Sunday, March 23, 2014

How the Tides Work - Three Explanations

I'm starting to see commercials for season 10 of the Discovery Channel's popular series Deadliest Catch. Those commercials got me to watch a couple of old episodes of the show through Netflix. One of those episodes included a segment about the role of tides on the shifting arctic icepack. If you have students who watch Deadliest Catch, the following three videos could help them understand how tides work.

Seven Resources for Learning About Shakespeare

Last week I shared John Green's latest Crash Course videos about Hamlet. If you're looking for some other resources to help your students understand the works of Shakespeare, take a look at the materials below.

Shakespeare's Globe offers a four part virtual tour of the Globe Theater. The tour is built on the work of graphic designers who built a model of the original theater. You can find the tour here. You will need to install the Quicktime browser plug-in in order to experience the tour.

Shakespeare Animated is a YouTube channel containing twelve playlists ten of which are animated adaptations of Shakespeare's most famous plays. Some of the animated plays that appear in the Shakespeare Animated playlist are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, and The Taming of the Shrew.

John Green's Crash Course videos about English literature includes two videos about Romeo & Juliet. I've embedded the videos below.

TED-Ed hosts a lesson titled Insults by Shakespeare. In addition to explaining the insults used by Shakespeare the lesson also explores some of Shakespeare's other uses of dialogue.

L.A. Paun used LiveBinders to create and share a nice collection of Shakespeare resources. The LiveBinder has a section for Shakespeare in general and sections devoted to Romeo & Juliet, MacBeth, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare's Original Pronunciations could be a good resource to support classroom readings of some of Shakespeare's works. Take the guess work out of the pronunciations by hearing them.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Week In Review - The Most Popular Posts of the Week

Good morning from Woodstock, Maine where I am home after spending the week in Arizona with students and teachers at Paradise Valley Christian Prep and Grand Canyon University. One of the highlights of the week was meeting some people that I had conversed with online for years. Another highlight was working with a Kindergarten class to go on a virtual zoo tour on their iPads.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Seven Good Student Response Systems That Work On All Devices
2. Check Out the Education Templates in Stormboard - A New Collaborative Planning Tool
3. Three Good Tools for Building Flipped Lessons That Include Assessment Tools
4. Speech to Text and Text to Speech In Your Web Browser
5. Gen i Revolution - A Personal Finance Game for Middle School and High School Students
6. Try These Word Cloud Tools to Help Students Analyze Writing
7. Ten Good Online Tools for Creating Mind Maps

Would you like to come learn with me this summer?
Click here to learn more about the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Class Charts provides a great way to record and analyze student behavior information.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston and Chicago.
Classmint offers a nice multimedia flashcard service.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
Fresno Pacific University offers a wide variety of technology courses for teachers.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Geddit - Quickly Gather Feedback from Students

Update February 2022: This tool is no longer available. 

Geddit is a new service that allows you to quickly gather feedback from your students through any web-enabled device. Like similar services Geddit gives you the ability to push questions to your students' devices. You can create and send multiple choice and short answer questions. You can also simply ask "do you get it" at any time to check for your students' general feelings about a lesson you're conducting. The feedback that you gather from your students through Geddit can be displayed in a variety of graph and list formats. The list format that I like best shows me how each student responded to my "do you get it" question and highlights the students who responded with "no" or "kind of."

The teacher panel in Geddit does not have the most intuitive interface that I've seen in student response systems. In fact, it took me a couple of tries before I wrapped my head around the terminology that Geddit uses in the teacher panel. To get started, you first have to create at least one class then create your first "lesson." Within your lesson you have to specify a topic then in a separate screen you finally write your questions. Questions can include pictures. Students can join your class by using a class code or you can add them to your class manually.

Applications for Education
The aspect of Geddit that makes it different than some other student response systems is the variety of data collection formats available to you. The data from each of your activities can be saved in your account or downloaded as a spreadsheet.

Mobento - Another Place to Search for Educational Videos

Update February 2022: This tool is no longer available.

It seems like every month or so a new site pops-up that is trying to make it easier to find educational videos. The latest such site that I've seen is Mobento. Mobento's take on searching for educational videos allows you to search by category, organization producing the video, speakers, and length of video. You can refine your search by combining selections from each of those menus.

Applications for Education
Mobento won't change the way that you use videos with your students, but it could be helpful in finding a good video to use in a flipped lesson. Once you find a video you might want to try a service like EduCanon to create a flipped lesson that requires students to answer questions while watching the video.