Ge The Most out of Google Maps with These Excellent Apps

March, 2015
Google Maps is an excellent tool to use with students to develop their spatial thinking. Beyond getting driving or walking directions, this tool enables students to discover the world right from their classrooms. It is also a very good way to teach students about geography concepts, distance measurement, map readings and other fundamentals of mapping such as longitude, latitude, locations and many more.

Today, we are introducing you to 3 interesting extensions that you can use on your Chrome browser to get the most from Google Maps.

1- Tools for Google Maps

This extension provides you with several tools to use with Google Maps including distance Measurement,Query LatLng on Google Maps, Geography Encyclopedia, Capture screen of Maps and many more.

Watch the video below to learn more about Tools for Google Maps

2- Mini Maps
It is a handy tool to look up the map of any location in the world and explore its nearby places of interest. It is simple and easy, without leaving your current page. 

3- Send to Google Maps
"Send to Google Maps allows you to send a selected address or POI on any website directly to Google Maps. This extension adds an item to the Context Menu if text is selected. By right clicking on the selected text the context menu opens and you can click on "Send address to Google Maps".

Courtesy of Lifehacker

Everything Teachers Need to Know about Evernote (Great Tutorials)

March 31, 2015
Evernote is definitely a great utility to have in your EdTech toolkit. Evernote combines a bastion of  powerful features all in one single platform: you can use it to create notes, add reminders to your notes, separate your notes into notebooks, clip web articles, snap photos to add to your notes and many other interesting features.

To help you learn more about Evernote and tap into its full educational potential, the video tutorials below are a must-watch. They will introduce you to some interesting things you can do with Evernote and expose some of its hidden gems.

1- Evernote Scott tutorials

Scott’s YouTube channel features some wonderful tutorials on Evernote. This playlist includes 28 videos that cover a wide variety of Evernote tips such as:
2- Dottotech’s tutorials

Dottotech channel is one of our favourite go to places for EdTech tutorials.  Dottotech has some excellent video tutorials on Evernote. Some of include:
3- Evan’s tutorials

Evan Carmichael’s channel on YouTube has some very good video tutorials on Evernote. Here are some that stood out to us:

Two Very Good Apps to Enhance Students Reading Skills

March, 2015
Below are two good Chrome apps to help students improve their reading skills. The apps provide reading practice using passages specifically designed to challenge learners reading abilities. Students will have access to a variety of built-in tools to assist them with listening to and practicing reading passages.And in the case of Fluency Tutor, they can even record entire passages and listen to themselves reading them aloud.

1- Read & Write for Google

Read&Write for Google™ offers a range of powerful support tools to help students gain confidence with reading and writing, including:

  •  Hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting
  • See the meaning of words explained with text and picture dictionaries
  • Hear text translated into other languages
  • Get suggestions for the current or next word as you type
  • Turn words into text as you speak 
  • Highlight text in documents or the web and collect for use in other documents
  •  Simplify and summarize text on web pages

2- Fluency Tutor

This is an app we learned from EdTech Guy. This is a web-based program allows students to open Fluency Tutor™ for Google reading passages in Google Drive.Some of its features include:
Allows students to open reading passages via Google Drive.
Provides support tools to assist students when listening to and practicing reading passages.
Allows students to record passages and listen to themselves reading aloud.

The Land of Venn : A Math Game to Enhance Kids Geometric Skills

March 30 , 2015
Math games can too often present the learning goal as an obstacle to overcome. Shooting aliens to solve fractions is an example.  The result is a moment of fun punctuated by the chore of performing a task.  In other words, the game actions—or core mechanics—do not match the educational goal.  This is chocolate-covered broccoli.

The Land of Venn is an ingenious geometry game that aligns learning to fun.  It smartly avoids being “edutainment” by putting play first.  It is a universal mobile application in which you draw lines and shapes to learn about lines and shapes.  The narrative, which is silly and amusing (as is the catchy music), is a tower defense game.

By performing the actions of geometry, players internalize the concepts.  It is a clear example of constructivist learning—learning by doing.  For example, children  connect points (each point is a different enemy) to draw an isosceles triangle.  As a result, confidence in abstract mathematical concepts is built as mastery of levels is met.

Watch this video to learn more about The Land of Venn

By :Matthew Farber
Matthew Farber teaches social studies at Valleyview Middle School, in Denville, New
Jersey, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Technology Leadership at
New Jersey City University. Look for his book, Gamify Your Classroom: A Field Guide to 
Game-Based Learning, and follow him on Twitter @MatthewFarber.

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Evernote Keyboard Shorcuts Cheat Sheet

March 30, 2015
This is a quick post to share with you this interesting resource we came across on Pinterest. This is basically an Evernote cheat sheet that features some useful keyboard shortcuts to use with your Evernote. Evernote keyboard shortcuts below are available for both Mac and Windows users and are meant to help enhance your productivity and save you so much time. Some of the tasks you can do with these shortcuts include; creating a new note, merging notes, creating and editing tags, formatting and many more. There is also a section in the lower section of this cheat sheet where you will find shortcuts for Evernote Web Clipper.

This cheat sheet is created by Jason Frasca. Click here to view and access the original enlarged version of this graphic.

An Indispensable Google Scholar Tip for Teachers and Academics

March, 2015
The power of Google Scholar as an academic search engine lies in the various hidden gems it contains. Digging a little bit deeper into the features it provides, you will definitely discover some amazing functionalities indispensable for academics and research students. We have already covered a number of these features in previous posts which you can access through this page.

Today, we are introducing you, in case you don’t know it yet, to another useful functionality integrated in Google Scholar.The citing feature is  by far one of the hacks we love the most about Google Scholar. The Cite button that appears under links in a Google Scholar search result allows you to generate citations of that reference with a single click. These citations are offered in 3 main formats: MLA, APA and Chicago. And if you use a citation manager such as BibTex,Endnote, RefMan, or Reworks, you will find links to easily export your citations to these managers.

To locate the cite button, head over to Google scholar and conduct a search query. Look for “Cite” under the links that are displayed in the search results as shown below.

When you click on it a pop up window will be displayed featuring the citation formats together with links to citation managers

Thanks to Mashable for reminding us about this excellent feature.
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A Very Good Resource of Educational Posters for Chemistry Teachers

March 29, 2015
Here is an interesting resource we want to bring to your attention. Compound Interest is a blog by Andy Brunning, a chemistry teacher in the UK. Andy creates and shares a wide variety of educational posters and graphics on everything related to chemistry and chemical reactions. We spent sometime browsing Andy’s collection of graphics and we found them really worth mentioning here.

Andy’s graphics are licensed under Creative Commons License, free for educational uses. You can find more about this site's copyright guidelines from this page. Also, the graphics are available in high quality PDF format which you can download and use with your students in class. Andy’s graphics have been featured in several popular media sites including:The Guardian, Huffington Post, Forbes, Business Insider and many more.

Here is an example of one of Andy's posters on how to spot bad science. We learned about this poster together with Compound Interest from Educational Technology Guy.