Monday, June 18, 2012

Snag Films - Explore China

It's been a while since I last explored Snag Films. Over the weekend I spent a bit of time browsing the history section of Snag Films and watched an Explore film about China. Explore: China is a forty-five minute overview of the current state of human rights, environmental concerns, public health, and education in China. I was particularly interested in the portion of the film that explores the attitudes toward and the impact of the Three Gorges Dam construction. You can watch a preview of the film below.

Motion Math - iPad Math Games for Kids

Motion Math is a developer of iPad games for kids for pre-K and elementary school students. Motion Math currently offers four free iPad games. I tried all four of the apps on my iPad. The only one of the four that didn't crash on startup was Hungry Fish.

Hungry Fish is a simple iPad game in which students have to feed a fish the numbers that the fish wants. As the game progresses students have to add numbers to feed the fish. Watch a demonstration of Hungry Fish in the video below.

Motion Math: Hungry Fish from Jacob Klein on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Motion Math's Hungry Fish could be a good little game for students to use to practice identifying numbers and practice their basic addition skills.

Web Search Strategies in Plain English

Last fall I wrote 10 Search Tools and Tactics Teachers and Students Need to Know. The first thing on that list was to teach students to stop Googling "what" and "why" questions. In other words, teach students to use better search terms. A good resource that can help students understand web search strategies is Common Craft's Web Search Strategies in Plain English.

The video can be viewed online. If you would like a copy to download or embed into your blog like I have done above you will need to have a Common Craft subscription.

Disclosure: I do have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Encalc - A Free Scientific Calculator

Encalc is a free online scientific calculator that I initially tried more than four years ago. I revisited it this evening and discovered that some more features have been added to it. The two biggest enhancements to note are the addition of a graphing function and the addition of embed codes that you can use to put the calculator on your website. Try Encalc as embedded below.

Applications for Education
Scientific calculators don't come cheap. Some schools have the students buy them other schools provide them and sign them out just like a textbook. Either way someone is absorbing a large cost. Fortunately, for schools and students facing budget crunches, there are web tools like Encalc available for free.

K12 Guide to Going Google

This morning I received an email from a reader who was looking for a template for deploying Google Apps for Education across her school. While I have guides like this one for Google Drive and Docs that is geared toward teachers, I haven't written one from a deployment perspective. Fortunately, I don't have to write that one because Google already has.

Google's K12 Guide to Going Google contains six very detailed sections on deployment of Google Apps for Edu. The guide covers technical integration, outreach, professional development, promotion, launch, and staying up to date. There are step-by-step plans outlined in the technical integration, outreach, and professional development sections. The promotion and launch sections provide templates for your use. The staying up to date section refers administrators to the new Google Apps What's New? site.

Applications for Education
If your school is going Google, the K12 Guide to Going Google is obviously a great resource. But if your school is still gathering information before making a decision about whether or not to "go Google," the K12 Guide to Going Google will give you a good sense of what the process entails.