Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mega Seating Plan - Create Random or Organized Seating Charts

Mega Seating Plan is a free tool developed by a teacher for teachers. The purpose of Mega Seating Plan is to help you create seating charts from a spreadsheet of names. To create a seating chart in Mega Seating Plan simply import a spreadsheet of names, indicate where seats will be placed in your classroom, and then let Mega Seating Plan randomly assign students to seats. You can quickly alter the seating chart by dragging and dropping names on the chart.

Mega Seating Plan also has a random name selector tool built into it. To use that tool just pick a class list then click the center of your browser window to have a name randomly selected from the list.

Applications for Education
Mega Seating Plan could provide you with a quick way to shuffle the seating plans in your classroom. You might also use it to randomly create working groups in your classroom. To do that just arrange seats in groups then use the random assignment function to put students into working groups.

Privacy Online Explained by Common Craft

Have you or your students ever wondered what happens to all of the data collected by your web browsing habits? Or have you wondered why Facebook shows you one set of advertisements while a friend sitting next to you might see completely different advertisements? It all comes down to data collection and online privacy. In their latest video Common Craft explains how privacy online is different than it is in the real world, what happens to your online data, and how that data was captured to begin with. The video is embedded below.

As with all Common Craft videos you can view this one online for review, but to embed it you need to be a Common Craft member.

AlfaTyping - Create & Manage Online Typing Classes

AlfaTyping is a free service that provides online typing lessons to students. Your students can sign-up and use the service individually or you can create and manage accounts for your students. The benefit of creating a classroom account is that you can create your own lessons for your students. If you don't have time to create your own lessons, you can use the pre-made lessons offered by AlfaTyping. Regardless of whether you create your own lessons or use the pre-made lessons, you can track your students' progress in AlfaTyping.

Applications for Education
One of the nice things about being able to create your own lessons in AlfaTyping is that you can use text that relates to topics your students are already studying. That way when your students are reading the text on the screen and typing it, they are getting increased exposure to key vocabulary terms from other topics they're learning in school.

Disclosure: AlfaTyping is currently an advertiser on

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Buncee - Create Nice Multimedia Stories

Buncee is a nice tool that students can use to create multimedia stories. Students can use Buncee in the web browser on their computers or they can use Buncee's free iPad app to create multimedia stories.

On Buncee students can create a visual story that is unveiled as a viewer scroll across the page. Buncee stories can also be set to play automatically when they are viewed. Students create their Buncee stories by adding custom background templates to Buncee slides. To each template students can add animations, pictures, text, drawings, and videos. Buncee provides a large gallery of media that students can use in their stories. Additionally, students can import media from their computers, from YouTube, from Vimeo, from Dropbox, from SoundCloud, and from Gooru. Completed Buncee projects can be viewed online and or saved as PDFs.

Watch the video below for a short overview of how Buncee works.

Applications for Education
Buncee can be a great tool for students to use to create multimedia stories and presentations. Buncee's gallery of animations is what makes it stand-out from the crowd and appeals to elementary school students.

The World of 7 Billion - A Student Video Contest

The World of 7 Billion is a video contest designed to get students to think about issues related to population growth. The contest asks middle school and high school students to produce sixty second videos about how population growth impacts one of the following three issues; deforestation, public health, or water scarcity. Students' videos must also propose a sustainable solution to the issues that they choose to highlight in their videos. Submissions are due by February 25, 2016.

Applications for Education
Creating a video for the World of 7 Billion contest could be a good opportunity for students to incorporate and demonstrate their understanding of topics that they have studied in science and in geography. The 60 second limit on the videos will force students to be concise.

If your students have Chromebooks or Windows laptops, I recommend using WeVideo to create videos for this contest. In a Mac or iPad environment, I would use iMovie. Click here for my complete list of video creation resources.

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