees

Pearltrees is a service that combines social bookmarking with mind-mapping. Using Pearltrees you can bookmark websites and arrange your bookmarks into webs or mindmaps of related topics. Recently, Pearltrees added the option for users to upload files use in their mindmaps. Users can arrange and share their files just like they can with any other Pearltrees mindmap. Pearltrees can be used in your web browser or through the free Pearltrees iOS and Android apps.

Applications for Education
Uploading files to Pearltrees gives students another way to create digital portfolios to show-off their best work. Through Pearltress students can showcase work they've created offline along with work they've published online. For example, a student could combine links to their best blog posts with pictures of artwork that they have created offline.

Where is...? - A World Geography Game

Last month I shared a handful of fun geography games as part of my list of resources for Geography Awareness Week. Where is...? is another good game to add to that list. This game uses a common concept for geography games; the name of a city is presented to the players and they have to click the map to guess where the city is located. Players are given immediate feedback on their accuracy in the form of a measurement, in kilometers, of the distance between their guesses and the correct answers.

Applications for Education
Where is...? offers a practice mode in which points are not recorded. The practice mode is good for students to use to familiarize themselves with world geography before giving the scored rounds a try.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

CCSS-Aligned Rubrics for Project Based Learning

In a Tweet over the weekend I mentioned that the Buck Institute for Education offers good project based learning activities. Most of what BIE offers is not free. There is some good free content on BIE. The most notable of that free content being their rubrics for assessing critical thinking skills, collaboration, presentation, and creativity and innovation in project based learning assignments. The rubrics are available with or without Common Core alignment. You can download the rubrics as PDFs or Word documents.

Applications for Education
Even if you don't use BIE's rubrics exactly as they're written, the rubrics could provide a good model to get you started on crafting PBL rubrics specific to the projects your students are working on.

Economics Lessons for Students of All Ages

A couple of weeks ago David Andrade posted a short list of financial literacy resources for students. Money As You Grow is one of the items on the list that is new to me. Money As You Grow was developed by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

Money As You Grow features lesson activities for students from pre-K through college. The interactive site outlines financial literacy milestones for each age group. Click on an age group and milestone to see a short list of activities that you can do with students to help them reach a new financial literacy milestone.

Money As You Grow offers free posters about the milestones and activities shared on the website. The posters are available in a variety of sizes for you to download and print.

Applications for Education
It is never too early to start teaching students about the responsible use of money. What I like about Money As You Grow is that many of the suggested activities are things that parents can do with their children during the course of a normal day of running errands. I also like the suggested credit card activity for teens. In the credit card activity for teens they are asked to use the Federal Reserve's website to see how long it would take to repay $1,000 credit card balance if they only make minimum payments on time every month.

The Chemistry of Cookies

Last week, through the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page, someone asked me if I had any resources about the chemistry of candy. I didn't have anything, and I'm still looking, but I did find this TED-Ed lesson about the chemistry of cookies. The lesson covers why you shouldn't eat raw dough, the temperature at which salmonella is killed, why cookies spread-out (or don't spread if the dough is not correct), and what our noses tell us about the cookies. The video from the lesson is embedded below.


Applications for Education
As the holiday season progresses, baking season comes right along with it. The Chemistry of Cookies is a good lesson that is timely and could be assigned as homework for parents and students to watch together.

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