Thursday, October 29, 2015

An Illustrated Mathematics Dictionary

Math is Fun is a free website that offers math games, puzzles, and tutorials. One of the tutorial resources that they offer is an illustrated mathematics dictionary. The Math is Fun dictionary offers more than 700 definitions of mathematics terms. All of the definitions include an illustration. Nearly 200 of the definitions include an animation. Some of the animations are interactive tutorials.

Applications for Education
For some students one of the obstacles to understanding how to solve a mathematics problem is understanding the vocabulary used in the problem. Once they understand the meaning of terms they have an easier time understanding and solving the problems. Having a glossary of terms often helps students get to the heart of a mathematics problem.

How to Create a B-roll Media Folder in Google Drive

The best way to have students avoid accidentally using copyrighted images or videos in their own projects is to use media that they've created themselves. One of the strategies that I frequently recommend to teachers as a way to help students avoid any copyright issues in their work is to use media from a classroom b-roll gallery. You can build this gallery by having students contribute pictures, video clips, and sounds to a shared Google Drive folder. In the video below I demonstrate how to create a shared Google Drive folder.

Daylight Saving Time Explained

Rolling the clocks back one hour is a sure sign that winter is fast approaching North America. We'll be doing that here this weekend. If your state or province practices Daylight Saving Time, you'll be rolling back your clocks before bed and gaining back that hour of sleep you lost in the spring. Students may be wondering about the reasons for Daylight Saving Time. The following videos offer concise explanations of Daylight Saving Time.

And although it's not about daylight saving time, this TED-Ed lesson about the standardization of timezones is worth watching.

Histography - A Massive Interactive Timeline

Histography is an impressive interactive timeline spanning today through the beginning of recorded history. The timeline is divided into fifteen categories including war, politics, discoveries, inventions, and art. To explore the timeline select one of the categories listed on the Histography website then adjust the timeline slider to see events from the range of dates that you've selected. After choosing a category and date range you can click on dots in the timeline to see pop-up boxes containing event titles, representative pictures, and a link to a Wikipedia page about the event.

Applications for Education
All points on the Histography timeline are based on Wikipedia entries, but don't let that discourage you from using it. I think viewing and manipulating the Histography timeline could be a good way for students to discover events and topics that they otherwise might not find in a typical history textbook. That process of exploring the timeline could lead students to further investigate an event or topic outside of the Wikipedia entry.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Screenr is Closing - Try Screencast-o-Matic

Earlier today I wrote a post about screencasting tools. In that post I included Screenr. A couple of hours later I received an email from Screenr announcing that they are shutting down on November 11th. Screencast-o-matic is my recommendation for a Screenr replacement.

Screencast-O-Matic is available in a free version and a pro version. The free version allows you to record for up to fifteen minutes at a time (that is plenty of time for most screencasts), publish to YouTube in HD, and save videos to your computer as MP4, AVI, and FLV files. The pro version ($15/year) includes video editing tools, unlimited recording lengths, a script tool, and removal of the Screencast-O-Matic watermark. Both versions of Screencast-O-Matic include a highlighted circle around your cursor so that viewers can easily follow your movements on the screen. A webcam recording option is included in the free and pro versions of Screencast-O-Matic.

Applications for Education
Screencast-O-Matic can be used for creating how-to videos or simple flipped lesson videos in which you record yourself talking over a set of slides.