Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Search for Vocabulary Lists and Learn New Words on Vocabulary.com

Vocabulary.com is an excellent vocabulary study service offering thousands of vocabulary practice lists and activities for students in elementary school through graduate school. In addition to lists of SAT, GRE, and other test prep words, you can find vocabulary lists that are attached to novels, historical documents, famous speeches, and current news articles.

When you sign up for Vocabulary.com you will be given an assessment quiz in order to give you suggested lists with which to start your practice. After completing the assessment you can use the practice lists suggested by Vocabulary.com or choose your own lists from the huge gallery of vocabulary lists.

Applications for Education
One of the aspects of the Vocabulary.com activities that I like is the instant feedback for every practice question a student attempts. As you can see in the image above, if a student answers incorrectly on his first attempt, he will see the definition and the word in context.

Vocabulary.com has an optional competition aspect to it. Students can play for their schools and climb the Vocabulary.com leaderboard.

How to Make Copies of Google Documents Shared With You As "View Only"

Have you ever come across a Google Document or Google Presentation on the web that you wanted to have a copy of for yourself but discovered that it was shared as "view only?" Most of the Google Documents and Presentations that I share on this blog are marked "view only." Even if the document or presentation is marked "view only" you can still create a copy for yourself. The directions below show you how (the directions apply to Documents, Presentations, and Sheets).

Step 1:
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Step 2:
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Step 3:
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Applications for Education
Sharing Google Documents and Presentations as "view only" is a good way to distribute directions for assignments or templates for completing assignments. By sharing the Google Document or Presentation as "view only" all of your students can see it, but they cannot change what you've written on the document or presentation. Have them follow the directions above to make copies of their own that they can edit without affecting the originally shared item.

Helpful iBooks Author Tutorials

This afternoon I received an email from someone who had a question about iBooks Author. iBooks Author is an excellent tool for creating multimedia ebooks, but there are some elements of using it that can be confusing and or frustrating the first time you use it or if you don't use it often. Here are a couple of resources that I've consulted when I've gotten stuck on problems in iBooks Author.

Publishing with iBooks Author is a free 110 page publication from O'Reilly Media. I  just discovered the guide a couple of days ago and I wish I had found it earlier because it would have saved me a lot of time in learning how to use iBooks Author. Publishing with iBooks Author covers everything from copyright, DRM, and the End User Agreement to templates, layouts, media insertion, publishing, and distribution. You will have to register for an O'Reilly Media account to download the book (that does take a few minutes and requires email verification) but I think that's a small price to pay for an excellent free ebook. Publishing with iBooks Author is available to download as an ePub file and as a PDF.

Kinetic Media has a nearly one hour video that takes you through every aspect of creating an iBook with iBooks Author. The video covers everything from choosing a template to using custom HTML5 widgets in your iBooks. That video is embedded below.

If sitting through a one hour video like the Kinetic Media iBooks Author video is a bit too much for you, take a look at this playlist of 25 iBooks Author tutorials from DIY Journo. The videos cover the same things as in the Kinetic Media tutorial, but each tutorial is its own short video.