Author Archive: Tim

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Astronomy

| September 2, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Exploratorium copyThank you to Kelly Campbell for the nudge towards a few astronomy tools. She oversees a small team of retired educators and librarians who volunteer their time with EducatorLabs. The primary role of this team is to answer resource requests that come to them from educators every day, on a variety of topics. Each time they get a request, they put together a resource toolkit to be used in the classroom.

Here are some Astronomy Lesson Plans. Some Educational and Fun Astronomy Games. Find our about Solar System Facts and Astronomy with Planets for Kids. Or Space Exploration Insights & Resources.

Some eclipse links and resources here, come from Exploratorium which we have been fortunate to visit at Pier 15, in San Francisco.

EducatorLabs is funded by donations and fueled by help from people like you. They greatly appreciate any help you can provide!

Tech CAN make a difference… BUT IT IS GOOD TO HAVE A BREAK TOO…

| July 26, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Summer-TeKEducation can sometimes be a little slow in its uptake of new technologies.

Whatever format, whatever degree of complexity, there has been a slight history of initial reluctance, before, eventually, some have involved “this new stuff” in their classroom environments. Whether it is a stick and sand, wax tablets, scrolls, books, slides, film, video, computers, PowerPoint, YouTube films, and beyond, …they have all been integrated in to teaching sessions, in some way though.

All the way through, however, these new tools have often been used to modify the way a teacher presents facts, and information, to their pupils.

They have had more impact on TEACHING, than on LEARNING.

In many educational settings, the relationships, and interactions, stay unchanged: A teacher, as “Sage on the Stage”, imparting their wisdom, information, and knowledge, to an unsuspecting audience sat in front of them.

Summer HolidaysAre we training our children how to come to school, sit, bored, for a few hours, and get away with it without being spotted?

In the same way, challenges (or, sadly, what we more often call “Tasks”), the independent elements of a lesson, can remain, rooted to the spot, for a long time: children still wading through printed text books, step-by-step, and completing units set by teachers, in, and out of, the classroom?

How much tech has impacted upon, and benefited this part of the education process, is still debatable.

Is there a chance that ICT can still be thought of as “When students go to the computers”, or “When they get to do some typing”.

On a basic level, very little has changed.

It is so good to explore some of the potential for imaginative, inventive and different and innovative, “creative” use of technology, to bring our learning environments alive. Onwards onwards… (With a break too perhaps. See you on the other side…)

Spent!!

| July 20, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Spent is an interactive game which asks players to consider what life would be like as a potentially homeless person.

The game puts you in the shoes of someone who has lost their life savings, and has you choose one of three low-paying jobs to see for yourself how quickly money runs out, raising a child and making it through the month getting paid a minimum wage.

Take the role of restaurant server, warehouse worker, or office temp and discover how difficult it is to manage your initial $1000. “Homelessness is something that could never happen to me”. How one life changing event can send life spiraling out of control.

Useful when looking at personal economy, empathy, understanding and life choices. How would you cope?

Blobz ~ Electric Circuits

| July 19, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Andy Thelwell’s “Blobz” is targetted at 7-to 11-year olds

The hosts, a group of simple animated characters called ‘The Blobz’ and the absent-minded Professor Flobsworth. ‘The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits’ the basic principles of electric circuits, about the need for a complete circuit and a power source to be present. You can learn about how switches work, about which materials make good conductors, how the length and thickness of wires affects the current in a circuit, how circuit diagrams can be used to describe circuits and more.

Aspects include—‘What makes circuits work’, ‘Conductors & Insulators’, ‘Switches’, ‘Changing Circuits’ & ‘Circuit Diagrams’. Each section has useful info, an interactive activity and a quiz.

The Art of tagging ~ Discussing The Divine Comedy With Dante Alive

| July 19, 2016 | 0 Comments 

picture-15

It is impressive the way you can explore Discussing The Divine Comedy With Dante, HERE with hyperlinks to wiki entries about each character. Art, History, Wiki links AND mouse over “tagging” – creativity on many levels.

The 2006 artwork by Chinese artists Dai Dudu, Li Tiezi and Zhang Anjun became an internet hit, with people scrambling to identify all the 103 figures depicted in it.

The dinner party guests – including Stalin, Beethoven, Audrey Hepburn, Bruce Lee, Marlon Brando, Mao Zedong, Gandhi and Bill Clinton – are surrounded by images of Man’s creations such as the Pyramids.

How many people can you recognise? Continue Reading

Blog Booker

| July 19, 2016 | 0 Comments 

We’ve mentioned a few ways to export a website, or blog, as a pdf or jpeg. Blogbooker does the job in great style.

It exports everything, (except embedded flash files, for example) including images, and every hyperlink. It even produces an index page & each title links to the relevant post.

The process is easy & requires no sign up. Produce a pdf booklet of all of your hard work.

EasyPrompter .com

| July 11, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Easy Prompter is a FREE, full-featured, and easy to use teleprompter, for online and offline use!

Like Cue Prompter.com Easy Prompter is powerful because you can adjust font size, vary the speed, check the time that has elapsed, control and operate the prompter through keyboard and mouse controls (start/pause, ff/rew, etc) and run it in full screen, for clutter free guidance through your chosen text.

The “portable” version of Easy Prompter means you can use the prompter without an active internet connection.Put your text, and the prompter, on to a USB drive and you’ll always have a cue card wherever you are.

TrackClass .com

| July 1, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Could this be useful when working with students who find personal organisation a challenge? TrackClass offers free tools to coordinate things like timetables, notes (which track changes), overdue and upcoming exams and assignment reminders. You can even attach files to events …so the dog can’t eat your homework.

Wordsmyth

| June 28, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Wordsmyth is a suite of dictionary-thesaurus resources, useful for many ages & abilities.

There are different levels of dictionary, each with their own style and structure. The Beginners’ Dictionary, for example, has very easy-to-read entries written with a simple defining vocabulary of 2000 “starter” words.

The differences between the dictionaries could be useful when looking at use of language. If you try looking up “inspire” in the Beginners’ dictionary, in the childrens’ dictionary, and then in the advanced dictionary, you get carefully selected results. All include the word in an audio format.

Wordsmyth also includes an anagram solver, a useful crossword solver, a reverse search and a very useful, quick, glossary maker, when you, or a pupil, have written a text introducing vocabulary that might need some explanation.

Harry Potter’s Renaissance Science, Magic & Medicine

| June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Designed to accompany the Harry Potter Exhibition, organised by the US National Library of Medicine, the Online Education Resources are a touch of magic in their own right.

Follow the clues, to discover similarities between Harry’s fictional world and ours. Investigate the Potions section and find answers to things such as the difference between the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Philosopher’s Stone, and what Nicolas Flamel was really famous in history?

Examine the historical records in the Monsters section and find answers to investigate The Monster Book of Monsters that Hagrid used to teach the Care of Magical Creatures class in Hogwarts, and the creatures and monsters that Gesner’s Historiae Animalium included.

Mandrake is used in a potion for un-petrification in Harry Potter. Find out what Mandrake was used for historically in the Herbology section.

“There was a lot more to magic, as Harry quickly found out, than waving your wand & saying a few funny words.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J. K. Rowling

Culture Street’s Picture Book Maker

| June 21, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Culture Street’s Picture Book Maker

Whilst it is not perfect, you can, quite quickly, create some little gems.

Choose your characters, some backgrounds, objects and artefacts, then get composing your tale over multiple pages. This can help break down simple stories in to distinct sections, perhaps as a plan for a more extended tales

Younger children could find the Picture Book Maker a great stimulus for planning, but also for presenting the end results of their writing.