Saturday, January 14, 2012

Brain Pickings - A Daily Bit of Culture and Thought

As I've mentioned numerous times in the past, Open Culture is one of my favorite blogs for interesting and academic videos, ebooks, slideshows, and stories. Recently, I started reading another blog that is similar to Open Culture. That blog is called Brain Pickings. These are a couple of posts on Brain Pickings that I enjoyed this week: Elevator Group Think and The Hidden Beauty of Pollination.

Applications for Education
If you're a social studies teacher or literature teacher looking to bring a quick bit of culture or a thought-prompt into your classroom, Brain Pickings might have what you need. If not, it's just a cool blog for your own intellectual enjoyment.

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Image Source: Flickr Commons
Good morning from Maine where it finally feels like winter. In fact, it's so wintery that I can finally go ice fishing this weekend. But before I start drilling holes in the ice I have to post this week's list of the most-read posts of the week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Investigating the Interest in Pinterest
2. Free 2012 Calendar Templates
3. Evernote in Education
4. Lit Charts - Color Coded Printable Outlines of Classic Literature
5. Create a Mobile Language Lesson With QR Voice
6. Photo Pin - Royalty-free Image Search
7. Interactive Animated Heart

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Friday, January 13, 2012

A Math Lesson from an NBA Legend

Dan Meyer shared this video earlier on Twitter and I just have to pass it along. NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal is now a host on TNT's Inside the NBA show. Last night he had a little trouble calculating percentages. I used Embed Plus to queue-up the video to the section in which he struggles with the calculation.

Applications for Education
Queue-up the video and show it to your students. Stop it before the correct answer is explained to Shaq and ask your students why Charles Barkley is laughing at Shaq's comment.

Work With Up To 31 Days of Gmail Messages While Offline

Yesterday, on the Official Gmail Blog, Google announced a couple of nice enhancements to the Offline Google Mail Chrome Web App. Now you can choose to synchronize seven, fourteen, or thirty-one days of Gmail messages to work with offline. When you use the Offline Google Mail Chrome Web App you can read and respond to messages without an Internet connection. Then when you reconnect to the Internet your mail will be synced and your messages sent.

Another nice enhancement add to the Offline Google Mail Chrome Web App is support for attachments. Now not only will your messages be downloaded and synced, the attachments to your messages will be too.

Applications for Education
Offline Google Mail Chrome Web App is a great resource for anyone who wants to be able to work with their email even when their disconnected from the web.

PassCreator Helps You Create Strong Passwords

One of the best ways to protect your online identity is to create strong passwords containing unique characters. Sometimes it's difficult to think of new strong passwords. When you're having a mental block thinking up a new password try PassCreator. PassCreator is a free service that helps you create a strong password. To use PassCreator just select the attributes you want your password to have (number of characters, character type, etc.) then press "create." If you don't like the password created for you, just press "create" again to generate another password.

Applications for Education
If your students are having trouble coming up with secure passwords, have them try PassCreator. In my experience it's often teachers that have weak passwords (using the default "HelpDesk" or "ABC123" password given to you is a bad idea). If you're in charge of distributing laptops or tablets to the faculty at your school, have teachers try PassCreator to generate a strong password.