Friday, October 12, 2012

Teachem - Another Way to Comment on Educational Videos

Teachem is a new service that is using the TED Ed model of creating lessons based on video. On Teachem teachers can build courses that are composed of a series of videos hosted on YouTube. Teachers can write questions and comments in "flashcards" that are tied to specific parts of each video and display next to each video. Students can take notes while watching the videos using the Teachem SmartNote system.

I created a sample course in Teachem. That was a straight-forward process of adding a video URL then typing out questions. When you create a Teachem course you can make it public or private. Public courses can be accessed by anyone that has address for your course. Public courses are supposed to be discoverable on Teachem, but I had trouble locating any courses that weren't created by me.

Applications for Education
Teachem isn't a revolutionary tool by any stretch of the imagination, it's basically another way to flip your classroom (read my concerns about flipped classrooms here). That said, Teachem it could be useful for organizing short review or introductory activities for your students.

The Noun Project - A Library of Universal Icon Clipart

The Noun Project is a great collection of clipart of universal icons. I looked at the collection eighteen months ago. This morning a post on Cool Infographics got me to look at the Noun Project again. The catalog now contains twelve categories of public domain, Creative Commons, and royalty-free icons. Learn more about the Noun Project in the short video below.

Building a Global Visual Language from The Noun Project on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
If your students need simple images for illustrations, diagrams, or multimedia projects, the Noun Project is a good resource for them to browse through.

Meritful - A Network Connecting Students with Mentors

Meritful is a new network that aims to help students connect with mentors. On Meritful students will be able to find mentors who can advise them on their resumes, applications, and portfolios. Students can also ask mentors questions about the career fields that they are interested in. Students and mentors gain merit points for expanding their networks and for answering questions.

Applications for Education
The concept behind Meritful is good, but I want to see some more privacy controls put in place before I can recommend it for use in high schools. I was able to create both student and mentor accounts without having to enter any questions about my status as a student or mentor. The only question that I had to answer as a mentor was, "are you affiliated with a school and which one?" There wasn't a requirement to have an email address issued by that school or any other affiliation verification.

College students may be interested in connecting with each other and with mentors to help them prepare for job interviews. Meritful is kind of like LinkedIn for college students.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Electoral College in Plain English

Election Day is less than one month away in the United States. If you're planning to discuss the Electoral College with your students in the next month, consider using The Electoral College in Plain English as a part of your lesson. The video, produced by Common Craft, is now available to embed in your classroom blog or website. Common Craft doesn't usually make embed codes available if you don't a membership in their library so grab this video while you can.

Google Adds 250,000 Miles of Street View Imagery to Google Maps

Browsing Google Maps Street View is one of my favorite ways to virtually explore the world. Browsing Street View imagery provides a prospective that I generally can't get by flipping through printed images or looking at flat maps. Yesterday, Google made 250,000 more miles of Street View imagery available. The new imagery includes new views of tourist attractions, historical landmarks, parks, and city centers. New imagery can be found for locations in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the United States, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. There is also some new imagery in special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico.

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