12 Great Social Studies Apps for Elementary Students

May 22, 2017
This is the seventh post is a series of posts covering educational iPad apps to use with elementary students. We are trying to build a repository of good apps elementary students and teachers can easily  access and use in their learning and instruction. To learn more about the previous posts we have published so far check out this section. Today's collection features a number of useful apps to use with young learners when teaching social studies. These apps, which we curated from iTunes App Collections, cover 3 main themes: Geography, History and World Cultures. Check them out and share with us your feedback.

Links to the apps are under the visual.

12 Great Social Studies Apps for Elementary Students
1- Kids Planet Discovery
‘Kids Planet Discovery sends kids off on virtual adventures around Planet Earth, giving them the chance to learn about cultures, animals, music, dress, geography, and more.’

2- Geo Walk
‘Geo Walk is a world fact book about animals, plants, historical events,famous people and inventions. All articles can be explored in a fun way by traveling across the globe and learning where the building is, or where the natural habitat of an animal is, or where a famous person lived.’

3- Barefoot World Atlas
‘Barefoot World Atlas puts the world at your children’s fingertips! With this incredible app, anyone can fly around the magical, interactive 3D globe and discover the rich wonders of our planet. ’

4- Stack the States
‘As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level.’

5- World Book
‘This Day in History for iPad is an interactive multimedia calendar that displays historical events for the current day or any selected day, along with related media such as photos, illustrations, music, and speeches.’

6- History Today
‘History Today is an encyclopedia of news stories for what happened on this day in history throughout the US and world.’

7- Britannica Kids: US Presidents
‘Britannica Kids: U.S. Presidents takes young learners on a fun and educational meet-and-greet with the 44 U.S. presidents.’

8- US Geography With Flat Stanley HD
‘Master state geographic locations, capitals, flags, spelling, and see photos from each state. Learning all 50 states has never been this fun! Perfect for kids ages 4-12.’

9- Stack the Countries
‘Stack the Countries® makes learning about the world fun! Watch the countries actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!’

10- BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week
‘Bring learning to your fingertips™ with the BrainPOP Jr.® Movie of the Week app for the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®. Get a different animated movie every week and check out related quizzes and educational activities - free!’

11- Social Studies Friendzy
‘Learn Social Studies with our K - 8th grade Social Studies games app! Test your knowledge on the US Presidents, US states and capitals, US government and history, US citizenship and immigration, and so much more! We feature the top 100 students every day!’

12- Thud! Presidents 
‘To win at THUD!, you'll need more than a head stuffed with facts. Each level is a tricky puzzle where you must carefully balance and stack your answers... or it all comes crashing down!’

8 Excellent Google Sheets add-ons for Teachers

May 22, 2017
Here is another of our popular visuals we published few months ago. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, this is a collection of some good Google Sheets add-ons to help you carry on a variety of  educational tasks. These include how to:
  • Create graphs and forms and write complex math in your sheets
  • Create and modify a planning schedule for project management in a spreadsheet; easily scaffold, manage and assess students projects in Google Drive
  • Quickly grade and analyze students assessments, split cells, remove duplicates, clean up data and change case
  • Add powerful functionality to quizzes you create via Google Forms
  • Send personalized mass emails with Gmail and track email opens.
Here are the links to the add-ons featured in the visual:
8 Excellent Google Sheets add-ons for Teachers

10 Google Docs Add-ons Teachers Should Know about

May 22, 2017
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here is a visual we published few months ago featuring some of the best Google Docs add-ons for teachers.  Some of the things you can do with these add-ons include:
  • Give and receive feedback using both voice and text comments
  • Insert accents for different languages into your Google Doc
  • Easily and quickly create educational rubrics
  • Create and insert graphs, equations, and math quizzes into your Google Doc
  • Use speech recognition to voice type your Google docs
  • Access and use a huge library of clipart images to use in your docs
  • Automatically create a table of content for easy document navigation
  • Create and insert diagrams, flowcharts, and mind maps into your docs
  • Add electronic signatures to your docs and share them in PDF format
  • Automatically cite sources and generate bibliographies
Here are the links to the add-ons featured in the visual:

