Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from the world headquarters (otherwise known as my house) in Woodstock, Maine. I know that many of you started your winter vacation yesterday, enjoy it! For those who have a couple more days to go, you can do it!

It's a crisp 15F and sunny here this morning, perfect for a walk in the snowy woods with my dogs. Before I strap on my snowshoes and take to the woods, I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 36 Online Games Kids Can Play to Learn About Engineering
2. Measure the Speed of Light With a Chocolate Bar and Microwave
3. Seven Alternatives to Google Image Search - Comparison Chart
4. Add Your Voice to Diagrams By Creating TinyTap Sound Boards
5. The Digital Declaration of Independence
6. ProjectWriter - A New Way to Assign and Manage Group Writing Projects
7. Create Your Own Educational Games on Your Android Phone or Tablet

In January I am offering an online course titled Blogging and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders. Graduate credit is available for the course. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
HelloTalk connects students with native speakers to help them learn a new language.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
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.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting iPad Summit San Diego in February.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.

How to Subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers
Subscribe via RSSSubscribe via Email.
Like Free Technology for Teachers on  Facebook.
Find me on Twitter, on Google+, or on Pinterest.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Three Tools for Creating Last-minute Holiday Cards

In typical form I have done all of my Christmas shopping and card mailings in the last 24 hours. I know I am not the only one that waits until the last minute to get these things done. You may have students in the same boat. You may also find yourself looking for a way to help students create some last-minute holiday greeting cards of their own. The following three popular tools offer options for creating holiday cards.

Canva, PicMonkey, and PicCollage are currently offering holiday-themed graphics that you can use to create cards featuring your own pictures. Of the three Canva provides the most themes and the most options for customization. PicMonkey doesn't require students to create accounts in order to create their cards. And PicCollage is great if you're working on an Android tablet or on an iPad. (Canva also has an iPad app).

How Do Trees Survive the Winter?

It is winter in Maine and as I look through my living room windows I see a mix of leafless maple trees and green pine trees. What accounts for the differences in foliage on these trees? How do the maple, birch, and poplar trees in my yard survive the winter? Those questions and more are answered the Minute Science video, How do Trees Survive Winter?

After watching How do Trees Survive Winter? your students may have questions about the changing colors of leaves. The video below tackles that topic.

And if the talk of maple syrup makes your students wonder how it is made, take a look at Maple Syrup the Modern Way.

Bioman Biology - Science Games and Virtual Labs

Bioman Biology is a nice resource that I learned about from David Andrade. On Bioman Biology you will find dozens of educational games and virtual labs designed to help students learn about topics related to biology. The games and virtual labs are organized into eight topics; physiology, cells, ecology, genetics, classification, life chemistry, respiration, and scientific methods. Most the games are Flash-based but a handful of them are available as free iPad apps. The games and virtual labs are appropriate for middle school students.

Applications for Education
Bioman Biology offers you the option to track your students' game scores. To do this you have to register as a teacher. Then when your students complete a game they have the option to enter your email address and have their scores sent to you. Your students do not need to have email addresses of their own in order to send scores to you.

What Was Your Favorite New App or Website in 2014? - A Survey

Last week on School Library Journal I published a list of my favorite new and or significantly updated apps and websites of 2014. That list was based on my anecdotal evidence of judging reactions from people when I demonstrated those apps in workshops and the web traffic to blog posts about them. But I want to see what all of you think are the best new apps and websites of 2014. To that end I have created the one question survey that is embedded below. I will publish the results on December 23rd.