Saturday, July 13, 2013

Map of Play - Find a Great Place for Kids to Play

KaBoom is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help build safe playgrounds in cities and towns all over the United States. One of the resources that they offer online is Map of Play. Map of Play helps visitors find playgrounds. To use the map just enter a location and you'll receive a list of playgrounds in that area. The places on the list are mapped using Google Maps. You can click on any of the placemarks to get directions to and more information about the playgrounds.

Applications for Education
If you're traveling with your children this summer and need to find a fun and free place to take them to play, Map of Play could be a handy resource for you.

Thanks to Kelly Wade Hines for sharing Map of Play on Facebook last week.

The Week In Review - Writing In The Sun

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining brightly for the second day in row. After feeling like we were living in a rain forest for the previous six days when the sun broke through the clouds yesterday I headed outside with my laptop. As you can see in the picture to the left, Max took his "job" of "guarding" our outdoor office very seriously. I hope wherever you are this weekend, the sun is shining and you're having fun too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Free Middle School Digital Citizenship Lesson Plans
2. 11 Resume and Interview Tips for New Graduates
3. Last-minute Tickets Available for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp
4. Fun Brain - Dozens of Educational Games for K-8
5. Maker Camp - A Virtual Camp for Making Things
6. How To Create Placemarks & Tours in Google Earth
7. The Two Cutest Explanations of Social Media That You'll See Today

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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.
WidBook is a great platform for writing multimedia books.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
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. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

iStoryBooks - Narrated Children's Stories on Windows 8

iStoryBooks is a service that I reviewed a couple of years ago when it launched on iOS and Android. Now it's available as a Windows 8 app too. iStoryBooks offers dozens of children's stories (some free, some for sale) like The Ugly Duckling. The app gives you the option to read each story or to read along with each story while listening to the narrator.

Applications for Education
If you have or teach children under eight, iStoryBooks could be a great app to install on your iPad or Android-powered tablets. Children can practice reading and recognizing words by going through the stories with the narration turned on. Or you can turn the narration off and read the stories with your child or student.

ThinkUKnow - Videos, Games, and Lessons About Cyber Safety

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre hosts an excellent resource for helping students learn how to be responsible digital citizens. ThinkUKnow offers videos, games, and lessons for students ages five through sixteen. The site is divided into five sections; 5-7, 8-10, 11-16, a section for parents, and a section for teachers.

The 5-7 section of ThinkUKnow feature a cartoon video series titled Hector's World. Hector's World is designed to educate students about safe use of the Internet and computers in general. Through the cartoons students  learn about things like protecting their personal information and asking a trusted adult for help when necessary. Each episode of Hector's World is accompanied by a coloring book that you can download as a PDF.

The 8-10 section of ThinkUKnow uses games to teach students about protecting their identities online, how to interact with peers, and how to recognize scams and other online traps.

In the 11-16 section of ThinkUKnow students watch a series of videos featuring teenagers who find themselves faced with dilemmas about how to interact with others online. At the end of each video segment students can choose what they would do next.

The teachers' resource section of ThinkUKnow offers dozens of fact sheets, posters, and lesson plans to use in conjunction with the videos and games of ThinkUKnow.

ThinkUKnow for parents features a short video guide to helping students stay safe online. Parents will also find fact and tip sheets.

One thing for readers in the U.S. and Canada to note about ThinkUKnow is that it is based in the UK. That means that some of the slang and terminology used in the videos on ThinkUKnow might have to be explained to your students.

Climate Science Explained in 11 Animated Videos

Planet Nutshell produces a lot of excellent animated, explanatory videos. This morning while exploring their catalog I found a set of eleven videos about climate change. The videos cover everything from causes of climate change to examples of the effects of climate change to what we can do about climate change. All of the videos are available to view on Vimeo. The series is accompanied by a list of all of the references used in the production of the videos.

Climate Science in a Nutshell #1: A Sick Planet from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.