Saturday, October 25, 2014

Turn Your Halloween Stories Into Halloween Cards on Storyboard That

Earlier this week on the FreeTech4Teachers Facebook page I shared a list of sites and apps that have a Halloween theme. This week Storyboard That released a Halloween resource too.

On Storyboard That you can now turn your storyboards into Halloween cards. In the Storyboard That creator you can use the myths and mystical scenes and characters to create your Halloween story. Once your storyboard is saved you can choose to print it with Halloween borders. The print-out includes lines for cutting and folding your cards.

In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create Halloween cards on Storyboard That.

Applications for Education
Creating Halloween stories on Storyboard That could be a fun way for students to get students interested in a creative writing assignment. Printing those stories as Halloween cards offers a nice way for students to show their parents their creative stories.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on

A Handy Sheet of Google Search Modifiers

Back in August I shared an infographic featuring search strategies that every student can use. Yesterday, Vicki Davis posted a great companion to that infographic. Vicki shared this Google Search Modifiers Poster (link opens a PDF). Many of the modifiers featured in the poster can also be used by opening the advanced search menu in Google and making search choices.  

Applications for Education
The infographic and the search modifiers poster together make a good set of reminders for students. Print them out and post them in your library, computer lab, or classroom.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Your Life On Earth - How the World Has Changed In Your Lifetime

Your Life On Earth is a feature of the BBC's Earth website. Your Life On Earth shows you how the world has changed during your lifetime. Enter your birthdate and Your Life On Earth will show you things like how much the world's population has grown, how many new species have been discovered, and how many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have occurred since you were born.

Applications for Education
Like Larry Ferlazzo wrote, I think that kids will enjoy seeing how much the world can change in a period of time that they can easily relate to. After using Your Life On Earth to see how many new species have been discovered in their lifetimes, have your students pick a species to research and share with their classmates.

If you're nervous about entering your birthdate into the site, do what I did and just select your birth year and enter a fake month and day.

Explore the Planets and Their Moons in Google Earth

Google Earth has included moon, mars, and sky imagery for quite a while. You can find that imagery by simply selecting it from the drop-down menu within the Google Earth toolbar. To explore imagery of other planets and their moons you have to find it in a Google Earth file and open it. The SETI Institute offers nineteen Google Earth files that you can use to explore other imagery of other planets and their moons.

Recent enhancement to the Google Maps gallery has made it easier to access Google Earth files. You don't have to have Google Earth installed in order to view the imagery published by the SETI Institute. You can view the SETI Institute's Google Earth imagery by selecting a file in the Google Maps gallery. If you do have Google Earth installed on your computer you can download and open the files. The benefit of using Google Earth to open the files instead of just viewing them online is that you can combine your use of the SETI Institute's files with other files that you own.

Applications for Education
For the most part the SETI Institute's Google Earth files for planets and their moons are not the kind of files that you'll use for general exploration. The files are best suited to advanced lessons on a space science in which you have a specific feature for students to look for or you have a specific analysis task for them to complete by using the imagery.

H/T to the Google Earth Blog

An Interactive Comic and Video Versions of The Pit and the Pendulum

Halloween is just a week away and a lot of teachers may use this occasion to introduce their students to Edgar Allan Poe's classic The Pit and the Pendulum. Here are a couple of resources that can be used to introduce the story to your students.

The Pit and the Pendulum is available as an interactive comic book created by Poe in the Pit. If you view the comic book online you can click symbols within it to open videos, additional images, and additional background and analysis of Poe's work. If you choose to print the comic book you can us the QR codes embedded within it to access the videos, images, and additional info on your mobile device.

I was sick, sick unto death with that long agony... from Into ThePit on Vimeo.

Another way that you might introduce The Pit and the Pendulum to students is through Flocabulary's rap of the story. That video is embedded below.