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Monday, March 2, 2015

"Shared With Me" Returns to Google Drive

If you have been using the new (relatively new) Google Drive interface for the last year you might have been missing the "shared with me" section. When the new Google Drive interface was pushed out last year "shared with me" became "incoming." Today, the Google Apps Update blog announced that "shared with me" is being returned to Google Drive.

This isn't a huge update, but it is a convenient one for those of us who have used Google Drive for a long time and preferred "shared with me" to the "incoming" label. "Shared with me" might make it easier for new Google Drive users to differentiate between things they've created and things that other created and invited them to join.

A Google Map of Freshwater Biomes

My Reading Mapped is a good source of Google Maps depicting patterns and historical events. This afternoon the Google Earth Blog posted a list of some of the new maps added to My Reading Mapped. One of the maps that stood out to me was this map of freshwater biomes around the world.

Google Map of Freshwater Biomes contains roughly fifty placemarks scattered across all seven continents. Clicking a placemark will open a short piece of text about the biome that the placemark represents. Many of the placemarks include references to Wikipedia while others utilize other sources.


Applications for Education
On My Reading Mapped you can download a copy of the Google Map of Freshwater Biomes. The information in many of the placemarks is brief so I might download it and ask students to modify it to include more information, perhaps in the form of videos, to the placemarks in the map.

MyStudyLife a Student Planner for All Platforms - Updated for Better Scheduling

In January I wrote a short review of the student planner service MyStudyLife after I met with their lead developer at BETT 2015. There he gave me a preview of some features that they have now made live for all users.

MyStudyLife now supports rotation or block school scheduling. Now when you create a calendar in MyStudyLife you can set a class rotation that will automatically be applied to your calendar and account for holidays and other days on which classes aren't held. Click here to view screenshots of these features and read MyStudyLife's description of how the scheduling feature works.

My Study Life allows students to organize tasks according to their course schedules. When students start using the app they have to enter their courses. After entering their courses into My Study Life students can start to enter tasks into each course. Each task is assigned a due date. Students' My Study Life homepage shows them the tasks that have due dates approaching.

MyStudyLife is available to use in your web browser, as an Android app, as an iPad app, and as a Windows 8 app.

Applications for Education
Whether or not a planner helps a student is usually determined by whether or not the student gets in the habit of using it. My Study Life could be an excellent service for students to get into the habit of using to keep track of their assignments.

Educational Games, Printable Resources, and More

Disclosure: MrNussbaum.com is advertising on FreeTech4Teachers.com this month.

Greg Nussbaum is an elementary school teacher in Virginia who has developed a large website full of games, online tools like map generators, and printable materials for elementary school students and teachers. Take a look at MrNussbaum.com and you'll see resources organized by subject and grade level. Students can play the games without registering on the site. The site has a section dedicated to iPad-friendly and Android tablet-friendly games.

MrNussbaum XTEND is a companion service to MrNussbaum.com. MrNussbaum XTEND is free for teachers to register for. Upon registration, you can register three classes and 120 students FREE as well. You can manage your students' accounts including passwords. When you register you get immediate and permanent access to seven of the programs which serve as plug-ins. One example of a plug-in Spelling Central where you can enter spelling lists to generate and distribute interactive activities to your students.

Another plug-in found in MrNussbaum extend is called Graphmaster. In Graphmaster your and or students can create polls to be answered by classmates. Poll results can be analyzed by MrNussbaum and turned into instant online, recordable assessments with the click of a button. For reading practice take a loot at the plug-in called Cloze Reading, allows you to deploy 50 pre-made, grade-leveled online reading exercises to students. You can also use Cloze Reading make your own activities. Beyond the seven free plug-ins additional programs are available as subscriptions.

Because you manage your students' accounts in MrNussbaum XTEND you can also keep track of how they are doing with the activities that you distribute to them through your account.

View Webs of Related Search Terms on WikiMindMap

Earlier today on the FreeTech4Teachers Facebook page someone asked if there is a way to create a mind map of Wikipedia entries. WikiMindMap.org does exactly that. On the site you can enter a search term and almost instantly see a web of related topics. In the video embedded below I provide a short overview of WikiMindMap.org


Applications for Education
WikiMindMap.org can be a great tool for students who need a little bit of help altering their search terms. WikiMindMap.org can also be helpful to students who need to narrow the focus of their research from a broad topic to narrower subtopic.