Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shutterbugs Wiggle & Stomp - A Smithsonian Game for Kids

Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp is a new educational game produced by the Smithsonian. The purpose of the game is to help children recognize the movements of animals. In the game children move through a virtual zoo with a zoo keeper. As they go through the virtual zoo the zoo keeper will ask students to take pictures of animals who are demonstrating running, jumping, stomping, and other movements.

Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be played online. The game is also available as a free iPad app.

Applications for Education
Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp could be a fun little game for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The game reads the commands displayed on the screen to help students learn to read the words they're seeing. At the conclusion of the game students can print out coloring pages of animals they took pictures of during the game.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Search Engine for SMART Notebook Files

Google Custom Search allows anyone to create his or her own search engine. The benefit of this is that you can create a very subject specific search environment. One such use that I found through The Whiteboard Blog is a SMART Notebook search engine. As you would expect from the name, the SMART Notebook search engine is designed to help you find resources designed for teaching with SMARTBoards.

You can access the search engine here or try it out as embedded below.

Applications for Education
Even though interactive whiteboards seems to be losing the popularity they enjoyed a few years ago, there are still in classrooms all over the world. To get the most out of that investment it's important to help teachers locate resources that can help them make the best use of interactive whiteboards. The SMART Notebook search engine could help teachers find resources to include in their IWB lessons.

A Fun Twist On Name Tags - Ice Breaker Tags

Ice Breaker Tags is a neat service for designing simple yet unique name tags. To use the service just enter your desired display name, upload an image to display on your name tag, and type your ice-breaker question or statement. If you need help developing a creative ice-breaker question or statement, Ice Breaker Tags offers some suggestions to get you going. You can print your name tag directly from Ice Breaker Tags.

Applications for Education
In my school district in the spring before they come to high school the 8th grade students go for a visit to meet high school teachers and students. Ice Breaker Tags could be a nice way for students to create unique, personalized name tags for events like that.

Space Math - Math Lessons from NASA

Space Math is a NASA website containing space-themed math lessons for students in elementary school through high school. You can search for lessons according to grade level or mathematics topic. The bulk of the materials seem to be PDFs of directions for carrying out the lesson plans. The exception to that pattern being the middle school (grades 6-8) resources which include the use of some of NASA eClips videos.

Applications for Education
Each of the Space Math lessons align to different NASA missions. The NASA missions provide the context for the math lessons. That alignment makes Space Math lessons a good option for an integrated science and mathematics lesson.

How to Automatically Close Google Forms at Specified Times

Google Forms can be very useful for collecting all kinds of information from students and others. Two of the more common uses of Google Forms in schools are creating quizzes and conducting surveys (click here for a guide to creating quizzes in Google Forms). In both of those cases you may have a need to limit the number of responses, limit the length of responses, or set a cut-off time at which the form will stop accepting responses. While you can simply click "stop accepting responses" in your Google Form, you do have to remember to do it. FormLimiter solves that problem and two others.

FormLimiter is a script that you can install in the Google Spreadsheet in which you are collecting responses from a Google Form. The script allows you to limit the number of responses to a form, limit the number of characters in a response, and set a time at which the form will automatically stop accepting responses. The images below will walk you through the process of installing FormLimiter. (Click the images to view them in full size).

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