Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mapfaire Offers an Easy Way to Make Online Maps

Yesterday I shared step-by-step directions for building maps with Google Maps Engine Lite. If your students aren't ready for Google Maps Engine Lite, take a look at Mapfaire.

Mapfaire is a free tool for quickly creating maps that contain simple placemarks. Using Mapfaire you can create a custom map that highlights places you specify. To use Mapfaire just sign in with your Google Account then name your map and start adding placemarks. To add a placemark all you need to do is enter a location then label your placemark. You can publish and edit your maps at any time.

Applications for Education
Mapfaire is not nearly as feature laden as Google Maps. But because it doesn't have as many features as Google Maps students should be able to get up and running with it much quicker than with Google Maps. You could have students create Mapfaire maps about all kinds of themes in history and or literature.

A Crash Course in Psychology

Hank Green has launched a new Crash Course series on YouTube. His new series is all about psychology. The first video was released yesterday and it has already been viewed more than 100,000 times.

Crash Course Psychology follows the same fast-paced format as the other Crash Course videos. The first installment offers an overview of what psychology is and some of the base concepts and their contributors to the field of psychology. Like other Crash Course videos you would have to watch it multiple times to catch everything offered in it. That said, as an overview for review or introduction it's fine.

Doodle Your Invention In the Doodle 4 Google Contest

The Doodle 4 Google art contest is back for the seventh year in a row. This year's doodle theme is "if I could invent one thing to make the world a better place..."

The contest is open to K-12 students in the United States. The winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school. Submissions for the contest are due by March 20, 2014. Submissions can be made online or through the mail.

This year Google and Discovery have teamed up to offer a set of classroom activity resources for teachers. Three activity packs will be available by the end of the month. The first activity is available now. The activities are designed to help students develop and share their invention ideas.

Behind the Published Posts and eBooks

Image credit: Jen Deyenberg
As some of you know because you've already subscribed to it (thank you) on the first of the year I started a new blog on which I'm sharing the lessons I've learned through seven years of blogging. Worms In the Fridge is the name of the blog. Yes, it's an odd name but I think you'll like the story behind the name. I'm using that blog not only to share ideas with you but to also try out some new things.

The latest thing that I'm trying is a weekly-ish podcast. My first guest was Gillian Duffy who is a full-time blogger and author who recently self-published a travel guide on Amazon. In the podcast she shares the nuts and bolts of self-publishing as well as the attitude it takes to self-publish. If you have ever considered self-publishing, give it a listen. If you're just curious what happens when two full-time bloggers talk in the middle of the day, you might like it too. Have a listen while you're writing your next blog post.

My next guest is going to be Lee LeFever from Common Craft. Subscribe to Worms In the Fridge to make sure that podcast gets delivered to your inbox.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Art of Problem Solving

Last week Marilyn Just emailed me with a couple of suggestions to add to my list of mathematics resources. One of the suggestions that jumped out at me was the Art of Problem Solving. The Art of Problem Solving offers a variety of tutorial resources for students. Some of the resources are free and some are not. The highlight of the free resources is a catalog of more than three hundred short instructional videos like the one embedded below.

The bulk of the videos are designed for pre-algebra and algebra lessons.