Monday, February 27, 2012

Testing The Pinvolve App for Facebook

This has nothing to do with teaching, but it does have a little to do with Free Technology for Teachers. If you have "liked" Free Technology for Teachers on Facebook or if you haven't but do so now, you should see a new layout for the posts that I put there. I'm testing an app called Pinvolve that is designed to make it easier to pin items from Facebook to Pinterest. Basically, the app turns your wall posts into a Pinterest-like layout. When you place your mouse pointer over the story a Pin It button should appear so that you can quickly send the link to Pinterest. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

H/T to GO2WEB20 for the info about Pinvolve.

Explain It To Me Explains Concussions

When I was playing sports in school I don't think anyone ever mentioned the word concussion to us. Subsequently, I'm sure that one or more of my classmates had undiagnosed concussions. Fortunately, that is not the case for today's student-athletes. Today, we hear about concussions in professional and amateur athletes quite frequently. But what is a concussion and how do they happen? Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the answers to those questions and more in the episode of CNN's Explain It To Me series embedded below.

Kwiqpoll - Simple Web Polls

Kwiqpoll is a simple tool for quickly creating and posting polls. To create a poll with Kwiqpoll just visit the site, type a question, type your answer choices, and go. Your poll can stay online for three or seven days. Kwiqpoll assigns a unique url to each of your polls. Give that url to the audience that you want to participate in your poll. Here's the link to a simple poll that I made.

Applications for Education
Kwiqpoll could be a good tool for quickly gathering anonymous feedback from students on things like how long it took them to complete a homework assignment or how prepared they feel for an upcoming assessment.

H/T to Larry Ferlazzo.

iNaturalist - Record and Share Observations of Nature

iNaturalist is a community website for sharing pictures and observations of plants and animals. To enable easy sharing of observations, iNaturalist offers a free Android app and a free iOS app. Using the apps you can take a picture, geo-locate it, write your observations, and upload to the iNaturalist community. If your observation is incomplete, for example if you're not sure of a scientific name, you can ask the community to add comments to improve the recording of your observation.

If you don't want to join the iNaturalist community, you can simply explore members' observations through the iNaturalist Google Map.

Applications for Education
I learned about iNaturalist through an excellent post on the Google Lat Long Blog that outlined the efforts of a group to compile a large collection of observations about the Pepperwood Preserve in California. Pick a woodlot or nature preserve in your area and have your school build a record of observations about that area.

CNN Student News - Elections in Syria and Russia

Today's episode of CNN Student News leads-off with a couple of segment about elections in Syria and Russia. The segment about elections in Russia include interviews with people on the street. Today's episode also includes a couple of good discussion questions for your students. The first, at the conclusion of a story about a "shoe frenzy," asks students if there is anything they would camp-out to buy. The second discussion question asks students for their thoughts about the idea of paying students to attend school.

Today's episode of CNN Student News is embedded below.