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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PicLits - Inspire Creative Stories Through Pictures

PicLits is an excellent site for finding creative writing prompts. PicLits aims to provide inspiration for writing short stories. PicLits tries to reach this goal by providing users with images upon which they can build their writing. To get writers started, PicLits provides a list of words which can be dragged and dropped into sentence form. If you don't want to use or don't need a word list, you can select the "freestyle" option to begin free-form writing.

Applications for Education
The idea of PicLits is not to write a full story within the images, but rather to use the images as the inspiration for longer pieces. In that regard PicLits could be a good source of inspiration for the reluctant writers in your classroom.

4 Videos That Help Students & Parents Understand Financial Aid

The FAFSA and financial aid packages offered by universities can be difficult for the first-time college student to navigate. And if you're a first generation college student it can be even more difficult because you may not know who to turn to for advice. Fortunately, a lot of high school guidance departments are doing more than ever to help students understand the FAFSA and financial aid. Planet Nutshell produced two good videos that will also help students and parents understand the FAFSA and financial aid. The videos are embedded below.


Choosing Financial Aid in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.



Borrow Wisely: FAFSA in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

Understanding how federal student loans are different from private student loans can help students and their parents choose the best financial aid package. The following two videos, also from Planet Nutshell, do a nice job of explaining private vs. federal student loans.



Understanding Federal Student Loans in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.



Federal vs. Private Student Loans in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

These videos were produced by Planet Nutshell with funding from the U.S. Depart of Education, the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, and the Utah Education Network.

5 Dice - A Fun Math Activity on iPads

5 Dice is a nice iPad app designed to provide students with a place to practice and develop their understanding of the order of operations.

The 5 Dice app presents students with a number that they have to write an equation for using all of the dice presented to them. When students think that they have created an equation that will result in the number given to them, they click "shoot" to hit the target number. If students have written a correct equation, 5 Dice will show them other equations that will also work. If they have not written a correct equation they will be prompted to try again.

Applications for Education
5 Dice is designed for upper elementary school and middle school students. In addition to the "target number game" students can simply use the app's whiteboard option to try out various ways to hit their target numbers.