Monday Morning Roundup #1

It’s the Monday Morning Roundup, folks!  It’s something new I’ve started here at Wiser Today and Still Learning. Each Monday, I will post a list of websites, apps, programs, and other resources that I come across the previous week.  In part, this is a way for me to keep track of all these resources for my own work, but it’s also a way of keeping posts like this organized and easy to find for anyone else who might like to take advantage of them.  Please check back each Monday for a new roundup of the latest teacher resources, and in between Monday mornings, I will blog as normal.  Enjoy!

(As I looked over this list, I realized it definitely has a social studies bent to it, which makes sense given I’m a history teacher.  But this won’t always be the case.  So even if you don’t find something of use this week, try back next week.)

1. 270 to Win – Given that this is a presidential election year, it’s no surprise that this app is now available.  The app is built around Electoral College maps going from the present all the way back to the first elections in United States history.  It allows you to visualize how and when states swung from Democratic to Republican, and vice versa.  In addition, it includes detailed voting histories for each of the 50 states.  It also allows you to create your own maps of how you think the 2012 election will turn out.   Then, on election night you can check how accurate your map was to the real deal.  You can make as many maps as you wish, too.  This app is very useful to use in government or American history courses.  Cost – $0.99.

2. World Figures by The Economist – This app was created as a supplement to the The Economist’s “World Figures” books.  It includes facts and figures about more than 190 countries across the world.  It ranks the countries by dozens of topics such as education , life expectancy, migration, etc.  What’s even better is the comparison tool, which allows you to pick any countries you wish and compare them on any of these given topics.  This would be very useful in any number of courses.  Cost – FREE.

3. Smithsonian Channel – Don’t get the Smithsonian Channel at your home?  No problem.  This app has tons of full episode versions of many of the Smithsonian’s programs.  I’m having a lot of fun exploring all sorts of shows from the arts to history to science and medicine.  Cost – FREE.

4. TurboScan – Some schools have a limited number of scanners on their campuses, but if you have an iPhone or iPad, this won’t be a problem for you.  This app is awesome.  Take three pictures with your phone of whatever hardcopy document you wish to scan.  Then, the app works its magic and turns it into a high-quality PDF.  Creating PDFs with multiple pages is just as easy.  The new PDFs can be emailed as a PDF or JPEG.  Cost – $1.99.

5. 2012 Presidential Election at ProCon.org – The ProCon.org website has a special section for the 2012 Presidential Election.  There’s too much here for a brief description to do it justice, but the site covers each candidate’s views on all the issues.  In addition, there are videos of each candidate and historical information about the history of the presidency.  Students can take a free quiz that matches them up with the candidate whose views are most similar to their own.  Also, there’s a really great summary chart that allows students to see in graphic form the views of the different candidates.

6. Civic Quotes – This is both an app and a website.  Quotes about the role and purpose of government are juxtaposed with a visual primary document like a photograph.  Then, there is a civics quiz question from the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress).  Once they answer a question, students can compare themselves to other 8th graders who took the test across the country as each answer provides the percentage of 8th graders who answered correctly.  Cost – FREE.

7. Stitcher – This app is more for me than for my students, but it’s great if you like to listen to the radio for news and information.  It’s kind of like Pandora for talk radio.  You can listen to your favorite news and talk radio shows on demand rather than by the schedule set by the radio station.  You can listen to NPR, CNN, Fox, the BBC, and many more.  Cost – FREE.

8. Computer vs. Paper – This is the name of my friend Karen’s blog.  She is one of our Technology Integration Specialists as well as a classroom teacher.  She writes a lot about technology in education and provides great resources.  I’ve linked to her blog over to the right under “Blogs I Follow”.

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