Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jeopardy PowerPoint Game Template

If their website is any indication, Jefferson County Schools in Tennessee must be a very good place to teach. The website contains numerous, good, technology resources. One such resource is a collection of templates for building PowerPoint games based on the concepts of Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Wheel of Fortune, Bingo, and $25,000 Pyramid. All of these templates can be downloaded from the site and altered to suit your needs.

Applications for Education
Students generally find studying to be a lot more enjoyable when they can do it in a game format. These templates provide a good way to build review games that your whole class can play at once.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
200+ Games for Your Blog or Website
Games for the Brain

Cloudlet and Surf Canyon Combine to Improve

Cloudlet and Surf Canyon have both been featured here on Free Technology for Teachers in the past. Now Cloudlet and Surf Canyon have combined their respective technologies to offer a better product. The new version of Search Cloudlet you can use the tag clouds of Cloudlet to refine searches and or use the related links feature of Surf Canyon. Surf Canyon provides related links based on the links you select and reorders search results based on the related links you click. You can read more about Surf Canyon's technology here.

Applications for Education
Search Cloudlet and services similar to it provide students with options for refining searches in ways that they might not be able to replicate with standard alterations of search terms. Search Cloudlet could be particularly useful when a student has started a search with very broad terms.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Spezify - Visual Search Engine
A Simple Google Search Tip

Astronomy Images for Animoto Videos

It's no secret that I think Animoto is a fantastic tool for students and educators to use to create great-looking video presentations. Today, in my email I had a message from Animoto reminding me that NASA Images can be used by students and educators in Animoto videos without restriction. Almost all of the images in the NASA Images collections are in the public domain so you can use them in places other than Animoto, but since the folks at Animoto reminded me of this, I thought I should mention them.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Compfight - Creative Commons Image Search
Find Creative Commons Images on Yahoo Search
Photos 8 - Thousands of Public Domain Images

Yudu - Publish Your PDFs as Online Magazines

Since I released Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration last week, I've received about a dozen emails inquiring about how I published it. I published the guide using Yudu. Yudu is a free service that allows you to upload PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files to create online magazines. The page turning effect and the zoom options are all built into the technology of Yudu and automatically activated. When your Yudu online magazine is created you can embed it into a blog, wiki, or website.

Applications for Education
Yudu makes it easy for you and your students to take the Word, PDF, and Powerpoint files and turn them into visually appealing online magazines. Yudu could be a good option for publishing visually appealing PTA newsletters or creating an online magazine about your classroom.

If you're in the habit of posting links to documents or lecture outlines, you may want to consider transferring them to Yudu online magazines and embedding them into your class blog. By posting an online magazine in your blog rather than a link to a file, your students may be more likely to view the material as it removes the requirement to download or open files.

Wordnik has Everything About Words

Wordnik may be the most robust online dictionary on the web. Wordnik offers definitions from multiple sources, examples of the word used in literature, links to related words, image related to the word, pronunciation recordings, the etymology of words, and real-time uses of a word on Twitter. None of these features on their own are anything new or ground-breaking, but the combination of these features in one place is outstanding.

Applications for Education
Wordnik is an excellent online dictionary to share with students because presents definitions and content in a variety of ways. The variety of content formats on Wordnik means that there is something with which almost every student can connect.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Visuwords - Online Graphical Dictionary
Flashcards and Word Searches Using Google Spreadsheets
Ten Spelling Games and Lessons... And a Laugh

Measuring Worth - An Economics Calculator

Do you remember when a pack of baseball cards cost 25 cents and you got a piece of gum in the pack too? I remember those days. My money seemed to go a lot farther then. Or did it? Now you can figure out the answer to that question and other economics questions by using the Measuring Worth calculators.

Measuring Worth provides an extensive series of data sets and calculation tools that students can use to compare the purchasing power of a dollar over time and around the world. Measuring Worth is available in four currencies. In addition to the calculator tools, Measuring Worth provides a series of customizable graphs of historical economic data. Using these graphs you can generate visuals of changes in purchasing power and GDP over time.

Applications for Education
Measuring Worth provides excellent data sets, calculators, and graphs that students can use in an economics course or a consumer mathematics course. A simple assignment that you could have students do with Measuring Worth is to have students pick their favorite food and figure out how much it would have cost when their parents were the same age. Students could also ask parents how much their first car cost and calculate what that cost would be today.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Debt Ski - A Personal Finance Game
Financial Glossary for Students
The History of Credit Cards in the United States

Image Credit: Orin Zebest

The Brainstormer - Random Story Ideas

The Brainstormer is a random story idea generator. The Brainstormer has three wheels of words. Each click of the "random" button spins all three wheels. If you're struggling to develop an idea to start a fiction story simply click the "random" button to spin the wheels of the Brainstormer.

Applications for Education
The Brainstormer could be a good story starter for high school students. I spun the wheels of the Brainstormer many times and didn't find anything innappropriate for high school use, but quite a bit of the vocabulary
may be beyond elementary school students.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Two Sources of Writing Prompts
Write Rhymes Provides Fun Times
Language Arts Links You Might Have Missed