Friday, May 25, 2012

26+ Ways to Use Thinglink in the Classroom

Thinglink is a tool for creating interactive images. I've written about it quite a bit in the last few months (click here to learn how to use it). This morning I got an email from Thinglink in which they featured a Google Presentation of 26+ Ways to Use Thinglink in the Classroom. The presentation is a collaborative presentation started by Donna Baumbach. If you have used Thinglink in your classroom, get in touch with Donna to make a contribution. Her contact information is included on the last slide below.

Video - Maximizing Museum Field Trips

Through the Teaching Palette, I discovered this video from the Art Institute of Chicago. The video was created as a resource to help teachers and students get the most out of a trip to an art museum. The animated video tells the story of high school students going to an art museum. In the video the teacher explains how to behave at an art museum (don't touch the paintings). The teacher and students also model critiquing art. The video is subtitled in English and Spanish.

You can watch the video below.

Applications for Education
Even if you're not able to take your students on a field trip to an art museum, this video still has value. The modeling of conversations about art could be used prior to having students look at art online or in books. 

Set Location-based Reminders for Yourself

Geo Notepad is a Chrome application that offers a different take on reminders and notes. While most note-taking and reminder services are based on time stamps, Geo Notepad is based on location. When you write notes, you can assign them to locations. Then when you return to that location Geo Notepad will show you a list of your notes from that place. For example, I could create a list of notes that are tied to my house and a list tied to school. Then when I get to school in the morning Geo Notepad will open the list of school-based notes for me.

Applications for Education
Geo Notepad could be a good way for students to set reminders for themselves. They can create lists during the day that will pop-up when they turn on their computers or tablets at home.

GeoBee Challenge - Test Your Geography Knowledge

This week the 2012 National Geographic Bee champion was crowned. To help your students prepare for next year's National Geographic Bee, National Geographic offers the GeoBee Challenge.

The GeoBee Challenge is a daily series of ten geography quiz questions. The challenges can be played in apprentice mode or in expert mode. Apprentice mode gives students two tries at every question. The expert mode gives just one shot at each question.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a quick activity that your students can do every day to sharpen their knowledge of geography, consider putting a link to the GeoBee Challenge on your classroom blog or website.

The GeoBee Challenge is also available as an app for iPads and Android tablets, but it is not a free app.

Here's a list of eleven resources for geography awareness.

Meograph - Four Dimensional Storytelling

Meograph is a new digital storytelling tool that you should put on your list of things to try this summer. Meograph, which I learned about through an email from its founder, provides tools for creating map-based and timeline-based narrated stories. The Meograph is still in a closed beta, but they appear to be very interested in the possible educational uses of the service.

When you watch a Meograph story (click here to watch one about women's rights in the USA) you will notice that it is very similar to a watching a narrated Google Earth tour. That is because it is based on the Google Maps and the Google Earth browser plug-in. As the story plays you can stop it to explore additional content in the forms of videos, texts, and images.

Applications for Education
When it's live for everyone to use Meograph will provide a way to create narrated map-based and timeline-based stories. Much of what Meograph offers can be accomplished in Google Earth. However, Meograph is browser-based so that students can create stories even if they cannot install Google Earth on their computers.

Vocabulary Spelling City

This week Free Technology for Teachers welcomed Vocabulary Spelling City as a new advertiser.

Vocabulary Spelling City offers a database of more than 42,000 spelling words and sentences. The words and sentences can be customized for your students. This means that Vocabulary Spelling City supports US and UK spellings of words like "favorite" and "favourite," "color" and "colour." Teachers can use Vocabulary Spelling City to create custom lists of words for their students to practice spelling and to study the definitions of those words.

To help students learn the proper pronunciation of the words on their practice lists Vocabulary Spelling City provides clear, spoken recordings of every word. Students can play games, study words, and quiz themselves on the spellings of the words on their lists. Vocabulary Spelling City allows teachers to print activities for use in their classrooms when their students don't have access to computers.

In addition to their free products, Vocabulary Spelling City offers a premium service that gives teachers the option to track their students' progress, removal of advertising, and additional learning activities. You can try the premium version for free for three months by clicking here.