Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Nebraska where I'm visiting my friends Kris and Beth Still. Some of you probably recognize Beth's name from her work with the ISTE Newbie project and other social media initiatives. Beth probably had as much or more positive impact on my career than anyone else in the last six or seven years. And Kris is just an all around great guy.  Before we head out for a fun day, I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week.

And Max would like to remind his all of his furry friends to put on their orange jackets when they head into this woods at this time of year in North America.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Dozens of Great PowerPoints for AP History Students & Teachers
2. 4 Math Add ons for Google Docs
3. 10 Things Students Can Do With Google Keep
4. Buncee - Create Nice Multimedia Stories
5. DigiPuzzle - Fun Math, Spelling, and Typing Games for Kids
6. Get Kids Exercising With Fun Activites from Sworkit Kids
7. AlfaTyping - Create & Manage Online Typing Classes

This week I opened registration for a new section of my popular online course Getting Going With GAFE. The course starts on November 24th and runs for five weeks. There is an option to earn three graduate credits for completing the course. Click here to learn more.

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
AlfaTyping offers great, free typing lessons for kids. 
MasteryConnect offers a series of apps for identifying standards. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers. 
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

Space Chef - A Fun App Introducing Kids to Healthy Foods

Space Chef is a fun new iPad app from the Lawrence Hall of Science. The purpose of the app is to introduce students to healthy foods and recipes that they may not have ever tried or even heard about.

Space Chef features a fast-paced game in which students have to quickly grab the ingredients for a recipe. The ingredients scroll past them in three streams or flight paths. Students are shown a recipe at the top of the screen and they must grab the appropriate ingredients as they stream across the screen. The thirty second video embedded below provides a glimpse of the game in action.

Applications for Education
Playing Space Chef could be a great way for students to be introduced to new and healthy foods. The game is suitable for elementary and middle school students. To follow up the game play, ask your students to explore what makes these foods healthy. Another follow-up to the game play is to ask your students to think about the snacks that they could take out of their diets and replace with healthier options.

Riddle Makes it Easier to Create Online Quizzes

Over the last year Riddle has become my favorite tool for creating online quizzes and polls outside of Google Forms. The latest update to Riddle makes it easier than ever before to quickly customize your quizzes. You can now simply drag and drop questions into order in your Riddle quiz editor. This makes it much easier to shuffle the order of questions so that you can give one version of a quiz to one group of students and give a different version of the quiz to another group of students.

Watch my video embedded below to learn more about how Riddle works.

Applications for Education
Riddle's format of using images as response choices could make it a good option for giving informal quizzes on topics that require a lot of visuals. For example, a quiz on fractions might use pictures which represent various fractions. A quiz on art history might use Riddle to showcase works of art of answer choices.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Science of Static Electricity - And Other Resources for Learning About Electricity

It is getting to be that time of year here in Maine when we can't walk across a carpet then touch a light switch without getting a bit of a shock. What causes that happen? And why does it seem to happen more often in the winter months than in the summer months? The answers to those questions and more are found in the TED-Ed lesson The Science of Static Electricity.

Other resources for teaching and learning about electricity.
Brain Stuff has a video that offers a good explanation of why we hear a buzzing sound coming from fluorescent lights found in many schools and office buildings. The video is embedded below.

Minute Physics offers a short video explaining how modern light bulbs work and how light bulb design has changed over the last 100+ years.The video also includes explanations of the different types of modern light bulbs and their applications. The video is embedded below.

Hydro to Home is an interactive story of hydro-electric power from raindrops to homes. The story walks visitors through each step of the process of generating hydro-electric power and delivering to consumers' homes. The story is narrated and along the way there are interactive images that visitors can click on to learn even more information about hydro-electric power.

The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits is a neat series of interactive animations designed to help students of elementary and middle school age learn how electric circuits work. There are five sections to the series. Each sections builds upon the lessons of the previous section. The series starts with the basics of what makes a circuit complete and concludes with diagramming and building circuits. Each section in the series has a few short lessons and is followed by an animated interactive activity to which students can apply what they have just learned.

How to Collaboratively Create Video Playlists

YouTube is full of handy little features that many people don't notice or use. One of those features is the option to collaboratively create playlists of videos. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to collaboratively create a playlist of videos.

Applications for Education
There a lot of great educational content on YouTube. The challenge that many teachers and students have is finding and keeping track of it all. Turn on the collaboration feature when you start a playlist and work with your colleagues to develop lists of educational videos for your students. Or, as I suggest in the video, have students collaborate to create a playlist of helpful videos.

At the Google Jamboree in Medfield, Massachusetts on December 5th I'll be running a workshop all about the great features of YouTube that teachers can use.