Thursday, September 21, 2017

XtraMath Now With Google Sign-on and Support for Another Language

XtraMath is a free service designed to help you help your students master the building blocks of solving mathematics problems. I've reviewed the service before and every time I do someone replies with a positive note about the service. One of the things that makes XtraMath popular is its support for multiple languages. Recently, XtraMath added support for another language. This time they added Korean. That brings the total of supported languages up to eight. Those eight languages are Korean, English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.

This week XtraMath added the option for teachers and students to sign-on by using their Google Accounts.

XtraMath Quick Guide: Student sign-in with Google from XtraMath on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
XtraMath does not remove the need for students to learn directly from teachers and parents. The service provides an online environment in which students complete practice activities that are recorded and shared with teachers and parents. The purpose of XtraMath is to help teachers and parents monitor the progress that their students are making and prepare lessons that meet students where they are.

WebRoom - Free Online Conferencing With Virtual Whiteboard

WebRoom is a free service for hosting online meetings. WebRoom doesn't require you to download any software and you don't need to register in order to use it. To launch a meeting on WebRoom you simply enter your name and email address. Your meeting room launches as soon as you finish entering your email address. Once your room is open you can invite people to join by sending them emails from within WebRoom.

WebRoom lets you use your webcam if you want people to see your face during the meeting. A whiteboard space is provided. You can draw on the whiteboard or upload a file to share and discuss on the whiteboard. A text chat space is provided in each WebRoom meeting. It is possible to share your screen with other meeting participants. However, to share your screen you will need to install the WebRoom Chrome extension.

Applications for Education
WebRoom has the potential to be an excellent tool for hosting online help sessions for your students. The whiteboard makes WebRoom a fantastic choice for helping students with math problems because you can use it to show steps in solving a problem while talking to your students at the same time.

Stitcht - Make Videos With Friends

Stitcht is a free iOS app that lets you create a video from a combination of video clips captured by your friends. To make a video on Stitcht you simply start a project then invite others to add their video clips to the project. Stitcht will then combine the shared clips into one video that you can play back and publish.

Applications for Education
Stitcht could be a good app to use to have students create a highlight reel of a shared event like a field trip or a pep rally. It could also be a good app for parents who want to collaborate to make a highlight reel of a shared event. I could see my local athletics booster club using the app to make a video of the highlights from a football game.

Unfortunately, Stitcht is only available for iOS at this time. Hopefully, an Android app will be added soon.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Beyond Words - A Library of Congress Lab Experiment

The Library of Congress Labs is a website that hosts online experiments based on collections of digital artifacts housed by the Library of Congress. One of the experiments that should be of interest to US History teachers is the Beyond Words project.

Beyond Words is an online project designed to identify illustrations in WWI-era newspapers. The project also seeks to create captions for illustrations identified in the newspapers. The project is open to anyone who would like to contribute by using the marking and transcribing tools provided by the Library of Congress. To get started you just need to go to the Beyond Words website then choose a collection of scanned newspapers to look through.

Applications for Education
Contributing to the Beyond Words project could be a great way to get students interested in newspaper archives. Browsing through the newspapers to find illustrations doesn't feel as intimidating to some students as a task in which they have to read through dozens of pages of 100+ year old newspapers.

Create Interactive Diagrams on Quizlet

Earlier this month Quizlet, a popular flashcard service, added a new interactive diagram feature. This new feature can be used by students and teachers to create review activities that are based upon pictures and charts. Clicking on a point on an interactive Quizlet image will reveal the name or term clicked. You can then "flip" the flashcard just as you would with any other Quizlet flashcard. Multiple interactive elements can be added to each picture or diagram that you upload to your Quizlet account. This interactive map of Europe is a great demonstration of what can be done with the new interactive diagram feature in Quizlet.


Applications for Education
The option to review their Quizlet flashcards in the context of a larger diagram is a nice improvement. Learning about the parts of a cell or reviewing the locations of cities and states are perfect uses for the new interactive diagram feature in Quizlet.

There are a couple of other services on the market that also provide tools for creating quiz questions in the form of an interactive diagram. Those services are GoFormative and TinyTap.