Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sugar and the Human Brain

How Sugar Affects the Brain is a TED-Ed lesson that I stumbled upon this evening while looking for a YouTube video about making sugar glazes (by the way, this is the one I was looking for).  In the TED-Ed lesson students learn why sugary foods and beverages can become addictive and how the human body processes sugar. The video is embedded below.

Untamed Science offers a similar video lesson in which we learn why so many of us crave sugar and sweet things. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
After watching the videos to learn why we crave sugar and what it does to our bodies, have students take a look at their personal sugar consumption habits. Sugar Stacks is a good website for understanding how much sugar is in the food and beverages that we consume. Sugar Stacks lists popular food and beverage items in ten categories. Every item is pictured with a stack of sugar cubes. Each sugar cube represents four grams of sugar. This is a great way to see just how much sugar you really consume in your favorite snack or beverage.

Namez Helps You Learn the Pronunciation of a Person's Name

Namez is a new service that is designed to help people learn how to pronounce names. The service has two main aspects, to help you pronounce the names of other people and to help you help others pronounce your name.

To help others learn how to pronounce your name Namez provides a recording tool. You can record the pronunciation of your name then embed the recording into a blog or add it to the signature of an email.

To help you learn to pronounce the names of other people Namez offers a gallery of recordings through which you can listen to pronunciations. Namez is still in beta and the gallery of recordings is fairly limited at this point. Hopefully, the gallery will grow quickly.

Applications for Education
Namez could be a good service to use if you have a name that people often mispronounce. When you send out a "welcome back to school" email or blog post at the beginning of the school year, use Namez to help students and their parents learn how to pronounce your name. Pronouncing my surname, Byrne, is tricky for some students.

H/T to The Next Web

Quick Google Docs Tip - Find & Replace

Find and Replace is a simple Google Documents function that has a ton of utility when you're re-using a document and only have to make minor adjustments to it. I was asked about this earlier today so I decided to make a couple of screenshots to demonstrate the process.

Step 1: Open the Edit drop-down menu and select Find and Replace.
Click image to view full size. 

Step 2: Complete the Find and Replace With fields then click replace or replace all.
Click image to view full size. 

FlipQuiz Offers an Easy Way to Create Jeopardy-style Games

FlipQuiz is a new site designed to make it easy for teachers to create and display Jeopardy-style review games. To create a game just register for a free account then select "new board." Your new board will have six columns and five rows, but you do not have to use all of the columns and rows and you can add or subtract questions at any time. To create your questions simply type in the question and answer boxes. When you're ready to use your game click the "presentation view" to display it through a projector. Try a demo quiz on the FlipQuiz homepage to see how the presentation view works.

FlipQuiz is free to use for text-based questions. A premium plan is available if you want to use images in your questions or answers. FlipQuizzes that you create in the free plan are automatically shared into the public gallery of quizzes.

Applications for Education
If you find yourself looking to create simple review activities for the end of the school year, give FlipQuiz a try. Better yet, have your students create their own review activities on FlipQuiz.

Live Prep Session for Students Taking A.P. Government and Politics

The Advanced Placement test season is almost upon us in the United States. This Saturday C-SPAN Classroom is hosting a live session to help students prepare for the A.P. Government and Politics exam.

On Saturday morning at 9am Eastern Time students can tune into C-SPAN to learn from Dan Larsen and Andrew Conneen from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Mr. Larsen and Mr. Conneen will discuss the exam, preview sample questions, and make suggestions as to what students should be studying. Students can ask questions during the live session by Tweeting @cspanwj or by emailing journal (at) Students can also call with their questions.

  • Students in East and Central time zones: 202-585-3880 
  • Students in Mountain and Pacific time zones: 202-585-3881
Watch last year's review session in the video below. 

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