Thursday, April 9, 2009

Funnel Brain - Flashcards With Answer Explanations

There are many excellent flashcard services on the Internet today. Some of the better services offer collaboration tools for students to create and share flashcards. Other good services offer systems to help students focus on the flashcards that are the most difficult for them to learn. None of the flashcard services that I've tried have offered what Funnel Brain offers, space to include answer explanations.

Flashcards created using Funnel Brain can include a "third side" to a flashcard. A side that contains the explanation for the answer to a question. In addition to text Funnel Brain flashcards can include videos, audio, and pictures. Under your videos and images you can type your question, answer, or explanation. Just as with many other flashcard services Funnel Brain flashcards can be shared with other users.

Applications for Education
The option to include explanations on Funnel Brain flashcards means that you can develop flashcards for more difficult topics than can be covered using other flashcard systems.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Ediscio - Collaboratively Create Flashcards
Flashcard Flash - Search for Flashcards
Study Stack - Build Your Own Review Games

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Earth Day Resources from Scholastic

Earlier this week I shared some resources for National Environmental Education Week which is next week, April 12-18. Earth Day is April 22 so I'm not sure why they picked next week, but that's beside the point. Through an email I learned this morning that Scholastic has created seven activities about Earth Day for elementary and middle school students. Additionally, Scholastic has produced an "Environmental Report Card" featuring survey questions for students and parents to answer together.

Applications for Education
In addition to the lesson resources designed specifically for Earth Day, Scholastic has some great general Earth science lessons for elementary school use.

Larry Ferlazzo has also created a great list of resources for Earth Day that you should check out.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Wind and Solar Power Estimation Activities
Monitoring and Mapping CO2 Emissions
Get Ready for Earth Science Week

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Lesson Plans from the US Department of State

I sometimes learn about lesson plan resources from the most unlikely of sources. Yesterday, I learned through CNET that the US Department of State has a website called Future State, US Department of State for Youth. On this site teachers can find lesson plans for teaching topics such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and US involvement in Vietnam. In the "fun activities" section of Future State students can choose from seven different activities including word searches, match the flag, and Where in the World Is the Secretary of State?

Applications for Education
Future State could be a good resource for teachers of elementary and middle school civics. The Where in the World is the Secretary activity could be adapted for use offline if you don't have enough computers for your students. The same activity could also be improved by having students record their findings on a Google Map instead of on a piece of paper as the Future State website suggests.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Civics Lessons for ESL Students
Electoral College Teaching Resources
Congress Joins YouTube

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The World Wide Web in Plain English

Common Craft has released another great video. This video explains how the World Wide Web works. Common Craft explains how code, through a web browser, becomes the content you see on a website. The video goes on to explain the purpose of web addresses and servers. Embedded below is the Dot Sub subtitled version of the video.

Applications for Education
This video could be the start of inquiry-based project for beginning computer science students. The web is so ubiquitous in the lives of our students that most of them do not remember a world without the web. This video could get kids thinking about other technologies they use, but don't understand how they work.

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For Google Reader Users and Email Subscribers

Once again FeedBurner is experiencing problems picking up feeds and delivering them in a timely manner. If you're an email subscriber that did not receive an email from me yesterday, please visit the blog to see what you missed. FeedBurner claims to have resolved the problem and everything should be back to normal today. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.