Friday, March 17, 2017

Put a Planetarium In Your Web Browser

Planetarium by Neave Interactive is a website on which you can specify your current location and it will show you a map of the night sky based upon your location and the date. You can also use Planetarium without specifying your location and instead explore the night sky from any place on Earth. For Google Chrome users, Planetarium offers a Chrome Web App that you can add to your browser.

Applications for Education
Planetarium could be an excellent website and Chrome App to use in lessons about astronomy. Students can compare the constellations they see at home with those of people in other parts of the world at the same time.

Listen and Read - Nonfiction Read-along Activities

Listen and Read is a set of 15 nonfiction read-along stories. The stories feature pictures and short passages of text that students can read on their own or have read to them by each story's narrator. The collection of stories is divided into three categories: Community Club which would be better described as "careers," animals, and the President.

Applications for Education
Listen and Read looks to be a great resource for social studies lessons and reading practice in general. At the end of each book there is a short review of the new words that students were introduced to in the book. Students can hear these words pronounced as many times as they like.

Listen and Read books work on computers, tablets, and interactive whiteboards.

Piracy Online Explained by Common Craft

Piracy Online is the most recent addition to Common Craft's library of excellent explanatory videos. The video teaches viewers what online piracy is, how it violates copyright laws, and how online piracy impacts artists, software developers, and consumers.


Applications for Education
Understanding why using pirated music, videos, and software is illegal is part of helping students become responsible digital citizens. Piracy Online could help your students become aware of online piracy and why they should avoid using pirated materials.

Speaking of pirated materials, Common Craft videos can be viewed online for free for personal use. To embed them as I have done above or to show them in your classroom, you do need to have a subscription to the Common Craft library.

Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind business relationship with Common Craft. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Formatically Helps Students Properly Format Essays

Formatically is a free service that helps students properly format their papers in MLA style.

Students can use Formatically without creating an account on the site. To get started students simply need to fill in requested information on the Formatically MLA template. Once the template is completed students will have a new document that they can download.

At this point Formatically is still in beta. There are some features that are advertised, but are are not yet ready. Those features include importing citations from other services and uploading existing documents to a Formatically account.

Applications for Education
After spending hours writing a great essay the last thing that students want is to have the quirks of MLA formatting stress them out. That's why some college students created Formatically.

McCarthyism Explained In a New TED-Ed Video

Earlier this week TED-Ed published a new video lesson that explains McCarthyism. In What is McCarthyism? And How Did It Happen? students can learn the origins of McCarthyism and the actions of HUAC. Students can also learn how some people were ensnared in the actions of McCarthy and HUAC.


Take a look at this CommonLit McCarthyism guided reading document as a possible support for this TED-Ed lesson.