Friday, August 8, 2014

Two Flipped Lessons on Aspects of Meteorology

This afternoon I found myself in one of those YouTube vortexes in which I couldn't stop jumping from video to video. I started out looking for a video about hurricanes (I never did find it) and ended up finding two other meteorology lessons that I thought were worth sharing.

First, NOVA offers a good video about The Coriolis Effect. The three minute animated video explains why storms spin in different directions depending on their location. The video is clear and concise which makes it ideal for a flipped classroom lesson. Click here for information about Blubbr, TeachEm, and VideoNotes which are good tools for building flipped lessons.

The second video I stumbled upon this afternoon was The History of the Barometer. This TED-Ed lesson covers the history, development, and use of barometers in forecasting the weather.

Image credit: "1890s Barometer" by André Lage Freitas - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Tools and Strategies for Sharing Bookmarks

Earlier today I received an email from a reader who was looking for an alternative to Delicious for bookmarking and sharing bookmarks. Delicious was one of the earliest entries into the social bookmarking market. Delicious is still functional, but there are some alternatives that are worth exploring too.

Padlet Mini is the latest tool that I've tried for social bookmarking. 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 (if you already have a Padlet account) or create a new Padlet wall. Padlet Mini is ideal for having students share links to interesting pages, pictures, and videos that they find about a topic that they are studying in class.

Diigo is a great option for bookmarking websites and sharing them with a group. You can use any of the many Diigo browser add-ons or mobile apps to bookmark websites. The Diigo bookmarking tools allow you to clip portions of a webpage, highlight portions of the page, and add notes to it while you bookmark. Adding those notes is helpful in letting your collaborators know why you saved a link. Diigo allows you to create public and private groups in which you share bookmarks. Creating a Diigo group is a good way for students to collaborate on a research task. Another benefit of Diigo is the option to publish a list of bookmarks to a blog. See the video that Vicki Davis made to learn how to do that.

Annotary is a social bookmarking service that is similar to Diigo. By using Annotary in Chrome I can bookmark sites, highlight portions of pages, and annotate pages with sticky notes. Just like any good online bookmarking service, Annotary allows you to share bookmarks and search other peoples' shared bookmarks.

This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning Pinterest. If your school allows it and your students are old enough to have accounts, you could use Pinterest to bookmark your web findings. A better option than Pinterest for schools is eduClipper. eduClipper is a great place for teachers and students to collaborate on the creation of visual bookmark boards. Students do not need to have email addresses to use eduClipper and you can manage how your students share on eduClipper boards. Click here for three video tutorials on using eduClipper.

Clipix will remind you of Pinterest or eduClipper in that you can "clip" images, videos, and links to save on digital clipboards. Clipix also supports uploading files from your computer to your Clipix clipboards. Each of the clipboards that you create in your Clipix account can be kept private or made public. There is also a privately shared option that can be used for collaborating on clipboard creation. Clipix offers Android and iOS apps that will synchronize with your online Clipix account.

Disclosure: I am an advisor to eduClipper. 

Save the Trees - Try These Tools to Conserve Paper in School

The new school year has arrived for many and is arriving soon for others. That means that soon network printers in schools all across the land will be filled with papers printed and forgotten. Some printing seems to be unavoidable while other printing, like that 33 page Wikipedia article to capture two paragraphs, is completely avoidable. Here are some services that can help you and your students conserve paper in your school.

When you receive a document in email that needs to be signed, don't print it. Instead of printing it try using HelloSign. HelloSign is a free tool for digitally signing documents. HelloSign can be used as a Chrome extension, as a Gmail plug-in, as an iOS app, or as an Android app. The service is free to use for three documents per month. You can earn additional documents by inviting colleagues to use HelloSign.

Printliminator is a handy little bookmarklet for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Printliminator allows you to highlight a webpage and select only the elements which you wish to print. You can install Printliminator in seconds by just clicking and dragging it into your browser's toolbar.

Evernote Clearly wasn't specifically designed for saving ink and paper when printing, but that is one of the benefits of using it. Clearly strips the sidebar content of a webpage. You can send the cleaned-up version directly to your Evernote account for easy reading whenever you open your Evernote account. You can print the cleaned-up article from your Evernote account.

Try Tackk for Promoting and Organizing Event Registrations

Tackk is a nice service for creating simple webpages, announcement pages, and digital portfolios. I've featured Tackk a couple of times in the past. The latest update to Tackk introduced an RSVP option.

When you create an announcement or event page on Tackk you have the option to use an RSVP widget. The RSVP option allows visitors to specify how many people they are bringing to your event and to enter comments like, "I'll bring cookies to the bake sale."

Applications for Education
Creating a Tackk event page with the RSVP widget could be a good way to quickly advertise a school event and get a sense of how many people will attend. As I hinted at above, Tackk event pages could be good for advertising and organizing an event like a PTA bake sale.

How to Find and Credit Creative Commons Images from Flickr

Flickr can be a good place to find Creative Commons licensed images to use in blog posts, slides, and other multimedia presentations. The Flickr CC Attribution Helper makes it easy to format proper attributions for the CC licensed images that you use. In the video below I demonstrate how to find images and how to use the Flickr CC Attribution Helper.

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by dawnhops:

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