productivity tips

8 Important Tips to Effectively Manage Your Time

May 20, 2017
The Internet and more specifically the social web has radically transformed all sectors of human life from education to doing business. It has opened unprecedented learning opportunities and has facilitated so many facets of our life. While it is almost impossible to outnumber the benefits of this digital revolution but some of its inconveniences are really troublesome. One [pertinent example here is the lack of focus. In his popular classic ‘The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains ’ Nicholas Carr provided a convincing account on how web technologies are rewiring our brains in ways that negatively impact our focus and make us shallow thinkers. ‘The influx of competing messages that we receive whenever we go online’, Carr stated, ‘not only overloads our working memory; it makes it much harder for our frontal lobes to concentrate our attention on any one thing…the more we use the Web, the more we train our brain to be distracted-to process information very quickly and very efficiently but without sustained attention’(p. 194).

But as human beings, we are endowed with a distinctive capacity (Carr calls it command) to mindfully control our attention. One way to do this is by being conscious of the way we spend our time. Time management is key to living a thriving and productive lifestyle. In this regard, we are sharing with you this interesting infographic created by the folks in EkLeader featuring a number of useful tips to help you manage your time effectively. Have a look and share with us your feedback.

8 Important Tips to Effectively Manage Your Time
Courtesy of ElearningInfographics.

Two Good Platforms That Provide Free Science Books

May 20, 2017
We have recently published a list of some useful websites that provide open textbooks teachers and students can use to access a wide variety of textbooks covering various school subjects. In this post we are adding two more resources but these are exclusive to science teachers and students. These are websites that provide free scientific books and textbooks which you can either read online or download in PDF format. Check them out and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

1- Free Science

‘FreeScience.info is an initiative to substitute real libraries with  a virtual one, where it will be possible download all books, in a printable format, mainly PDF. This initiative is motivated by the fact that copyright time on scientific books is finished. In fact many branches of mathematics and/or physics ,  see for instance the electromagnetism, are old and so there is no more reason to  continue to pay copyright on books that treat arguments older than fifty years.’

2- Science Books Online 

‘Science Books Online is a directory of free science texts, e-books, monographs, lecture notes, and other science related documents. All texts are available for free access, authorized by their respective authors or publishers -- no pirated books here!’

6 Good Websites that Provide Open Digital Textbooks for Teachers

May 20, 2017
In response to a couple of requests we received from our readers here in EdTech and Mlearning, we went ahead and curated for you the collection below. This is a list featuring some popular platforms that provide open digital textbooks. Textbooks are arranged into different categories and content areas. Some of the textbooks are available for free download in various formats others can only be read online. There are also platforms where you can pay a reasonable fee to buy or rent new or used textbooks. These include: Amazon Textbooks, Chegg, and Google Play.

6 Good Websites that Provide Open Digital Textbooks for Teachers

1- OER Commons
Open Education Resources (OER) Commons is a platform that provides open access to a wide variety of open educational resources that are either in the public domain or are licensed under Creative Commons.  These resources include things such as :’ full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.’

2- Bookboon 
‘Bookboon has published more than 1,000 free textbooks for students. These textbooks can be downloaded in PDF format without prior registration.’

3- Wikibooks
Wikibooks offers an open content textbooks collection that anyone can edit. It has over 2000 books and other educational materilas that can be browsed by subject, complettion status or reading level.

4- Open Textbook Library
‘The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks. Explore the library's books to see if an open textbook fits your course's, and students', needs.’

‘MERLOT has one of the largest known collections of open textbooks in the world, with thousands catalogued by topic, audience, level, license, peer review, etc., many with comments, in bookmark collections, and user ratings.  MERLOT community members can take advantage of this resource in a variety of ways.’

6- TextBookGo
‘TextBookGo.com is your number one source for free etextbooks. We bring you free digital textbooks from all sources and for all courses! We offer free etextbooks for many subject categories and for all tablet and digital textbook viewing devices.’