Friday, September 17, 2010

Which Founder of the United States Are You Most Like?

Which Founder Are You? is a twelve question personality quiz designed by the National Constitution Center. The purpose of the quiz is to help quiz takers identify which founding father they are most like. According t0 the quiz I am most like George Washington.

Thanks to my old University of Maine at Farmington academic adviser Dr. James Melcher for sharing this quiz.

Applications for Education
I showed this quiz to a couple of colleagues today and we all thought that the quiz would be a good thing to have students take as the introduction to a research assignment. We thought that by taking the quiz and identify with the person they are researching.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
EL Civics - Civics Lessons for ESL Students

More Than 100 Editorial Cartoon Lesson Plans
US Government Studies Games

Apture Makes Searching the Web More Efficient

Apture is a browser extension available for Firefox and Google Chrome that was recently featured on the Google Student Blog. Apture allows you to search for more information about a topic without leaving the page you're already on. To do this using Apture, I just highlight a section of text and click search. For example, if I'm reading an article about the Chicago White Sox and I see Ozzie Guillen's name, I just highlight his name and click search. Apture will then generate a small box of related links, images, and videos about Ozzie Guillen. Watch the video below to learn more about Apture.

Applications for Education
Apture is a handy little tool that should make students' online research more efficient. Students reading a webpage who come across an unfamiliar term can quickly learn more about that term without having to open a new browser tab.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you: - A Free Way to Share Screens is a free service offered by Log Me In. allows Mac and Windows users to quickly share their screens with each other and work together. To use you do need to download the client. Once you've downloaded the client you can start sharing your screen with anyone you like. Just give your nine digit access number to your collaborators to give them access to your screen and to converse with you. I tried it out quickly this morning and I agree with PC Advisor's assessment that it is "ridiculously simple to use."

Applications for Education could be a very handy tool for sharing your screen with students to walk them through an application or give to give a virtual presentation. could also be useful for professional development in which you're introducing colleagues to the ins and outs of program.

Unexpected Benefit of Having a Facebook Page for Your Courses

Over the last couple of weeks I've shared some ideas about using Facebook fan pages and Facebook groups to convey course-related information to your students and their parents. Yesterday, I discovered a benefit of having a Facebook fan page for my courses that I never expected.

Yesterday, I when I went to check for new comments on my Facebook fan page I noticed that a former student (now in college) had become a fan of Mr. Byrne Teaches. Not only had he become a fan he, left a very nice message that made my afternoon. See the screen capture below to see our exchange.
(Click the image to view full size).

As teachers we don't always get to hear positive feedback from former students, I found this to be a great unexpected benefit of having a Facebook fan page for my courses.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
How to Create a Facebook Group for Your Classes
Using Facebook to Connect With Students & Parents
A Cautionary Note About Using Facebook to Connect With Students & Parents

Palm Breeze Cafe Celebrates 100 Episodes

Palm Breeze Cafe is cable television and Internet show produced by some great folks in the Palm Beach County (Florida) School District. Each week Palm Breeze Cafe introduces viewers to a variety of resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. This week the show celebrates its 100th episode. Congratulations to Lee, Lee, Kim, Jamey, Frank, and Thyme! I first learned about Palm Breeze Cafe a few years ago through Lee Kolbert. Lee has started a 100th episode VoiceThread that you can view and contribute to on her blog.

If you've never seen Palm Breeze Cafe, the video below will give you a good idea of what the show is all about.