Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Braingenie - Math & Science Practice from CK-12

Braingenie is a free service offered by the CK-12 Foundation. Braingenie provides online math and science practice activities for elementary, middle, and high school students. Braingenie's library of activities is divided into nine sections and many subsections. The nine sections are 1-8 Math, Brain Math, Algebra I, Algebra II, Precalculus, 6-8 Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Students can use Braingenie independently by simply going to the site and clicking on the "learn and practice" button. Students can use any and all of the practice activities without having to register on the site. Students who do create Braingenie accounts can save their progress and their scores. Registered users can also have their top scores appear on the leader board for each practice activity.

Braingenie can also be used by students as part of class accounts created by their teachers. Teachers can register on Braingenie to create a classroom account. Teachers are able to generate accounts on behalf of their students and even manage students' passwords. That's a great option for elementary school and middle school teachers. Teachers who create classes on Braingenie can set class goals and give their students specific practice activities to work toward reaching those goals.

Like most online practice services, Braingenie isn't a replacement for your own instruction. Braingenie offers instructional videos for students to watch before diving into each set of practice activities. This makes Braingenie a good complement to your instruction as a place for students to refresh their knowledge and practice their skills.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Five Resources for Teaching & Learning About Mount Everest

April and May is the peak of the climbing season in the Himalaya Mountains. In May many mountaineers will be making their summit attempts on Mount Everest. Long-time readers of this blog may recall, one of my bucket list items is seeing Mount Everest in person. Until then I have to entertain myself with books, videos, and imagery of the mountain. Here are some of the resources that I like to consult when teaching students about Mount Everest and the area surrounding it.

Why is Mount Everest so Tall? is a TED-Ed lesson in which students learn why the peak of Everest is so high, why other mountains are longer from base to summit, and how mountains in general are formed. Through the lesson students can also learn why the heights of mountains change and why Everest may not be the tallest mountain forever.


Google Expeditions has an excellent tour of Mount Everest base camp. In fact, I gave a demo of that tour in a webinar that I hosted today. But if you don't have access to Google Expeditions, you can experience a lot of the same imagery through Google's Street View imagery of Mount Everest Basecamp (south side) students can zoom and pan around the foothills of Mount Everest. Students viewing that imagery for the first time might be surprised at how different the view is compared the to the typical pictures of Everest. After viewing the imagery students can click forward to see Street View imagery of other places in the region.

Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everestby Ed Webster (a fellow Mainer) is one of the best books ever written about Mount Everest. If you enjoy good adventure stories and or stories about overcoming personal struggles, I think you will enjoy Webster's book. For my money, and I own two copies of it, it does a far better job of explaining how it feels to be on Mount Everest than any of the two dozen or so books that I've read about Mount Everest and the Himalaya.

Scaling Everest is an infographic that goes beyond the usual scale of Everest comparisons to buildings and jet flight paths. In the infographic you will find audio of three Everest climbers talking about the approach to Everest basecamp and the nuances of the climb itself. The infographic also provides some interesting facts about plants and animals in the region.

Mount Everest Base Camp to Summit in 3D is a Google Earth tour that takes viewers up the South Col route to the summit of Everest. A video of the tour is embedded below.

Word Hippo - Convenient Source of Definitions, Antonyms, Translations, and More

Word Hippo is a nice little tool that students can use to find definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and translations for words. The service also provides students with verb conjugation assistance, pronunciation assistance, and assistance with prefixes and suffixes. In total, Word Hippo offers more than a dozen tools for students.

Applications for Education
Word Hippo could be a good aid to ELL students. Some of Word Hippo's features could be useful for all students. For example, the synonym finder could be useful to a student that finds himself using the same adjective over and over throughout a paper. 

Synth Adds Podcast Moderation Features

Synth is an excellent tool for creating short podcasts. In fact, it's one of my picks for Best of the Web for the 2018-19 school year. But to call Synth a podcasting tool is a bit misleading because it is more than that. On Synth you can create threaded audio conversations in which people reply to your original podcast with audio messages of their own.

Synth has just released an update that introduces podcast moderation. This means that you can now create private podcasts and have students reply with private comments instead of having all replies be private.


Join Me Tomorrow Afternoon for a Live Q&A

Tomorrow at 4pm Eastern Time I'll be going live on my YouTube channel to answer another round of questions from readers like you. If you have a question about educational technology that you'd like me to answer you can put in the form below or just join the live broadcast and submit your question this afternoon.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when the broadcast starts. I'll also broadcast on the Practical Ed Tech Facebook page.