Friday, April 18, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Using Google Earth to Teach Math

Real World Math
is a great website and concept designed by Thomas Petra. Real World Math offers a great collection of mathematics lesson plans that incorporate the use of Google Earth. Real World Math has the lesson plans divided into four categories, project-based learning, concept lessons, measurement lessons, and exploratory lessons. The resource section of Real World Math provides a great list of links to lesson plans incorporating Google Earth in other content areas. The community page on Real World Math is a place for educators to submit their own lesson plans that incorporate Google Earth.

Applications for Education
Each lesson plan on Real World Math has a clear connection between a mathematics concept and a use for Google Earth. The resource page is a great place to find a lesson plan for another content area to match up with a math lesson plan. The academic team I teach spends a lot of time developing interdisciplinary units, the hardest content area to integrate into each unit is math. The resource links on Real World Math will be a great place for us to find links to between math and other content areas.

Free Technology For Teachers: Socrato - Test Preparation Service

Spring is here at that means it's standardized test time in many schools across the country. Socrato is a new website designed to help students prepare for standardized tests. Socrato has all of the features you might expect in a test preparation service like test taking tips, practice tests, and results analysis. The two things that make Socrato unique are the option of creating customized practice tests and the ability to form collaborative study groups on Socrato. Socrato users can create their own study groups to prepare for a specific test. The study groups can be made private or public.

Applications for Education
Teachers can create online study groups for their students to help them prepare for a standardized test. The teacher can act as moderator of the group and be their as a resource to help students when they cannot find answers on their own. The collaborative groups are set up in a wiki style so that students can add their own questions for discussion. Students can also share their strategies for test taking. The option of uploading a customized practice test is a good resource for teachers as they know best what their students are struggling with.

Free Technology For Teachers: Skoogo - Information Networking

Skoogo is a new web 2.o utility for finding and sharing academic information. Skoogo could also be described as crowd-sourced homework help. Skoogo users can ask questions or offer responses to questions asked by others. If you find someone that is particularly helpful you can add them to your network. Skoogo refers to itself as an information network not a social network, but it definitely does have elements of social networking. Users can list the courses they are taking in order to connect with other users studying the same topic. Skoogo users can search for questions and information by tag word or simply ask a question for other Skoogo users to answer.

Applications for Education
Skoogo is an interesting concept for high school students. Skoogo can be used for finding others struggling with the same topic or to find someone who can help with a problem. Students could use Skoogo to build a study network with other students studying the same content.