Friday, October 14, 2016

Kudoboard - Create Digital Group Greetings

Kudoboard is a platform designed to help you create and send digital greetings from a group of people. Kudoboard will remind some people of Padlet in that you're provided with a blank canvas on which you place digital sticky notes. Kudoboard lets you include pictures and videos in your notes. Just like Padlet you can invite others to write notes on the wall with you. What makes Kudoboard different from using Padlet is that you can specify a time to send your wall of notes to a recipient.

Applications for Education
Kudoboard could be a nice tool to use to have your students send a get well note to a classmate.

Ingredients - A New Series About the "Stuff Inside Your Stuff"

Ingredients is the title of a new National Geographic video series about the ingredients that go into creating common products like toothpaste, nail polish, and chewing gum. The videos feature George Zaidan examining and explaining the functions of the ingredients. After the explanation of the ingredients George attempts to create the product himself in a kitchen laboratory.

Applications for Education
The episodes of Ingredients conclude with a call to make suggestions for improvement to the recipe the George Zaidan used. Developing improvements to the recipes could be a fun, hands-on science lesson.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

CS First - Lesson Plans for Teaching Computer Science

CS First is an initiative from Google to promote computer science classes and clubs in schools. CS First features computer science lesson plans based on nine themes. Within each theme you will find up to ten hours of activities to conduct with your students. The themes in CS First are storytelling, friends, fashion & design, art, social media, sports, game design, music, and animation,

The activities in CS First are based on the Scratch programming interface. The lesson plans are intended for use with elementary school and middle school students.

The lesson plans on CS First are quite detailed. In fact, they might be too detailed at times as they even include instructions like telling students to sit down. Beyond the lesson plans CS First offers a thorough set of training materials for teachers who have not previously taught computer science and or previously used Scratch.

Applications for Education
CS First could be a good resource to help teachers get started in learning computer science with their students. CS First emphasizes creating computer science clubs. The materials in CS First will give your club plenty of things to do. However, once your students get the hang of Scratch, they'll probably want to break out of the prescribed steps of the CS First activities.

5 Ways Students Can Find Free Images

Google's recent introduction of the "Explore" tool in Google Slides retained the option for students to find images for their slides, but removed the option to filter the images according to usage rights. There are other ways to find free images to legally use in slides, videos, and other multimedia projects. In the following video I demonstrate five tools that students can use to find free images.

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