Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Simple and Helpful Google Search Strategy for Students

A few times in the past I've mentioned the value of having students use Google Image search in the quest to find the answers to their questions. I explained the rationale for that method in this post last June. Recently, a post on Dan Russell's blog reminded me of a tip that could help students in their quest to use Google Images to find clues to the answers of their questions. By right-clicking on the image students can simply select "search Google for this image" to find matching and similar images.
Click image to view full size. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gen i Revolution - A Personal Finance Game for Middle School and High School Students

Gen i Revolution is an online game designed to help middle school and high school students develop and test their knowledge of concepts in personal finance. Gen i Revolution contains fifteen "missions" in which students have to select "operatives" to assist them. Each mission is designed to help someone make better personal financial decisions. Some of the mission topics include credit, budgeting, and investing for the future.

Students earn points for successfully completing each mission in Gen i Revolution. The points can be used to gain the assistance of additional operatives on the missions in the game. Each operative has a different skill set that can be of assistance in the missions.

Applications for Education
Gen i Revolution provides a teacher log-in that you can use to register your students to play the game, reset their passwords, and monitor their progress in the game. You can have students play the game as individuals or in teams. The teacher's section also includes a PDF with suggestions for continuing the lessons of Gen i Revolution offline.

Wikispaces Improves Mobile User Experience

Wikispaces has good news for teachers and students who access their wikis through iPads and Android tablets. The latest update to Wikispaces includes four features added with mobile users in mind. First, Wikispaces now has responsive sizing to accommodate all screen sizes. Second, the size of the actions and edit buttons/ links has increased to make it easier to tap on exactly what you want. Third, pop-up menus have been re-sized to make them easier to navigate on mobile devices. And finally, Wikispaces now has a top navigation menu visible on all displays. Click here to get all of the details about the new mobile features of Wikispaces.

QuizBean Opens a Quiz Bank for Sharing Quizzes

QuizBean is a nice platform for creating simple image-based quizzes that your students can complete online. The service allows you to assign quizzes to students on a class-by-class or individual basis. Quiz results are automatically sent to your teacher dashboard when students have completed a quiz.

The latest update to QuizBean allows you to search for quizzes that other teachers have created and marked as public. You can also contribute your own quizzes to the quiz bank.

Applications for Education
The QuizBean quiz bank could be a place to share quizzes with local and global colleagues. Before writing your next short quiz, take a quick look in the quiz bank to see if there is one suitable for your chosen topic. Even if you don't find an exact match you may find ideas for your writing your own quizzes.

One of the things that I like about QuizBean is that students get immediate feedback on each question that they answer. Before moving to the next question students are told if they answered the previous question correctly or incorrectly.

A Crash Course on Hamlet

Last month John Green started a new Crash Course series on classic literature. The first installment was about The Odyssey. The latest installment tackles the first half of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ghosts, Murder, and More Murder, embedded below, follows the same format as all Crash Course videos in which Green opens with a fast introduction to the whole work then uses a mix of analogies to modern terms to explain the story's key points. Just like reading CliffsNotes isn't a replacement for reading the story, watching a Crash Course video is not a replacement for reading.