Thursday, May 8, 2014

EWC Presenter Re-brands as Visme - Create Slides and Infographics Online

EWC Presenter is a neat tool for creating infographics including musical infographics and slideshows. The service has recently re-branded as Visme. Visme is referring to itself as the "Swiss Army Knife for Visual Content." Just as you could on EWC Presenter, on Visme you can slideshows, banner graphics, and interactive infographics. Your Visme creations can be shared online by embedding them into websites or blogs. You can also download your creations as image, PDF, or HTML5 files.

Applications for Education
Visme could be an excellent tool for your students to use to create infographics based upon data that they research or gather on their own. Some student infographic projects that I've seen include comparing development data and community demographic data.

Geddit Adds Handy New Options for Giving Students Feedback on Informal Assessments

Geddit is a free service for quickly gathering feedback from your students through any web-enabled device. I initially reviewed the service back in March. Since then Geddit has added a couple of helpful new features. First, you can now comment and send messages directly to individual students through Geddit. This feature will allow you to follow-up with a student who replied "I don't get it" to a question.

The other new feature of Geddit that teachers will like is the personalized Review Page for students. On their personalized Review Pages students can review topics covered in class, revisit areas of concern, and see your personal comments about their responses to your Geddit prompts.

If you haven't seen Geddit before, it 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."

Applications for Education
Geddit was already trying to distinguish itself in the student-response system field by providing a wide variety of data collection formats. The new messaging option and student Review Page option give another distinguishing aspect that can improve the way that you collect and work with student response data.

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.