Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The History of Design In a Nutshell and A School Design Project

The Open University offers a course on design and innovation. The course includes a set of six short videos providing an broad overview of the history and development of modern design. That playlist, beginning with the video on the influence of arts and crafts on design, is embedded below.

Applications for Education
One of the activities in the Open University's course on design that middle school and high school students might enjoy is a school design project. The school design project asks students to consider the interests and needs of various groups as they design their new school buildings.

Classmint - Create and Share Online Flashcards

Classmint is a free, online flashcard service. Like all of the services similar to it, Classmint can be used to create and share sets of flashcards. One aspect of Classmint that makes it slightly different from some other flashcard tools is that Classmint will read your flashcards to you. Classmint also supports the use of images in your flashcards.

Applications for Education
As I've said for years, I don't make high school students create flashcards as an assignment, they just seem to show up with them. Services like Classmint could be useful to students who like to use flashcards as a method of reviewing before a test. The option to share sets of flashcards does make Classmint a fine option for students who want to help each other create review materials.

TenMarks Offers 20,000+ Math Practice Problems Aligned to Common Core Standards

TenMarks is a service that offers an online mathematics program designed to supplement your in-classroom mathematics instruction. I tried the service when it launched a couple of years ago. Today, I revisited it when I learned that they now align all of their practice activities to Common Core Standards.

Within TenMarks teachers create class rosters and accounts for their students. After creating rosters teachers can assign practice problems to students. Teachers can assign problems based on the Common Core Standards that their students are trying to reach.

Applications for Education
TenMarks could be an excellent resource for elementary school and middle school teachers. TenMarks provides an efficient way to provide practice problems and track students' progress. The information gathered about students' progress can be used to influence the creation of lesson plans tailored to students' specific needs.

Free Teaching Materials from the Zinn Education Project

A People's History of the United States is frequently used by teachers of U.S. History because Howard Zinn's book tells the history of the United States in a way it is quite different from typical U.S. History textbooks. A People's History of the United States gives students an alternative perspective on history.
The Zinn Education Project is a website designed to help teachers use A People's History of the United States in their classrooms. The Zinn Education Project provides complete lesson plans for use in elementary school, middle school, and high school settings. In some cases the lesson plans include document excerpts and references to A People's History of the United States. On the Zinn Education Project site you can search for lesson plans by time period, theme, or by student reading levels.

Applications for Education
If you teach US History the Zinn Education Project is a great resource to have in your toolkit. It's easy to locate lesson plans that meet your needs and downloading the plans is free once you're registered.