Monday, December 12, 2016

An Easy Way to Create Mindmaps in Your Browser

A lot of mind mapping tools lock you into using straight lines between elements, but Connected Mind is not one of them. Connected Mind allows you to create mind maps in any configuration that you like. It is a Chrome Web Store app which means that you save your work online using your Google Account credentials. As I demonstrate in my video embedded below, Connected Mind lets you use images and or text bubbles in your mind maps. The labeling options in Connected Mind are almost limitless too. Watch my video below to learn more about Connected Mind.

Applications for Education
Connected Mind could be a good app for students to use to develop mind maps from scratch or from an existing image or file they upload. In general, I find mind mapping to be a great exercise for students to do while planning a video project. I also use mind mapping when planning a lesson unit for my courses.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Reach Out Reporter - Science News for Children

Reach Out Reporter is a free service that provides science stories for elementary school students. The site is updated weekly with videos, articles, and graphics. There is a section in Reach Out Reporter called Fact Pack. In the fact pack section you will find sets of short videos and or images arranged around a central topic.

Applications for Education
All sections of Reach Out Reporter include discussion question suggestions for teachers.

A quick note of clarification: Reach Out Reporter is based in the U.K. therefore dates on articles are formatted with the day before the month.

H/T to The Whiteboard Blog

What's in Dry-Erase Markers? - How Do They Work?

Even in the most tech-laden schools you can still walk into almost any classroom and find a dry-erase marker and whiteboard. Whether it's to write a reminder for your students or to spell out a key term, it's quick and easy to scribble on whiteboard. But what is in those dry-erase markers we use? And how do they work? The answers to those questions and more are offered in the following episode of Ingredients on National Geographic's YouTube channel.

Applications for Education
When I have shared previous episodes in this series I have suggested having students attempt to re-create and or improve on the formula. I'm not sure that is a good idea in the case of dry-erase markers. Instead, I'll suggest using a tool like Vizia to create a flipped lesson based on the video.

4 Fun Facts About Reindeer

Thanks in part to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer some children don't believe that reindeer (caribou) are real animals. SciShow Kids seeks to remedy that in their latest video 4 Facts to Know About Reindeer. Through the video kids can learn why reindeer are called caribou in North America. The lesson also teaches students how reindeer have adapted to find food and stay warm in cold weather. The video concludes with an explanation of why reindeer migrate.

To create a flipped lesson based on this video try using Vizia or EDPuzzle.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Woodstock, Maine where we were treated to a beautiful sunset over the mountains. While it was a cold day, it was still a nice day to go look for a Christmas tree on my land. The search for a Christmas tree was abandoned when my dogs decided to run off in pursuit of a secret dog agenda. They came back. We'll look for a tree again tomorrow. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you had time for something fun too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Two Ways to Grade Short Answer Questions in Google Forms
2. Google Returns the Reference Citation Option to Google Docs
3. Two Good Sets of Animated Maps for U.S. History Students
4. How to Cite the Source of Images Found in Google Docs & Slides
5. Expii Solve - Fun and Challenging Mathematics Exercises
6. Three Alternatives to Glogster
7. Two YouTube Search Methods You Might Be Overlooking

Join me on Wednesday for Winning Blog Strategies, a webinar that is sure to help you improve your blog.

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosts workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

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