Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hands on Banking - Personal Finance Lessons for Kids

Hands on Banking is a program produced by Wells Fargo. The purpose of the program is to introduce students to the basics of personal finance including saving, budgeting, and credit management. Hands on Banking has a self-directed component for students as well as a teacher-directed component.

The self-directed component of Hands on Banking features an animated tour in which students learn what gives money its value, how to save it in a bank, and the benefits of saving in a bank. The tour then goes on to illustrate budgeting and borrowing concepts. Finally, students can earn a certificate of completion if they pass an assessment at the end of the tour. A glossary of terms and a calculator is provided for students to use throughout the Hands on Banking interactive, animated tour.

Applications for Education
The teacher-directed component of Hands on Banking features a PDF that corresponds to the animated tour. Included in the PDF are a list of key points to emphasize with students, worksheets to correspond with the animations, and activities for classroom practice.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Nursery Rhyme History

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend and we somehow got on the topic of nursery rhymes. That prompted us to Google search for an explanation of the Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme. That search landed me on a YouTube channel called Nursery Rhyme History. The channel offers sixteen short videos explaining the origins of common nursery rhymes including one of my childhood favorites, Humpty Dumpty.

Applications for Education
Nursery Rhyme History could be a good channel for history teachers to bookmark. I would use these videos if I wanted to help students make a connection to one of the topics we're studying in class.

How to Create a Twitter Poll

Over the last week Twitter has been rolling out a new polling feature to its users. The new polling option allows you to post a Tweet that contains a short poll question. Using a poll is different than just asking people to reply to a question that you Tweet. When you post a poll people don't have to reply to you with an "@" reply. Instead of sending a written reply people just choose from one of your response choices. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how the new polling feature works.

Applications for Education
Twitter polls could be useful in large professional development settings in which you want to quickly get a sense of the participants' level of interest in a particular topic. Twitter polls could also be useful for sparking discussion in a social studies/ current events course. Post a poll about an issue and then discuss the results with your students.

New Video Series - The Rod & Richard Show

A few weeks ago I posted that I would soon be publishing a new video series in which Rod Berger and I answer your ed tech questions. The first episode is finally ready. We had fun recording it and Rod did a great job of editing the video. If you have ed tech questions that you would like us to answer please post them on the EdCircuit Facebook page, Tweet them with the hashtag #askrichardbyrne, or send me an email at richardbyrne (at)

R&Repisode1 from MindRocket Media Group on Vimeo.

I'm not sure what was going on with my eyes in the video...

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.