Friday, November 11, 2011

KinderTown - Find Apps for Pre-K Students

KinderTown is a new service and iPhone / iPad app designed to help parents find the best educational apps for their pre-K children. KindetTown reviews iOS apps and categorizes them according to content area (Social Studies, Math, Language, Art, and Science). To find an app appropriate for your child select the device your child is using, select your child's age, and select a content area. After making those selections KinderTown will generate a list of appropriate apps. Watch the video below to learn more.

For information about the background on KinderTown, read this TechCrunch article.

Applications for Education
If you have small children at home who grab your iPad or iPhone from you, KinderTown could be a good app for you. Likewise, if you teach pre-K students and have iPads KinderTown could be a time-saver when you're looking for apps for your students.

Kids Health in the Classroom

Kids Health in the Classroom is a great place to find lesson plans, videos, and games for teaching personal health topics to students of all ages. For teachers the biggest feature of Kids Health in the Classroom is the large set of teacher's guides containing lesson plans, activities, and worksheets available as free PDF downloads. The teacher's guides are divided into five grade level categories from pre-K through high school. Above the pre-K level the guides are divided into three categories; human body, health problems, and personal health.

Kids Health in the Classroom hosts The Game Closet containing games, movies, quizzes, and activities for learning about topics in health. The contents of The Game Closet has a section for teenagers and a section for younger students.

Applications for Education
If teaching personal health lessons is a part of your teaching responsibilities, Kids Health in the Classroom could be a great resource for you to bookmark. The Game Closet could provide some individual activities that your students can do to reinforce the ideas that you teach in your classroom.

What I'm Doing With Google+ Now

Since I was asked earlier today about my Google+ postings, I think I should share with you how I'm currently using it and what I plan to do with it. When Google+ initially launched you could only sign-up as an individual using your real name. In fact, if you didn't use your real name Google could and did kick you off. I actually liked that element of Google+ because it eliminated the anonymous spamming that can happen on Twitter. I didn't use Google+ nearly as much as Twitter or Facebook at first. I slowly found myself building circles that I did find useful, but I have to admit that I didn't have a real system or plan as to how I was constructing circles. Everything changed this week when Google launched Google+ Pages.

Google+ Pages allows organizations and brands (like Free Technology for Teachers) to create a presence on Google+. Upon learning this news I immediately created a Google+ Page for Free Technology for Teachers. Moving forward, the Google+ Page for Free Technology for Teachers is where I will post links to the things I publish here. I will also use the Google+ Page to share, +1, and re-share interesting things related to education that are posted by others. Right now I am putting everyone that puts Free Technology for Teachers into their circles into my circle of followers so that I can see what you're publicly sharing too. One of the things that Google has done right with Google+ Pages is preventing Pages creators from adding people to their circles that have not been added by an individual. In other words, I can't put you into my Google+ Page circle unless you have put me in a circle. I think that's a good anti-spam measure on Google's part.

Because a lot of people have put me, Richard Byrne, into their circles I will continue to cross post between my personal Google+ account and the Free Technology for Teachers Google+ Page for a couple of more weeks. After that I will only use my personal Google+ account for interacting with friends without posts linking back to Free Technology for Teachers. So for those of you who have put me and Free Technology for Teachers in circles, I apologize for the double posting and promise that it will end at Thanksgiving (the US version of the holiday).

Hangouts are one of the neat features of Google+ that I've been using sporadically with some of my friends. Moving forward I would like to use Google+ Hangouts to connect with readers. I don't yet have firm plans for how I'll do that, but I'll let you know here and on the Google+ Page for Free Technology for Teachers.

11 Resources for Geography Awareness Week 2011

Next week is Geography Awareness Week. For this year's Geography Awareness Week National Geographic has created a website called Mission Explore. Mission Explore is a series of challenge activities designed to get students explore, record, and think about the geography of their communities. Some of the challenge activities ask students to create a maze, photograph evidence, write a play, and make observations about the sounds, sights, and smells of their communities. You can view the Mission Explore challenges online or download a PDF of all of the challenge activities.

Here are ten geography resources that I've previously reviewed:
Explore a Map of 900+ UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Learn More About Geocaching
10 Interactive Geography Games and Maps
A Visual Guide to Global Trends
Trip Films - Travel Videos
60+ Virtual Tours and Webcams for Social Studies
Maps Compare - Four Maps on One Page
The True Size of Africa
GeoQuiz - Create Your Own Interactive Geography Games
Exploring Art Through Geography

A Map of the Brain

In the TED Talk below Allan Jones explains and shows how he and his team are creating a map of the brain. This is a great talk for biology teachers, biology students, and anyone else interested in learning a bit more about how the parts of our brains work together. One word of caution, as always, if you think you might show this in your classroom preview it ahead of time because there are a couple of images that might not be for the faint of heart.

The talk above pairs nicely with Jill Bolte Taylor's TED Talk, How It Feels to Have a Stroke.

A couple of related items that you might go nicely with this talk are BioDigital Human and Healthline Body Maps.