Sunday, July 20, 2014

Who Won the Space Race? - A TED-Ed Lesson

Who Won the Space Race? is a TED-Ed lesson that pairs well with the resources that I shared in my previous post about Apollo 11. The lesson outlines the origins of the space race, the early failures of the U.S. program, and the eventual success of the Apollo 11 mission. The video from the lesson is embedded below.

A Small Collection of Resources for Teaching About Apollo 11

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first people to walk on the moon. This is my small collection of resources for teaching and learning about the Apollo 11 mission.

We Choose the Moon is a project put together by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. We Choose the Moon has eleven stages that viewers can follow as the mission progresses. If you visit We Choose the Moon you can explore image and video galleries capturing the sights and sounds of the lead-up to the launch. Included in these galleries are videos of President Kennedy talking about the goal of putting a man on the moon.

NASA's lunar panorama allows students explore the Eagle's lunar landing site. The interactive image features red dots that students connect to get the full picture of where Armstrong and Aldrin walked.

If your students want to explore more of the moon have them visit Planet In Action. Planet In Action is a fun website that features three games based on Google Earth. All three games utilize Google Earth imagery and navigation. The three games are Ships, Places, and Moon Lander. In "Places" you navigate, from a helicopter view, five popular places including the Grand Canyon. In "Ships" you become the captain of a fleet of ships to navigate famous ports of call. And in "Moon Lander" you take control of the Apollo 11 moon lander and guide the "Eagle" to touch-down.

Moonwalk One is a NASA documentary about the Apollo 11 mission. The video contains historic imagery and videos of the mission along with videos of reactions to the landing. Jump to the 45 minute mark if you're only concerned with the launch, landing, and return to Earth.

Millions of Americans watched CBS News for coverage of the Apollo 11 mission. The video of the CBS News broadcast is available here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

CodeMonkey - A Fun Programming Environment for Kids

Earlier this week in my post about seven free Edmodo apps to try this summer I mentioned CodeMonkey. CodeMonkey is worth mentioning again because it is available as a stand-alone website for students and teachers that do not use Edmodo.

CodeMonkey is a fun game through which students learn some basic programming skills. In the game students have to help a monkey get his bananas. The game presents students with a series of thirty progressively more difficult challenges in which they have to help a monkey reach his bananas. Students help the monkey get his bananas by correctly programming the movements of the monkey. CodeMonkey provides little tutorials for to help students through the challenges.

See CodeMonkey in action in the video below.


Applications for Education
Playing CodeMonkey alone isn't going to turn students into programmers, but it could definitely inspire them to explore other programming options.

The Week In Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from sunny Maine where earlier this week I wrapped-up the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. A big thank you to everyone that made the trek to Maine. An especially big thank you to those that endured delayed and canceled flights to get here. As I do with every workshop that I run, this week I learned new things that will make the next one better. I'm already considering offering beginner and advanced versions of the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp next year.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Storyboard That Releases New Teacher Guides
2. National Geographic Offers Free Online Courses for Teachers
3. 6 Uses for Evernote in the Classroom
4. 7 Free Edmodo Apps to Try This Summer
5. Check Out the Education Templates in Stormboard - A New Collaborative Planning Tool
6. Three Ideas for Using Plickers In the Classroom - Results of My First Trial
7. Padlet Adds a New Layout Option

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

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.
ABCya.com 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, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Now Your Students Can Join Your Wikispaces Wikis Through Class Codes

Wikispaces has released a new feature that I think will be a hit with a lot of teachers. You can now have your students join a wiki by entering a Wikispaces "join code." You can create a join code by clicking on "members" in the admin view of your wiki. After clicking "members" you can select "create join code."

Give your students the join code for a wiki and they can use it to join your wiki without the need for you to approve memberships. To be clear, students will still need to have Wikispaces accounts in order to participate in your wiki.

The join codes that you create for your Wikispaces wikis are valid for one week. After one week you will have to generate a new code. You can also disable codes early if all of your students join before the week is up.

Click here for a complete set of directions, with screenshots, for creating Wikispaces join codes.
Image credit: Wikispaces