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Tag Archives: teacher tools

Show: A New Way to Look at the World — Interactive Maps

Show: A New Way to Look at the World

Show: A New Way to Look at the World is a fantastic interactive site that takes demographics and societal data and displays it in a unique way for the United States, Japan, and the world as a whole.  Show would be a great resource for not only history and social studies classrooms (It’s a sociological goldmine!) but also geography and math classes as you can use the data, correlations, and spatial relationships to interpret the maps.

Begin using Show by choosing the region you wish to view, either the United States or Japan (divided by states and prefectures, respectively) or a world map that will deal with countries.  You can then choose a category for study, whether they be broad concepts such as basic demographics (population, language, religion, etc.), more specific concepts like natural resources, GDP, and education, to the more unique categories like distribution of Wal-Marts and number of UFO sightings.

Take some time to explore before you try using this unique resource in class or have students use it during a free period or as a different way to research.  I got lost in the maps on Show for quite a long time myself and still haven’t seen half of it!

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Websites

 

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Creative Commons – Infographic

Creative Commons

Teaching and understanding copyright can be a tricky thing.  All too often we encounter those students who love to cut and paste text into a paper, change a couple of words and pass it on as their own which we know is blatant plagiarism.  Sometimes they will do this and either unintentionally forget to of attribute the work to the original author incorrectly.  In other cases, it’s not known whether or not a work is even allowed to be used or changed.  Add to this mix the concept of Creative Commons, a copyright and usage permissions vehicle that generally covers digital work and the task becomes even more precarious.

As more and more students are looking to and using online resources, it is important that they understand what is allowed and not allowed in terms of usage and copyright.  Today’s infographic takes a look at the most common licenses they may encounter with Creative Commons protected works.  This is vital to understand as these works are meant to be re-used and shared, but only under the proper terms and conditions.

What is Creative Commons?

 

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Infographics

 

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Reading for the Future – Infographic

Reading for the Future

As educators we all know the value of reading and of stressing good reading habits and strategies to our students.  We need to promote the love of reading and how to read, both for learning and pleasure, throughout their school years.  Today’s infographic shows how reading proficiency can affect a child’s life, some strategies for teaching good reading habits, and why third grade is the most important year in a student’s reading life. [VIA]

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Infographics

 

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Alge-Bingo: Algebra Game App

Alge-Bingo

As I’ve gotten more and more requests for our managed iPad cart, along with it have come requests to add more and more apps.  One of our Special Education Math teachers was looking for a fun game that would allow students to compete against each other in a way, but also against themselves but still be fun, engaging, and always different.  Enter Alge-Bingo!

Alge-Bingo is a pretty straightforward bingo game, but instead of simply having the computer call out numbers to dot, the students need to solve simple algebraic equations to find their number.  Some of the questions they might encounter are x + 3 = 5 or 8 = 16 – 4x, for example.  Students solve the equation and then look for the number to dot.  Once they have a Bingo they win!

Alge-Bingo allows for a good deal of diversity in the game itself to keep it new and interesting each time.  In addition to having different equations and locations for solutions on the bingo card, students can choose which pattern they would like to solve to get their bingo.  They can choose from nine options including traditional lines, corners, Z-shape, L-shape, or to get the most out of their practice a blackout game where they have to solve for all the numbers on the grid.

Alge-Bingo is available in the App Store for a small cost of $0.99 per unit, but it is well worth investigating for your iPads, or to suggest to students who might be in need of some extra help and would benefit from having it in the form of a fun game.

Alge-Bingo for Android Devices

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Apps

 

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Cyberbullying: Hazard or Hype? – Infographic

Cyberbullying

From time immemorial bullying has occurred.  Most of us think of bullying as occurring in the lunch room or in the school yard exclusively.  It can be either verbal or physical, but the stereotype still remains that there is the large, domineering kid pushing around the weaker child for lunchmoney.  However, this is not the case anymore.  Many children (and adults) are turning to the anonymity of the Internet to harass and intimidate as never before.  Today’s infographic examines the rise in cyberbullying, how it is done, the effects of the bullying, and how it compared to more “traditional” forms of bullying. [VIA]

Cyberbullying: Hazard or Hype?

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Infographics

 

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America in 1607 – Interactive Jamestown

America in 1607:  Jamestown and the Powhatan

On April 26, 1607 English settlers set foot on dry land for the first time in five months on what is now Cape Henry, Virginia.  They would continue to explore around the Chesapeake Bay and then up the James river, eventually choosing Jamestown Island as the site for their settlement on May 14, 1607.  What did they face and what were the conditions like for these first settlers?  America in 1607 from National Geographic helps to explain that.

America in 1607 is a fantastic interactive lesson and exploration of not only the original Jamestown Fort and subsequent residential colony, but also of the surrounding area called Werowocomoco and the native Powhatan people.  Students can explore both areas in depth with America in 1607 learning about the daily life in the fort and in Werowocomoco as both developed and adapted to new neighbors.  They can continue learning about  the subsequent archaeology to discover the sites and modern perspectives on Indian relations and the impact of the Jamestown Colony.

