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iCue

What it is: iCue is NBC’s newest venture into the realm of education. The sites aim is to create a collaborative 2.0 learning community that “incorporates gaming, discussion, and video resources in a safe, student-friendly online environment.” This is an excellent resource for getting your students interested in the world they live in through relevant news, videos, and a place to discuss them. The iCue video player is very robust and has the ability to take notes, leave comments, and create links for the video. The “Cue cards” can be saved in a student area for future reference. This site is a truly inventive way to teach with current events! How to integrate iCue into the classroom: iCue is a great way to keep your students interested and engaged with current events. The site will be excellent to use on a daily basis during this election year. Students can watch videos, start discussions and debates based on current events. This site has great potential for really making students use critical thinking and higher order thinking skills. The related games are entertaining and will help reinforce what students are learning. Tips: This site will eat up bandwidth. Make sure that your network can handle it before assigning the whole class to be on iCue at once! Learn more about what NBC is offering for the classroom at www.hotchalk.com. Please leave a comment and share how you are using iCue in your classroom. Technorati Tags: news, current events, social studies, video

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Piktochart: Create your own infographics

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Technology, web tools, Websites | Posted on 09-10-2012

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What it is:  Piktochart is a great web app that makes it easy to create your own infographics.  Piktochart has free and premium options.  With the free version, there are a handful of themes to choose from.  Premium themes are also available, if you are so inclined.  After you choose a theme, the next job is to change the mood and edit the information on the chart.  Students can add shapes, graphics (uploaded), theme graphics, and text to the infographic.  Students can add a chart where they manually input data or upload a cvc file.  This is especially helpful if they have been data collecting in another program.   There are some features that are only available to pro users.  Not to worry, there are enough available for free that you can make a pretty rockin’ infographic that gets the point (or data) across.

How to integrate Piktochart into the classroom: Piktochart is a superb way for students to work on those statistics/probability standards.  Being a visual learner myself, I love the way that infographics seem to make data easier to digest.  Piktochart can be used to display any type of statistical or mathematical data in new ways.  Students can show what they are learning in history, about the world population (miniature earth), science, in the book they are reading, geography statistics, etc.

The way that infographics allow students to blend learning across the subject areas is fantastic.  It isn’t just math; it is math, and art, and science/social studies/history/geography/technology.  Any time we can help students recognize the overlaps that exist in learning and subject area, it is a win!

A few weeks ago, students at Anastasis discovered that America’s biggest export is trash. They started digging and found statistics about the amount of trash Americans throw away each day (7lbs/person) and how much was recycled vs. what ended up in a landfill.  They also looked at statistics of what receiving countries like China and India did with the waste being imported.  It was fascinating!  Students created infographics showing what they had discovered in their research.  It was eye-opening when they translated that trash per person into a year’s worth of trash and figured out how many football stadiums that it would fill.  When they could see it graphically, it had an impact on their thinking.  The result was: “it is up to us to change this…”

Pretty amazing when the conclusion to learning is transformation…change.

Tips: In the free version:  Basic themes, 5 image uploads, Piktochart’s watermark. Pro version ($29.00/mo): 80 themes (and growing), additional customization, more image uploads, no watermark.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Piktochart in your classroom.

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