Monday, February 8, 2016

5 Ways Your Students Can Create Digital Valentine's Day Greetings

With Valentine's Day coming up next weekend I'm reminded of filling out little Valentine's Day cards in elementary school. In talking with a friend who teaches elementary school, she confirmed that many classes still do that. Besides paper cards there are other options for creating Valentine's Day greetings.

Animoto has video templates for almost every occasion including Valentine's Day. Students could put together a montage of images about Valentine's Day.

Buncee offers a great option for creating digital greeting cards. Students can choose from a huge assortment of images, animations, and video clips to insert into a blank template. Students can add choose from a huge assortment of font styles to use when writing their greetings. Whatever students create on Buncee can be shared via email and or can be downloaded and printed as a PDF.

Canva, like Buncee, offers a huge assortment of templates for creating cards that can be printed as PDFs or PNG files. Unlike Buncee, Canva only offers static images and not animations to use in digital cards.

Pic-Collage for Kids is a free iPad app that students can use to create collages. In the app students can search for and use digital stamps and stickers. Many of those stamps and stickers are appropriate for Valentine's Day. Students' collages can be saved and printed.

Storyboard That is currently offering a guide to teaching Valentine's Day lessons with storyboards. Included in that guide is a template for creating Valentine's Day cards in which students can create monologues or dialogues for characters that they insert into their cards.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on

PBS Election Central Helps Students Understand US Election Process

PBS Election Central is a collection of educational resources related to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The collection includes interactive maps, virtual field trips, and videos. Within the PBS Election Central collection there are resources appropriate for elementary school, middle school, and high students.

The central feature of PBS Election Central is an interactive map of candidates on the campaign trail. The map displays important and interesting facts about each state and each candidate. The map will show students where a candidate was most recently seen campaigning. Students can also use the map to find quotes from candidates about hot-button campaign topics like immigration, defense spending, and climate change.

The interactive PBS Election Central map is appropriate for middle school and high school students. For elementary school students you will want to explore PBS Kids: The Democracy Project. There you will find resources to help students understand how voting is conducting and why voting is important.

Complete This Free Course and Become a Power Google Searcher

Power Searching With Google is a MOOC that Google initially offered nearly four years ago. The course is facilitated by Dr. Daniel Russell whose work I've featured many times over the years. The latest version of Power Searching With Google opens today and runs for two weeks.

I went through Power Searching With Google the first time it was offered. The course gave me lots of ideas for teaching search strategies.

Advanced Power Searching With Google is a self-paced course that takes you beyond what is offered in Power Searching With Google.

How do Solar Panels Work? - A TED-Ed Lesson

One of the ways that my local school district has tried to reduce oil dependence is to use burning wood chips to heat some school buildings. We do this because solar panels aren't a great option where we live. That begs the question, how do solar panels work? The following TED-Ed lesson answers that question and more. The lesson also explains some of the political and social barriers to using solar panels in more places.

Applications for Education
One way to continue this lesson is to ask students to develop presentations in which they must persuade people to use solar panels to power their businesses or homes.

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