America in 1607 provides many excellent images and videos that explain the histories of Jamestown Fort and Werowocomoco thoroughly.  In addition, there are external links for more sites and potential webquest stops for you to build off of.

Also of Interest:

On the Trail of John Smith – An interactive adventure game from NatGeo Kids for younger students.  Short cartoon videos tell the story of John Smith and each is accompanied by a mini-game to play such as a puzzle to build the fort, a matching game with Pocohantas, and a boat race.

Historic Jamestowne – This is the official website of the modern archaeological site.  Learn about events at the site as well as updates on the ongoing excavations of the fort and settlement areas.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Websites

 

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People HD — Brief Biography App

People HD

If you are looking for a nice, simple app for biographies, you might want to check out People HD.  There is nothing flashy about this app, but it does provide short and simply written biographies of over 100 key figures from world history.  Personalities as diverse as Joseph Stalin and John Lennon or Stephen Hawking and Confucius are included and all time periods and careers are included as well.

People HD allows students to select an individual and read a short one page biography, see a timeline of their life, and read select quotes from the individual.  While this is not a treasure trove of information by any stretch, People HD would serve as a great introduction to some of these personalities, as a lesson supplement,  or as a way for students to narrow choices for research topics, or for reading more in-depth biographies of these individuals.

The developers of People HD are always looking including more biographies, so keep an eye out for more updates!

Also of interest:

Portraits HD – From the same developer, this app includes more detailed portraits of the individuals included in the People HD app.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Apps

 

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Essential Skeleton — Interactive Anatomy

Essential Skeleton

I stumbled upon this app one day in the App Store and haven’t been able to stop playing with is since.  Essential Skeleton is a fantastic app for students studying human anatomy, especially the skeletal system, or any student interested in how the human body functions.

Using Essential Skeleton is very easy and a short tutorial at each open will guide students through the proper finger gestures to manipulate their skeleton.  Students can zoom in or out on a full human skeleton, as well as rotate it 360° to view she skeletal system from any angle.

When a student selects a bone to view in Essential Skeleton, it will highlight green and an information bubble will appear giving the common and Latin names of the bone with an option to have those read for proper pronunciation.  Students can also hide or fade the bone (or those surrounding it) for different views.  Clicking on the blue “i” in the bubble opens a more detailed view with information on the function and purpose of the bone as well as 6 more close-up views.

Essential Skeleton is part of a larger series by the company 3D4Medical whose other apps include the muscular and nervous systems as well as more detailed apps for the heart, brain, and even teeth.

Also of interest:  Check out 3D4Medical’s Images app for great photos and scans of all anatomical systems.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Apps

 

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iBrainstorm — Collaborative Creation App

iBrainstorm

Another in a great line of creation and creativity apps, iBrainstorm allows students to collaborate on projects through their iPads.  It is essentially a free form drawing and writing app that can allow students to set up flow charts and graphical designs, storyboard their creative writing, or even create notes or comics.

iBrainstorm allows multiple users to create place their ideas on the board as well as add annotations, suggestions and notes through a sticky-pad feature.  This is ideal for group collaborative projects and allowing students who might need the added help to map out their thoughts and ideas.

A sister app, iBrainstorm Companion is also available for the iPhone or iPod and allows up to 4 students to work on the same document at once.  They can add or create notes and pieces on their iPhone or iPod then “flick” them to the connected iPad to produce their final product.

iBrainstorm would be ideally used in a collaborative, project-based learning environment where students are comfortable with, and responsible enough, to use their own technology independently to produce great content.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Apps, Tips & Tricks

 

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MyScript Calculator – Intuitive Handwritten Math App

MyScript Calculator

This is my new favorite app!  The MyScript Calculator is a unique tool that allows students to handwrite complex equations and formulas into their iPad or iPhone and obtain instant results.  Not only can this be used to perform simple arithmetic operations, but the MyScript Calculator can also handle more complex operations, including trigonometric functions, logarithms, and certain constant expressions.

From the developer, the full list of supported operators includes:

Basic operations: +, -, x, ÷, +/, 1/x
Misc. Operations: %, √, x!, |x|
Powers/Exponentials:
x, xy , x2
Brackets: ( )
Trigonometry: cos, sin, tan
Inverse trigonometry: acos, asin, atan
Logarithms: ln , log
Constants: π,
, Phi.

One of the only drawbacks of the MyScript Calculator is that while the technology is intuitive, it is not perfect as assessing what students intend as they write.  Therefore, it is important that they try to do so neatly in the app.  Also, variables are not written as they would in a common algebraic expression.  For example, MyScript reads “x” as multiplication instead of a variable.  Simple single variable expressions can be solved but students need to use “?” as that variable, as opposed to letters.

The applications and advantages of this app are enormous, however.  Students who are unable (or unwilling) to use a basic calculator can try MyScript for a more tactile math experience.  This would also be a help to those students who need to solve more complex calculations that would be difficult with pen, paper, and a traditional calculator.  While MyScript will not, and should not, replace more traditional methods of computation and equation solving it is a fantastic tool to have in your belt.

MyScript for Android Devices

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Apps, Tips & Tricks

 

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