Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fun, Free Math Video Games on Math Moves U

Math Moves U is a fun math video game site. Math Moves U has three levels of difficulty; grade 6 or lower, grade 7, and grade 8 or higher. To play the games students first choose from one of eight customizable characters to be in the game. Then they walk through scenery, along the way they are confronted by math games that appear before them. Points are earned by answering math questions correctly.

Applications for Education
Math Moves U could a fun way to get students hooked on practicing and developing mathematics skills. If you have students register for an optional account, they can track their progress by keeping a running record of point totals.

A Short Explanation of Party Conventions

If you're discussing the Republican National Convention with your students this week, they might be wondering why conventions are held and what happens at the convention. CNN has an "explain it to me" video that addresses those points. As always, you may want to talk with your students about the role of bias in news media when you use current events clips in your classroom.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo and Glen Wiebe for sharing this video early this week.

Three Good, Free iPad Timeline Apps for History Students

As a student I loved looking at timelines in my social studies textbooks. As a history teacher I still love timelines. Timelines in a web browser or as a stand-alone app can offer students more information than a paper-based timeline. Recently, I spent a little time looking for free timeline apps to use on my iPad. While there are a lot of paid apps I didn't find too many free ones that I liked, but I did find three. Here are the three that I like.

American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad sports the best visuals of the three apps on this list. The timeline features images of artifacts related to the American Revolution. Students can click on the artifacts in the timeline to read a bit about each artifact's relevance to the American Revolution.

Timeline Eons is a freemium app that displays major events throughout the history of the world. The app's search function allows you to search for a date, an event, or a place. The free version of the app allows access to all the timelines for the first ten days that you use it. After the first ten days you're limited to 1950 to the present.

LineTime Presidents Edition is a timeline of all the U.S. Presidents. As students scroll through the app they can click on a president's image to open pop-up box containing the biography of that president. It should be noted that the biographies are pulled from Wikipedia entries.

Make Videos On Animoto for Android

I'm not sure how I missed the news earlier, but today I discovered that Animoto now has an Android app. The Android app, like the iOS app, allows you to create simple yet beautiful videos on the go. I installed the app this evening and quickly put together a short video using the images from my Instagram account. You don't have to use Instagram images you can also import from your phone's image gallery and a number of image hosting sites. The limitations that you experience with free Animoto accounts online apply to the Android app too.

My sample video (truly just a random selection of images and music for the purpose testing the app) is embedded below.

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for an Android app that your students can use to quickly create videos, give Animoto for Android a try. You could use Animoto for Android to do what I had some teachers in St. Clair, Minnesota do today. They created short videos to introduce themselves to their new students. Of course, your students could do the same to introduce themselves to their new classmates.