Friday, October 30, 2015

Use Google Keep to Draw Notes on Your Android Device

Google Keep is my go-to app for writing short notes and setting reminders for myself. I've also used it as a mindmapping tool from time to time. Today, Google Keep for Android got a huge update. You can now draw notes in the app. To draw a note just open the app and tap the pen icon to start drawing. You can also add a drawing to a text, image, or voice note. To add drawings to an existing note tap the three dots in the upper-right corner of the screen and select "add drawing."

Google Keep is available also available as a website, as a Chrome app, and as an iOS app. Unfortunately, while you can view drawn notes in those other apps, you cannot create new drawings in the non-Android versions of Google Keep at this time.

Applications for Education
Google Keep is a great app for creating to-do lists and reminders. Google Keep lets users share notes just like sharing Google Documents. In that regard it's great for keeping track of to-do lists in team projects.

Drawing notes in Google Keep could be a great way for students using Android tablets and larger Android phones to sketch mindmaps or flow charts. It could also be a good place for students in mathematics classes to take notes on how to solve a particular type of problem.

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.