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Provide Instant & More Effective Feedback With Classkick

Posted on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 @ 15:06 PM

effective feedbackOne of the biggest challenges teachers face is reaching a wide range of ability levels in the classroom, while ensuring all students are challenged and mastering required content. The task of differentiating to meet the needs of multiple intelligences can be overwhelming, but I recently came across a new application designed specifically with these challenges in mind.

Classkick is a free new iPad application that eliminates paper and pencils and essentially transforms students’ iPads into an electronic whiteboards. That in itself is cool, but even more impressive is the fact that Classkick gives teachers real-time access to screenshots of each student’s workspace. Want to give private feedback to a student or offer a helpful “hint” to the entire class? Classkick gives you these options.

 

 

 

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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, effective feedback, apps for educators, history teachers, math teachers, STEM

Track Government Officials Using These 2 Websites

Posted on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

Like most everyone in America, the government relies more and more on the Internet to communicate. Thanks to Legistalker and Govtrack, listening in on what your elected officials say and finding out how they’ve been voting has never been easier.

legistalkerLegistalker is an ever-growing database that combs social media, government websites, and thousands of Internet news sources for updates.

New information is available every 20 minutes, so keeping an eye on the officials you voted for is only a click away. 

If you're tracking multiple people, say all the Senators and Representatives from your state, you can add them to your Watch List; from there you'll be able to monitor updates from all the people on your Watch List in one location.

government trackGovTrack
 gives users access to the status of U.S. federal legislation, voting records, and congressional district maps. Most of the information is assembled in an automated way by scanning federal government websites. Unlike Legistalker, GovTrack gives you the option of receiving updated via email and RSS feeds.

 

 

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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, apps for educators, social studies teachers, history teachers, government teachers

Learn About Your Community with the Help of ZIPskinny

Posted on Mon, May 19, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

social studies teacherZipskinny is my new favorite reference tool for finding U.S. census data based on zip codes. Simply type in a zip code and you’ll find detailed information on anything from population, educational achievement and income levels to occupation, age, and race statistics for that particular zip code.

I think this might be an invaluable resource for history and social studies teachers.

I live in Royal Oak, Michigan, just a few minutes outside of Detroit. Here’s what I found out about my community.

social studies teacher



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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, apps for educators, social studies teachers, history teachers, virtual field trip

What Would $50 Buy You in 1947? Today’s Dollars Will Tell You

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

apps for teachersOver the weekend, I revisited Jack Kerouac’s novel, On the Road. I’ve read the book several times, but something nagged at me this time.

In several passages, the author mentions money—a pack of cigarettes costs X amount; a cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie cost X amount; Sal earns X amount for picking 50 pounds of cotton and so on.

As a contemporary reader, I had had no good way of knowing what this money amounted to in 1947, the year in which much of the novel takes place.

If you’ve ever wanted to convert “old” money into contemporary figures, stop by Today’s Dollars. Just type in the amount of money you want to convert, the year, and out pops the amount in “today’s dollars.”

The results are all based on the Consumer Price Index average for each year compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today’s Dollars is useful for book nerds, but it might also come in handy for history and social studies teachers.

todays dollars


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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, apps for educators, social studies teachers, history teachers

Mysteries of Vernacular: An Excellent Site for English and Social Studies Teachers

Posted on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

history teachersBack in 2012, I came across a website called Mysteries of Vernacular. At the time, the project was still developing, but after revisiting the site this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it has been completed.

So what is Mysteries of Vernacular? It’s a site where you’ll find 26 animated videos, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each video tackles the etymology of one word in less than three minutes.

That may not sound impressive, but once you see the videos, you’ll understand how much time and research goes into each segment.






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Topics: apps for teachers, history teachers, apps for translators, language arts teacher, history teacher

History’s Heroes: Free Resource for History & Social Studies Teachers

Posted on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 @ 15:03 PM

Hisocial studies teachersstory’s Heroes has been on my radar for a while, but I’m just now getting around to blogging about it. Although the site is ideal for history and social studies teachers, language arts and composition teachers will also find the free lesson plans and learning activities useful.

To state the obvious, History’s Heroes is a website that covers historical heroes—over 2,000 years of them, in fact. This site teaches students not only about the lives and challenges of these figures, it also offers a collection of activities that ask students to interrogate their own values, motivations and conceptions of heroism.  

Here are two examples of the activities you’ll find on the site:

Hero or Villain Activity: After watching two animated videos in which scholars discuss their views on the nature of heroes and villains, students are asked to consider the values and assumptions they find in the videos.

Build Your Own Hero: Many of us use “hero” rather loosely. But how do real heroes look? What are their values and how do they act? Build Your Own Hero gives students the opportunity to consider these questions as they drag and drop their hero into existence.

This is only a small sampling of the activities you’ll find on the site. For a complete list, click here.

 

 

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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, apps for educators, social studies teachers, history teachers

5 of the Best Interactive Maps for Social Studies Teachers

Posted on Wed, Feb 05, 2014 @ 13:02 PM

Remember those old pull-down maps you’d find fastened to the chalkboard?Some of you may still have them, but from the looks of it, most schools have gone digital and started listing these relics on eBay. We love the look of old-school maps, but with so many cool interactive maps at our fingertips, we haven’t missed them for a minute. Below you’ll find five of our favorite places to browse interactive maps.

5 of the Best Interactive Maps for History and Social Studies Teachers

Interactive MapWorldology
Want to view the history of Europe from 900 BC to present or click your way around a map to find detailed information about each country and those who settled it? Then Worldology should be your first stop.

In addition to their map of European history, Worldology has also produced an interactive map of Iraqi history and a series of substantial history articles to accompany it.

interactive map social studies teacherIf It Were My home
This a “country-comparison” tool that allows users to compare living conditions in one country to those in another. The site also gives you the ability to visualize the impact of natural disasters. Right now users can only view the BP Oil Spill or the Pakistan Flood, but we presume that this portion of the site is still a work in progress.  

Map Fight
There’s nothing fancy about Map Fight, but if you’re looking for a simple country (or state) comparison tool, this is where you should go.

interactive maps history teachersThe Map as History
Here you’ll find animated historical maps with an accompanying narrative presentation. A good chunk of the website’s catalogue is only viewable with a subscription—which will run you $54.90/year—but you can still view plenty of free maps including:

The Evolving Greek World
Athenian Democracy

From the Founding of Rome to the Downfall of the Empire

The First Christian Communities (1st century)

The Circumference of the Earth and the Route Towards the West

Magellan’s Voyage 1519-1522

Interactive Map of Africa

interactive map history teachersInteractive Map of Africa
This one comes from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History. Here you’ll find information about African:

Regions
Political boundaries
Trans-Saharan trade
Rainfall
Climate
Terrain
Kingdoms


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Topics: Best Apps for Educators, apps for educators, social studies teachers, history teachers, interactive maps

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