I Buzzed First

ibuzzedfirstHere’s another idea similar to Plickers – a smartphone/tablet app that replaces physical (and expensive) hardware to play gameshows in class. From the site: “One phone acts as the ‘Quiz Master’, and any number of Contestants (on separate phones) connect to the quiz. When you’re ready to start, the Quiz Master starts the first round, and the buzzer buttons on all the Contenstant’s phones light up. The first Contestant to press their buzzer is rewarded with a satisfying sound, and locks all the other Contestants out. Then the Quiz Master starts the next round, and off you go again! “

The URL: http://www.ibuzzedfirst.com/

Create Google Form from a Spreadsheet

googleformscriptMy pal, Randy Lyseng, found this great tool. Blogger John McGowan wrote a script that will create a form from a highlighted range of questions that you create on a Google spreadsheet. He is especially proud of the feature that creates multiple choice questions from option in the sheet. Visit the page, make a copy for yourself and follow the instructions on this page to try it out for yourself!

The URL: http://mathtechtips.blogspot.sg/2014/10/new-script-that-will-create-google.html?m=1

Google Computer Science Custom Search

GoogleCompSciMy pal, Bill Lomax, sent me this the other day. On Monday, Google “announced the launch of Computer Science Custom Search, a customized search engine for finding K-12 computer science education (CS)resources. Developed using a collection of over 550 CS education websites, such as Khan Academy, Google CS First, Girl Develop It, Bootstrap, ScratchEd, Code.organd Made with Code to name a few, CS Custom Search connects you to computer science education materials and programs. By focusing on a list of websites that provide primarily free and open K-12 CS education resources, the customized search engine ensures that you will find materials that can be readily adopted for your class, after school program, or enrichment for your child.

“CS Custom Search has been designed to support a range of users with varying degrees of experience with CS. For those with extensive experience, CS Custom Search has been optimized to support queries for unique CS topics across a wide range of languages and platforms. For those with less experience, the custom search solution provides recommendations on a range of search topics to ensure that a lack of CS vocabulary doesn’t negatively impact your results.”

The URL: http://www.cs4hs.com/resources/cscs.html

Internet Arcade

arcadeI’m not a big gamer but I do remember many of my favourites from growing up in the 80’s. As video game production becomes a viable path of study in computer science labs and everyone seems to be engaged in at least one addictive game on their smartphone these days, this site offers a broad collection of old arcade-style video games. From the site: “Containing hundreds of games ranging through many different genres and styles, the Arcade provides research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade. The game collection ranges from early “bronze-age” video games, with black and white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music. Most games are playable in some form, although some are useful more for verification of behavior or programming due to the intensity and requirements of their systems. Many games have a “boot-up” sequence when first turned on, where the systems run through a check and analysis, making sure all systems are go. In some cases, odd controllers make proper playing of the systems on a keyboard or joypad a pale imitation of the original experience.”

The URL: https://archive.org/details/internetarcade

App – WordLens

wordlensOntario List member, Jason Yeoman, suggested I have a look at WordLens, an iOS/Android app translates text between different languages in live-time. Jason explains, “The app opens the devices camera and will translate english to spanish or german to english. The best part is that you don’t require an internet connection.” I had a look at this app last year and was turned off by the in-app purchases required to add language capability to it but when I reviewed it this week, it appears that for an undisclosed time, the language packs are being offered at no cost. That changes my initial rejection to a conditional (and possibly time-sensitive) recommend. I installed all the language apps and tried it out – its accuracy seems to fluctuate but it’s close enough that I could interpret Google images of road signs easily.

The URL: http://questvisual.com/

Build Your Own Caterpillar

caterpillarHere’s a great activity for younger science students learning about habitat and camouflage. Students are asked to build a caterpillar and to consider different characteristics such as color and spines. Rather than just move through the exercise blindly, students may proceed only once they have entered a response about why they chose that particular feature.

The URL: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/explorer/ecosystems/be_an_explorer/map/caterpillar_play.htm