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Monday, January 12, 2015

Video - How to Create Custom Columns on Padlet Walls

Last week I published a post about creating custom columns on Padlet walls. Creating custom columns allows you to use Padlet as a place for students to collaboratively create KWL charts and other graphic organizers. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how I use Google Documents to build custom columns for Padlet walls.


This is the 53rd video that I have created and added to my playlist of Practical Ed Tech Tips.

Feed the Dingo - A Fun Game About Ecosystems

Feed the Dingo is a fun game that teaches students about the importance of maintaining balanced ecosystems. In the game students have to build and maintain a desert ecosystem. The game begins with a blank slate to which students have to add plants and animals. The game plays out over twelve virtual days. Each day students have to add more elements in order to maintain balance in the ecosystem. At the end of each day students are given feedback as to which plants and animals are healthy, which are in danger, and which have died.

Applications for Education
Feed the Dingo is a PBS Learning Media game. To support teachers' use of the game PBS offers some suggested activities including building a small terrarium and playing a series of food web games. PBS Learning Media lists the national science standards this game addresses on the same page that you find the game and teaching suggestions.

As some of you may have seen me reTweet earlier today, Feed the Dingo was one of PBS Learning Media's featured games today. 

Vocabulist Helps Students Create Study Aids

This morning I received an email from Ahan Malhotra. Ahan is a high school student in Florida who developed Vocabulist to help other students create digital and physical flashcards. Vocabulist enables students to upload a list of words and terms that they need to learn. When the list is uploaded each word in it is matched to a definition. If the definition rendered isn't exactly right, students can modify it within Vocabulist. Once the list of words and definitions is set students can download the list as a PDF or export the list to Quizlet where it will then be turned into a set of digital flashcards. (Students must have a Quizlet account).

Applications for Education
Vocabulist could be a nice aid to students when they need to learn a set of definitions. The Quizlet integration is a nice feature as it will allow students who use Vocabulist to put their flashcards on their mobile devices.

 I encourage you to read Ahan's story about why and how he developed Vocabulist.

Return of the Wolves - 20 Years Later

Wolf in Lamar Valley
by Yellowstone NPS on Flickr.
This morning on the Yellowstone National Park Facebook page there was a gallery of photographs about the re-introduction of wolves to the park. It was twenty years ago today that the first wolves were re-introduced to the park. That gallery reminded me of the PBS documentary Return of the Wolves which is about the re-introduction of wolves. I have embedded the video below. (Viewers outside of the U.S. might not be able to see the embedded video).


Applications for Education
In the past I have used part of this documentary in a U.S. Civics lesson about states' rights v. federal powers. The lesson coincided nicely with a colleague's lesson about biodiversity.

Explore the World with the Google Cultural Institute

This is a guest post from Jennfer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

I am a big fan of the Google Cultural Institute; it’s an amazing repository of Artistic Masterpieces, Wonders of the Natural World, Historical Artifacts, and more. By using it as a repository of digital materials, it’s an easy way to access cultural content from around the world in my classroom. I can pull up a high definition image of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and use its powerful zoom features so that students can see the impasto brush strokes. We can explore the Street Art of Sao Paulo with a Google Street View for a unit on modern art or the Ruins at Angkor Wat when covering a unit on Ancient History.

Google Cultural Institute
 
Originally, the Google Cultural Institute was limited to the robust Google Art Project, but it has since expanded to incorporate a variety of tools to explore culture, art, and history from around the world. One of my favorite additions has been Historic Moments, which allows students to “explore online exhibitions detailing the stories behind significant moments in human history.” 

What I especially like is that it provides more advanced material for Honors, AP and even college students to perform sophisticated and in depth research on cultural and social phenomena around the world. For example, students could explore the Women of the 1932 Revolution in Brazil, the Establishment of the United Arab Emirates, or the Presidency of Nelson Mandela to extend a research project or gain a different perspective. The various exhibits include images, video, documents, historical events, and more. The collection is expanding regularly as more museums and institutions contribute, making it an excellent resource for teachers of Social Studies, Art History, Government, and more.

For more ideas about bringing technology into your classroom, consider attending one of EdTechTeacher's Summer Workshops in 2015.