Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Edmodo in 2nd Grade

Yesterday, I wrote a post of 15 things that teachers and students can do with Edmodo. There have been some great suggestions added to that list in the comments. Today, I was browsing through the K12 Online Conference videos when I found Edmodo: Collect, Collaborate, Create! created by Martha Lackey. In the presentation Martha explains and demonstrates how she's using Edmodo with her second grade students.

QikPad - An Instant Collaborative Writing Platform

QikPad is a new service that allows you to quickly create an online place to collaboratively create documents with one or more partners. If you've ever used a service like Titan Pad or Sync.in you'll notice a lot of similarities with QikPad. To create a collaborative document with QikPad just go to the site, name your document, and click "ok." Your QikPad document will be assigned a URL that you can share with anyone you want to join you in the writing process. QikPad provides an embed code and a QR code for your document to enable easy sharing of your documents.

Applications for Education
QikPad could be a nice little tool for students to use to develop outlines together or take notes together.

2011 in 120 Images & Predictions for 2012

The Atlantic recently published a series of 120 images representing some of the highlights and lowlights of 2011. Each of the images has a short caption that could refresh your students' memory about the story related to each image. I do have to warn you that some of the images may not be suitable for students under the high school level. Those images are labeled with a viewer discretion label by The Atlantic.

After reviewing some of the news stories representing by The Atlantic's collection, take a look at The Economist's World in 2012 features. The World in 2012 includes articles and videos of predictions on a number of issues like the Republican primaries that are sure to be important in 2012. The Economist also has a reader poll about issues for 2012. The current poll question is, "should the world pay more attention to adapting to climate change than efforts to mitigate it?"

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in a previous post, a good way to have students review the year's important news stories is to have them create short year-in-review videos or slide shows. After reviewing the year, have students create short videos or other digital presentations in which they state their own predictions for 2012.

Playing With Skitch for Android

Did you know that Skitch, the popular Mac application for screen captures and drawings, has an Android app too? I recently learned about it myself through a TechCrunch article announcing that the app had been downloaded 3 million times in less than four month. I gave Skitch for Android a try this afternoon. I love it.

The first thing you should know about Skitch is that it is now owned by Evernote. So anything you create on Skitch for Android can be saved in your Evernote account. And when you log into the Skitch website you can do so with an Evernote account or a Skitch account credentials. Drawings you create Skitch can also be saved in your Google Docs account, Picassa album, sent to email, or Tweeted from your Android tablet or Android phone.

There are three ways that you can use Skitch for Android. You can create a drawing from scratch. Capture and image with your Android tablet or Android phone. Or you can use alter an image that you have saved in an Evernote or Picassa album. Whichever method you choose to start with the set of drawing tools is the same. You can drawing free-hand, type text, crop images, draw arrows, and highlight and move elements that you have drawn. The saving and sharing options are the same regardless of which method you employ to create your images.

Applications for Education
If your school has Android tablets for your students, Skitch for Android is an app you should try. Students can use the app to create drawings from scratch to use in multimedia projects. Or students could use Skitch to annotate images to explain what they're seeing. I'm thinking that it could be neat to take students on a nature walk with a list of plants that they need to try to recognize. Have students take along an Android tablet or Android phone to capture pictures of the plants when they see them and write captions for each image.

Isaac Newton's Notebooks Online

The University of Cambridge holds a large collection of Sir Isaac Newton's notebooks and papers. Recently, the University of Cambridge announced that they have put scanned copies of those papers online. There are six scanned collections that you can flip through and read online. If you would like transcripts of some of the works, visit the Project Newton website.

Applications for Education
The digitized copies of Newton's works provide students with a great opportunity to dive into the thinking of one of the world's great minds. Newton's "Waste Notebook" contains his notes in which he developed ideas about Calculus. That notebook could be useful in showing students some of the steps and processes used by Newton.

H/T to Martin LaMonica at CNET