Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Week In Review Featuring Max the Blogging Dog

Click for full size.
Good morning from Maine. I hope that everyone had a great first week of 2013. After a nice blogging vacation I got back to a regular writing routine on January 1. This week I discovered that my newly adopted dog, Max, likes to blog too. As you can see in the picture he thinks he's a lapdog and he is quite curious about the keyboard. He and Morrison make the quite the pair. Max blogs and Morrison guards the home office.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Blubbr - Create Interactive Quizzes Using YouTube Clips
2. 17 Cartoon Videos Explaining the Internet and Internet Safety to Kids
3. Three Questions to Consider Before Flipping Your Classroom
4. Build a Media Gallery With Your Students in 2013
5. Use Duolingo to Learn a New Language in 2013
6. The Story of Exploration in Four Minutes
7. Timer Pop - A Handy Classroom Timer

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Friday, January 4, 2013

XtraMath Helps Teachers and Parents Help Students Learn Basic Mathematics

XtraMath is a free service designed to help teachers and parents help their students learn basic mathematics. The service provides an online environment in which students complete practice activities that are recorded and shared with teachers and parents. Teachers can create classroom accounts in which each child has his or her own log-in credentials. Parents can also be given log-in credentials to see how their children are progressing. Learn more about XtraMath in the videos below.

XtraMath Overview from XtraMath on Vimeo.

XtraMath in the Classroom from XtraMath on Vimeo.

Applications for Education 
XtraMath does not remove the need for students to learn directly from teachers and parents. It's not trying to be like Khan Academy. The purpose of XtraMath is to help teachers and parents monitor the progress that their students are making and prepare lessons that meet students where they are.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Story of Exploration in Four Minutes

Through one of Kevin Hodgson's recent posts I learned about Dara O Briain's Science Club series on the BBC. The series currently has six episodes investigating the science of things like music and space. The full episodes cannot be watched in the U.S. (at least not through my ISP) but some short clips can be found on the BBC's YouTube channel. I am fond of the following four minute explanation of the science and story of exploration through time.

And here's the video that Kevin shared and prompted me to explore Dara O Briain's Science Club.

Clean Print Helps You Save Ink and Paper

Clean Print is a free browser add-on for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari (including Safari on the iPad). The purpose of Clean Print is to help you save ink and paper when printing articles from the Internet. Clean Print allows you to remove images and advertisements from pages before printing and article. Clean Print also gives you the option to increase or decrease font size before printing an article. Learn more about Clean Print in the video below.

Applications for Education
If you use it and you can get others in your school to use it, Clean Print can help you maximize your school's printing supplies budget. If Clean Print isn't for you, give one of these other ink saving tools a try.

Timer Pop - A Handy Classroom Timer

I've written about a bunch of timer websites and apps in the past (here's a list of five). Today, I found another nice timer tool that teachers may find handy. Timer Pop allows you to create and save multiple timer settings. For example, if I want to have a count down that lasts for five minutes, a count down of fifteen minutes, and a count down of three minutes I can save them all. Then when I need one of them I'll just click on it to start the count down.

Applications for Education
Whenever I have long blocks of instructional time I like to break it up with short breaks and or timed hands-on activities. One tool that can help to prevent the students and me from stretching the "break times" is to use a countdown timer like Timer Pop.