Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Graphing Calculator for the iPod

(The link opens your iTunes application, so won't work if you don't have that.)

My buddy/colleague Randy Decker teaches Math 11/12 (British Columbia schools). He says:
"There's a free download of a Graphing Calculator on iTunes Apps Store. I'm quite impressed with it. I would recommend this application for use in Math 11 in British Columbia. It can tackle almost everything in the curriculum. Its display is far better than the Ti-83 or Ti-84. One can easily compare graphs because each is a different colour. It lacks a TVM solver. However, one can use graphs to solve some financial problems such as finding the time required to double an investment. One feature I really like is the ability to take a screenshot of a graph and email it."

Wireless tools for education

The link above is to a new page on my resources site. Please post a comment if you know of any sites about wireless for education so I can add the links to my page.

Here's something my colleague/buddy Randy Decker just told me about.

iTunes is a source of FREE wireless educational applications! Yes, it's true. Here's what to do:
  • Open iTunes and click to the Store.
  • Then select App Store.
  • Then select Education.
  • Then select Top Free Applications.

    There are more than 90 listed today! Here's a screenshot of the top 21 I found, just as a sampler for you. (Sorry, seems to make it rather small; you'll just have to do the search yourself to see things clearly.)
  • Monday, December 29, 2008

    Excellent, online learning -- tons of topics! DISCOUNT code here.

    Where can you take a 6 week course for $25? [AND I have a discount deal to offer you at the end of this!]

    I've been a student at LVS Online for about 20 different courses. They have a wide range of topics to choose from, like a community center kind of thing. The instructors are knowledgeable and really friendly.

    The way it works is:
    - On Saturday (for 6 weeks in a row) a new lesson is posted online, along with homework assignments.
    - The homework is about 2 - 4 hours a week. There's no deadlines, though; if you can't get it done that week, it's OK to relax and enjoy the process.
    - When you're done your homework, you "hand it in" -- various classes have different ways you'd do this. They tell you how, so don't worry about not knowing how to do things online.
    - The "classroom" for each course is its own private discussion forum, where you can ask questions, chat with the instructor and/or fellow students, discuss each others' work, etc. It's fun!
    - You can request to get a certificate at the end if you want, or just do it for fun and learning.

    Warning! Once you start taking classes at LVS Online, you may not want to stop. I haven't stopped yet after nearly 10 years. I'm signed up for the January session to take the "Artist's Workshop" course. Returning students only pay $20 a course.

    Here's the discount code to get a 20% discount if you're a new student. When you register, use this code:


    LVS says: "Registration ends January 7th. However, we have a 2 week late registration period and the coupon code expires January 21st."

    At least check out their huge list of courses.

    Hope you enjoy it! If you want to ask any questions by adding your comment here, I could try to answer.

    Oh ya, it would be great if you give them my name (Kate Britt) when you register. They have a system where you can earn certificates to take courses by referring new students to them. Thanks!

    Sunday, December 28, 2008

    ePortfolios: Engaged Students Create Multimedia-Rich Artifacts

    Electronic Portfolios: Engaged Students Create Multimedia-Rich Artifacts: This paper discusses a required university-wide ePortfolio Program at Clemson University.
    "We believe that by getting students excited about the work they are doing in their classes, and the above examples certainly demonstrate excitement and motivation, and encouraging them to "show off" this work in their ePortfolios they will become engaged in the ePortfolio process. By helping students understand why they should create an ePortfolio, and by scaffolding them through the process of how to create an ePortfolio our chance for a successful implementation is greater."

    Effective Practices with e-Portfolios

    "Our infoKit covers the main drivers, purposes, processes, perspectives and issues around e-portfolios."
    You can select information depending on which "stakeholder" category you belong to:
    "learners, practitioners, employers, professional bodies and insitutions -- we've highlighted particular areas of interest for each to form tailored 'pathways' through the infoKit."
    Of particular interest to me was the PDF (or Word text) download entitled Effective Practice with ePortfolios, which "draws out key points from established and innovative examples."

    txtng is gd 4 lrng

    "Texting does not erode children’s ability to read and write. On the contrary, literacy improves. The latest studies (from a team at Coventry University) have found strong positive links between the use of text language and the skills underlying success in standard English in pre-teenage children. The more abbreviations in their messages, the higher they scored on tests of reading and vocabulary. The children who were better at spelling and writing used the most textisms. And the younger they received their first phone, the higher their scores."

    The Power (and Peril) of Praising Your Kids

    New York Magazine article. A study was done on what kinds of praise to give kids, what works to encourage them, etc. I learned something....I've always thought it was a good idea to tell kids how smart they are. Not so much, apparently! Instead, the study indicates that we should "praise effort rather than intelligence" and that "giving kids the label of 'smart' does not prevent them from underperforming. It might actually be causing it." Go figure!

