Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How to Add Free Apps to Your Edmodo Group

I recently received an email from a someone who has just started to explore possibly using Edmodo with her students next fall. One of the aspects of Edmodo that she found appealing is the option to add apps that her students can access through their Edmodo accounts. That's one of the features of Edmodo that I like too because I'm a big fan of not requiring students to keep track of a different user name and password for every online app I want them to use.

Adding free apps to your Edmodo group is a simple process. The screenshots below will walk you through the steps. (Click the images to view them in full size).

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Road Salt and Salt Sculptures

Like many other towns and cities in North America, my town's maintenance crews are pouring road salt and sand at a seemingly frenetic pace. The town manager is concerned that the salt supply will run out before spring. This leads me to the question, "where does road salt come from?" Your students might wonder the same thing.

Last week National Geographic published a short article about where road salt comes from. Today, they followed up on that article with a video explanation of where road salt comes from. The video explains the primary ways that salt is made. The end of the video includes an explanation of how salt can prevent icing of roads.

Applications for Education
After learning about where road salt comes from, have your students try this Exploratorium activity to learn how salt crystals are formed.

How Light Bulbs Work and Activities for Learning About Electricity

Minute Physics recently released a short video that features an explanation of how modern light bulbs work and how light bulb design has changed over the last 100+ years.The video also includes explanations of the different types of modern light bulbs and their applications. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
You could use the video as part of a lesson on electricity. In that same lesson you might want to have students learn about how electricity is produced and delivered to their homes. Hydro to Home is an interactive story of hydro-electric power from raindrops to homes. The story walks visitors through each step of the process of generating hydro-electric power and delivering to consumers' homes. The story is narrated and along the way there are interactive images that visitors can click on to learn even more information about hydro-electric power.

After students understand how electricity can be generated and delivered to their homes, introduce them to The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits. The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits is a neat series of interactive animations designed to help students of elementary and middle school age learn how electric circuits work. There are five sections to the series. Each sections builds upon the lessons of the previous section. The series starts with the basics of what makes a circuit complete and concludes with diagramming and building circuits. Each section in the series has a few short lessons and is followed by an animated interactive activity to which students can apply what they have just learned.

Teaching Literary Terms With Comics

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

One of my favorite ways to get students interested in the creative writing process is to have them create comic strips. Knowledge literary terms and devices is an important aspect of understanding how to craft good fiction. In Hero vs. Antihero Rebecca Ray explains shares examples of using Storyboard That to create comic strips to help students understand literary terms. Rebecca includes a sample scoring rubric and Common Core standards at the end of the activity outline.

Applications for Education
As is demonstrated in the Hero vs. Antihero activity outline, you could have students create short comic strips in which they showcase the use of a literary term or device. Your students could also use Storyboard That to share re-create and share the use of a literary device as they found it in a book.

If you have not tried Storyboard That, consider attending my free digital storytelling webinar next week. Included in that webinar will be a demonstration of using the Storyboard That Edmodo app.