Monday, November 12, 2012

The Periodic Table of Comic Books

The Periodic Table of Comic Books is a project of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky. The idea is that for every element in the Periodic Table of Elements there is a comic book reference. Clicking on an element in the periodic table displayed on the homepage will take visitors to a list and images of comic book references to that particular element. After looking at the comic book reference if visitors want more information about a particular element they can find it by using the provided link to Web Elements.

Applications for Education
 The Periodic Table of Comic Books could add another element to a Chemistry teacher's bag of tricks for engaging students disinterested in Chemistry. The links to Web Elements provide students with reference materials to help them understand the significance of what they read in the comic book references.

Create Simple Narrated Photostories with Pixntell

Pixntell is an iPad app for quickly creating simple narrated photostories. To create a story using Pixntell all that you need to do is start a new project, select some images, place them in order, and then start talking about each of your pictures. You control the timing for each image. If you want to talk about your first picture for twenty seconds, your second picture for just three seconds, and your third picture for fifteen seconds, you can do that. When your project is complete you can upload it directly to YouTube, share it on Facebook, or send to friends via email.

Applications for Education
The free version of Pixntell limits you to five pictures per project. If you want to use more images in a project you will have to purchase the premium app for $0.99. I think that the five image version of Pixntell could be used effectively in a classroom much like thirty second Animoto videos can be used effectively in classrooms.

You could have students use Pixntell to create short image-based stories about themselves. Pixntell could be used by students to create short book reviews or book trailers. Have your students create drawings about their favorite books. Then they can use their iPads to take pictures of those drawings, upload them to Pixntell, and finally create a short video in which they talk about the best parts of the book.

SendHub - A Fast and Simple Communication Tool

This is a post from one of the advertisers on Free Technology for Teachers.

Kids these days don’t read email. So how do you get them to remember important assignments, tests or messages for their parents? You send them a text.

SendHub is a fast and simple communications tool designed to help educators communicate more effectively with their students after the school day ends. Their simple user interface enables teachers and administrators to make calls, send messages to individual students or entire classes, and also stay in touch with parents.

Here are a few reasons why SendHub might be right for your class:

• Easily build your class database with text to join, or simply import existing contact lists.
• Send messages from your phone or the Web-- communicate the way you want to.
• Schedule assignment or test reminders to be sent to students for any time in the future.
• Share groups with other teachers or administrators without hassle-- then everyone with your group will get changes you make immediately.

Signup for free at

Safely Experiment with Circuits on is a free website on which you can design and test electrical circuits. You can design your circuits using the virtual version of components that you could purchase and place on a circuit board. As you design your circuits, will tell you if your circuits will work or not.

Applications for Education
Earlier this year I shared a run-down of seven good resources for teaching and learning about electricity. In that list you will find Squishy Circuits which offers a fun and safe way for kids to learn about circuits in a hands-on lesson. But if you and your students are ready to move into more complex circuits, you should take a look at

Math Lessons Using Google SketchUp

3DVinci's SketchUp page has some very good resource for mathematics teachers, particularly Geometry teachers. 3DVinci presents a collection of mathematics projects that students can do using Google SketchUp. If you've never used SketchUp, don't worry. 3DVinci hosts video tutorials that will show you everything you need to know to get started using Google SketchUp to teach mathematics.

Applications for Education 
3DVinci's SketchUp projects could be a good resource for teachers who are looking for lesson ideas that will get their students to think about mathematics in a way that isn't just numbers and equations on paper (virtual or physical).