Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chem Reference - An Online Periodic Table

Chem Reference is an online periodic table of elements that offers a couple of handy features for students. Students can select an element on the table to open a list of key facts about that element. Additionally, Chem Reference provides a simple visualization of the structure of each element. Students can also click through Chem Reference to the Wikipedia entry for each element.

Applications for Education
Chem Referene could be a handy reference site for high school chemistry students. Chem Reference is available as a Chrome Web App so if you're students are Chrome users they can easily access the periodic table whenever they have their laptops open.

A To-Do List Without Opening a New Window

There is no shortage of free and simple to-do list services available on the web. One problem with many of them is that you have to open a new window or a new application to use them. To Do List from the Chrome Web Store is an exception to that pattern. To Do List operates within whatever Chrome browser window you have open. Once you have To Do List installed (it takes just seconds to install) just click on its icon in your browser toolbar to open it and start adding or deleting items from your to-do list.

To Do List for Chrome makes it easy to add, delete, and rearrange items in your list. To add a new item just type it in. To delete and item just click on the trash bin next to the item's name. To rearranges items just drag and drop them into order. In your browser toolbar To Do List for Chrome keeps a small running display of the number of items currently in your list.

Applications for Education
One of the biggest obstacles to to-do list adoption by students is getting in the habit of using one. Often to-do list services require a separate log-in, new window, or new application to be useful and students feel like they "can't be bothered." To Do List for Chrome doesn't have any of those obstacles. To Do List for Chrome is so easy to use that there is really no excuse not to use it.

Clip Choose - Create Video-based Polls

There are lots of tools on the web for creating and hosting polls. You can find a list of some good ones here. Most of those polling services are simply text-based or text and images. Clip Choose is different because your polls are based on videos.

To create a Clip Choose poll you enter the URLs of up to eight YouTube videos. After entering your videos your audience then votes for their favorite video or whatever prompt you give them regarding the videos.

Applications for Education
Clip Choose is one of those resources that I sat on for a couple days because I wasn't quite sure what I would use it for. Then it hit me that Clip Choose could be a good tool to use to create video quizzes for a lesson about bias and propaganda. When teaching students about types of propaganda I could put two or three videos in Clip Choose and ask students to select the one that demonstrates the use of a particular propaganda technique. For example, if I wanted my students to practice recognizing the use of "glittering generalities" I would put in a video that demonstrates that method and two videos that don't.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week in Review - The Labor Day Weekend Edition

Greetings from Maine where my dog (Morrison) and I are getting ready for some canoeing and fishing this afternoon. I hope that all of you have equally fun plans for the long weekend. Before we head out for fun in the sun Morrison and I sat down to review the most popular posts of the week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Apps Students Can Use to Never Lose Handwritten Notes Again
2. myHistro - A Timeline and Mapping Tool in One
3. Street View of Mesoamerican Historical Sites
4. Just Another Reason I Love Chrome...
5. Keen Talks Aims to Provide Food for Thought
6. Spelling City for iPad and iPhone
7. Videos - Neil Armstrong and the Moon

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A Cleaner YouTube Viewing Experience

Throughout all of the workshops and presentations that I did this summer one of the most popular tools that I shared was A Cleaner Internet. A Cleaner Internet is an extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. The extension allows you to search YouTube and view YouTube videos without viewing the "related" content, advertisements, and comments that appear on YouTube.

Applications for Education
If you want to show YouTube videos in your classroom but you're afraid of what might appear around  the video, install A Cleaner Internet.