Friday, July 11, 2014

Hip Hughes History Presents Ten Classroom Management Tips

Keith Hughes, teacher and producer of the popular Hip Hughes History series of videos, recently released a good video for new teachers. Ten Solutions for Misbehavior offers practical advice for new teachers. My favorite tip, and one that I have given myself, is to maintain a few broad rules rather than making rules for every little thing in your classroom. New teachers, this video is for you.

My addition to this list comes from the first principal that I worked under, "don't openly engage in power struggles with students."

Use This Map to Compare the Costs of Living in U.S. Cities

The Cost of Living Map produced with data from The Council for Community and Economic Research allows you to quickly compare the costs of living in U.S. cities. To use the map simply select two cities from the drop-down menu on the map. After making your selections you will see a graphic and an indication of which city is more expensive. The comparison is based on the costs of housing, healthcare, utilities, groceries, and transportation.

The screenshot below is the comparison of Portland, ME and Portland, OR.

Applications for Education
My first thought when seeing this map was that I would use it as the jumping-off point for an assignment in which students research the factors that contribute to increases or decreases in the costs of living in the cities that they choose on the map.

H/T to Larry Ferlazzo and Google Maps Mania

Odyssey.js - A New Way to Create Mapped Stories

Odyssey.js is a new open source map creation tool from CartoDB. Through Odyssey.js you can create mapped stories in three formats; slide, scroll, and torque. In all three formats viewers will see a location on a map along with the text and pictures of your story. The slide and scroll formats are fairly straight-forward, you click through slides or scroll through a story. The torque format allows you to connect elements of your map to a timeline.

Odyssey.js does not require you to know how to code, but it might feel that way the first time that you open it. Read the documentation in the tutorials carefully and you should do well with Odyssey.js. I spent thirty minutes trying it this afternoon. My biggest tip from that experience is to remember that you are writing your story in the dialogue box rather than writing it on the map. The map is simply there to support your story.

Applications for Education
Odyssey.js could be a good tool for students to use to create stories about historical events and current events that involve multiple locations. An example that I found on Google Maps Mania is this mapped story about Darwin's voyage on The Beagle.

Odyssey.js does not require you to create an account in order to create a mapped story.

H/T to Google Maps Mania and The Next Web

FlowingData Presents an Interactive Chart of Wages in the United States

Jobs Charted by State and Salary is an interactive chart of wages by industry and state in the United States. You can view salaries on a state-by-state basis or see the averages for the entire country. Place your cursor over any of the boxes on the chart to see the average salary and number of people performing a particular job. If you can refine the chart to show jobs that have a minimum average salary of your choosing. For example, you can choose to only display jobs that have an average salary of $60,000 or more.

Applications for Education
One of the things that I might do with this chart in a social studies class is have students investigate why average salaries for the same job vary from state to state. I also might have them investigate why a particular industry has higher wages than another and what it takes to get a job in the higher paying industry.

H/T to io9

Is Your Browser Updated? Here Are Two Easy Ways to Check

From time to time I'll receive emails from people who are having difficulty accessing the features a web tool that I have reviewed. Often, the cause of the difficulty is using a web browser that isn't updated. Using an outdated browser can not only slow your online experience, it can also make your computer more vulnerable to viruses and other dangers. A simple way to check if your browser is up to date is to visit Browse Happy. Browse Happy lists the five most commonly used browsers, the latest version of each, and links you to the download for the latest version.

Another way to determine what browser you're using is to visit What Browser is a Google site that detects what browser you're using and displays that information right on the page in front of you.

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