Thursday, April 29, 2010

Google Virtual Keyboard for Search

Using a QWERTY keyboard to type search terms in some foreign languages can be difficult. To alleviate this problem, Google has just launched a virtual keyboard for search. The virtual keyboard for search is available for 35 languages supported by Google. To launch the virtual keyboard, simply click the keyboard icon that appears at the end of the search box when you're searching in one of the 35 supported languages.

Applications for Education
The Google virtual keyboard for search could be useful for students who are trying to conduct research on topics that may be written primarily in a foreign language. The virtual keyboard for search could also be useful for ELL students.

Microsoft Mouse Mischief - Free PowerPoint Add-on

Microsoft Mouse Mischief is a new free add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint. Mouse Mischief is designed as an inexpensive alternative to clicker-type response systems. Mouse Mischief allows teachers to put multiple choice questions into their PowerPoint slides. Students can then answer the questions using mice connected to their teacher's computer. Mouse Mischief works with both wired and wireless mice. You can learn more and download Mouse Mischief here.

Applications for Education
I have not had a chance to try Mouse Mischief with students yet, but it seems like it could be a good way to get feedback from students during a lesson. If you're school already has Microsoft PowerPoint for teachers, this is a nice free addition for you.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Jeopardy PowerPoint Game Template
Parade of Games in PowerPoint
Jeopardy Labs: Make Your Own Online Jeopardy Game

Gulf Oil Spill Overview - CNN Student News

Today's episode of CNN Student News leads off with a segment about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The segment contains some aerial footage as well as map footage of the areas affected and potentially affected if the oil slick continues to expand. As always CNN has furnished printable maps and discussion guides to accompany your classroom use of CNN Student News.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Day the Water Died - Examining the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Where Does Oil Come From?
Understanding the Water Cycle

Tech Training Wheels - How-to Videos for Teachers

Tech Training Wheels is a new video sharing site designed and built by five Google Certified Teachers. The purpose of the site is to share how-to videos for teachers. Right now the videos on the site are five videos on the site and they are all how-to videos related to using Google products. The site is open to user contributions. Watch the video below for an introduction to Tech Training Wheels.

Applications for Education
Tech Training Wheels could be a good resource for technology integration specialists.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:

Vocab Sushi - Fresh, Bitesize Vocabulary Practice

There are a lot of flashcard websites and vocabulary practice websites on the Internet so it takes a lot for me be impressed when I see yet another vocabulary practice website. Vocab Sushi has impressed me with its offerings.

Vocab Sushi is designed to help students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and more. When you register for an account, Vocab Sushi will ask you which test you are preparing for. Based upon the test for which you're preparing, Vocab Sushi will give you a short (20 question) quiz to evaluate your current skills. Then based on your score, Vocab Sushi will generate a list of words for you to learn.

To help you learn the words in your study list(s) Vocab Sushi uses a combination of audio, visual, and text resources. To help you learn the pronunciations of words, Vocab Sushi offers mp3 recordings of your words being spoken. Vocab Sushi provides sentences and real-life news articles from sources like the Boston Globe and Newsweek that use the words in your list. As you might expect, Vocab Sushi provides games for practicing your vocabulary skills. Vocab Sushi also offers printable learning activities for offline use.

Learn more about Vocab Sushi in the video below.

Thanks to Allen Stern at Center Networks for sharing Vocab Sushi.

Applications for Education
While Vocab Sushi is targetted toward high school and college students, it could certainly be used by some middle school students too. I particularly like that Vocab Sushi serves-up real news articles containing the vocabulary words students are studying. It shows students that people really do use the words they're learning.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Word Ahead Vocabulary Videos
WeboWord - Vocabulary Visualized
Lexipedia - Webbed Word Connections