Monday, April 30, 2012

Sushi Monster - A Free Scholastic Math App for iPad

Sushi Monster is a new free iPad game from Scholastic. The purpose of Sushi Monster is to provide a fun environment for students to practice their addition and multiplication skills. This is the premise of Sushi Monster; students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster. The video below provides a good demonstration of Sushi Monster in action.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free iPad app that your elementary school students can use to practice their addition and multiplication skills, Sushi Monster is definitely an app to add to list.

UNDP Development Data Interactive Map

Over the weekend through Noel Jenkins I learned about a neat interactive map from the UNDP. The UN Stat Planet Map allows you to create useful mapped displays of UN development indicators data. There are ten data categories from which you can choose. Within each category there are further refinements possible. You can customize the map to present sharper contrasts between the data indicators, change the indicator symbols, and alter the map legend. To visual the change in data over time, use the time slider at the bottom of the map. Your maps and the data that they represent can be downloaded as PNG and JPEG files for printing.

Applications for Education
Simply looking at data spreadsheets or graphs reveal some good development data to students. But for better visual comparisons tied to locations, the UN Stat Planet Map is useful.

Exploring the Early Americas - Library of Congress Interactives

This morning I spent a bit of time exploring the Library of Congress's education resources. One of the resources that I particularly liked is the LOC's collection of eight interactive displays about the early Americas. The gallery of the early Americas interactives includes exploring interactive maps, investigating Mayan writings and artifacts, and short interactive lessons on paintings telling the story of early exploration of the Americas.

Applications for Education
The Library of Congress's early Americas interactives aren't the most in-depth resources I've seen, but they could be a nice part of a lesson. The Conquest of Mexico Paintings exhibit would make a nice visual lesson that combines history and art.

Searchy Pants - A Safe Search Engine for Kids

EdCamp Boston was held on Saturday and even though I couldn't make it in person, I did follow along with some of the Posterous updates about the day. One of the Posterous updates included the list of resources shared during the apps and tools Smackdown session. In that list was a new-to-me search engine called Searchy Pants.

Searchy Pants uses Google Custom search to provide a safe search environment for students. But Searchy Pants offers more than just a simple search engine. You can customize the page on which students search by choosing from a variety of fun background themes. Once you've chosen a theme you can add links to your page that you want students to see. For example, you might link to your school's website or link to a site like CNN Student News. You can also post a custom message for your students to read before searching.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a safe search engine for your students to use without actually creating your Google Custom Search Engine, Searchy Pants could be a good tool for you.

Mathematica for Teaching and Student Use

Over the weekend I received an email from Wolfram informing me of a new free training they're offering for learning how to publish using CDF (Computational Document Format). While I'm not sure if there are many readers who are using Wolfram CDF, I do know that there are quite a few who are using Wolfram Mathematica and or are interested in learning more about Mathematica. If you're interested in learning more about Wolfram Mathematica and how you might use it in your mathematics lessons, Wolfram has a free on-demand, online course for beginners.