Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Add Audio to Images In SeeSaw Digital Portfolios

SeeSaw is a great platform for creating digital portfolios. Whether students use the free SeeSaw iPad app, the Android app, the Chrome app, or just the website they can add all kinds of media to their digital portfolios. SeeSaw supports uploading videos, documents, slideshows, and audio recordings. Students can also include hyperlinks in their digital portfolios.

Students can add pictures to their SeeSaw portfolios in two ways. As previously mentioned, students can upload pictures to their portfolios. They can also use the cameras on their tablets, Chromebooks, or laptops to snap a picture that is directly added to their portfolios. Regardless of which method students use to add a picture, they can add audio commentary to their pictures. Once the picture is added students will see a menu just below it that includes an "audio" button. When they tap the audio button students can immediately start recording themselves talking about the pictures they've added to their portfolios.

Applications for Education
Adding audio commentary to images can be a great way for students to explain the significance of a picture in their portfolios. It's also a good way for students to explain to you an understanding of a concept that they've illustrated.

Disclosure: SeeSaw is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

How to Include Video Feedback in Google Forms

Google Forms is a great platform for creating all kinds of simple quiz and review activities. One of the features of Google Forms that is often overlooked is the "go to section based on answer" setting. When you use that setting correctly you can send students to watch a review video when they answer a question incorrectly in your Form. In the five minute video embedded below I demonstrate how to create a Google Form that prompts students to watch review videos when they answer questions incorrectly.


Another method for prompting students to watch a video when they answer incorrectly is to put a video link in the feedback portion of a graded Google Forms quiz. The downside to that method is that students have to wait until they have completed the entire quiz before they can get the links to the videos. A video tutorial on that process is embedded below.

21 TED-Ed Lessons About Animals

Writing yesterday's post about how animals see in the dark inspired me to look through the TED-Ed catalog for more interesting lessons about animals. As I browsed through the catalog I found lessons about how dogs "see" with their noses, why blue whales are so big, how ant colonies work, and eighteen other interesting lessons about animals. I put all of the TED-Ed animal lessons that I liked into one playlist. That playlist can be found on my YouTube channel or as embedded below.



All of the videos in the playlist have accompanying discussion questions available on the TED-Ed website. To quickly find the questions, open the videos in YouTube then click the lesson link found in the descriptions below each video.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Time Is Money - And Other Short Lessons on Money

The majority of the high school students that I've had over the years has been engaged by personal finance lessons. This is probably due in large part to the fact that high school age is when many students get their first real jobs. For many students that first pay check comes with excitement followed by a bit of confusion at how quickly it can all be spent. Some of them quickly realize that minimum wage isn't a livable wage. Others take a little longer to figure that out. A few years ago I created a hands-on simulation for teaching students about the difficulty of trying to survive on a minimum wage job. The activity outline can be downloaded for free from my page in the TES Marketplace.

Time Is Money is a free Chrome extension that can help you see what the expression "time is money" really means. Time Is Money will display the number of hours you would have to work in order to have enough money to purchase any product that you find listed with a price on the Internet. For example, I went to Cabelas.com and found a couple of sweaters that I might like to buy. With the Time Is Money extension activated, the price in dollars is displayed along with the price in hours I would have to work in order to buy those sweaters. Time Is Money can be customized to be based on your hourly wage or your annual salary.

What Gives a Dollar Bill Its Value? is a nice TED-Ed lesson on the influence of the United States Federal Reserve banks on the value of currency. The lesson includes a short piece about the correlation between inflation and the overall health of the U.S. economy. The lesson is probably best suited to high school students who already have a basic understanding of how the value of currency is determined.

An Easy Way to Distribute Contact Info During an Open House

At back-to-school night parents usually end up with collection of papers that they may or may not be saved for reference throughout the school year. Use QR codes to put the odds in your favor of the information in those papers being saved. I figure that if parents and or students scan and save information on their mobile devices, they are far more likely to retain it that way than if I gave them pieces of paper. So create QR codes and paste them on the door to your classroom or on a bulletin board in your room.

I use QR Droid's free QR code generator to create QR codes that lead to all kinds of valuable information. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of how to create a QR code that contains your contact information.