## Monday, February 8, 2016

### How do Solar Panels Work? - A TED-Ed Lesson

One of the ways that my local school district has tried to reduce oil dependence is to use burning wood chips to heat some school buildings. We do this because solar panels aren't a great option where we live. That begs the question, how do solar panels work? The following TED-Ed lesson answers that question and more. The lesson also explains some of the political and social barriers to using solar panels in more places.

Applications for Education
One way to continue this lesson is to ask students to develop presentations in which they must persuade people to use solar panels to power their businesses or homes.

## Sunday, February 7, 2016

### Develop Mathematics Skills With Sushi Monster

Sushi Monster is a free iPad game from Scholastic that helps kids practice their addition and multiplication skills. This is the premise of Sushi Monster; students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster. The video below provides a good demonstration of Sushi Monster in action.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free iPad app that your elementary school students can use to practice their addition and multiplication skills, Sushi Monster is definitely an app to add to list.

### Two Educational Activities to Capitalize on Super Bowl Enthusiasm

I'm currently watching the Super Bowl and thinking about students who will be talking about it when they see their friends at school tomorrow. Try one of the following resources to turn your students' enthusiasm for the Super Bowl into a fun lesson.

NBC's Science of Football is a series of ten videos from NBC Learn explaining and demonstrating math and science concepts as they relate to football. The list of topics covered in the Science of NFL Football includes Torque & Center of Mass, Pythagorean Theorem, Geometric Shapes, Projectile Motion & Parabolas, Vectors, Kinematics, Nutrition, and Newton's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Laws of Motion.

Practical Money Skills hosts a series of eight online games designed to teach students some money management skills. One of the games that is timely considering that the Super Bowl is just a few days away is Financial Football. Financial Football has students answer questions about budgets, savings, and spending to move their football teams down the field against another team. The games use real NFL team logos. Financial Football takes at least twenty minutes to play.

### Two Good Tools for Building Online Discussions Around Videos

Watching videos then answering questions about them is the basic premise of a lot of flipped classroom lessons. To take that idea to higher level, invite students to ask questions and or and notations to videos that you have shared with them. Vialogues and VideoNot.es are excellent tools for building online discussions around shared videos.

VideoNotes allows you to load a video on the left side of your screen then on the right side of the screen VideoNotes gives you a notepad on which to type. VideoNot.es has a Google Drive integration which allows you to save and share notes. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use VideoNot.es.

## Saturday, February 6, 2016

### The Week in Review - A Week in Texas

Good afternoon from Austin, Texas where I'm waiting for a flight home after a great week here in Texas. This week I had the privilege to speak at TCEA and at Texas A&M. The highlight of the week for me was speaking to and working with undergrads at Texas A&M who are studying to become elementary school teachers. It was so invigorating to see their excitement to learn about and try new tech tools. The picture to the left is of the Padlet wall that they filled with stories they created with Pic-Collage and Thinglink.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. My Three Favorite Classroom Timer Tools
2. Click to Spin - A Fun and Free Random Name Picker
3. Students Can Compare Maps Side-by-Side in GE Teach
4. Create a Single Dashboard for All of Your Cloud Storage Accounts
5. Limnu - Create Collaborative Online Whiteboards
6. Three Examples of Students Creating Real-World Products to Solve Problems That Mattered to Them
7. Annotation Studio - Annotate Shared Documents With Text, Video, and Images

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?