Category: 2) Useful n Interesting
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.
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
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.
SoapBox is a controlled digital space, designed to “improve student engagement by breaking down the barriers students face when deciding whether or not to participate in class, and gives teachers a concrete assessment of student comprehension, in real time”.
Soap Box is a service that enables teachers to gather instant feedback from students through their cell phones, tablets, or laptops. Soap Box offers nine useful functions for teachers and students. There is even a “confusion barometer” that enables students to put their status as either “I get it” or “I’m confused.”
As there is a chance to communicate through a back channel, there is also a “profanity filter” that blocks inappropriate language from being posted.
SoapBox is currently in beta and free of charge. This could be well worth exploring within schools who are lucky (and wise) enough to allow, and encourage use of mobile technology, and interactive judgments, and evaluations, within lessons. A hard point to debate. Maybe try it through Soap Box.
“Do you believe in “magic”? You might after using The Levelator® to enhance your podcast.
An old and archived piece of software but genuinely useful
So what is The Levelator®? It’s software that runs on Windows, OS X (universal binary), or Linux (Ubuntu) that adjusts the audio levels within your podcast or other audio file for variations from one speaker to the next, for example. It’s not a compressor, normalizer or limiter although it contains all three.
It’s much more than those tools, and it’s much simpler to use: Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better.
(*The sound of a clink in their TipJar would be enhanced with The Levelator® too, b.t.w. 🙂 )
Because eMailDodo is a cloud service, all members in your group can use the same single email address for the group on any pc or mobile & it’s easy to remember.
Never again worry about misspelling an address or accidentally leaving somebody out of an email.
Biography.com is a really useful collection of background stories on a vast collection of fascinating characters right through history, to the present day.
Themed areas mean you can investigate such collections as videos on significant women through history, including full, and mini, bios on some remarkable people.
Search by nationality, what the person was best known for, life events, date, or alphabetically. There are special themed gatherings, such as some startling celebrity lookalikes, and an On This Day section, which looks at significant births, deaths and events, each day.
This could be used in such things as a history, research, empathy, unit of study. How about in conjunction with I Could, when thinking about a future life path.
We are ALL significant. What would your bio look like?
Powered by Google Earth, and Google Maps, Hypercities is a huge collection of historic, and more modern maps, that can be viewed overlayed upon up to date plans.
HyperCities essentially allows users to go back in time to create and explore the historical layers of city spaces in an interactive way.
Cities mapped include Los Angeles, New York, CHICAGO, Rome, Lima, Ollantaytambo, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Tehran, Saigon, Toyko, Shanghai, Seoul, and more…
Sorry footie fans, Keeping Score is an interactive invitation to explore some of the greatest classical music, by reading the musical notation and investigating background information, from the grandest ideas, to the most subtle of emotions.
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore the music and life of the composers such as Mahler, Beethoven, Berlioz, Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Tchaikovsky, and Aaron Copland.
Extensive audio, video, and interactive material offer an engaging and quite in-depth online learning experience. By following scores and exploring musical techniques, as well as the personal and historical stories behind some key pieces of music, we gain a real, and dynamic, understanding of just how remarkable the mind and soul of a composer is.
In one small excerpt, for example, we discover that, after the premiere of his First Symphony, Mahler found that the opening “sounded far too substantial for the shimmering and glimmering of the air that I had in mind.” So he changed the instrumentation to the whispery sound of string harmonics. He continued revising the instrumentation for five more years before the symphony’s publication!
The site also includes a historical timeline that takes users deeper into the eight individual composers’ political, social, and cultural milieus as well as downloadable lesson plans created by teachers who have experienced the Keeping Score Education program.
Keeping Score aims to connect music to all subjects in the curriculum as a way of bringing learning alive.
The site is designed to appeal particularly to secondary, college and university music appreciation students and their teachers, but contains some brilliant elements that would work across younger age groups.
The great thing about classical music is its ability to reach us at all levels. So relax, pick the piece of classical music you love the best, and take a great journey with your students!
MoOM is the Museum of Online Museums. It contains curated links to online collections and exhibits from museums and galleries around the globe, covering a vast array of interests and magnificent obsessions.
On the MoOM main page you, will find the current exhibitions. The main collection is in the center column, divided into three subsections.
The Museum Campus contains links to brick-and-mortar museums with an interesting online presence. Most of these sites will have multiple exhibits from their collections (or, in the case of the Smithsonian, displays of items not on display in the Washington museum itself).
The Permanent Collection displays links to exhibits of particular interest to design and advertising.
Galleries, Exhibition, and Shows is an eclectic and ever-changing list of interesting links to collections and galleries.
A massive collection of resources to fire up any classroom. Happy exploring.
Explore the About Plants section for more ideas, including changing the colour of plants, investigating the shape of seeds, & identification charts to help identify the flowers, trees & shrubs around your school.