Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Virtual Amusement Park About Molecules

The NanoSpace Molecularium is a virtual amusement park that students can click through to find videos, games, and other short lessons about atoms and molecules. The purpose of the site is to provide elementary school and middle school students with an introduction to the properties of atoms and molecules. Students enter the NanoSpace Molecularium through the "Hall of Atoms & Molecules." From there students can choose which of the four parts of the amusement park they want to explore first. The four sections that students can explore are DNA Land, H20 Park, Sizes of Molecules, and Molecular Materials. One of the videos from the Materials section is here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vectr: free vector graphics design software

Vectr is a free vector image design and editing tool that you can use online or download to use on your Mac, Windows, or Linux desktop. Vectr provides some pre-made elements and templates that you can use in designing your own graphics.You don't have to use any pre-made elements as Vectr lets you design completely from scratch. You can also import existing graphics files to edit them. Completed projects can be exported in PNG, JPG, and SVG formats. Vectr offers an extensive collection of tutorials in print and video formats.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Grade items in G Suite with Otus Rubrics

Otus is a fantastic learning management system that is steadily growing in popularity in large part because of its easy of use and flexibility. Proof of that flexibility can be found in a forthcoming update that will let you view, comment, and grade any G Suite item (Docs, Slides, Sheets) on the same screen that you view a rubric in Otus. A short video of this feature be watched here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Be Internet Awesome

Be Internet Awesome is Google's new Internet safety curriculum. I learned about it from Larry Ferlazzo and then spent some time exploring it myself. The Be Internet Awesome site features a game called Interland. The game is set in a virtual world that students navigate by correctly answering questions about Internet safety. The graphics of the game are great and there are some elements in which students navigate, but there is also a heavy reliance multiple choice questions in the game. Watch an overview of the game in this video.
There is a 48 page PDF containing lesson plans on each concept in the Be Internet Awesome curriculum that teachers can download for free. The Interland game featured in the video can be distributed through Google Classroom. G Suite administrators can push the game to the task bar on managed Chromebooks.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Quick and easy screencasting


Vidyard is a free Chrome extension that makes it quick and easy to create and share screencast videos. With the extension installed you can record your entire screen or just one window tab. Vidyard will let you record yourself with your webcam too. The best part of Vidyard is that you can track who watches your video. To record on Vidyard you simply have to click the extension icon then choose what you want to record. When you're done recording your video is automatically stored on Vidyard. From Vidyard you can share your video via email and social media. If you choose to share via email, you will be able to track who watched your video. The shortcomings of Vidyard are that it doesn't let you download your videos and it doesn't let you upload your videos to YouTube.