Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tell Your Administrators, EdCamp Leadership Happens This Summer

On Sunday I published my video interview with one of the founders of the EdCamp Foundation, Dr. Kristen Swanson. Since then I learned from Kevin Jarrett about EdCamp Leadership.

EdCamp Leadership is an EdCamp for school administrators to connect and share their ideas about school leadership. The event is going to be held on July 26th at the Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA) Administration Conference and Training Center in Monroe Township, New Jersey. Like all EdCamp events, EdCamp Leadership is free and anyone can lead a session about a topic that is important to him or her. You can register for the event here

Pace Recorder Helps Students Pace Speeches

PaceRecorder is a simple Android app that records your voice and gives you instant feedback about the pace with which you are speaking. The feedback comes in the form of three simple symbols; a turtle, a rabbit, and a thumbs-up. If the turtle appears while you're speaking it indicates that you're relaxed or perhaps a bit too slow. The rabbit indicates excitement and perhaps that you're speaking a bit too quickly. And, of course, the thumbs-up means you're right on track.

Here is a demo of PaceRecorder.



Applications for Education
One of the nervous habits that most people have when they speak to a large audience is to speak too quickly. This is especially true for students who are giving presentations to a group for the first time. PaceRecorder is a free Android app that aims to help people better pace their speeches.

Typing Club for Google Chrome & A New Teacher Portal

Typing Club is a popular website offering free online touch typing lessons for students of all ages. Recently, through an email from one the Typing Club founders, I learned that Typing Club is available as a Google Chrome Web App. The Web App functions the same way as the website. As you type you are given instant real-time feedback about your accuracy and speed. Unlike other typing lessons that make you wait until an activity is completed to determine your accuracy or speed, Typing Club recalculates that information with each keystroke.

Applications for Education
Typing Club provides a free portal service for teachers to use to track their students' progress. In addition to use of the standard lessons, the portal service allows teachers to create customized lessons for their students.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This is Cool! Albert Einstein's Library Online

Through the Open Culture blog I just learned that more than 80,000 of Albert Einstein's documents and drawings are now available to view for free at Einstein Archives Online. The archives include not only his scientific work but also his images and documents from his travels and thoughts on the world in general.

Applications for Education
I haven't had much time to look at the Einstein Archives yet (I'm boarding a plane in two minutes), but I think that it has the potential to be a great resource for science, math, and history teachers who their students to research the development of Einstein's ideas over the course of his life. After I get more time to browse the archives, I'll update this post.

Google Earth Tour of James Cook's Exploration of Australia

Well-constructed Google Earth tours can be excellent multimedia alternatives to textbooks. One such example of this is a collection of Google Earth files about Captain James Cook's exploration of Australia and New Zealand. The files contain animations and audio explanations of Cook's explorations of the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. I learned about these files from the Google Earth Blog. You can read more about the construction of these files on the Google Earth Blog.

Download Cook's Exploration of Australia (warning, it's a very large file).
Download Cook's Circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Download Cook's Circumnavigation of South Island, New Zealand.

Applications for Education
These files could provide helpful audio and visual aids for teachers of history and world geography.