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Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Week in Review - It's Ski Season!

Good morning from Maine where the leaves still show some signs of autumn, but they're fading fast. A sure sign that winter is almost here is that the local ski resort opened for skiing this week. I haven't been skiing yet this season, but that will change soon. The key to surviving Maine winters is to embrace all of the opportunities for recreation that the weather provides. Otherwise, you just go crazy in the house. Of course, that can be said for just about any season. Getting outside in the fresh air can lower your stress level and is just plain fun. So wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you make time to have fun outdoors.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Access Thousands of Free eBooks for Kids
2. How to Create a Word Cloud in Google Documents
3. Candy Crime Scene - A Science Lesson
4. 70 Google Apps Video Tutorials
5. Slides from Colonial Tech Conference #techcsd #delachat
6. How to Duplicate and Edit Public Kahoot Quizzes
7. 12 Good Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship - A PDF Handout

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
MasteryConnect offers a series of apps for identifying standards. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers.
PortfolioGen is a professional portfolio tool for teachers.  
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

7 Halloween-themed Educational Activities

Halloween is next Saturday. If you're in need of some educational activities with a Halloween-theme, take a look at the resources summarized below. All of these resources have appeared in individual posts in the past.

On Storyboard That you can now turn your storyboards into Halloween cards. In the Storyboard That creator you can use the myths and mystical scenes and characters to create your Halloween story. Once your storyboard is saved you can choose to print it with Halloween borders. The print-out includes lines for cutting and folding your cards. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create Halloween cards on Storyboard That.



Every month BoomWriter publishes a new set of vocabulary words to incorporate into writing lessons for elementary and middle school students. The vocabulary word sets are aligned to seasons and holidays. This month the vocabulary set has a Halloween theme. The new Halloween-themed vocabulary lesson plans can be conducted through their free WordWriter service. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. The new Halloween-themed lesson plans include pre-made lists of Halloween-themed words for your students to use in the writing assignment that you distribute to them.You can find BoomWriter tutorial videos here.

The Pit and the Pendulum is available as an interactive comic book created by Poe in the Pit. If you view the comic book online you can click symbols within it to open videos, additional images, and additional background and analysis of Poe's work. If you choose to print the comic book you can us the QR codes embedded within it to access the videos, images, and additional info on your mobile device.

Number Chase - Math vs. Zombies is a free iPad game with a Halloween theme. The game is has three virtual worlds each containing ten levels of basic math problems. The object of the game is to correctly solve as many math problems as possible before the zombies catch you. The math of the game is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Scholastic offers a variety of Halloween-themed activities for elementary school students. The Halloween Tooth: Max's Math Adventure is a math activity for K-2 students. In the activity students read and listen to a poem about Halloween candy then complete a set of activities in which they make patterns and count candy. Halloween Web Hunt is a simple web quest for students in grades three through five. The activity has students visit a virtual museum and online libraries to answer questions about mummies, bats, and Halloween history. Writing Mysteries provides a template and walks elementary school students through the process of writing mystery stories.

Halloween Magazine offers a safety game for students. The game is designed to teach students to recognize safe and unsafe situations while they're out trick 'o treating.

Smarty Games offers Halloween Math. In Halloween Math students move a ghost to catch the answers to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.

Disclosure: Storyboard That and BoomWriter are currently advertisers on this blog. 

Historypin Launches a New Design and New Features

Historypin is a great place to find geo-located historical imagery. Historypin allows users to place historical images within the setting of current Google Maps Streetview imagery. Recently, Historypin launched a new design and new features for users.

Historypin now has a feature called Collections which allows you to create a collection of pins and have anyone else can add to it. If you're an existing user of Historypin, all of your pins are now in a collection named after you. New users will have collections based on their names until they rename the collections and or create new collections.

Historypin's other big update deals with the content that you can add to your collections. In the past you could add pictures and videos. Now you can add simple text pins too.

Learn more about the new version of Historypin in the video below.


Applications for Education
Your students could contribute to an existing Historypin collection or create collections of their own. Your students could create a Historypin collection of their own by going to your local history society, scanning historical images, and placing them into a map