Tuesday, January 15, 2013

UN Environmental Fact Sheets, Posters, and Infographics

The United Nations Environment Program has developed a series of free posters based on data from the UNEP's Geo Data Portal. These posters visually and graphically display information about environmental data. Some of the topics covered in these posters include electricity production and consumption, CO2 emissions, ecosystems management, and hazardous materials. Each fact sheet, poster, and infographic is available as a PDF that you can download and print.

Applications for Education 
Teachers of environmental science may want to print these posters for display in their classrooms. You could have students study the environmental problems represented in the posters and then develop potential responses to those problems.

Chemistry Experiments That Changed the World

I don't why it's taken me so long to do this, but I finally spent some time browsing through the videos on Hank Green's SciShow. One of the videos that grabbed my attention as something that my friend and high school chemistry teacher Walter Perry would like is 3 Chemistry Experiments That Changed the World. You can watch the video below.

Applications for Education
The videos on Hank Green's SciShow could be good for sparking a student's curiosity about various topics in science. I know that I was intrigued by the biofilm video and had to check out some of the references to learn more about it.

Try Doctopus for Managing Google Documents

Doctopus is a Google Spreadsheet script developed by Andrew Stillman that can help teachers manage the flow of shared work in in their Google Drive accounts. The basic concept behind the script is to enable teachers to quickly share documents with all of the students on a roster, monitor usage of shared documents, and give students feedback within that roster spreadsheet. I was thinking about creating annotated screenshots of the process of using the script, but then I found a couple of nice screencast videos on YouTube that walk teachers through the process of using the Doctopus script.

Look Inside Cells With iCell

iCell is a free app for iPad and Android that I've featured separately on my iPad and Android blogs, but have neglected to share on Free Technology for Teachers until this evening. iCell, produced by the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, is an app that high school biology teachers and their students should check out. The app provides students with 3D models of plant, animal, and bacteria cells. Each cell model can be viewed in detail by zooming in and rotating the model on your iPad. Students can learn about the parts of the cells by tapping on them to reveal their labels and a brief description of that part’s function.

Click here for the iPad version. Click here for the Android version.

Applications for Education
While using the iCell app students can select from basic, intermediate, and advanced description options. The  basic option is good for middle school students while the intermediate and advanced options are better for high school students. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS

One of last week's most popular posts was about Crunchzilla's Code Monster that students can use to learn Javascript programming. And I've previously featured some other good resources that students can use to learn to code on their own. Today, I found another resource to add to that list.

A Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS is a nice resource developed by Shay Howe whose resume reveals that he works on the user interface for Groupon among other projects. There are currently ten text-based lessons for beginners. Once you've mastered the beginner lessons you can try your hand at the advanced lessons. Three advanced lessons are currently available and seven more are slated for publication between now and March 4, 2013. And according to this Tweet from Shay Howe, a print version of these lessons may be available in the future.

Applications for Education
Using a WYSIWYG platform like Blogger or Google Sites to create a blog or website is more than adequate for most teachers and students. But at some point you might want to beyond the limitations of WYSIWYG. It's then that you'll want know how to write and edit HTML yourself. A Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS could be a good way for you and your students to learn together.

H/T to Lifehacker.