Monday, July 16, 2012

A Great Timeline for U.S. History Students

The American Revolution Center has a fantastic interactive timeline about the American Revolution. The timeline features an easily navigated combination of text and images. Click on any event in the timeline to view a short paragraph about that event. Click on an image of an artifact in the timeline and a you will see an enlarged image of that artifact. The page hosting the enlarged artifact image also hosts a description of the artifact and in some cases a video podcast about the artifact. It really is one of the best US History timelines that I've come across.

Applications for Education

The American Revolution Center's timeline could be used as a primer for a study of the American Revolution or as a review of the Revolution. You might try challenging students to locate, online, images of artifacts representing each event on the timeline. In addition to a great timeline, the American Revolution Center offers a twenty question quiz and a lesson plan search engine.

Asana - Shared Task Management

Asana is a task management tool for groups. Asana allows you to create multiple projects and lists of assignments for completing each project. Within each project you can assign tasks to the members of your group. Groups can have up to 30 members in the free version of Asana. Asana provides feeds for your projects so that members can subscribe and receive updates about new assignments and progress toward the completion of projects.

Asana has a mobile website that you can use on your iPad or Android tablet. Asana also has a Chrome web app.

Applications for Education
Asana could be a great tool for students to use to manage complex long-term projects that they are working on in teams. Another way that you could use Asana as a teacher is to create a group of students then use Asana to send them homework reminders.

Asana could also be great for planning academic department meetings.

MindMaple - Desktop Mind Mapping

MindMaple is a desktop mind mapping application that recently released a free product for Windows users. MindMaple Lite is a free download for Windows users who want to create mind maps on their desktops.

Like any good mind mapping tool Mind maps created with MindMaple Lite can include images, links, and text. One of the handy features of MindMaple is the ability to draw loose elements into a group. In other words, you don't have to construct elements in a connected sequence. You can move elements of your mind map into groups after you've put them on the canvas. Completed mind maps can be exported to Microsoft Office.

Applications for Education
I don't think that MindMaple is superior to any of these web-based mind map creation tools, but if you're looking for a mind mapping tool that runs on a desktop, give MindMaple a try.

Learn the Web's Core With CoreDogs

On Saturday I published a short list of resources for teaching yourself to write HTML. At the end of the post I asked for suggestions for additions to the list. Kieran Mathieson left a comment with the suggestion of CoreDogs.

CoreDogs is a set of online texts and lessons that you can use to learn how the web works, how to build websites, and how to build simple web applications. You can navigate through the lessons in order or skip to parts that are of the most interest to you.

The video below provides and overview of CoreDogs. (Warning: there is one PG-rated line in the video).

Applications for Education
The CoreDogs lessons could be used by students who want to learn coding on their own. CoreDogs also allows you to re-use and redistribute the lessons to use in your classroom instruction (just make sure to credit CoreDogs).

Steve Jobs and Apps for Autism

Last night's episode of 60 Minutes re-ran two stories that may be of interest to educators. The first story featured Steve Jobs' biographer talking about what made Jobs tick as well as a little history of Apple. You can read and watch the story here.

The second story featured Lesley Stahl reporting on how iPads are being used by teachers, parents, and therapists to assist students who have Autism. If you're really interested in learning about iOS apps for students with special needs I recommend reading iPodsibilities and Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs. The video from 60 Minutes is embedded below.