Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Greenwood, Maine where I'm relaxing for the weekend before heading out on a ten day trip to conferences in Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio. This week I had the privilege to visit Carondelet High School in Concord, California. I took a detour on my way back to the airport and glimpsed the Golden Gate Bridge, but did not get a good picture so the picture you see to the left is from Pixabay.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Feedspot - A Simple Google Reader Replacement
2. DNA Explained Visually
3. Three Places to Find Free Online Courses
4. 29 Games Kids Can Play to Try Engineering
5. 30 Free Teacher PD Courses
6. What QR Codes Can Do For You!
7. 5 Free Services for Helping Students Learn To Spell

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Remind 101 offers a free tool for sending text message reminders to students.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Fresno Pacific University offers online courses for teachers.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher.org is hosting workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston this summer.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Watch2Gether - Watch and Discuss Videos Online

Watch2gether is a neat site through which you can watch YouTube videos and host text chats about them at the same time. I've written about the service in the past, but it just got a facelift so I'd like to point it out again.

It is really quite easy to use Watch2gether. To get started enter a nickname for yourself (it could be your real first name) then search for a video or enter the URL of a video that you have previously bookmarked. When you have found the video you want a chat column will be present on the right side of your browser. You can invite others to chat with you by sending them theURL assigned to your chatroom. Together you can watch a video and chat about it at the same time.

Applications for Education
If you frequently use video clips in your classroom, Watch2gether could be a nice tool to use to have students share observations, ask questions, and answer questions while watching those clips. 

Video - This Is Africa

This Is Africa is a beautiful short video produced by Benjamin Bowie. The five minute video captures some of the essence of Uganda and Tanzania. The video could definitely spark some questions and conversations at the beginning of lesson.



THIS IS AFRICA from Benjamin Dowie on Vimeo.

H/T to The Adventure Blog

Clipping Magic - Remove Background Materials from Your Images

Clipping Magic is a new tool that makes it easy to edit background objects out of your images. Clipping Magic allows you to erase all of the background from an image so that the only thing left is the person, animal, or object that is the centerpiece of your image. For example, I erased the background from a picture of one of my dogs. All that was left was just my dog and none of the background.

To start using Clipping Magic just upload a picture from your computer. Then use the green highlighter to mark the things that you want to leave in your picture. Use the red highlighter to mark the things you want to remove from your picture. When you're happy with edit, you can download the new picture.

Applications for Education
Clipping Magic could be a great tool to use if you want to create Clip Art or digital cut-outs out of pictures that you've taken. For example, if I want some dog icons to use in a video or slideshow I could edit out the background from some pictures of my dogs then use the new dog-only image files as icons to use in my videos and presentations.

CNN Student News Reviews the News of the School Year

Today is the last day for CNN Student News until the new school year starts in the fall. The bulk of this morning's edition of CNN Student News is a look back at the biggest news stories of the school year. CNN Student News includes a ten question quiz about the year's news. You can find the episode here or watch it as embedded below.