Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Week in Review - A Fun Week in Iowa

Good morning from Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport where I have a layover on my way home from a great week of presenting in Iowa. It is a privilege to get to speak to and work with so many teachers every year. I wouldn't have those opportunities without all of you who have supported me and my blog over the years by Tweeting, Pinning, and otherwise sharing my work with your friends and colleagues. Thank you.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Use This Extension To See Your To-do List Every Time You Open a New Tab
2. Zaption - Video Based Quizzes and More
3. I Tweeted a Google Document and a Neat Thing Happened
4. QR Codes & Augmented Reality - When and Where To Use Each
5. Free Course - Copyright for Educators & Librarians
6. Create Multimedia History Presentations With Digital Artifacts
7. Kaizena Adds Support for Giving Audio Feedback on Google Presentations

Three seats are left at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Seats are still available for my online course Getting Ready for GAFE (start dates in July and August). 

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.
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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Friday, June 20, 2014

Crowd Sourced Ideas for Using PicCollage, Canva, PicMonkey, and Thinglink in Education

Today, I facilitated a workshop for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency in Bettendorf, Iowa. To start the day we created some visual stories to represent what we thought good teaching and learning environments look like. We then took those visuals and dropped them into Thinglink to add video and audio media to the visuals. Finally, we shared our creations on this Padlet wall so that the whole group could see benefit from seeing each other's work and ideas about using visual story creation tools in their classrooms. The wall is embedded below. The tools we used include PicCollage, PicMonkey, Canva, and Thinglink. The outline from the workshop is available here.

Interactive Model Skeletons

eSkeletons is a great website produced by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. eSkeletons features interactive models of mammal skeletons. Select a model from the menu on the home page then click on any bone in the model to view it in detail. After select a bone to view you can choose from a menu of viewing angles. In many cases eSkeletons offers a short video display of the bone you've selected from the menu.

Applications for Education
eSkeletons gives students the option to compare bones across models. Select two or more animals from the menu then select a bone and a small gallery of comparative images will be generated. eSkeletons offers a glossary of terms and a legend to help students understand what they are viewing. Even without the models, the glossary is a good resource for anatomy students.

Numbeo - Compare the Costs of Living in Cities Around the World

A few months ago I shared a couple of activities that are designed to help students gain a better understanding of the cost of living. Numbeo is a neat resource that could help students see the differences in the costs of living between cities.

Numbeo claims to be the world's largest database of user-contributed data about the costs of living in cities. Some of the sets of data that you can see find in Numbeo include property values, transportation costs, and healthcare costs.

Applications for Education
Numbeo's database is user-generated so you will want students to take the information with a grain of salt. That said, Numbeo could be good resource for students to use to compare the costs of living in two or more cities. After comparing the costs of living in two or more cities, ask your students to try to determine the things that account for the differences in costs of living between two cities.

How to Create Augmented Reality Layers of Information on Aurasma

Earlier this week I wrote a lengthy post that included ideas for using the augmented reality app Aurasma in the classroom. Today, I ran a workshop in which we created some of our own augmented reality layers through Aurasma. If you would like to learn the process, check out the short video embedded below.