Monday, October 15, 2012

60 Second Lessons on Religion

Sometimes I come across things on the web that immediately make me think of someone that I've worked with in the past. This morning that is exactly what happened when I saw Open Culture's post about the Open University's new 60 Second Adventures in Religion videos. I'm quite sure that my former colleague Bree Roy will be interested in using these videos as short introductions to theories and philosophies about religion. These videos aren't about specific religions rather they're about how theorists have explained religion.

Applications for Education
In addition to being used as short introductions to theories about religion, these videos provide a model for simple animated explanations. Your students could use video creation tools like PowToon to create their own explanations.

Ad Libs - Create Your Own Campaign Commercial

Mozilla and PBS Newshour have teamed up to create a the Ad Libs campaign commercial generator. Ad Libs allows you to create your own short campaign commercial featuring you as a candidate. Ad Libs is like Mad Libs as you fill in the blanks to create a story. To generate your commercial you need to sign in with your Facebook account. To fill in the blanks in the Ad Libs commercial creator you select pictures and quotes from your Facebook profile.

A neat bonus aspect of Ad Libs is that as you create your commercial you can watch a few clips of commercials from past campaigns. That's how I found this old Clinton campaign commercial from 1992.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Falling Faster Than the Speed of Sound

Earlier today Felix Baumgartner survived his sky dive from more than 24 miles above the Earth's surface. In doing so he became the first person to break the sound barrier without an engine. The Red Bull Stratos website is packed with information about the science and technology involved in the jump. Two videos from the site that might be of interest to science teachers and their students are Speed of Sound Explained and this video about the balloon that lifted Baumgartner more than 128,000 feet above sea level.

I recommend visiting Larry Ferlazzo's blog for a list of graphics and images outside of the Red Bull website. I particularly like this infographic that Larry listed.

Math vs. Zombies - A Halloween Math Game

Math vs. Zombies is a free iPad game with a Halloween theme. The game is has three virtual worlds each containing ten levels of basic math problems. The object of the game is to correctly solve as many math problems as possible before the zombies catch you. The math of the game is basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Applications for Education
If you're comfortable having your students play math games that have a zombie and Halloween theme Math vs. Zombies offers engaging practice activities. Tap to Learn, the producers of Math vs. Zombies, offers a few non-zombie math games if you're looking for something else to try on your iPad.

Tap to Learn Grammar App

Tap to Learn produces educational apps for Android and iOS. I recently installed their Grammar app on my Nexus 7 tablet. The Tap to Learn Grammar app for Android offers more than 200 self-paced grammar lessons. The lessons don't have videos embedded in them, but there are links to external videos hosted on YouTube. After working through a lesson students can test put their new knowledge to the test in quizzes that provide instant feedback. The app records students' progress for them.
Applications for Education
Using Tap to Learn's Grammar app isn't a revolutionary approach to learning. That said, if you're looking for an Android app that your students can use to practice and track their progress in developing their grammar skills.