Friday, September 2, 2016

Smarthistory Offers a Crash Course in Art History

Smarthistory offers is a free online alternative to expensive art history textbooks. Smarthistory features more than just images of notable works of art. The combination of video lessons, text articles, and audio lessons about eras and themes in art history is what makes Smarthistory a valuable resource. Students can browse all of the resources of Smarthistory by artist name, style of work, theme, or time period. Smarthistory was originally developed by art history professors Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker.

A glossary of art history terms on Smarthistory can help students understand the key talking points in the video lessons available on Smarthistory. Those video lessons are arranged into three main sections; "first things first," "tools for understanding art," and "materials + techniques." Within each section you will find six to twenty videos on subtopics.

Students Can Collaboratively Create Timelines on HSTRY

HSTRY is a neat timeline creation tool that I've been a fan of since it launched a couple of years ago. One of the features that makes it different from other timeline tools is that you can build quiz questions into your timeline. This week HSTRY added another nice feature in the form of collaboration. You and your students can now share and collaborate on the development of online timelines. The collaboration feature works just as you would expect. To collaborate on a timeline just click the "collaborate" button while you're viewing your timeline then enter another HSTRY timeline user's name or email address.

Learn more about how to use HSTRY in the video tutorials embedded below.

Applications for Education
One of the ways to use HSTRY that I've previously shared is to have students create timelines of their school year as a digital portfolio. For each month of the year students can add essays they've written, videos they've made, podcasts they've recorded, or maps they've made.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Try Math Landing for K-6 Mathematics Resources

Math Landing is a database of mathematics lessons and interactive resources for use in elementary school. You can search for lessons and interactive resources by grade level and or by mathematics topic. You can search Math Landing and access the resources without registering. If you do register you can participate in the Math Landing message board community, share resources, and create personal folders of resources that you find in the Math Landing community.

Applications for Education
You could probably find most of the resources that are indexed by Math Landing by searching the web,  but it would probably take you much longer than it would if you use Math Landing's search tools. The next time you're looking for a new math lesson, give Math Landing a try.

A Couple of Short Lessons About Labor Day

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer in North America. Schools that started in August had a long weekend and the rest will start this week. If you're looking for a short explanation of Labor Day to share with students, take a look at the two videos below.

History of the Holidays is a series of videos from History. Each installment explains a different holiday. The Labor Day video is embedded below.

Why Do Americans and Canadians Celebrate Labor Day? Is a new TED-Ed lesson. The video is embedded below. You can find the full lesson here.

Reminder - Update Your Browser for Maximum Performance and Security

A couple of times this week I have had people contact me about web tools not working the same way on their computers as they did in one of my tutorial videos. I also had folks in a workshop this week run into the same problem. In all of those cases the problems were related to out of date web browsers.

Using an outdated browser can slow your online experience and make some web applications not work correctly. Outdated browsers can also make your computer more vulnerable to viruses and other dangers. A simple way to check if your browser is up to date is to visit Browse Happy. Browse Happy lists the six most commonly used browsers, the latest version of each, and links you to the download for the latest version.

If you use Chrome as your web browser you will see three red/orange lines in the upper-right corner of your browser when you are not using the most current version. To update Chrome simply quit it completely then restart your computer and it should automatically update for you. If that doesn't work you can update by opening the help menu then choosing "about" and running the update manually.
Click image to view full size. 

Another way to determine what browser you're using is to visit WhatBrowser.orgWhat Browser is a Google site that detects what browser you're using and displays that information right on the page in front of you.