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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Fun of Remembering Something Important

This is a guest post from Ruston Hurley. Rushton is the founder of Next Vista for Learning.

Can explaining something abstract be interesting and fun? Can students more easily memorize something through a clever video?

Whatever you need a student to remember, students may have a fun take on how to make it happen!

In this very short example, two students explain how to remember FOIL for multiplying binomials. Even if the term "binomial" has passed into the mists of your past, you'll probably enjoy the clever job these two did to share the idea with their classmates:


What ideas might your students come up with to help others remember something important?

Six Tools for Collaborative Brainstorming - A Comparison Chart

Sitting down to map out your thoughts can be a great way to get yourself organized before embarking on a big writing project. It's also something that I do before I begin creating slides for any of my keynote presentations. While it is great to start the mind mapping process on your own, it is helpful to get some feedback and input from trusted colleagues. Students, of course, can benefit from going through the same process of brainstorming ideas on their own before gathering input from their peers.

The tools featured in my chart embedded below can be used by students to brainstorm individually or with the help of their friends. With the exception of Dotstorming, all of the tools in the chart feature drawing canvases for students to use together. Dotstorming uses a text and image format.

The chart is hosted on Box.com. If your school blocks Box, you can view the chart here as a Google Doc.


Learn more about mind mapping techniques and tools in my upcoming webinar Mind Mapping & Collaborative Brainstorming

A Short Lesson About the Great Lakes

In the fall of 2012 I crisscrossed my way across Michigan's upper peninsula. In doing so I was able to experience some of the magnitude of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron. I was along the shore of Lake Superior during a storm that created waves the size of those we see on Maine's Atlantic shoreline. But it is more than just size that makes the Great Lakes great.

A recent TED-Ed lesson titled What's So Great About the Great Lakes? teaches students about the size, location, and ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Unlike a lot of TED-Ed lessons, this one doesn't begin with multiple choice questions about facts. Instead it asks students to think about the Great Lakes system. I particularly like this question from the lesson, "Trace the path or journey a raindrop might take from Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean. What different sights and species might it encounter along the way?"

The video for the lesson is embedded below.

Everything CK-12 - Open Resources and More

The CK-12 Foundation provides teachers and students with some excellent resources including Flexbooks, study guides, interactive math and science simulations, and even an online whiteboard platform.

This Wednesday CK-12 is hosting a free webinar about all of the open resources that they offer. In the webinar you will learn how to locate, save, and share resources in the CK-12 library. You will also learn how to assign work to students and track their progress through CK-12's LMS platform.

If you cannot attend the live webinar tomorrow, you can always visit CK-12's YouTube channel to learn more about the tools and open educational resources that they offer. Embedded below you will see CK-12's playlist of videos all about electricity.