Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Smile and Find Science Lesson Plans

How to Smile is a great place for teachers to find ideas and directions for hands-on math, science, and engineering lessons. How to Smile is community site to which teachers can contribute their lessons and materials for others to use. You can search for lessons by keyword or by browsing the popular activities lists. Registered users can bookmark materials within How to Smile. How to Smile has a free iPhone app that you can use to search for lessons.

Applications for Education
Whether you're looking for a brand new lesson plan or are just looking for some ideas to tweak your existing lessons, How to Smile could be a great resource for you. From what I saw by browsing the lessons, it appears that the majority of the lessons are geared toward the K-8 audience.

Nearpod - Create and Deliver Quizzes on iPads

Back in February I shared a new iOS app called Nearpod that is designed for creating and delivering lessons on iPads. At the time Nearpod was still in beta. Today, Nearpod officially launched out of beta and became available to everyone.

Nearpod is a free iOS app that teachers can use to create quizzes, polls, and multimedia presentations. Those materials can be shared directly to students who have the Nearpod student app installed. Teachers can view students' responses individually or as a whole class. The video below provides a short overview of Nearpod.

Applications for Education
Nearpod could be a good tool for teachers to create and deliver customized content to their students. The feedback mechanisms may allow you to quickly get a sense of your students' comprehension of the lessons that you deliver.

Wappwolf Automator for Google Drive

Last month I wrote a post about using Wappwolf to automate file conversion and syncing between multiple devices and multiple apps. Today, I received an email from Wappwolf announcing integration with Google Drive. Now you can automate file conversion and synchronization to Google Drive using Wappwolf. Of course, Wappwolf still supports Dropbox synchronization too. Watch the video below for more information about using Wappwolf with Google Drive.

Applications for Education
For teachers and students who use multiple devices and need to be able to access their files in a variety of formats, Wappwolf could be a fantastic tool to use in conjunction with Dropbox and or Google Drive. Have a series of audio recordings from your students that need to be converted for use in multimedia projects? Upload them through Wappwolf and they'll be automatically converted in the file format of your choice. Have a series of documents that you want students to be able to read on their iPads, but don't have them in ePub format? Upload them through Wappwolf and have them all converted for you.

Nature Conservancy Conservation Maps

The Nature Conservancy has a great gallery of interactive maps portraying a large variety of conservation data. Some of the maps are tied to small regions and very specific projects while other maps are more global in scope. The Global Conservation Maps cover the largest variety of datasets and regions.

The Global Conservation Maps can be used to view data representations for marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. To view the datasets on a map, select a base layer then choose a dataset from the drop down menu for that base map. For example, the screen image below is of a map representing the number of freshwater fish species in Africa.

Applications for Education
The Global Conservation Maps could be useful for students to use to examine conservation data by ecosystem and region. All of the data associated with the Global Conservation Maps can be downloaded for re-use in Google Maps, Google Earth, and GeoCommons. By downloading the data sets your students can create their own maps to show correlations and comparisons.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Video - How Wikipedia Works

I still often hear teachers say that they don't allow students to use Wikipedia for anything. That's too bad because Wikipedia articles, particularly the sources cited at the end of the pages, can be good places for students to start researching a topic. The reason why some teachers don't allow their students to use Wikipedia for anything is due to a lack of understanding of how Wikipedia works. Common Craft has a good explanation of how it works. You can watch the video here or as embedded below.

Common Craft videos can be viewed for free online but to download them or embed them you do have to be a subscriber to their service. In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft which means that I have received a subscription in exchange for advising Common Craft on some product offerings.