Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Month Left to Enter The Kids' Science Challenge

Back in October I wrote about the Kids' Science Challenge. A post on Fred Delventhal's blog just reminded me about it. There is one month left for students in grades three through six to enter the Kids' Science Challenge.

The Kids' Science Challenge is a national (United States) contest for students in grades three through six. The challenge asks students to innovate and build upon on our current conceptions of how things work. There are three areas of innovation in this year's contest; reducing waste, developing meals to be eaten on Mars, and developing a toy or game that demonstrates an animal's intelligence. The contest is open until February 29, 2012.

Applications for Education
To help students start thinking about the topics in The Kids' Science Challenge, the challenge website has a series of games and videos for students. For teachers, The Kids' Science Challenge offers a page of lesson plans and hands-on activities designed to help students develop ideas related to the contest's three challenge topics.

The Psychology of Color

The Psychology of Color is an infographic from Painters of Louisville. This simple infographic explain the feelings that people have in response to certain colors. The infographic also gives some examples of colors used in the marketing efforts of well-known brands and why those colors are used. I dropped the infographic into to make it fit in the space below.

Applications for Education
If you have students developing their own blogs, The Psychology of Color could be a good reference for them to use when they choose the color schemes for their blogs.

H/T to Cool Infographics

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Month in Review - January's Most Popular Posts

It's hard to believe it, but the first month of 2012 is just about over (or is over depending on when and where you are reading this). 2012 is off to a great start for Free Technology for Teachers. Thanks to all of you and your sharing of the posts here, this month saw a new record for pageviews. In January, for the first time ever, Free Technology for Teachers surpassed 700,000 pageviews! When I started this blog four and a half years ago I never imagined that it would grow like it has. Thank you all for your continued support.

Here are the most popular posts from January, 2012:
1. 10 Useful Chrome Web Apps and Extensions for Teachers and Students
2. Evernote in Education
3. Investigating the Interest in Pinterest
4. The School That Launched 1,000 iPads
5. Seven Ways to Quickly and Easily Share Files
6. Video - How to Find Creative Commons Images
7. Get the Math - Multimedia Algebra Challenges
8. Free 2012 Calendar Templates
9. Interactive Animated Heart
10. Free Download - Ten Digital Storytelling Projects

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Edublogs provides blog hosting for teachers and students. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers. In February I will be holding a free public webinar through UMBC.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools. I will be speaking at their winter conference on March 3.

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An Animated Guide to Electric Circuits

The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits is a neat series of interactive animations designed to help students of elementary and middle school age learn how electric circuits work. There are five sections to the series. Each sections builds upon the lessons of the previous section. The series starts with the basics of what makes a circuit complete and concludes with diagramming and building circuits. Each section in the series has a few short lessons and is followed by an animated interactive activity to which students can apply what they have just learned. 

Applications for Education
The name, "Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits" reminded me a bit of the Squishy Circuits activity that I wrote about last fall. The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits could be a good way for students to learn about electric circuits before you attempt a classroom activity like that of Squishy Circuits

Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for sharing this great resource on Twitter. 

Announcify - A Great Text to Speech App

Announcify is a free text to speech application that is available as a Chrome browser extension and as an Android app. With Announcify installed in your browser any time you're viewing a webpage you can simply click on the Announcify icon in your browser and have that page read to you. A bonus aspect of using Announcify is that in order to make a webpage easier to read it enlarges the text of the webpage and removes all sidebar content. In the video below I provide a short demonstration of Announcify.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video above, Announcify could be a great little tool for students that need audio support when they are reading online content. The enlargement of text and removal of sidebar content could also help students focus on what they are trying to read on a webpage.