Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Elements of Style - A Strunk and White Rap

Strunk and White's The Elements of Style comes alive in this fun rap video that I found on Brain Pickings through a Tweet by Open Culture. The three minute hits the fundamentals of good writing as outlined by Strunk and White.

The Elements of Style from Jake Heller on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Looking for a fun way to reinforce some fundamentals of writing? Then spend three minutes of classroom time showing this your students.

CNN Rewinds 2011

In my last blog post I shared YouTube's year in review resource YouTube Rewind 2011. Here are a couple of serious year in review videos from CNN. Each video includes dates, a quick narration, and some news video clips of each event highlighted in the video.

Part I - The first half of 2011.

Part II - The second half of 2011.

YouTube Rewinds 2011

Like most major media outlets, YouTube has a year in review feature. Today, they released YouTube Rewind 2011. As you might guess, YouTube Rewind 2011 features clips of the year's most-watched YouTube videos. The YouTube Rewind 2011 page has a timeline that you can explore to see the most-watched videos of each month. I've embedded the video below.

Applications for Education
You won't find many serious videos on the YouTube Rewind 2011 timeline but there are a couple like this Story Corps video remembering 9/11.

Make a Green Search Scrapbook with Google Green

Yesterday, Google revealed a neat way to look at the year in search. Using Google Green you can build a "green search scrapbook." The scrapbook highlights the most-searched environmentally themed searches. You can build your own scrapbook by responding to seven prompts. Just respond to the prompts by selecting a search topic from the list of options presented to you. For example, the first prompt is, "I would have never guessed that..." to which you respond by selecting one of ten search topics. When you make a selection you will learn a little bit of information about that topic. Click here to see my Google Green Scrapbook.

Applications for Education
Creating Google Green Scrapbooks could be a neat way for students to start exploring and researching topics in environmental science. Have all of your students create scrapbooks and post the links to them on a class blog, wiki, or Wallwisher for everyone to see and explore.

Explore the Windows Phone Apps Marketplace

I don't own a Windows phone so it was news to me when I learned a few days ago that there is a Windows Phone Apps Marketplace. I spent some time browsing the Windows Apps Marketplace and found a few apps that could be good for students to use if they have Windows phones.

Khan Academy is all over the web these days and the Windows Apps Marketplace is no exception to that. Khan Academy has an app for Windows phone users. The app links directly to Khan Academy videos.

The Weopardy app implements the Jeopardy format for studying vocabulary words. Weopardy presents a definition and you have to enter the word that matches. You can use the app as a timed game or as an untimed activity.

Math Skillz is a simple mathematics review app. You have your choice of practicing your addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division skills. Select a difficulty level and go through the flashcards. If you get stuck, use the "peek" button to see the answer.

Applications for Education
I'm not familiar with any schools that are rolling-out school-wide programs using Windows phones, but I'm sure there are students in our schools using them. If you have a parent or student asking for ideas about using their Windows cell phones for learning, have them take a look at the education section of the Windows Phone Apps Marketplace.

Tekzilla Counts Down Their Top Ten of 2011

As I've mentioned a bunch of times in the past, Tekzilla Daily is one of my favorite web shows. Everyday they have a helpful little tip. For the next two weeks they're counting down their most popular tips of the year. The first tip in the list is about Smart Power. Smart Power is a free Windows program that helps you manage your computer's power use. Learn more in the video below.