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Technology Integration
Teachers rarely have the time to research new technologies and resources to use in their classrooms.  I've been fortunate in the past few years to have worked at a job where one of my duties was to find and learn about new technologies that help shape and transform teaching and learning. When I stumble on things I want to share with teachers, I often find it easier to post the resource on a blog or other public forum so that many can benefit from the resource.  If I'm lucky, I people respond with their own solutions and I learn a new tool or strategy.


Where Do You Draw the Line? PDF Print E-mail

redistrictI've recently discovered a great civics game called:  The Redistricting Game.  It's a hands-on look at the districting process and how it affect elections MUCH more than we may think.  Students are challenged to create a balanced map, then once they get the hang of things, to actually sway an election towards their party's favor by using current methods of redistricting.  The realization that hits you once you successfully snatch an alection from your opponent is powerful.

http://www.redistrictinggame.org/

 
Did You Know? 2.0 PDF Print E-mail

The original Did you know video was released on August 15, 2006 and it's been viewed millions of times since. It originally started as a short video that Karl Fisch made for his school teachers to start a discussion about technology and the exponential times we live in. He posted it on his blog after the initial presentation, and it made it to YouTube. After that... it's history. Karl talks about the growth of the original video on his blog.

Well, Karl released an updated version of the video back in 2007 and it's a good video to see again.  Karl had it remade it for two reasons: he wanted it to be more of a global perspective rather than a US centric position, and he also felt that the video needed to ask more from the viewer and give resources for them to pursue.

Read more...
 
Once You Pop... PDF Print E-mail

cornucopia_blogimage1.jpgOh man! Talk about a useful tool. How many of us have had to do a newsletter, and had no time to get it done? LetterPop! is an incredibly easy to use website that gives you the tools to create a newsletter quickly, and helps you distribute it to your audience. If you can drag and drop, you can create some amazing newsletters with LetterPop!

It really is that easy. Pick a template, drop in some photos, and write your text. When you are done, you can print it, post it online to a custom URL, or email it to friends & family. www.letterpop.com

 
Wanna Learn Sketchup? Go to School! PDF Print E-mail

school2.jpgSketchUp is a tremendously powerful piece of FREE software from Google. Most teachers and students barely scratch the surface of what this program can do. Learning the basics is easy, but mastery of the program takes a good deal of time and playing. Luckily, there is a great fan site that will help teach you all the tips and tricks of SketchUp.

School (www.go-2-school.com) was founded by Mike Tadros and Alex Oliver - two certified Sketchup instructors and 3D design professionals. It hosts several video tutorials (30+ !!!) for all sorts of projects and proficiency levels. The site also has a robust Forums section for you to talk to other SketchUp users. You can even purchase DVDs of their tutorials for offline viewing.

 
What's on Your Daily Plate? PDF Print E-mail

dailyplate1.jpgThe new year is often full of resolutions to be healthier, and it's sometimes difficult for people to keep up with. It's also often troublesome to keep up with calories, nutrients, exercise patterns, and weight loss/gain. Wouldn't it be nice to have something automatically track your diet and activities? Wouldn't that be a powerful, hands-on tool for Health and Nutritional studies?

One such tool is the Daily Plate. With a free Daily Plate account, you can track your caloric intake by simply searching for normal food you eat and clicking "I ate that" - it even has common food items from restaurants! You can set current weight and weight goals, specify how much you want to lose (or gain) and how quickly you want to do it, and even get a total of nutritional information for the foods you are eating. You can even group common foods into "meals" and save them for easy retrieval later.

Imagine using this in a health class with your students. Discussion could start with setting reasonable dietary goals, from losing a few pounds to cutting down on sodium or eating more fiber. Each student could then track their progress to their goal and get progression charts and detailed information of their journey. This could facilitate meaningful discussion about what foods they eat, how much exercise plays a role in their lives, and so on.

Bon Appetit!