Friday, March 20, 2015

Consumer Education at the Mall

The FTC offers a lot of good resources designed to help students and adults become savvy consumers. One of the resources they provide for students is an online environment called Consumer Education at the Mall. This virtual mall features animated lessons, games, and other activities that help students understand advertising methods, product pricing, and privacy protection. The virtual mall also has a section in which students can learn about common consumer scams.

The consumer education mall has four sections. In the west terrace students learn about advertising methods and truth in advertising rules. The west terrace also includes a game in which students have to match advertisements to their intended audiences. In the consumer education mall's food court students learn about how competition between businesses can be a good thing for consumers. In the food court students students also learn how supply and demand affect prices. The mall's security plaza is where students head when they want to learn about consumer privacy protections, what kind of personal information is safe to share and which kinds are not safe to share. In the mall's east terrace students discover why enticing prices, give-away promotions, and flattery isn't what it appears to be on the surface.

Applications for Education
The activities in Consumer Education at the Mall are designed for students in upper elementary grades and middle school. You could have students attempt to go through all of the activities in one sitting or you could break it up into sixteen smaller lessons for your students. The FTC provides PDF fact sheets for each activity in the consumer education mall.

Two Online Courses Starting Next Week - Graduate Credit Available

I have two Practical Ed Tech courses starting next week. On Monday evening we will start Getting Going With GAFE. On Tuesday evening we will start Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders. Through my partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute you can earn three graduate credits for each course.

More about Getting Going With GAFE:
Is your school transitioning to Google Apps for Education? If so, this course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that GAFE offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With GAFE is a Practical Ed Tech webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. Getting Going With  GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice.

Getting Going With GAFE costs $147. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments.

Course dates:
Spring section 1: March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20 - all classes meet at 7pm ET.

More about Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders:
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a five week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned. After establishing blogs we’ll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities.

This course costs $147. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments.

Course dates:
Spring section: March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21st. - all classes meet at 7pm ET.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to Sign Documents That Have Been Emailed to You Without Printing Them

In the course of the school year there are plenty of documents that we all have to sign for one reason or another. You could print those documents, sign them, then scan them. Or you could use HelloSign to sign them within your web browser and never have to print or scan them at all. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use HelloSign.


In addition to the method I featured in the video above you can also use HelloSign's Chrome app, Gmail plug-in, iPad app, or Android app.

Solar Eclipse Explained by SciShow Kids

Tomorrow (later today depending on where you live) there will be a solar eclipse over Europe, parts of Asia, and parts of Africa. SciShow Kids has produced a video explanation of solar eclipses. The video is the fifth on the new SciShow Kids YouTube channel. The channel is an off-shoot of the popular SciShow produced by Hank Green.

The Price of Freedom - A Visual History of American Conflicts

The Price of Freedom is a multimedia timeline of history of American wars. The timeline is hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Students navigate the timeline by selecting one of the conflicts highlighted on the timeline. After making a selection students are sent to an online exhibit that features a timeline of that conflict. Within the timeline of each conflict students will find the causes and outcomes of the conflict. Short videos, images, and primary source documents are included throughout the Price of Freedom timeline.

Applications for Education
The Price of Freedom timeline is the type of resource that I like to use as the starting place for a research assignment. After reviewing the information in the timelines I would have students try to fill in the gaps by finding their own resources. A printable version of the timeline's content is available. The printable version might make it a little easier for students to keep track of the information presented in the timeline.