    I found a link to this article on a webpage about education and "Things that make you go Hmmmm...."

    Gamers do better at math

    An article that describes a study (The Effects of Modern Math Computer Games on Learners' Math Achievement and Math Course Motivation in a Public High School Setting). But math teachers already knew this, right?

    Dictionarist: Online Talking Dictionary

    A free online multilingual and talking dictionary service for translations with audio pronunciation in English, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages.

    YouSendIt - file transfer application

    Send, receive and track large files. Unlimited 2GB files and folders. Advanced options like password protection and certified delivery.

    They have many free options as well as their Pro applications.
    - FREE browser interface
    - FREE YouSendIt Express desktop application for Windows or Mac
    - FREE add-on plug-ins for Acrobat, Corel Draw, Photoshop, Outlook, and others

    Thursday, December 25, 2008

    Top Web-Based Online Tools

    A huge selection of in-browser tools. No Download, No Install! A growing list, continually updated by author Deniz Akay.

    For example, the site pointed me to SumoPaint. Check out "the fastest, most creative paint application on the 'net".

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

    An excellent article containing at least one tip for each of us who do any writing at all. "...most of the time the too close to the manuscript to make corrections. ...the 10 ouchies listed here crop up everywhere. They’re so pernicious that even respected Internet columnists are not immune."

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    Free Learning & Teaching Resources

    FreeLearning Teacher Resources
    BCcampus has launched a new service to help educators find FREE and OPEN educational resources they can reuse in their courses and customize WITHOUT CHARGE or WITHOUT SEEKING PERMISSION. Read about it here or link directly using the logo on the right. From this site, which requires no accounts or login, you can:

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Lesson Corner: content creation tools for the K-12 teacher

    Check out these:

    "We are announcing a new suite of free vocabulary building tools for teachers. LessonCorner's Puzzle Makers allow teachers to find or create their own free custom word search, scramble or crossword puzzles...Teachers and Homeschoolers who want to make engaging handouts for vocabulary building exercises."
    Math Worksheet Maker:"Who are these worksheets for? Math teachers whose students need practice solving math problems. Homeschooling parents also find the worksheets useful."

    The Cheatability Factor

    A PPT presentation on cheating in Blackboard.
    "Could you be making it easy for students to cheat? What is your Cheatability factor?"
    Recommended in Ask Dr.C by Kevin Reeve.

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers

    A selection made by
    "With the increasing use of technology in classrooms, it’s no wonder that teachers have a growing interest in using YouTube and other online media sharing sites to bring information into their classrooms. Here are 100 YouTube videos that can provide supplementary information for the class, give inspiration, help you keep control of class and even provide a few laughs here and there."

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    Web Hosting

    I hardly ever, EVER put advertising of any kind on my blog or website. It's the principle of the thing; there's enough of that out there. So consider this a hot tip instead, because it's not just any web host I'm telling you about, it's the one I've used for years and years.

    Today I can't NOT tell you about the deal they're having at the moment. A 6-for-6 promotion.... for all new one-year term sign-ups, you pay for 6 months and GET 6 MONTHS FREE.(regular $7.77/mo)

    Here's what I like about PowWeb:

  • UNLIMITED Disk Space
  • UNLIMITED Data Transfer
  • FREE Domain
  • Host Unlimited Domains
  • Point & Click Site Builder
  • Tons of website add-on tools, including Blogging, Photo Galleries, etc.
  • E-Commerce Included
  • SSL, FTP, Stats
  • $100 in Yahoo & Google Ads Credits
  • FrontPage/Dreamweaver ready
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

    They keep adding new features all the time. For example, when I signed up there was already an outrageous amount of file space included, but now it's unlimited. Think about that!

    So if you just happen to be researching web hosts and plan to get one soon, please have a look-see at my host:
  • Monday, December 01, 2008

    Education for a Digital World: Advice, Guidelines, and Effective Practice from Around the Globe

    This FREE (Creative Commons) eBook
    "contains a comprehensive collection of proven strategies and tools for effective online teaching, based on the principles of learning as a social process. It offers practical, contemporary guidance to support e-learning decision-making, instructional choices, as well as program and course planning, and development. Practical advice, real-life examples, case studies, and useful resources supply in-depth perspectives about structuring and fostering socially engaging learning in an online environment. A plethora of e-learning topics provide insights, ideas, and usable tools. Tips and evidence-based theory guide administrators, program and course developers, project teams, and teachers through the development of online learning opportunities."
    The book was developed and written collaboratively in
    "a unique interactive, collaborative research model based on the formation of online relationships among 50 contributors from around the world representing research, administration and business communities."