Monday, December 8, 2014

Create Trading Cards for Fictional and Historical Characters

Big Huge Labs offers a great selection of free tools for building digital products with your pictures. One of the tools that I like is their Trading Card generator that allows you to create trading cards about people, places, and events both real and fictional. To create your card you simply upload a picture or import one from Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook then add some text details about the person featured in the card. I created one about my dog, Morrison.

Applications for Education
As I wrote when I featured Read Write Think's Trading Card Creator earlier this year, the Big Huge Labs Trading Card generator could be used by students is to create a set of trading cards about characters in a novel, to create a set of cards about people of historical significance, or to create cards about places that they're studying in their geography lessons.

2 Good Sites and 2 Good iPad Apps to Virtually Explore Chemical Reactions

The chemistry lab was the location of some of my most memorable moments in high school. Many of the lessons I learned then can now be experienced virtually on a laptop or iPad. Take a look at these options for exploring chemical reactions virtually.

The Molecular Workbench is an excellent site produced by the Concord Consortium with funding from the National Science Foundation. On the Molecular Workbench you can find dozens of interactive models, simulations, and lessons in biology, chemistry, and physics. Each of the lessons walk students through a concept or series of concepts using a set of models and simulations. For example, the Cellular Respiration activity is actually a series of nine lessons using simulations of the process. In addition to the pre-made models, simulations, and lessons users can create their own using the tools provided by the Molecular Workbench.

Chem Collective is a project designed and maintained by Carnegie Mellon University's chemistry department and the National Science Digital Library. On Chem Collective you will find virtual labs for chemistry experiments, simulations, visualizations, tutorials, and auto-graded problems. Students and teachers can search the site by resource type or by chemistry topic.

goREACT is a free iPad and Android app from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. This free iPad app allows students to virtually create chemical reactions. To create the reactions students simply drag elements from the periodic table to the “reaction area.” The app features suggested reactions to help students get started. In all there are nearly 300 chemical reactions supported on the app. The app includes pictures and videos related to the reactions that students can virtually create on goREACT.

Elements 4D is an augmented reality app through which students can create virtual reactions. Elements 4D provides templates for cutting and folding paper cubes. Each cube represents elements from the Periodic Table of Elements. Students scan the cubes with their iPads or Android tablets to learn more about the elements they represent. Put two cubes together and scan them to see how the elements interact with each other. Elements 4D now offers a collection of lesson plans that utilize the augmented reality app in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Elements 4D is available for iPad and Android.

Ebooks of Lesson Ideas for iPad Apps in the Classroom

This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

iPads have entered classrooms at an unprecedented rate. In response to the prevalence of this device in schools, Apple has released a series of free eBooks outlining lesson plans for various apps. What makes these especially powerful is that they harness iPad’s unique feature of being a mobile creation device. All of the eBooks are free and the apps, if not free, are heavily discounted under Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for Educational Institutions.

Each of these eBooks focuses on a specific app and outlines a series of lesson plan ideas by grade level and subject matter. A quick note for educators, many of these Apps have iPhone and Android Options so these eBooks could be used for other platforms as well.

SketchBook Express Lesson Ideas

SketchBook Express allows students to draw, paint, and draft using just their fingerprints! Not just for art and design, there are lessons for Mathematics K-5, Science 5-8, History 5-12, Art K-5, and Science 9-12.

Stop Motion Studio Lesson Ideas

Stop Motion Studio allows students to act out their own scenes or incorporate clay, drawings, and photos to “create animated sequences.” This is a creative way to bring video into your classroom. There are lessons for Mathematics K-5, Science K-8, Literacy 9-12, and History 9-12.

Explain Everything Lesson Ideas

Lessons cover mathematics for grades K-12, Literacy grades K-12, Social Studies 9-12, and Science 6-8. Each lesson outlines age levels, objectives, sample rubrics, and examples. The outlines are a great way to get started and to build from as you progress with the tool.

Hopscotch Lesson Ideas

Hopscotch is a simple tool that “helps students learn to code, letting them get creative while developing computer science, problem-solving, and logical-thinking skills.” However, don’t think that all of the exercises are focused on computer science and coding. Rather, they provide lessons that help you to infuse coding skills into a “traditional” curriculum. Lessons cover K-8 mathematics, Literacy K-5, Foreign Language 6-8, Science K-5, and Geography 6-8.

Puppet Pals HD Lesson Ideas

Puppet Pals allows students to create their own characters and record voice overs in order to tell stories. It’s similar to other comic book apps, but allows for moveable characters that can be personalized. Lessons include topics for Science K-5, Literacy K-5, Geography 5-8, and Foreign Language 5-8.

If you would like to explore more tools for your Mobile Device classroom, check out EdTechTeacher’s “Apps for the Classroom” and “Tech Tools by Subject and Skills" or come join them for their February 9-11 iPad Summit in San Diego.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Small Collection of Resources About Pearl Harbor

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the U.S. into WWII. While this list is definitely last-minute for this year, you might bookmark a few of these resources for next year or later in the year when you get to WWII in your curriculum (I typically covered WWII in April in my curriculum).

National Geographic has a good resource students can explore to learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Interactive Pearl Harbor Attack Map is a map and timeline accompanied by voice narration. Each stop along the timeline of the attack is accompanied by a short narrated passage. At each stop students can click on the map to read more information about that place and moment in the chronology of the attack.

My Story: Pearl Harbor is an hour-by-hour account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The account is told from the perspective of Dale and Johnie Gano who were stationed at Pearl Harbor.

The National Parks Service offers lesson plans about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.

Here is a video clip of President Roosevelt giving his "Day of Infamy" speech.


SnagFilms hosts Pearl Harbor: Day of Infamy. This documentary includes interviews with 25 people who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Teach Parents Tech - A Good Way to Send Tech Help

Almost all of us have people in our lives that need help navigating their computers and or the Internet. Teach Parents Tech is a free service from Google that can help you help those people in your life that need some tech guidance.

To send tech support through Teach Parents Tech simply specify a recipient, choose the type of help that your recipient needs, and enter your recipient's email address. Your recipient will receive a set of videos designed to help them with the tasks that are troubling them. As the sender, you can preview the videos before they are sent.

Applications for Education
Teach Parents Tech is obviously designed for children to help their parents, but it could be used to help your colleagues down the hall too. You can customize your message so that it isn't addressed to mom or dad and is instead addressed to a first name. Even if you don't use the email template provided by Teach Parents Tech, you may find the site to be helpful in finding tutorial videos to embed in your blog or website.