If you're a teacher of students that are 13 years of age and older, and your students sign up for accounts themselves, you might find our new account type of interest: Student-owned accounts that are connected to a teacher account.
A quick review of Teacher accounts and their student accounts
Until now, if a teacher wants to monitor their students' activity, the teacher must create generated accounts and hand them out to the students. And give everyone the same password. And keep track of whose account is whose. This is an ideal solution for maintaining the privacy and safety of children under 13 on the internet. But it may not be ideal for teachers of a large number of students in higher grades.
Introducing... Student-owned accounts connected to your teacher account
With student-owned accounts, students can sign up for their own accounts, and maintain their own passwords. Sounds like just a regular account that has always been available? Not quite - now anyone with a regular (non-teacher) account will see a new option in their My Account menu: Join or Leave Class.
If you, the teacher, have one or more classes set up in your account, you can instruct your students to use the Join a Class option to connect their account to yours. When they do that, they will be prompted to fill in the alias/nickname and give you permission to access their results. The alias/nickname will be what you see on your class results listing (thus saving you some work figuring out who's who).
This option is available for both Teacher Basic and Teacher Plus accounts , but please note that you need a Teacher Plus account to view your student scores (Teacher Basic will just show you that the student completed the quiz - not the score).
Here's a quick run-through of the new feature: Favorite A Quiz.
If you're a teacher, and you want to put quizzes for your students on your (soon to be released) blackboard, this feature is going to help you get your quizzes there.
If you're a learner, favoriting a quiz is a way to keep all your favorite quizzes bookmarked in one spot. You might want to do this if you've got several quizzes you're studying for, or are frequently practicing. You can remove a quiz from your favorites just as easily.
Here's how it works...
Every quiz in the geography section has (or will soon have) a star just above the Question and Answer box. You just click on the star to mark the quiz as a favorite. It will turn from an outline to a solid star to show that it has been saved as a favorite.
Screenshot of how to save a quiz as a favorite
Screenshot of a quiz that has been saved as a favorite
If you want to remove the quiz from your favorites, just click the solid star, and it will revert back to the original outline (unfavorited) star.
When you want to see your favorites, go to your My Account menu (yes, you have to be signed in for your favorites to be saved and viewed) and select My Favorite Quizzes.
Screenshot of navigation to My Favorites screen
Below is a screenshot of what the My Favorite Quizzes screen looks like. As you can see, you can also remove quizzes from your favorites here.
Screenshot of My Favorites screen
Favoriting a quiz is available to Individual Supporters, those with a Teacher Plus account, and students of a Teacher Plus.
Stay tuned for a blog post on how this fits in with the new blackboard feature.
The folks at Google are piloting an interesting immersive geography program that might interest some of our readers.
The gist of the program is a to take students on a kind of virtual expedition where they can experience more than 100 interesting journeys. These simulated journeys could include a visit to the South Pole, coral reefs or ancient American ruins. With the Expedition Kit, students will be able to look up and down, and spin to get a 360-degree view of a location, as if they were visiting in person.
Expeditions teams will visit selected schools around the world, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, Singapore and Denmark. Each team will bring a complete Expeditions kit with everything the teachers need to take their students on journeys anywhere. The team will show teachers how Expeditions works and help set it up before class.
There is no charge or cost involved in the program. You just need 6 interested teachers.
Students were creating a human skeleton using a variety of pastas. They could break them and shape them pretty much any way they needed to in order to complete the skeleton. I noticed something odd on one students skeleton and stupidly decided to ask about it…
Me: "Hey Ashley…why do you have that piece of fettuccine stuck to the pelvis?“ Student: "Well he’s a boy so…it’s a penis.” Me: "Oh! Uh…well just so you know there isn’t actually a bone…there.“ Student: "Oh my gosh really?! …Wait…then why do they call it a….” Me: "NO! Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. No more talking.“
I backed away and never questioned another pasta skeleton the rest of the day…
I recently asked a student where his homework was. He replied, “It’s still in my pencil.”
—Larry Timmons, Surprise, Arizona
My sixth-grade class would not leave me alone for a second. It was a constant stream of “Ms. Osborn?” “Ms. Osborn?” “Ms. Osborn?” Fed up, I said firmly, “Do you think we could go for just five minutes without anyone saying ‘Ms. Osborn’?!” The classroom got quiet. Then, from the back, a soft voice said, “Um … Cyndi?”
—Cyndi Osborn, New York, New York
"Yeah, I want to go to college! I really want to go! I have lots of money to pay for college!" [Later on in conversation] "Wait, college is school? I don't want to go to college! I didn't know college is SCHOOL!!"
On the last day of the year, my first graders gave me beautiful handwritten letters. As I read them aloud, my emotions got the better of me, and I started to choke up. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m having a hard time reading.” One of my students said, “Just sound it out.”
We discovered geocaching quite few years ago. For us at Lizard Point, it was the perfect combination of geography, nature, technology and general geekiness. It also gave us a fun, cheap, and easy way to engage our kids when they were young. In looking for an item of interest to geography teachers, I went searching for examples of integrating it into lesson plans. Reading the piece, A geocaching treasure hunt helped my students learn about the landscape in the Guardian, by teacher Stephen Lockyer, made me think that this idea has occurred to a few of you.
In case you haven't geocached - it's really simple. Go to the official website and get a free account. In five minutes you can bring up a map of your neighbourhood and find pointers to caches that others have hidden away. I bet you'd find 10 within walking distance. You then note the GPS coordinates and you start your hunt. It's even easier if you just download the free app to your smartphone. After some trekking around and (perhaps) peeking at clues - you'll discover the cache. It will always contain a log and often some little trinkets. The idea is to sign the log, exchange some trinkets if you like, and record the find with the app.
Stephen worked geocaching into an outing that he had already planned and was able to integrate map reading into the lesson. His class was so engaged that they began a program to create and hide geocaches in their own neighbourhood after the field trip.
As the photos illustrate, our family always includes some geocaching when we're on holiday. These were taken on a beach in Scotland. And I can almost guarantee that you'll find some sights off the beaten path and well worth the hunt.
Well, we really don't know that... but he sure does love making fun of Americans being bad at Geography. And we believe our job is to, you know... fix that. As Laura Bradley points out in her recent piece on Slate, Oliver would be "...the teacher from hell. Is the highlighted country on the map actually the country he’s talking about, or will it turn out to be on another side of the continent entirely?"
Anyway, it's a fun little clip. Click it for a chuckle or two.
(You knew where Uruguay was immediately, right? If not, do we have a quiz for you!)