‘Practic-All’

Pragmatic tools and ideas for the classroom

Digital Magic #19

SEARCH

This Digital Magic is all about Search tools. The term Google has become synonymous with looking things up. ‘Just Google it!’ can often be heard in response to a question… but intelligent search is not instinctual and takes critical thinking skills. Here are some tools that help make searching a little easier.

1. Google Advanced Search

Refine your Google Search with their new and easier to use ‘Advanced Search‘. What I like about this is that it shows you what the search looks like without using Advanced Search in the top box. So, students actually learn that wording in quotes looks for “exact phrasing” and a minus sign, (-), will search for pages that do not have that -word on the page. Note the + sign at the bottom where you can refine the search further with things like the date or the usage licences (which is handy when searching for images.

googleadvancedsearch

2. Images

Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Search is ideal for searching images that students are permitted to use if they are respectful to attribution rules (giving credit to the photographer) etc. I often use photos from this license on my Pair-a-Dimes blog: BY :: NC :: SA -Give credit to who took the photo, don’t use it for sale/profit, and what you use it for should be shared ‘alike’ with others.

Just for fun, check out Tag Galaxy to see a very visual Flickr search.

3. Newspaper Front Page Search

Newseum: As it is discribed on the site: The Newseum displays these daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Some front pages may contain material that is objectionable to some visitors. Viewer discretion is advised. I looked at September 12th, 2001 and I see why viewer descretion may be advised. Although this site is very US centered, I think it would be a great tool for Current Events and global perspectives.

4. A few more to check out

Colossus – International Directory of Search Engines. When you click on a country it even tells you which of these search engines are in English.

Search Me – see the front page of each page and scroll through them visually.

Joongel – Shows you different places to search for specific items such as images, music, video, news, cooking, health, and even gossip.

NoodleTools – A search engine that helps you find the best search engine for your search… umm o.k.

5. Things that make you go hmmmmmm….

Take a look at the New Blooms Taxonomy. Where does intellegent searching fit? How important will it be in our students’ futures?

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Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

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November 16, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., digital magic, Social Studies, technology, tools, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #19

Digital Magic #12

Digital Magic #12 :: Big Thinking

Google is sponsoring a contest:

Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.

May those who help the most win!

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Also, here are a few people making a difference:

Students here in our district are using: Kiva.org.

Craig and Mark Kielburger: Free the Children.

Sarah McLachlan: World on Fire.

 

Click for World on Fire Video

Click for World on Fire Video

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Things that make you go hmmmmmm…

Are these ideas worth talking about with students?

How can you use one of these links/ideas in your classroom?

Do our students believe that they can make a difference in the world? 

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Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

September 28, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., David Truss, digital magic, education, learning, lessons, Pair-a-Dimes, social responsibility, Social Studies, teaching | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #12

Digital Magic #6

Welcome to Dave’s Digital Magic #6

Here are 5 links for you to explore.

This week we have a video theme. I was tempted to discuss them, but instead I will let them speak for themselves… comments are welcome.

1. THE FEATURE OF THE WEEK!

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2. The Power of a Signature

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3. Talking to Teens

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4. Miniature Earth

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5. THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMM…

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Video’s are a great teaching tool! One way to start collecting them is to sign up for a free YouTube account. When you are signed in, and you find a video you like, just click ‘Favorite’ and you can collect videos there. Then from any computer you can sign in and find all your favorites.

YouTube buttons

You can also make Playlists, which lets you create video players, like the one seen on this wiki.

I like this because you can show a number of videos without students seeing the comments under the videos (which can sometimes be very inappropriate for classrooms). You can also use playlists to separate your favorites for different uses.

Start with the simple task of signing up for a free YouTube account, and then I’ll be glad to help you.

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Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

May 10, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., David Truss, digital magic, learning, social responsibility, Social Studies, teaching, web based | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #6

Digital Magic #5

Welcome to Dave’s Digital Magic #5

Here are 5 links for you to explore.

1. THE FEATURE OF THE WEEK!

26 Learning Games to Change the World

To be honest, the only one I’ve tried is Free Rice, and I wrote about it here.

If you use and like another one, please let me know!

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2. GLOBAL ISSUES… continued

World on Fire – by Sarah McLachlan

A typical music video costs about $150,000. Sarah only spent $15 on her World on Fire video, and then she took $148,270 and spent it in ways that positively impacted the lives of thousands of needy people! (Donations list)

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3. MORE ON MATH

The Math Playground

If you click on the K-7 Mathcasts you will get to see Voicethreads in action... (I linked to Voicethread in Digital Magic #2)

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4. STAR WARS

R2D2 in the classroom?

OK Lawrence, this one is for you, although I have to say, “I want one too!”

Sorry to say there is no money in our budget to get these into our school.

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5. THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMM…

Academe’s Dirty Little Secret

This blog post is written by Darren Kuropatwa, a brilliant high school Math teacher.

Here is an excerpt:

“You can require your students to demonstrate their understanding of what they are learning by having them apply their knowledge analyzing and evaluating relevant novel situations or problems. Better yet, get them to create content that educates an interested learner and they will automatically incorporate all those levels of engagement while they make their learning sticky. I don’t need to tell you that there’s nothing like having to teach a thing to make you really learn it.

Darren walks the talk! His students will go home and spend hours helping to teach others, when it is there turn to scribe the class notes and post them on a blog for the other students in their class. You can see this in his Scribe Hall of Fame… or if you aren’t into Math, just check out the link to the article.

