Thursday, August 15, 2013

Short Lessons from the BBC's Science Club

For some reason the BBC's Science Club video, The Story of Physics was passed around a lot on Twitter and Google+ today. The video came out eight months ago. All of the short videos in the series provide concise overviews of interesting aspects of science. The Story of Physics is embedded below. You can find more episodes on the BBC's YouTube channel.

A Big Collection of Mapped Data Visualizations

ChartsBin is a free service that anyone can use to create mapped data visualizations. It's also a place to find data visualizations created and shared by others. The gallery of data visualizations include categories for education data, environmental data, and lots of economic data. All of the visualizations in ChartsBin can be embedded into blog posts and webpages.

To create your own visualizations on ChartsBin you do have to provide your own data sets. You can upload data sets that you have stored on your computer. Once your data is uploaded you can customize the visualization of your data. The video below offers a short overview of the process (the video does not have sound).

Applications for Education
ChartsBin could be a good tool for students to use to create visualizations of data that they collect or find online. Of course, if you're looking for visualizations to use as discussion or research prompts, the gallery of visualizations on ChartsBin could be helpful.

MasteryConnect Releases a New Science Standards App and Resource Pins

MasteryConnect, a popular Common Core standards assessment tracking service, recently released a couple of helpful new tools. First, the new science standards app (available for iOS and Android) puts all of the new National Science Teachers Association standards on your mobile device. You can search through the standards by topic and or keyword. The app will also provide correlations to Common Core standards. You can get the app on MasteryConnect's resource goodies page.

Resource Pins is a new browser bookmarklet from MasteryConnect. The bookmarklet allows you to pin things to your MasteryConnect account. From there you can quickly add Common Core standards alignments to your pinned resources. You can get the Resource Pins bookmarklet on the MasteryConnect resource goodies page.

Disclosure: MasteyConnect is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

ClassDojo Releases New iOS and Android Apps

ClassDojo has offered iOS and Android apps for a while now. Today, those apps received a batch of new updates that teachers will appreciate. The updated apps will allow you to create new classes, edit class rosters, view reports, and reset points totals. These are things that you previously would have had to do on a laptop or desktop computer.

Click here for the ClassDojo iOS app.
Click here for the ClassDojo Android app.

Applications for Education
Besides recording behaviors and attendance, one of my favorite uses of ClassDojo is to give out "rewards" or "points" during classroom discussions for asking good questions, being polite, and using evidence in arguments.