Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why We Crave Sugar - And How Much Do We Consume?

Halloween just passed and we're quickly approaching the season of holiday parties filled with sweets. Why do so many of us crave sugar and sweet things? Untamed Science offers a short explanation in the video below.

Applications for Education
After watching the video to learn why we crave sugar, have students take a look at their personal sugar consumption habits. Sugar Stacks is a good website for understanding how much sugar is in the food and beverages that we consume. Sugar Stacks lists popular food and beverage items in ten categories. Every item is pictured with a stack of sugar cubes. Each sugar cube represents four grams of sugar. This is a great way to see just how much sugar you really consume in your favorite snack or beverage.

H/T to the Pearson OLE blog

Another Ashton Kutcher Video That Students Should See

Back in August Ashton Kutcher delivered an important message to teens at the Teen Choice Awards. His message, "opportunity looks a lot like hard work" is one that teenagers should here. This week he was on the Ellen DeGeneres show talking about his speech at the Teen Choice Awards when he delivered another important message for teens, "the only thing (job) that is below you, is to not have a job." Both videos are embedded below.

Thanks to Jeff Whipple for sharing the Ellen DeGeneres video on Facebook.

Week in Review - The Snow Is Here!

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. This week we had our first snow flurries and the local ski resort has been making snow all week. And if that wasn't a strong enough sign of winter, there is ice forming on the pond near my house. All of these signs of winter also mean that we're well past the midpoint of the semester. I hope that all of you are having  a great fall semester (or spring semester for my friends in the Southern Hemisphere).

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Kahoot - Create Quizzes and Surveys Your Students Can Answer on Any Device
2. Five Short Lessons About Daylight Saving Time and Time Zones
3. How to Quickly Create PDFs in Google Drive
4. Webinar Recording - Backchannels in the Classroom
5. QuickCast - Quickly Create Screencasts
6. 30 Images of Cyber Safety Reminders
7. How to Privately Share Media from Your iPad via Google Drive

This week I opened registration for a new section of my webinar series, How To Use Google Drive In School. The series will be held in December.

Would you like to have me visit your school this year?
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Studying Through Text Messages

Here's a fun challenge to give to students and most adults; try to wait ten minutes before looking at your phone when you hear your text message notification. It's a difficult challenge for most people. Study Boost knows this and is trying to leverage that compulsion to check text messages in order to make studying a part of students' text messaging habit.

Here's how it works; students sign-up on Study Boost and link their favorite IM service or SMS (mobile number) to their Study Boost accounts. Then students create batches of questions or find batches of questions made by others. After creating and or selecting batches of questions students "activate" those questions. Activating a batch of questions means that those questions will be sent via IM or SMS at intervals specified by the student. Students answer the questions and get feedback via IM or SMS.

Watch the video below to learn more about Study Boost.

Applications for Education
Study Boost could be a good service for students to use to study on the go. Using Study Boost students traveling for club or sports activities need to only take their mobile devices with them study. As a teacher you can register and submit batches of questions that your students can study. Or students can create their own sets of questions to study.

Before you have students use Study Boost, you may want to consult with their parents to get permission for using the service. Study Boost is free to use as long as you have an unlimited text messaging plan within the United States. 

How Flubaroo Helps Teachers Save Time

We all have times when we wish we had more time in our day. Unfortunately, we can't make more time, but we can use our time more efficiently. Flubaroo is a tool that I've used for years for to help me use my time more efficiently. Flubaroo is a script that you can use in Google Spreadsheets to have your multiple choice and short answer quizzes graded for you with just a couple of clicks on your part. The latest version of Flubaroo can even be used to email grades to your students.

Applications for Education
If your school uses Google Apps for Education, when you have students take quizzes that you've created through Google Forms, have your students sign into their accounts before taking the quiz. That way you will capture their email addresses and be able to quickly email grades to them after you have run the Flubaroo script to grade the quiz. If your school doesn't use Google Apps for Education you can still require email addresses by making "email address" a required question on the quizzes you create in Google Forms.

I'll be covering a lot of topics like this one and many more in my December course, How To Use Google Drive In School.