Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hip Hughes History Helps Students Review U.S. & World History

We're getting close to final exam time for many high school students. If you teach U.S. History or World History, consider referring your students to Hip Hughes History for some great videos to help them review the year. Hip Hughes History is produced by Keith Hughes, a high school history teacher in New York. As Keith points out in many of the videos, they're not a replacement for reading or paying attention in class, but they are great reviews of key topics in history.

The U.S. History playlist is available here.

The World History playlist is available here.

News Map - An Interactive Collage of Current Events Stories

News Map organizes and displays news stories from around the world. News Map uses Google News to source the stories displayed in the grid so the content is frequently updated. The stories are displayed in a color coded grid reflective of how popular or important a story is at any given time. You can select the country or countries from which you would like to see the news. You may also select which type of news stories, (world news, national news, sports, etc) you want to see displayed. By selecting multiple countries you can discover patterns in the news across the world.

Applications for Education
News Map provides a good way for students to recognize similarities and differences between how a news story is covered in one country versus another. It is also a good tool for showing students how a story that is popular in one country may be insignificant in another. This is particular true if you select the entertainment news option.

Physics 4 Kids - Short Physics Lessons

Rader's Physics 4 Kids is part of a series of Rader's 4 Kids lessons about science. Physics 4 Kids takes students on tours of different sub-topics of physics. After each stop on the tour there is a quiz that students can take to test their understanding of each topic. Along with text and image information there are some short videos about different physics concepts along the tour.

Applications for Education
Student-directed tours like the ones offered on Physics 4 Kids are great tools for differentiating activities within the classroom. Physics 4 Kids is a good resource for science teachers to link to a class web page or blog so that students and parents can study and test themselves outside of the classroom. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Week In Review - A Trip to Sunday River

Good morning from Woodstock, Maine where the fog is so thick I cannot see the end of my driveway. Fortunately, the weather is supposed to clear just in time for a beautiful Mother's Day tomorrow.

This week I did some more preparation for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. After meeting with the event coordinator on site at Sunday River, I spent some time taking pictures of neat things around the resort. This picture of the covered bridge over Sunday River is my favorite from the day. Sunday River is one of my favorite places in Maine and I hope that those of you coming to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp enjoy it as much as I do.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Web-based Tools for Creating Short Video Stories
2. Rubrics for Blogging and Multimedia Projects
3. Learn Art History With Smarthistory
4. Sugar and the Human Brain
5. By Request - Good Alternatives to Google Image Search
6. AnswerGarden - Embed an Open Response Feedback Tool Into Your Blog
7. Project Based Learning - An Explanation and Model Rubrics

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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.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.

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Three Free Webinar Recordings About Using Comics in the Classroom

Update February 2015 - Some of the recordings have been taken down as they covered features that have changed since the initial recording was created. 

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

This year I've hosted a handful of free webinars about using comics in the classroom. The three webinar recordings and slideshows embedded below provide a variety of ideas and directions for using comics created on Storyboard That in your classroom. Some of my favorite uses of comics include using them as story prompts, having students create them to tell personal stories, and to illustrate key ideas in a book as an alternative to writing a traditional book report.

Creating a storyboard can be a good way to organize a story and plan a video project. As Rebecca Ray shares in the slides below, creating storyboards can also be a good way to deconstruct and analyze a story.

Share my-lesson-webinar-on-shakespeare from Richard Byrne

The recording of Rebecca Ray's presentation is embedded below.