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Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

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Top 3 Paragons of the Week – Episode 7

Attribution: "Pinwheel Star" http://www.flickr.com/photos/40147761@N04/4193248881Paragons of the Week is a reoccurring post highlighting resources that I find to be worth mentioning. I come across 100s of useful tools for educators each week. Below are the top 3 “paragons” that I found this week that I feel teachers might dig. To view previous Paragons, click here.


1. Questionaut

Questionaut is a Math, English, and Science game from the BBC. The premise of the game is your standard question/answer delivery, but what I really like about this game is twofold. One, the artwork, created by Amanita Design, is amazing. You could get lost in just looking at all the beautiful details. The second thing that really brings this educational game to a higher level in my book, is that students will have to work and explore to be given the questions. Within each level, the player will need to complete a series of clicks to release the questions, adding a very subtle think-out-of-the-box element to the game.

2. Games for Change

I’m a big fan of quality educational games, and this site takes it to the next level. Games for Change is a non-profit organization which seeks to harness the extraordinary power of video games to address the most pressing issues of our day, including poverty, education, human rights, global conflict and climate change. As of this writing, there are quite a few dead links to the games (Balance of the Planet, ElectroCity, Globaloria), but I have high hopes that updates come soon as I really like the idea of this site.

3. Who Pooped?

You know with a name like Who Pooped this will be popular with the younger students. Who Pooped is a science site created by the Minnesota Zoo to help students to begin thinking like scientists. One way scientists learn about animals is by studying their poop — also called “scat” or “dung.” Who Pooped allows students to investigate various types of scat and try to match the scat with its creator. A very interactive site which would pair well with IWBs. Hats off to Larry Ferlazzo for the find.



Top 3 Paragons of the Week – Episode 6

Attribution: "pink universe" http://www.flickr.com/photos/20375052@N00/31390991Paragons of the Week is a reoccurring post highlighting resources that I find to be worth mentioning. I come across 100s of useful tools for educators each week. Below are the top 3 “paragons” that I found this week that I feel teachers might dig. To view previous Paragons, click here.

1. Number Gossip

Thanks to Kelly Tenkely for this one. Number Gossip is a simple search box where you enter any number and receive back “everything you wanted to know about the number but were afraid to ask.” For example, I entered the number 38 and got these facts:  38 is the magic constant in the only possible magic hexagon (which utilizes all the natural integers up to and including 19); XXXVIII (=38) is lexicographically the last string which represents a valid Roman numeral; 38 is the largest even number which cannot be written as the sum of two odd composite numbers

2. Illuminations: Dynamic Paper

Need a pentagonal pyramid that’s six inches tall? Or a number line that goes from ‑18 to 32 by 5’s? Or a set of pattern blocks where all shapes have one-inch sides? You can create all those things and more with the Dynamic Paper tool. Place the images you want, then export it as a PDF activity sheet for your students or as a JPEG image for use in other applications or on the web.

3. Museum of Animal Perspectives

Saw this a few weeks ago at Free Technology 4 Teachers. Museum of Animal Perspectives is a cool mashup of YouTube and Google Maps that has videos of animals in their natural environments along with where, specifically in the world the video was taken. Great for science and geography learning.

Top 3 Paragons of the Week – Episode 2

Attribution: "underneath+a+star" http://www.flickr.com/photos/31874781@N00/3133924813Paragons of the Week is a reoccurring post highlighting resources that I find to be worth mentioning. I come across 100s of useful tools for educators each week. Below are the top 3 “paragons” that I found this week that I feel teachers might dig. To view previous Paragons, click here.

1. BlogJet – Learned about this from Scott McLeod. BlogJet is a WYSIWYG desktop editor that works for WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, Drupal, etc. blogs. Blogjet makes it easier to edit your blog and features tools like YouTube and Flickr support, file attachments, word counter, blog statistics, and more.

2. CoSketch – Another find by Richard Byrne is a collaborative drawing site which requires no joining, logging in or registration. Perfect for elementary classes. It’s a no frills tool, so there are not a lot of extras, but for simple drawing and text, it works great. Users just go to the site, click on create a sketch, and begin drawing. To add more people, you just send them the url. There’s also a nice chat feature. I could see using this to collaboratively solve math problems, play hangman using vocab words, exploring maps (there is a built-in Google Maps support), and a variety of other applications. Finished drawings can be embedded into blogs or websites.

3. Interactive Simulations – From the University of Colorado at Bolder comes some fantastic java-based interactive simulations. From Glaciers, to Natural Selection, to Circuit Construction; these simulations really show students how things work.

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