Monday, December 24, 2012

Where's Santa?

This is just a quick reminder for my friends that are celebrating Christmas with small children this year. Google Maps and Google Earth can be used to track Santa Claus through the night. You can do this on the web, on an Android device, and on an iOS device. Click here for Google's official post on the topic.

Happy Holidays to all! I'm off to put up some decorations now.

Detext Could Put the Brakes on Distracted Teen Driving

 Detext is an Android application that is designed to prevent a phone from accepting or sending calls and texts while it is in a moving vehicle. The application will send an automated message back to anyone that tries to call or text the phone while it is in a moving vehicle. Detext can be installed by parents on their teenagers' phones. In addition to blocking incoming calls and texts parents can set Detext to send an alert to their phones if their teenage drivers are speeding.

Applications for Education
The high school in my school district as well as many surrounding districts have launched aggressive campaigns about distracted driving. Awareness of apps like Detext could be good items to include the educational materials distributed to parents and their teenage drivers.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The "Other" U.S. Election

In November the choice of U.S. President was all but decided. But the results don't become official until all of the Electoral votes are certified and counted. Last week Glenn Wiebe reminded me of that procedural fact. In the four minute video below viewers learn how the Electoral votes are counted and the role that the National Archives plays in the procedure.


On an related note, I still remember watching, as a college senior minoring in Political Science, Al Gore preside over the counting of these votes in 2000 and thinking how awkward that must have felt.

Applications for Education
Many of my students over the years have asked, "what if an Electoral doesn't honor the people's will?" This video provides the answer. 

A Crash Course in Ecology

Last week I featured John Green's Crash Course on The Great Gatsby and literature in general. This evening I'd like to point out Green's equally good crash course in Ecology. Like his other crash courses the Ecology crash course is comprised of fast paced overviews of important points. Watching these videos won't replace the need for a good teacher, but they can certainly reinforce or introduce a topic. The playlist is embedded below.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Week in Review - The Family Grows

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. This week my little family grew by one as I adopted another dog from Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. Max is a two year old Lab and Pointer mix. He and Morrison are getting along well even if Morrison doesn't quite understand all of Max's antics.

As I shared last week, my "family" of blogs grew this month too as I am now actively maintaining iPad Apps for School in addition to Android for Schools and Free Technology for Teachers. As of this morning more than 2,500 people have already subscribed to iPad Apps for School. Thank you all for continuing to support my blogging efforts through your Tweets, reTweets, Pins, comments, and emails.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Three Approaches to Classroom Blogging
2. Video - How to Create Infographics
3. How to Open and Edit Word Files in Google Drive
4. A Guided Tour Inside the International Space Station
5. How to Use Google Docs Offline
6. Common Curriculum Adds Support for Links and Files in Common Core Lesson Plans
7. Planwise Can Help Students Plan Their Financial Futures

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