TGIF ~ February 5, 2010

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students

Wolfram|Alpha is a new “computational knowledge engine”. The goal of its developers is to “make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.” Lofty goal. When I read the word “compute” I usually think of math, but this does so much more. Type in a math problem and it will give you the answer. Type in a word and it will return the definitions, parts of speech, word origins, pronunciation, syllabication, and much more. Type in weather 17055 and get the current temperature and conditions as well as weather history and forecasts for our ZIP code.  Since today is the 100th day of school, I typed in 100. This picture shows just a part of the results…


Wolfram|Alpha is like the old “World Almanac” on steroids. You and your students can use it to look up quick facts on a WIDE variety of topics. Give it a try! (

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

Tuesday I spent the day at the CAIU for a workshop led by Discovery Education (the provider of what we used to know as Unitedstreaming).  Click here to access the resource blog used by the presenter. If you haven’t been to DE Streaming in a while, I suggest you take another look. If you’ve only used it to search for videos, look again, because it has much more to offer. Discovery Education Streaming has updated their website and is constantly adding new content in the form of videos, images, and more. We also now have the ability to create student accounts within the service. This could be helpful if you want students to find videos or other content to use in projects. The students would only be able to search for videos tagged for their grade level range (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) or lower, keeping our youngest students away from topics that are inappropriate for them. (Remember, there’s nothing “bad” in DE Streaming, but there are things that are not age-appropriate for young children.) Teachers can also create classes within Discovery Ed and develop and assign quizzes and assignments for students in those classes. If you’d like to try these features and want some help, just let me know. Also, for the month of February, Discovery is providing a free preview of their Discovery Science and Discovery Health modules. When you login to DE Streaming, you’ll see  tabs for Science and Health near the top of the page. If you teach Science or Health, take a look. If you don’t currently have a Discovery Streaming account, contact me and I’ll send you the information you need to get started. (;

Fact ~ Just a bit of information

Related to the DiscoveryEd resources mentioned above, here’s  some clarification on copyright and the use of their materials. Videos from DE Streaming can be used in classroom and school projects but can not be posted on webpages that are open to the public. Images, sound effects, songs, and other media available from DE Streaming can be used and posted publicly as long as they are properly cited.

Happy 100th Day of School!



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