Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Long-click to Find Definitions, Pictures, Videos, and More

Curiyo is a browser extension, available for Firefox and Chrome, that makes it easy to quickly find definitions, videos, pictures, and related reference materials for any word you select in your browser. When you're reading an article online and come across a word that you don't recognize or a word that you're just curious about, long-click on it and a pop-up box containing definitions, pictures, videos, and more will appear. The video embedded below provides a demonstration of Curiyo in action.

Applications for Education
Curiyo could be a good tool for students to have at their disposal while reading difficult passages online. The option to see pictures and videos to help students can a better understanding of new-to-them terms.

Otter - Create a Simple Page for Distributing and Collecting Assignments

Otter is a new service that makes it easy to create simple webpages on which you can distribute information and collect assignments from students. Otter provides four widgets that you can add to your page. Those widgets are announcements, calendar events, hosted documents, and homework uploads. The widgets appear in that order on your page. Hosted documents can be uploaded from your computer or imported from Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. Students can upload their assignment submissions through your Otter page.

Applications for Education
Otter doesn't allow you to change layouts or customize color schemes. It's just a no nonsense tool for quickly building pages through which you can distribute information and collect assignments. If a simple tool is what you need in order to develop a web presence for your course, give Otter a try.

Otter was developed by Scurry Labs who also developed a neat bookmarking tool called Sqworl

Try Knoema's World Data Finder to Fact-check Articles

Knoema is a service that offers a huge collection of data sets and maps for public use. Recently, Knoema introduced a Chrome extension called World Data Finder. World Data Finder will correlate information from Knoema's data sets and maps to articles that you read online. Here's how it works; when you're reading a news article, reference page, or opinion piece a World Data Finder icon will appear in your browser's address bar. When the World Data Finder icon appears, click it to open data sets, charts, and similar related reference sources. The screenshot below illustrates what the World Data Finder Chrome extension looks like in action.

Applications for Education
Knoema's World Data Finder Chrome extension could be a handy tool for students to use to fact-check articles and or to learn more about the information they're seeing in an article.

Video - How to Create Tours With Google Earth Tour Builder

Earlier this week Google released a great new tool for creating Google Earth tours. Tour Builder makes it easier than ever to create Google Earth tours in your browser. In the video below I offer a demonstration of how to use Tour Builder.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned on Monday, Tour Builder could prove to be a great tool for students to use to create geo-located book reviews, to tell stories from their own lives, or to develop geo-located research projects. One of the US History projects that I've done with Google Earth is to have students create a series of placemarks about battles of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Create a Wall of Thanks on Padlet

This afternoon on a webinar sponsored by Pearson I spoke about using backchannels in the classroom. Padlet was one of the tools that I featured in the webinar. Padlet is a great little tool for quickly gathering comments from students in response to prompts that you give to them. As I thought about (American) Thanksgiving this evening I developed a few ideas for incorporating Padlet into a Thanksgiving activity for elementary school students.

1. Create a Padlet wall for your students on which they can share what they are thankful for this year.

2. Let students create drawings of what Thanksgiving means to them then take pictures of those drawings to post on your Padlet wall.

3. Use Padlet as a KWL chart on which students share what they know about the origins of Thanksgiving and what they would like to know more about.

In the video below I demonstrate how to create a Padlet wall to use in your classroom.