Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Tour of the Geology of U.S. National Parks

This evening while picking up pizza for dinner I ran into one of my old assistant principals who told me about the road trip that he just completed with his family. They went on a tour of national parks in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, and Montana. Listening to him reminded me of a nice resource for learning about U.S. national parks.

From Yellowstone to Bryce Canyon to Acadia the United States is full of national parks that showcase wonderful geology. The National Park Service has organized all of the parks and their geological features on one Tour of Park Geology page. The Tour of Park Geology highlights fifteen geological features including fossils, caves, shorelines, and plate tectonics. Click on any feature on the Tour of Park Geology page to jump to more information about that feature and the park(s) that contain that feature.

Applications for Education
The Tour of Park Geology could be a good resource for finding photo albums and examples to use in your geology lessons. You could have students build a virtual national parks tour on Google Maps and have them include geology information in their tours.

My Favorite Search Strategies - Updated

This morning during the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp I shared some of my favorite strategies and ideas for helping students improve their online research skills. The slides that I used today were an updated version of slides that I have previously shared here on Free Technology for Teachers. The latest version is of the slides is embedded below.

ImageCodr Helps You Create Correct Image Citations

Creative Commons licensing makes many photos available for re-use that we otherwise could not use. The trouble is properly citing Creative Commons licensed works can sometimes be a confusing, multistep process. ImageCodr aims to make that process easier.

ImageCodr generates properly formatted Creative Commons attributions for images that you find on Flickr. Once you've found a Flickr image that you want to use just paste its URL into the ImageCodr code generator to get a properly formatted image code with Creative Commons attribution.


Applications for Education
ImageCodr could be a good tool for students to use when they're adding images to blog posts. ImageCodr gives students all of the code and attributions necessary for using a Creative Commons image found on Flickr in their blog posts.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Teach Your Monster to Read

Another question that appeared on the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page over the weekend read,

Hello Richard, I love your blog and thanks for sharing . Do you know a good free site for preschoolers to practise phonics?

My suggestion for that reader was to take a look at Teach Your Monster to Read. Teach Your Monster to Read is a great series of online games designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The website gets its name from the friendly monster avatars that students help learn to read through the course of the games.

The Teach Your Monster to Read games are designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters, sounds, and word. The games have eight levels (or islands as they're called in the game) each containing four activities. Students play the game as a friendly monster avatar. On each island students can earn prizes for their monsters and customize the look of their monsters.

Getting Started With Kaizena - Voice Commenting on Google Docs

Over the weekend a reader posted the following message on the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page,

Hey Richard, would you be able to recommend a free site for audio feedack to students? I want to record my feedback on essays and have kids listen. Don't know where to start. Is it an audio file that can be emailed? They have to log on somewhere and listen? Thoughts? Thanks for any help.

My suggestion was to try Kaizena for adding voice comments to students documents. Kaizena can be used in your web browser or as an iPad app. Kaizena's YouTube channel has some helpful tutorials including the three embedded in the playlist below.