Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Minute Halloween Resources for Teachers

I ran this post last Monday, but just in case you missed it here are some last minute Halloween resources. And below is the Google Doodle video for today. 

Halloween is just one week away. This morning on I found a few Halloween-themed resources that you might want to put on your classroom website or share in another manner.

All About the Pumpkin is a short video overview of pumpkin statistics.

Halloween by the Numbers is an infographic of pumpkin and candy statistics.

Looking for some pumpkin carving ideas? Check out this set of carving templates. I like the template for carving Mount Rushmore.

Here are some of my Halloween resources from past years:
Halloween Safety Sites
Mapping Halloween
Halloween History and Games - Reformation Day Too
National Geographic Halloween History and Games
20 Ideas for Academic Halloween Costumes
A GIMP Halloween Project

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Identify the Stars and Planets Using Your iPhone

Through my friend Angela Maiers I recently learned about a neat augmented reality iPhone app that helps users identify the stars and planets. Star & Planet Finder enables you to locate the planets and stars in the night sky through your  iPhone or iPad. To use the app, select from a list the planet or constellation you want to locate. Star & Planet Finder will then give you directions to move your iPhone or iPad until you can see through the camera display the planet that you're looking for. The free version of the app only identifies planets. For $.99 each you can add lists of constellations, lists of satellites, and lists of brightest stars to the app.

On a related note, if you're not quite sure what augmented reality is, check out Augmented Reality in Plain English.

Applications for Education
Unless you work in a boarding school, not many of us have our students at night. But that doesn't mean we couldn't pass along this app to our students to use for their own independent learning and discovery at home.

Projeqt - Create Visual Stories from Your Digital Content

There doesn't seem to be any shortage of services for collating and displaying the content you find online. One popular example of that is Projeqt takes that idea one step farther by introducing your own content to your display. Using Projeqt you can mix content from the web with your own content to create visual stories about your favorite things.

Using Projeqt you can create a visual story by linking together images, videos, and text. The content you link together can be material that you upload or material that you have found on the web. Learn more about Projeqt and how you can create visual stories in the video below.

projeqt \ how great stories are told from projeqt on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
The display format of Projeqt seems to be well suited to having students create timelines of events. Students could also use Projeqt to create visual biographies.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have You Checked Your Facebook Apps Recently?

I couple of days ago I highlighted Google Good to Know which explains a lot of what you need to know about how Google and other companies collect and use data about your browsing habits. Today, I'd like to remind you to check up on the Facebook apps you've authorized.

Remember that Facebook quiz you took last year to figure out which 1980's wrestling star you are most like? Or do you remember that application you used to determine which celebrity haircut best suits the shape of your face? Unless you've gone into your apps authorization menu and deactivate those apps, they could still be collected information about you. And depending on what the app was authorized to do, it could post to your wall on your behalf.

Applications for Education
Why should you care about this? Because as professionals who are in the public view (yes, even those of you who have very restrictive settings on your Facebook account) you don't want to have a long-forgotten Facebook app to either post on your behalf or worse yet if the app itself is compromised running the risk of your account being compromised. I'm not saying that you should go into your Apps settings menu and deactivate all of your apps. But you should take a look and see what you have authorized and since forgotten about. If it's not something you've used in the last six months, deactivate it.

Pass this reminder and information along to your students too. Facebook is a huge part of many students' digital footprints, they should be actively managing that footprint.

I also recommend reading Wes Fryer's blog post about using Socioclean to manage your digital footprint.

Week in Review - Here Comes the Snow

Good morning from Greenwood, Maine where we're getting ready for the first snow storm of the year. Before I went searching for a snow shovel, I put together this week's list of the most popular posts of the week on Free Technology for Teachers.

1. 3 Interesting Services to Help Students Study Together
2.  Apps for Autism - A 60 Minutes Story
3. Friends with Brainefits - Study With Your Facebook Friends
4. Sidevibe - Turning Websites into Lesson Plans
5. Bloom' Android - Android Apps to Match Bloom's Revised Taxonomy
6. Textbooks, Wikipedia, and Primary Sources Comparison
7. Warm Up Activities for Brainstorming

Image Credit: Sarah Sutter
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