Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teaching Mom Twitter

So I'm not actually trying to teach my mom to use Twitter, but it makes for a nice title to this post. Mom, This Is How Twitter Works is an excellent explanation with visuals and text of how Twitter works. The post, written by Jessica Hische, explains everything you need to know about Twitter. Want to know what a reTweet is? That's covered. Do you want to know which things on your timeline can or can't be seen by others? That's explained. And just how does Twitter compare to Facebook? Jessica has that covered too.

Applications for Education
If you have ever tried Twitter, but just didn't "get it" Mom, This Is How Twitter Works is for you. If you're trying to get your colleagues to try Twitter to build their own personal learning networks online, Mom, This Is How Twitter Works could be a good primer to have them read and or reference.

Thanks to Steven Anderson for sharing this resource last week on Twitter, of course.

Where Should Waste Go? An Interactive Lesson on Recycling

My Garbology, produced by Nature Bridge, is an interactive game that teaches students about sorting garbage for recycling, reusing, and composting. Students sort garbage into four bins according to where they think each piece of garbage should go. When a piece of garbage is sorted correctly a series of short animations explains why it should be there.  For example, a banana peel should be sorted into the compost bin. When the banana peel is placed into the compost bin students watch and hear a series of animations explaining how composting works.

Sort the used tee shirt into the reuse bin and you can learn how much water is used to produce one cotton tee shirt, how far that tee shirt could travel to get to market, and how long the average American keeps clothing before disposing of it.

Applications for Education
In addition to the interactive game and animations, My Garbology offers a series of lesson plans for all grade levels. These lesson plans encourage students to explore their own impact on the environment and to take action to reduce the amount of garbage that they produce. My Garbology also offers some activities that parents and their children can do at home to learn about recycling and reducing waste.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Teaching Parents and Others About Passwords

In 2010 Google launched Teach Parents Tech to help people teach their parents (and others) some basic computer and web browsing skills. Teach Parents Tech is a handy site that I have used with my own parents. But last night, I played the role of in-person tech support as I tried to explain computer viruses to my step-father. He wasn't accepting my explanations so I went to my Common Craft library and pulled up Computer Viruses and Threats Explained by Common Craft.
After watching the video we talked about creating strong passwords to reduce the risk of having an account compromised. While I didn't show my step-father this video, I do think it is a good way to explain how to create strong passwords.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Applications for Education
If you're trying to teach your parents, students, or anyone else how to protect their computers and personal information, these videos can be helpful. Sometimes just hearing the same explanation in a different voice makes  the lesson easier for an audience to remember.

Geography, Class, and Fate - Titanic Passengers

F.G.O. Stuart
Geography, Class, and Fate is an interesting map of Titanic passenger data. The map shows where each passenger was from, which class they were traveling in, and whether or not they survived the Titanic's sinking. Click the placemarks on the map to learn the passengers' names, where they were from, and the class of service in which they traveled.

The BBC has a wealth of information about the Titanic. One of the resources they have featured right now is Titanic: Faces of the Crew. Click on the pictures of the crew to reveal their names. You can filter the display according to gender, position in the crew, and whether or not a crew member survived.

Applications for Education
Students could use both of these resources to make comparisons and correlations between the class of service a person traveled in, role in the crew, gender, and his or her likelihood of survival. The map includes the names of all registered passengers on the ship while The Faces of the Crew does not list all crew members names.

H/T to Google Maps Mania and Larry Ferlazzo for these fine resources.

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good afternoon from Maine. Rarely do I post this late on a Saturday, but I spent the morning taking my mother out for her birthday brunch. Not to fear, I have the week in review primed and ready to go now. I should note that the week in review is one of the most popular posts every week, but I have never linked back to it because I'm afraid of creating an infinite loop of chasing old links. That could change if you want it to. I'm looking for your feedback, should I link to previous week in review posts if they do rank as one of the most-read posts of the week?

Here are the most popular posts of the last week:
1. Google Docs for Teachers - A Free eBook
2. How to Use Evernote for Bookmarking and More
3. Snapify - A Tool to Quickly Find Definitions and Related Websites
4. Video - Using Flubaroo to Grade Quizzes
5. Storyline Online - Actors Reading Stories to Kids
6. mySchoolNotebook - Organize Your Notes and More
7. Collaborative Writing Across Multiple Grades


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