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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Mighty Lever - A Lesson and A Game About Physics

The Mighty Mathematics of the Lever is a new TED-Ed lesson about how and why levers work. The illustrations in the video demonstrate the mathematical principles involved in levers being use to move heavy objects. The complete lesson with multiple choice questions can be found here. The video from the lesson is embedded below.


Applications for Education
To continue the lesson on levers have your students try the Simple Machines game from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Simple Machines is a game that is designed to help students learn about the basic physics principles involved in the use of levels, pulleys, planes, axles, and wheels. The object of the game is to help a robot character named Twitch gather the pieces needed to make a simple machine. In order to gather the pieces students have to help Twitch climb over objects using inclined planes, roll to objects as efficiently as possible, and lift objects by using pulleys and levers.

Try the PracticalEdTech.com Newsletter - The Best of the Week in One Email

A few times this week I heard some nice compliments about FreeTech4Teachers.com and the FreeTech4Teachers Facebook page followed by, "I don't always keep up with it." To solve that problem, last January I started the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter.

The PracticalEdTech.com newsletter includes my tip of the week and the links to that week's most popular posts on FreeTech4Teachers.com. The newsletter is sent out only once per week on Sunday evening (Eastern Standard Time). Click here to subscribe to the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter here. And if you don't need another email in your inbox, you can simply visit PracticalEdTech.com to see the same information. 

How to Prevent Publishing Your Email Address With Your Blogger Posts

I often see Blogger users publishing their email addresses in RSS feeds. I even did it for a while when I started this blog. The problem with doing that is that you'll end up with spam of a quantity you never imagined was possible. Here's how to prevent publishing your email address in your Blogger RSS feed.

If you're using a Blogger profile and not a Google+ profile to sign into Blogger, there is just one step you need to take. Select "Blogger profile" in the upper-right corner of the screen while you're logged into your account. After selecting "Blogger profile" uncheck the option for "show my email address." People maintaining multiple blogs through Blogger only need to make the change once and it will apply to all of the blogs in your account.
Click image to view in full size. 

Click image to view in full size. 

If you're using a Google+ profile to sign into Blogger, you will need to revert to a Blogger profile then follow the steps above. You can switch between a Blogger profile and Google+ profile as often as you like and it will not affect the content that appears on your blog.
Click image to view in full size.
Tips like these and many more will be featured throughout my upcoming course Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders

This Google Docs Add-on Makes It Easy to Type Accents

Knowing the right keyboard shortcuts to type the accents and characters is one of the challenges that students face when learning and trying to type in a new language. Easy Accents is a Google Docs Add-on that can eliminate that challenge. Easy Accents provides a virtual keyboard that enables students to quickly insert the letters and accents found in French, German, Spanish, Māori, and Sámi.

If you're looking for a virtual keyboard that will work outside of Google Documents, check out Type ItType It is a free online program for typing accent marks and other special characters that are often required for languages other than English. Type It supports twenty-one languages and currency symbols. You can insert accents and characters by selecting them from the menu provided by Type It or by using their suggested keyboard shortcuts.

Twister - Create Tweets from Historical Characters

Twister is another fun tool from Classtools.net. Twister, like Fakebook and Fake SMS allows you imagine what historical figures would have done if they had access to social media. On Twister you can create fake Tweets as if you were Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, or any other person in history.

To create a fake Tweet on Twister just go to the site and enter a name, a Tweet, and date stamp for your Tweet. Twister will pull a public domain image for the profile picture and show you the fake Tweet. Your fake Tweet will be given its own URL. You can also just take a screenshot of it to save it.

Applications for Education
Creating fake Tweets through Twister could be a fun way for students to summarize the main points of notable speeches like the Gettysburg Address. You could also have students use Twister to create fake Tweets about important events in history.