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Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

May 4, 2008 Posted by | digital magic, learning, lesson idea, Math, Numeracy, social responsibility, Social Studies, teaching, technology, tools, web based | 1 Comment

Digital Magic #3

Welcome to Dave’s Digital Magic #3

Here are 5 links for you to explore.

1. THE FEATURE OF THE WEEK!

Periodic Table of Visualization Tools

Periodic Table of Visualization Tools

Click on the link and then put your mouse over any section for a visual example of the tool. Great to remind you of different ways to visually express ideas.

Lesson plan: Students choose one tool from two different categories to demonstrate what they have learned.

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2. LEARNING AND ENGAGING ONLINE

Back to Wiki’s

 

At our staff Pro-D session there were more questions about wiki’s. (Wiki-wiki means Quick in Hawaiian, not ‘clueless’ as I joked) 🙂

I provided a more informational introduction to wiki’s in Digital Magic #1, but this video is much more fun! Think of a word document online, that everyone who is invited can change, that includes a tracking history to see who did what. Or ask an expert, Stan, Sharon, or Lawrence, to show off their wiki’s. Here is one that I did for Science, where I tried to bring Science Alive! Check out the Senses page for a few projects.
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3. GLOBAL AWARENESS

World Mapper

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. The map below is according to Population.

The world drawn to scale according to population

There are now nearly 600 maps. Maps 1-366 are also available as PDF posters. Use the menu above to find a map of interest.
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4. MAGIC

Cyril has a fishy card trick

This is CRAZY! Cyril does his magic trick, ‘oooh-ahhh…’ then he says, “But wait…” and then takes it even further… simply amazing!
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5. THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMMMMM…

Clarence Fisher, a brilliant Canadian teacher and blogger, wrote this short paper (4 easy-to-read pages), Changing Literacies (PDF).

Being literate is so much more than being able to understand a written text on a piece of paper.

Here is a quote from his section on Access,

“Fast forward to our society and the ability we now have to drown ourselves in
cheap, disposable information from books, television, the internet, radio,
magazines, video, etc. In our time, one of the major skills of being literate is
the ability to access texts in many different forms from many different sources.
Importantly, it is not about searching for texts, it’s about finding them.”

In this article, Clarence describes why I became a ‘technology guy’. Actually, I don’t really care about technology… I just see how these tools, like wiki’s, can engage students in meaningful ways, where they create and share what they have learned in new, interesting ways.

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Did you miss an edition of Digital Magic? Is there one you want to look back on again? Here are all the editions of Digital Magic in reverse order, (most recent first).

Have a great week!

April 20, 2008 Posted by | across the curric., digital magic, education, learning, lesson idea, lessons, Science, Social Studies, teaching, technology, web based, web2.0 | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Digital Magic #3

Making a Difference

[Cross-posted with my Pair-a-Dimes blog]

Here is a great thing to do with your online students:

Donate Free Rice to help end world hunger… (and improve your vocabulary while you are at it!)

Free Rice Screenshot (Main Page)

Here is a news article about it, in case you would like to use it for current events.

Free Rice Screenshot sycophant

Advertising at the bottom of the screen changes with every question to promote the companies that donate the rice.

Level 50 is all but impossible to get to without a dictionary, which I encourage… After all, what is the harm in having students looking up words in the dictionary? This is also a good time to introduce using Google as a dictionary.

Google as Dictionary


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On a similar (Social Responsibility) topic, check this out:

Make Your Difference is a contest to empower youth to impact the world through creating a new possibility in their school, community, city and beyond into positively impacting the world.”

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We really can make a difference, especially if we help our students recognize that they can make a difference!

November 14, 2007 Posted by | learning, Pair-a-Dimes, social responsibility, Social Studies, teaching, web based | Comments Off on Making a Difference

Basic Blog Rules: Respect, Inclusion, Learning and Safety.

I posted my “Blog Rules- Just the basics” on my ‘Pair-a-Dimes for Your Thoughts’

blog just now and realized that this could be ‘Practic-All’ too.

Details are on the other blog… but the simple basics are right here.

Basic Blog Rules Post

January 9, 2007 Posted by | across the curric., David Truss, education, learning, Pair-a-Dimes, social responsibility, Social Studies, technology, web based | Comments Off on Basic Blog Rules: Respect, Inclusion, Learning and Safety.

GeoSennse: On-line Geography Game

This post by Curtis sums it up well…

“[WARNING: Highly Addictive.]

GeoSense
is a site where you can challenge your own knowledge of world geography
(well, at least in terms of the locations of cities around the US,
Europe, and the world), and can test that knowledge against others.

You can create your own handle or sign in as a guest. You can play
alone or against other online players; you can confine play to a map of
the US or of Europe, or you can choose a map of the whole planet.
Additionally there is an advanced mode which asks you to locate places
that are comparatively obscure; and you can play in scramble mode,
where the name of the target is revealed a letter at a time.

Time is an important factor—your score is based both on accuracy of
location and speed of response. Be forewarned—many of the online
players are quite good.

It’s altogther too much fun if you’re anywhere nearly as geekish as myself.”

January 3, 2007 Posted by | Social Studies, web based | Comments Off on GeoSennse: On-line Geography Game

Google Sketchup

http://sketchup.google.com/tutorials.html
By Google, found at: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/download?mid=7260955c15e5b481753ea31d732a49b0&rtyp=lt
What a great tool!
Imagine what a student can do with this for the Renaissance Fair… forget the cardboard Church in Architechture, or the lego castle in Warfare.

I can also use this in my on-line Da Vinci Project.

January 3, 2007 Posted by | Art, links, Math, Science, Social Studies, teaching, technology, tools, web based | 1 Comment