Monday, June 17, 2013

FlowReader Makes It Easy to Transfer Google Reader Subscriptions

Google Reader users have 13 days left to figure out how they are going to subscribe to and read their favorite blogs after Google Reader shuts down. FlowReader is a free RSS reader that I tried this afternoon and I have to say that it couldn't be easier to import your Google Reader subscriptions.

To start using FlowReader just visit the homepage and click "Import Your Google Reader Feeds Now." After clicking that button authorize FlowReader to access your Google Reader feeds and all of your feeds will be imported into FlowReader. If you are using categories in Google Reader, those will be imported too. After importing your feeds you can connect your social media accounts like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. You can also connect Evernote, Instapaper, and many other bookmarking services to your FlowReader account. FlowReader lets you read your feeds in full article view or in a headline-only view.
Headline-only view in FlowReader.

Applications for Education
Everywhere I go I try to encourage people to create a list of blogs and websites that can aid their professional learning. FlowReader could be a great place to create those collections and keep up with the latest information from your favorite sources.

Create Multimedia Presentations & Quizzes in Edmodo

Soo Meta is a great tool for creating multimedia presentations and quizzes. I tried it for the first time back in March and it has only improved since then. Today, I learned that Soo Meta is available in Edmodo. So if you use Edmodo and you want to create multimedia presentations and quizzes or you want your students to create them, that can happen by using Edmodo log-in credentials.

Soo Meta allows you to combine videos from YouTube, pictures from the web or from your desktop, text, and voice recordings to create a presentation. You can also pull content in from Pinterest and Twitter to use in your final product. Soo Meta also allows you to insert a quiz into your projects. This means that people viewing your Soo Meta projects can watch a short video clip then answer questions about it before moving onto the next part of the presentation.

Applications for Education
Soo Meta could be a good tool for creating short flipped lessons for your students. You could have students create projects in which they create book trailers using video clips, images, and their voices. Students could use Soo Meta to create a digital collage of media around a current events topic that they're studying. Soo Meta might also be used by students to create a showcase of their best digital works of the semester.

Get Healthy With Google

Last week the Official Google Blog ran a blog post about how many Google apps and services can be used to support and promote healthy lifestyle choices. The suggestions include using some of these Chrome apps to track what you eat, record your exercise habits, and to find healthy foods. If you don't want to use an app, you could create a Google Form for recording your eating and exercising habits. I use Forms on my Android phone quite a bit.

Applications for Education
Reading Google's post about using their services to help you get healthy prompted me to think about using Google Apps in health and physical education courses. Challenge your students to see how many miles or kilometers they can cumulatively walk as a class in one week. A shared Google Form is a great place to log that information.

Ask your students to try healthy snacks in lieu of junk food and record those changes in a Google Form. Use the Google Search tools for food data to compare the calories and carbohydrate content of the junk snacks with the healthy snacks. Then at the end of the week tally up the data in the shared Google Form to see the cumulative effects of making healthy snack choices. If you're looking for a tool that will encourage students try healthy snacks, check out Chew or Die that I reviewed last week on iPad Apps for School.

128 Maps of Regional Dialect Differences

Joshua Katz at North Carolina State University has produced 128 heat maps (the maps take a while to load) highlighting the differences in regional dialects in the continental United States. The maps are based on the responses to 128 questions. The questions ask things like, "do you pronounce cot and caught the same way?" The regional difference that I experience a lot is the different names for soda pop. Katz has a produced a map for that too.

Applications for Education
Browsing through the dialect survey maps could be a good way for students to learn a little about regional differences in the United States. You might ask your students to think about how and why these differences in dialects developed. Then ask your students if television and radio media has any influence on how people speak.

H/T to Open Culture.