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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Make Beliefs Comix Offers a Free Book of Bilingual Writing Prompts

Make Beliefs Comix is a free web and iOS app that offers a huge collection of comic templates for students. One of the features that you'll find on the website is a set of editable ebooks for students to write in. One of the newer additions to the collection is a book titled A Book of Questions.

A Book of Questions is an editable ebook that offers dozens of questions designed to get elementary school students thinking and writing. The prompts are written in English and in Spanish.

All of the Make Beliefs Comix ebooks can be completed online. Alternatively, you can print the books of writing prompts and distribute individual pages to your students.

Applications for Education
All of the Make Beliefs Comix e-books provide a nice source of writing prompts for elementary school and middle school students. If your classroom does not have enough computers for every student, take a look at the Make Beliefs Comix printable templates to use as writing prompts.

OurStickys - Place Sticky Notes on Webpages

A couple of weeks ago I shared a video about how to add sticky notes to just about any webpage. In that video I used a tool called Note Anywhere. This evening I tried a similar tool called OurStickys. Both perform the same core function of letting you add sticky notes to the webpages that you're viewing. OurStickys is slightly different because it offers a few more customization options and offers a log-in option for using your sticky notes on multiple computers.

Once you have OurStickys installed in your Chrome web browser you can simply right-click on a webpage and start writing notes on it. You can choose a different color and font size for each of your notes. There is not a limit to how many notes you can write on each page. All notes can be re-sized and re-positioned on a page by simply dragging and dropping them into place. One other neat feature of OurStickys is the option to stick a note to a full domain instead of just one page within a domain. For example, I set one of my OurStickys notes to display whenever I view any page on the Open Parks Network.

Applications for Education
OurStickys could be a good tool for students to use to annotate webpages that they plan to reference in their research papers. Rather than just bookmarking a webpage they can make notes to remind themselves of the part of the page that they plan to cite in their papers.

OurStickys could also be useful for teachers who want to make notes of teaching and talking points on a page.

200,000 Free National Parks Images

The Open Parks Network is a collaborative project created by Clemson University and the U.S. National Parks service. The Open Parks Network provides visitors with access to more than 200,000 free digital images. The Open Parks Network collection is comprised of images from twenty national parks, two state park systems, and three university libraries. Most of the images in the collection are of a historic nature. All images can be downloaded for free.

You can search for pictures in the Open Parks Network by keyword, park, date, or medium. An interactive map is also available to use to search for images according to national park location.

Applications for Education
The images from the Open Parks Network could be great to use as image overlays and or as placemark images in Google Maps or Google Earth. Students using either of those platforms could create interactive maps to convey things they have learned while researching a national park.

Students in need of images of mountains, lakes, streams, or wild animals might also find the Open Parks Network useful in their quest for those types of images.