Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Infographic and Video from Nature - Wolf vs. Buffalo

Over the weekend I enjoyed watching an episode of Nature titled Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo. The entire episode is available to view online. The video does an excellent job of telling the story of the challenges that face each animal during the winter. I found myself rooting for each animal at different times in the video. I will warn you that if you're a "softy" like me when it comes to animals, you may find yourself fast forwarding at times.

On the Nature website there is a nice infographic that compares the wolf and the buffalo. It's a good graphic for quickly gathering basic information about the two animals. I've included a small copy of it below. Visit this Nature page to get the high resolution version.

Christmas Dinner in Space - And How Astronauts Eat in Space

This afternoon I stumbled upon an old Smithsonian article about Christmas dinner and food in general on the International Space Station. The article is a series of questions from readers answered by NASA's Vickie Kloeris. In 2009 Ms. Kloeris managed the food systems on the International Space Station. The article is an interesting read, but check out the following two videos from the Canadian Space Agency to see how astronauts prepare and eat foods in space.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Turn-O-Phrase Helps Students Learn About Colloquial Phrases

Turn-O-Phrase is a simple game of identifying colloquial phrases from a set of two pictures. Depending upon which level you try there may or may not be some words to help you along. Further you advance, the more challenging the activity becomes. Take a look at one of the easier phrases below.

If you want to challenge your friends or students, you can create your own Turn-O-Phrase games after creating an account on the site.

Applications for Education
The one drawback to Turn-O-Phrase is that you have to sign in with a Facebook or Twitter account after you have tried a few challenges. That aside, Turn-O-Phrase could be a nice little activity for ESL/ ELL students. You could also create your own offline version of the game with a collection of pictures cut out of a magazine or printed from an online source.

Educators App Turns Your Blog Into an iOS and Android App for Free

Educators App is a new service that will turn your classroom blog or website into an Android and iOS app. The service is available to anyone who has a blog or website that he or she maintains to distribute information to students and parents. To have your blog turned into an app you simply have to email the URL of your blog to Educators App and they'll handle the rest. When your app is ready they'll send you a link to distribute to your students and their parents.

The free version of Educators App will place advertisements in the app and has limitations on customizations. The paid version removes advertisements and offers customizations for your app.

Applications for Education
Depending upon the platform that you use for your blog or website, the Educators App version of your blog may not be different from using the "mobile view" of your blog. For example, if you're using WordPress with a mobile theme or have a mobile version plug-in installed then you probably won't see a difference. Likewise, the mobile version of Blogger may appear very similar to what Educators App creates. All that said, for some teachers Educators App could be a good service to use to make sites and blogs available on students' mobile devices.

The Miller Center's Presidential Classroom is a Must-bookmark for U.S. History Teachers

The Miller Center's Presidential Classroom website is a fantastic resource for teachers and students of U.S. History. On the site students will find a very good reference resource about US Presidents. The Miller Center's American President pages contain personal and political biographical information about every President of the United States. Each profile links to dozens of essays about various aspects of each President's life and work. Each profile also contains images of each President. Some profiles also include audio files and video of the President.

Teachers will find the a selection of lesson plans and course syllabi on the Presidential Classroom website. The lesson plans, appropriate for high school students, cover themes and topics post 1950. Some of the topics are the Space Race, the Vietnam War, and the 60's.

The Presidential Classroom also includes a speech archive that contains the text of inaugural addresses, State of the Union Addresses, and some other notable speeches that Presidents have delivered to Congress and the American public.