Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Padlet Mini Offers a New Way to Organize and Share Bookmarks

Padlet is one of my favorite tools for hosting brainstorming sessions, collecting exit ticket information, and creating collaborative KWL charts. I often use it in my workshops to create a place for participants to share the things that they are creating.

This week Padlet released a new tool called Padlet Mini. Padlet Mini is a Chrome extension that you can use to bookmark websites. When you click the Padlet Mini extension in your browser you will be presented with the option to save to one of your existing walls or create a new Padlet wall.

Applications for Education
Padlet Mini will be perfect for one of my favorite uses of Padlet. That is to have students share links to interesting pages, pictures, and videos that they find about a topic that we are studying in class. I typically give students 15-25 minutes in class to find and share. When time is up we have classroom discussions about the things they shared. Padlet Mini will make it a bit easier for students to share links, images, and videos. By the way, when you view YouTube videos through Padlet you don't see any of the "related" videos that are in the sidebars on YouTube.

Brooks Brothers Teaches You How to Tie a Tie - Bow Ties Included

A couple of days ago I clicked on a Brooks Brothers sales advertisement while reading an article on Inc. That advertisement took me to a page featuring neck ties and a set of videos on how to tie five kinds of neck tie knots. The videos are hosted on Vimeo.

Why am I sharing these videos? Whether it's for an interview or a semi-formal affair at some point almost every male student will need to know how to tie a tie. These videos will be helpful when that time arrives in the life of a student.

How To Tie A Tie - Half-Windsor Knot | Brooks Brothers from Brooks Brothers on Vimeo.

Windsor Knot

Four In Hand Knot

Pratt Knot

Bow Tie

All Socrative Users Will be Moved to Socrative 2.0 This Weekend

Last winter Socrative released version 2.0. For the last nine month users have had the choice to use version 1.0 or 2.0. That choice is going away this weekend as all users will be moved to Socrative 2.0. To help you with the transition Socrative offers an updated user guide (link opens a PDF) and a set of new videos about Socrative 2.0. One of the videos is embedded below.

Disclosure: MasteryConnect, Socrative's new parent company, is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Rule the '90s - A National Geographic Game

During the last couple of nights I have enjoyed watching The '90s mini-series on the National Geographic Channel. It isn't the deepest look at events of the 1990s in the United States, but it is a nice overview of political, economic, and social themes of the decade. So far the series has featured a nice blend of hard news (Desert Storm) with softer stories (remember Vanilla Ice?).

Rule the '90s is one of the online complements to the television show. Rule the '90s is an online trivia game about news and culture in the United States in the 1990's. The game has four challenges (three are available now, one more will be available tonight). Each challenge has thirty multiple choice questions about people and events of the 1990's. You can refresh your memory before taking the challenge by reviewing facts in Explore the '90s.

Made From History is a Must-bookmark for History Teachers and Students

Made From History is a fantastic history resource that I learned about from Larry Ferlazzo. The site features picture essays, timelines, videos, and interactive guides to significant events in European and World history. Made From History is divided into four sections; WWI, WWII, Civil Rights, and Referenced Blog.

The Referenced Blog features picture essays that don't fit into one of the other three categories. Some of the recent posts on the Referenced Blog featured images of Shackleton's expedition, small countries with crazy histories, and vintage American posters.

Applications for Education
In the WWI, WWII, and Civil Rights sections of Made From History the guides provide an excellent mix of images, maps, and text to provide context for the timelines. The visual nature of the essays on Made From History will grab students' attention and have them jumping from entry to entry.

Overall, Made From History is a great example of how a digital resource can be a better option than a traditional textbook. Made From History's section on the American Revolution offers more content than what I've seen in many elementary and middle school history textbooks.

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