Friday, February 23, 2018

The Chemistry of Contrails

Earlier this week I was ice fishing on a lake in northern Maine that just happens to be under the flight path of many airplanes going to and returning from Europe. Being a bit of an aviation geek, I enjoyed guessing at the model of the planes overhead. I could quickly identify 747s, A380s, and A340s because they leave behind four contrails while twin engine jets leave behind only two contrails. I share that story because Reactions has a new video that explains how jet contrails are created.


Front Row Introduces New ELA Practice Activities

Front Row is an excellent service that provides differentiated reading materials and practice exercises in K-12 classrooms. Front Row offers articles and exercises on topics in math, science, social studies, and language arts. The latest update to Front Row features new ELA skills practice activities.

The new ELA skills practice activities on Front Row are designed to help students in third through eighth grade develop skills in six areas. Those areas are making connections, inferences, main ideas, word choice, text structure, and point of view. The activities feature short, nonfiction passages that students need to read and then answer questions about. The questions appear side-by-side with the text passage so that students can quickly refer to the passage for context. Just like other Front Row activities, the difficulty of the ELA passages and questions adjust depending upon how students answer the questions.



Thursday, February 22, 2018

Anchor 3.0 Provides an Easy Way to Create Podcasts

Anchor is a free service for creating podcasts on your phone or on your laptop. When the service started it was just a simple app that let you record short (two minutes or less) episodes to publish on the Anchor network. Over the last couple of years the service has steadily added more features leading up to Anchor 3.0 that launched today.

The latest version of Anchor is packed with features that make it easy to record, edit, and publish podcasts. Perhaps the best feature of Anchor is the ease with which you can publish to all major podcast networks including iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and Pocket Casts. To publish to those platforms all you have to do is select them when you tap or click publish on your Anchor podcast.


Anchor previously only let you record through your phone. The new version of Anchor includes a browser-based recording. The browser-based recording tool also includes free transition music that you can use within your recording. For those who prefer to record with another tool, can still use Anchor to publish their podcasts. The browser-based version of Anchor has an option to upload audio files for publication.

Applications for Education
If you have ever wanted to start a podcast with your students, but got deterred by the complexity of publishing, Anchor could be the solution that you need.

How to Schedule Blog Posts

Posting on a consistent schedule is one of the keys to maintaining interest in any blog. One of the best ways to maintain a consistent schedule is to use the scheduling tools that are built into most blogging services. By using the scheduling tools you can write a bunch of posts at once and have them appear at a later time. In the following video I demonstrate how to schedule blog posts on Edublogs, on Blogger, and on WordPress.



How to Use Google Sheets to Create a Bingo Board With Pictures

A couple of weeks ago I shared the news that Flippity's Bingo board template now lets you include pictures in your boards. I've had a few people ask for clarification on how to include image links in the template that generates the game board. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a Bingo board through Google Sheets.