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Monday, August 18, 2014

Activities for Teaching Students How to Research With Google Books

Google Books can be a good research tool for students if they are aware of it and know how to use it. These are the activities that I often use to teach students and others about the features of Google Books.

1. Search for a book by using the "researching a topic?" search box.
2. Use the advanced search menu to refine your search to "full view only" books.
3. Use the advanced search menu to refine a search by date, author, or publisher.
4. Search within a book for a name or phrase.
5. Download a free ebook.
6. Share an ebook via the link provided or by embedding it into a blog post.
7. Create a bookshelf in your Google Books account and add some books to it.
8. Share your bookshelf with someone else.

The following video and slides provide directions on using Google Books.


Human Footprint Interactives from National Geographic

National Geographic offers a couple of neat interactive charts that illustrate the environmental impact of individual choices. The Personal Energy Meter is a tool for evaluating your personal carbon footprint. The meter asks for your location then asks a series of questions about your energy consumption. The result compares you to the average person in your region.

The Human Footprint Interactive shows you how you compare to others around the world when it comes to consumption of foods and consumer goods. Pick any of the ten items like eggs, bread, or soda pop to see how much you consume compared to people in other parts of the world. You can also compare your water consumption to that of others around the world.

Applications for Education 
Both of these interactive charts could be useful in starting lessons about energy and natural resource consumption. Have students use both interactives to see how they compare to others. Then ask students to identify opportunities for reducing consumption.

Last Minute Packing Lists for College-bound Students

College students will be moving into dorms in droves over the next couple of weeks. College Packing List is a free service designed to help students plan their moves to college. A categorized default list of items is provided by College Packing List. Students can add or delete items from each category as needed. If there is an item on the packing list that a student needs to purchase he can move it to a shareable shopping list. Students can share their lists with roommates through Facebook.

Applications for Education
College Packing List could be a handy resource for students as they plan their moves to dorms in the fall. Sharing the lists between roommates via Facebook could be helpful in avoiding duplicate purchases of some items. 

NASA Kids' Club Offers Fun Activities for Elementary School Students

NASA Kids' Club is a collection games, interactive activities, and images for students in Kindergarten through fourth grade. At the center of the NASA Kids' Club is a set of games and interactive activities arranged on five skill levels. The activities range from simple things like guessing numbers in "Airplane High Low" to more difficult tasks like identifying planets based on some clues provided in prompts in "Go to the Head of the Solar System."

Applications for Education
NASA Kids' Club offers a teachers' section in which each of the Kids' Club activities is outlined with alignment to NCTM and Common Core standards.

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