Monday, July 15, 2019

A Chrome Extension That Shows You the Value of Your Time

Time Is Money is a free Chrome extension that can help students see what the expression "time is money" means. Time Is Money will display the number of hours a person would have to work in order to have enough money to purchase any product that has a price listed on a shopping site. For example, I went to Cabelas.com and found a couple of sweaters that I might like to buy. With the Time Is Money extension activated, the price in dollars is displayed along with the price in hours I would have to work in order to buy those sweaters. Time Is Money can be customized to be based on your hourly wage or your annual salary.

Applications for Education
High school students who have just gotten their first jobs may find the information that Time Is Money reveals to be an eye-opener. It's also a nice little extension that I will integrate into my hands-on economics lesson, Life on Minimum Wage.

My only criticism of the extension is that it doesn't appear to account for taxes and Social Security contributions being withheld from a paycheck.

How to Use Feedly

I'm often asked how I keep up with what's new in educational technology. Part of the answer to that question is social media and part of the answer is press releases. The biggest part of the answer is Feedly. I use Feedly to subscribe to a couple hundred websites and blogs. I've been using it daily since 2012 (prior to that I used Google Reader for six years). Feedly's interface is simple. Simple interfaces appeal to me. The service works in essentially the same way in my browser as it does on my phone. In the video embedded below I demonstrate the basics of getting started with Feedly.


Applications for Education
If you have students creating and maintaining their own blogs, you could use Feedly to keep track of their blogs.

Subscribing to blogs through Feedly is a great way to keep up with new ideas and trends in your field. Following just one dozen blogs is a good way to get started.

Zip Tapestry - Demographic Data and More, Mapped

Zip Lookup is an interesting use of the ESRI mapping platform. The map allows you to enter any US zip code to discover demographic data about that area. Whenever I see something like this I am skeptical of how well it will work for very small towns like the one that I live in (South Paris, Maine). I was pleasantly surprised to find that Zip Lookup was quite accurate.

The site will give you graphs of the demographic data for a zip code. It will also give you a little blurb about what the data graphs mean in terms of the characteristics of the town or city represented by the data.

Applications for Education
Zip Lookup could be a neat tool for students to use to discover how people in other parts of their counties, states, or country live. A short research activity based on Zip Lookup would be to investigate what draws people of a particular demographic to an area.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Green Screens, Posters, and Books - The Week in Review

Good afternoon from Maine where I'm enjoying watching a replay of today's Tour de France stage after a fun morning participating in a team triathlon. My team finished, "The Team With No Name," finished first and won a cowbell. I hope that you're also having a great weekend.

Next week I'm hosting the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Getting the opportunity to leads hands-on professional development is my favorite part of writing this blog. If you'd like to have me lead a professional development workshop at your school during the upcoming school year, please get in touch with me for more information.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. My 5 Favorite Google Docs Add-ons
2. A Free Service That Lets You Print Almost Any Poster
3. Mapping Books
4. 5 Helpful Gmail Features for Teachers
5. How to Create a Green Screen Video in iMovie
6. How to Refine a Search According to Top-level Domain
7. How to Create a Green Screen Video on an iPad


Practical Ed Tech Newsletter
Many people ask if they can get a weekly email instead of daily email. That's exactly what you get with the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. Once per week I send out my favorite tip of the week along with a summary of the week's most popular posts from this blog. You can join that newsletter here.

Thank You for Your Support!

A Super Shark Lesson for Kids for Shark Week

Every summer Discovery runs a week of programming all about sharks. They call it Shark Week and it usually has some interesting content even if it is a bit sensationalized. That said, I my daughters won't be watching it with me and I don't recommend it for other young children. But if you are looking for a video about sharks for young students, SciShow Kids offers Super Sharks!

Super Sharks! is a video for kids that explains the unique elements of a shark's body including cartilage skeletons, why some sharks will have thousands of teeth during their lives, and what a shark's skin feels like. The video also teaches students about the largest sharks (whale shark) and smallest sharks (dwarf lantern shark) in the oceans.


On a related note, my youngest daughter's favorite book at the moment is Good Night Sharks. She wants it read to her every night.