turning stones

taking for a spin: tools for The Five 8s

Monthly Archives: December 2010

A wonder a day

Why is Pluto no longer a planet? Why are Cheddar cheese orange in color? Why is turkey served during Thanksgiving dinner? Three simple questions you, your children or your students might have wondered about. I am sure that right now, you suddenly have a rush of questions going through your minds; Why does hair turn gray? Could I be a human compass? How do streets get their names?

These are wonders and it would be very educational to get to know answers to these questions. One site that delivers answers to such questions is Wonderopolis. A program by the National Center for Family Literacy that seeks to engage and inspire families in learning together. The site conveys knowledge, understandings, even skills and activities on a daily basis via its Wonder of the Day feature.

It’s a great way for parents to have that unique time with their children learning together. Even though the focus of this site are the parents, I believe teachers could use this site in the classroom; as a writing prompt, a research starter or a springboard to a discussion. Find out for yourself and tell us how you can use this in the classroom.

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Featured Videos: Waiting for Superman

Here are some videos on the documentary “Waiting for Superman” which sparked plenty of interest and debate over the US education system. The film received mixed reviews. I have not watched it though. ‘Just popping the question: If this is the true state of education in the US, what is ours?

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Trying out HootSuite

Trying out HootSuite

Send an email to the future you

FutureMe lets you send email messages to yourself at a specified date in the future. Send an email and receive it 30 days or even 30 years from today. It’s an email time capsule where you can write yourself anything you like. It may contain what you are currently feeling, your fears, your aspirations, your rants. And then you get to read them months, even years from now. I am sure you will find some value in that.

Even if FutureMe has been in existence for quite some time(almost 1.3 Million emails sent to the future), I just found out about it recently. I actually forgot all about it already when I received the email I sent to 2 months back to test how it worked. For me, it is like a time capsule which serves as a reminder, not only of the things pertaining to the present, but also of the past. And like a time machine, which brought me back 2 months ago and the prevailing conditions then. Now I’m wondering how it would feel to get an email from myself 1, 5, 10 or 20 years from now.

There is an option where you may make your letter anonymously ‘open’, meaning other people can read what you wrote or to keep it private.

Students may email and tell themselves their objectives and expectations of a certain course. It may be a good exercise of reflection. Click here to send your future you an email.

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Featured Video: The Year in Google Searches – Zeitgeist 2010: Year in Review


Image via Wikipedia

See how the World Searched with Google’s 2010 Zeitgeist: http://google.com/zeitgeist2010

Re-live top events and moments from 2010 from around the globe through search, images, and video.

Music: GoodLife by OneRepublic
Produced by Whirled Creative

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Featured Video of the Week: Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four

Hans Rosling‘s famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport’s commentator’s style to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development. Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before – using augmented reality animation. In this spectacular section of ‘The Joy of Stats’ he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.

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Chop that YouTube Video

Image representing TubeChop as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Let’s say I am a Football coach and I wanted to show my team a particular highlight of the recent Philippine Azkals’ unprecedented win over defending champion Vietnam in the current Asian Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2010. I search for videos of the game in YouTube and I find this which is 6:31 minutes long. However the part I wanted to show my team is just the Philippines’ second goal by Phil Younghusband. And it’s only 27 seconds long. What could be the simple and easy way for me to do that?

Enter TubeChop, a site where you can paste the URL of the original video you found, and chop it so you can have just the particular footage you need. Just slide the left and right black bars to contain the particular footage you want to use, then click the ‘chop it’ button. In no time at all, it’ll give you a new URL for your shortened video. You can visit tubechop.com, paste in the new URL and it’ll play your chopped video. Also, TubeChop gives you an embed code which you can use for your website or blog.

Click here to view my 27-second ‘chopped’ video.


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Create your own Jeopardy Games

Everyone is familiar with the popular TV game show Jeopardy. Some teachers have actually made their own Jeopardy games using presentation software and their students loved it. What teachers did was to download a Jeopardy-themed Powerpoint template and created and run their games via Powerpoint.

Now you can be Alex Trebek without needing to devise a Jeopardy game on Powerpoint. Visit JeopardyLabs to easily create games without the need for software installation, no registration required and it’s free to use. Just nominate a password for your template, generate your answers/questions, save it and remember the URL JeopardyLabs assigns to your game.

To play, you can just go to the assigned URL and start earning points. You may enter up to 12 individuals/teams. At the bottom of the Jeopardy board is where the scores of the teams/individuals are. Just click the +/- signs to add/subtract points just like how the game is played on TV.

This is a great review activity for your classes. You may even ask students to make their own Jeopardy games based on your lessons.

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Citrify – Free web-based photo editor

Easy and fun to use, Citrify is online photo editor to enhance your personal photos.

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