Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today's Meet for Large Class Discussions

Today's meet is a great resource if you are having a presentation in a larger group as it lets people type in a question which you can instantly see and respond to when appropriate.  It also might be good to use it if you have a combined course and want students to get their questions out in a timely fashion. 

Stephen Colbert: MOOCs, and the President of Edex

Saw this entertaining clip on Open Culture

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NBCT Webinar on Media Relations

Tomorrow (Wed) from 3-4 pm EST the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is hosting a webinar on how to work with the media to get press for your school.  I am first up and 3pm sharp followed by  Dan Brown who is finishing up as a fellow with the Dept of Education, Brian Crosby a long time teacher and author and Jeff Scheur who started NoRedInk which helps students with writing.  Here is the url to go to if you want to listen.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Flipped Learning Network

For those of you who are flipping their classes a great resource is the Flipped Learning Network which has over 5000 teachers signed up to discuss items, links to tons of groups of teachers such as math, social studies, forums, videos, and a lot more.  Above is a short video tour of the site. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Here is something interesting which you might find some use for in the classroom.  If you go to WikiSummarizer, you can type in anything and get a summary, longer version and then a number of subsets of the subject that you can click on to get more information.  It might be useful to use the summary at the top of an assignment to give your students a quick overview before they go learn more information. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stock Market Game

My economics and personal finance students are playing The Stock Market Game which is best played over a period of years, not weeks as I have told my students.  But it gives students information on stocks that are current and lets them see some ups and downs.  It also is only open between 9 am to 4 pm (EST) as is the real stock market.  You can also set up an account for just your class and it lets them see how they are doing relative to their students so there is a nice touch of competition. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Signing into Multiple Google Accounts on the Same Browser

So I know I am late to do this, but for the few of you who also haven't figured it out, if you click on your name when you are in Google Drive, a new browser will appear and you simply add the "Add account" and a new tab will open up where you can then sign in and toggle between the two tabs.  Of course if you want them side by side you could just grab one of the tabs and pull it away thereby opening a new browser and then you could show them side by side

Debate Graph

Visualize debates with concept maps, outlines, and videos. Worth exploring.DebateGraph

Democratic Presidential Candidates

This fall I will be telling my students that the race for president has already started, but who will be in the race?  The Fix gives its top ten candidates from time to time.  Here are the Democrats who it ranks highest and why. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy was first utilized back in 1956 and more recently updated in 2000.  We have been using it every day this past week (and next) as my peers and I develop assessment questions for my county.  But when you develop your lesson plans, you might want to use this digital wheel which allows you to click on the different parts to give you suggestions and visuals to consider when getting ready for your students.

If you want a poster of the wheel, here are several alternatives.

If you want to see how to integrate technology, then here is a great set of technology wheels. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Block the Congress Without Using the Filibuster

This short piece gives way to kill a bill without using the filibuster.  One of them, report cards, is certainly something all government teachers mention in class. 

Banking Simulator

Since my Economics and Personal Finance class has so much overlap with government I am going to keep posting items on the government blog.  If you didn't read an earlier post I am teaching the class this summer.  But first a big thank you to fellow Fairfax County teacher Lana Bickert who put together our online class (which is also used in large part for our brick and mortar version so one can practice more individualized pacing and differentiation).  At any rate Lana sent me a banking simulator from Bank of America if you teach the class and want your students to practice.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Filibuster

With the filibuster back in the news (again and again), no one really believes the Democrats will get rid of it, but above is a video with noted political scientist (and the chair for my dissertation) Sarah Binder of George Washington University and Brookings giving a short history of it.  Below is a graphic from the Washington Post that goes with it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Citations Made Easy

I will probably be referring to this a few times several weeks ago I signed a contract with Corwin Books to write a book (paper and digital will be available).  After three months draft #1 is almost done (yeah!).  But one tool that has been immensely helpful to me has been Easybib to create citations on the fly for me.  Even when the site can write them (and sometimes it can't) you can cut and paste in the relevant parts.  You can also use the free version of Noodle Bib to do the same thing which is good if you want to keep all of your items for later (I just have been pasting them directly into my chapters).  Either way it certainly makes it easy to do citations. 

Michael Beschloss talks Tweets with Johnathan Karl

Michael Beschloss talks with Johnathan Karl about his tweeter feed--what he tweets, and why he tweets the pictures he tweets. They actually discuss some of the images he posts.  You can follow Bescholss on twitter at @BeschlossDC

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Print from I Pad or Android

Printing from your phone or I Pad is not easy, and often not possible.  You need Google Cloud Print or Airprint. Not any more!  New software for Android and IOS devices allows you to print on any printer or copier to which your computer is connected.

For your I Pad or I Phone, Presto, which you can download from Colobros software allows you to print to any printer on your network. You download the software onto your computer and then your devices automatically find  printers on your computer.  You don't have to install anything on your device, only your computer. My I Pad found my home printer and all the printers and copiers at school.   I tested it with a webpage on my I Pad.  Printing worked like a charm.   

For an Android device, you need ThinPirnt. You have to register and create an account and then ask the program to connect your printer.  You also need to install the app on your device.  I tested it with my Samsung phone.  I went to a picture on my gallery and clicked share and "Print with ThinPirnt." It also worked like a charm.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Simulation for Being Poor

Robert Nolan sent me a great e-mail yesterday chalk full with lots of ideas for those of you who teach economics and personal finance.  I am going to feature some of his items over the next couple of weeks.  The first one is PlaySpent which has you pretend that you are down on your luck with no job and throws various life situations at you.  For example you see a few ads in the paper for low end jobs, should you also opt for insurance, then how will you afford rent and food and so on.  I had the good fortune of having grown up with a number of poor people around me (in Iran) and in a very very nice neighborhood in Paris, but not all our kids have those kinds of extremes so this might help the ones without the poorer upbringing see how tough it can be for some.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

San Francisco High School Teens Interview Last WWI Veteran

San Francisco history teacher, Frank Mazzi, and students from his elective history course on World War 1, scored an interview they will never forget. They traveled from San Francisco to West Virginia to interview the 107 year-old WWI veteran, Frank Buckles. He is the last surviving veteran of that war. The San Francisco Chronicle has a great two-page story about the interview, which they say the Library of Congress now wants.

It's a great story and shows, as Bill Chapman notes, that teachers are amazing. My thanks to Bill for tweeting the link to the story.

Investopedia (Wikipedia for Stock Market Questions)

This summer I am teaching a fairly new course to VA called Economics & Personal Finance.  In teaching it I am finding new items for those of you who teach it in your state or who teach it as part of government.  Here is a site called Investopedia which is like Wikipedia except that it also has videos.  For example here is one on elasticity.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Voice Thread

I am working with a group this summer that is coming up with lesson plans and ideas for VoiceThread.  VoiceThead is a collaborative tool used to have students comment on a picture, PowerPoint or document. One can comment by typing, using your cell phone, talking or even video recording.  It is a good way to have an asynchronous discussion with your class.  Perhaps you want to get their opinion on a recent event in the US or the world or you want them to provide additional research.

Here are 26 interesting ways to use VoiceThread in the classroom and here is a great introduction page with lots of links for teachers.  Here is VoiceThread's how to page with lots of written how to sheets complete with pictures to guide you through the process.