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Zen.do: Efficient Learning

What it is: Zen.do is a site created by students with a mission to help make learning more efficient.  Zen.do seeks to provide a solution for managing the overwhelming amount of information that students are asked to learn.  It does so by helping students study what they need, when they need to.  Students begin using Zen.do by taking notes.  As they are taking notes, they add a hyphen between terms (concepts, names, important dates, etc.) and definition.  Students can then study their notes as flashcards, indicating what they know and how important it the information is to them.  Zen.do does the rest, it helps students spend less time studying by reviewing only what matters and what is likely to be forgotten.  In the long-term, Zen.do helps students keep important information at the ready.  The best part of Zen.do: students don’t really have to do anything differently than they are already doing it.  They create notes as they always do and Zen.do takes care of the rest. How to integrate the Zen.do into the classroom: If you are like me, you remember spending HOURS reading through class notes, creating flash cards, re-reading notes to make sure you hadn’t missed anything important, and then cramming as much as you could prior to a test.  I like that Zen.do takes the focus off the cramming for the test bit and focuses on really learning the material.  Zen.do helps students think about their learning process by making them call out what is important and how likely they are to forget it. Zen.do is a great solution for students who struggle with studying and finding a way to manage the barrage of information they face.  It breaks down notes into manageable, digestible pieces and keeps them moving forward in their learning. Zen.do is ideal in a 1 to 1 classroom setting where each student has access to a computer.  If you don’t have access to a computer for each student, consider using a classroom computer for note taking.   Make record keeping a rotating classroom “job”.  As the class recorder, a student would take notes for the class in a word processor (Google Docs would be ideal).  These notes can be accessed by students at home and copy/pasted into each student’s Zen.do account for studying. Tips: Students can sign in to Zen.do using an email address, Google connect, or Facebook. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zen.do in your classroom!  

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The Scale of Life

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 19-04-2012

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What it is:  The Scale of Life is a neat website that I learned about from a parent in @michellek107‘s class today.  The Scale of Life is flash based, and shows the size of objects relative to other objects.  Along the bottom of the site is a slider that lets students zoom in or out in size to see things relative to each other. Students can get as small as 0.0000000001 yoctometers to as large as size of the known universe.

How to integrate The Scale of Life into the classroom:  The Scale of Life is a neat way for students to explore size, science and math.  Students can examine the scale of objects compared to other objects and make observations about size and purpose of the object in the universe.  This would be a fun site to explore as a class using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  As a class, students could adjust the scale and discuss size and purpose of the objects.  Split students into teams to choose a different scale to learn about. Students can learn more about the items that are in the size range to share back with the class.

The Scale of Life could be a fantastic site for students learning about exponents and scientific notation.  Visual students will appreciate that they can see what these big (and small) numbers are representing.

Tips: @michellek107 is digging the music on the site…she has it going in the background of her classroom right now ;).  If you aren’t loving it, there is a music note in the upper right corner where you can turn it off.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using The Scale of Life in  your classroom!

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[...] is Today reminds me a little bit of the Scale of Life site that I wrote about here.  Using these sites together could be pretty epic.  Talk about a [...]

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