Archive for the 'Math' Category

Open Source Free Educational Software

The following list of  free open source educational software comes from OpenDisc

Art and Graphics

GIMPEdit digital photos and create graphics
GIMP animationCreate animations
InkscapeMake professional looking vector graphics
Pencil – Animate your own cartoons
Blender3D graphic modeling, animation, rendering and playback
TuxpaintDrawing program for children ages 3 to 12


VLCPlay music, videos and DVDs
AudacityRecord, edit and mix music
TuxGuitar – Compose your own music
Piano Booster – Teach yourself the piano
AvidemuxEdit movies and add special effects
Infra RecorderBurn your own CDs and DVDs
CamStudioRecord your actions on a computer
Really Slick ScreensaversGreat looking screensavers

Science and Mathematics

Nasa Worldwind Discover the earth and other planets~
Greenfoot – Teach yourself how to program
GraphCalcA graphical calculator
Guido Van RobotLearn how computer programs work
CarMetalCool mathematical modelling tool
Maxima – University standard computer algebra system
CelestiaExplore the universe in three dimensions
StellariumA planetarium on your PC


FreeCiv Control the world through diplomacy and conquest
FreeColDiscover the ‘New World’ and build an empire
Numpty Physics – Solve puzzles using physics
TuxTyping 2Learn to type like a pro
Tux of Math Command – Test your mathematical skills
Winboard ChessThe classic game of chess

My addition to the above list:
– word processing, spreadsheet, “PowerPoint like” presentation, drawing, database program

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Teach Culture Through YouTube: Your Students do it.


YouTube has much potential for our classes. Often we can re-envision something that was put up to serve our need to show other cultures.

Language classes can use these videos as can Global Social Studies classes. English classes can use them as writing prompts. Math classes can count certain things in the video such as how many similarities and differences there are. Or how many different forms of transportation were shown?

For example, you can show students a video of a city in the culture you want them to learn and then you can assign each of them (or they choose) a different city or different aspects (dance, music, business,etc.). They they can search YouTube for videos on that location; for example, they may search for Madrid, Spain. They find at least at least three videos and compare them. Which one has the best narration of the content of the video? Which one shows the widest variety of the city? They can select the one they want to show the class and they can add to it information that they obtained from the other videos. They can prepare study guides or comprehension activities.

How do you have your students use YouTube to bring culture into your classroom?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Digital Camera: Low Tech For High Learning


Low tech gives very high learning results. Teachers do not have to have a room full of tech gizmos to have great technology-infused learning. Whenever I hear teachers say, “I cannot do that because I don’t have xyz technology,” I emphasize what they do have and what they can do with what they have. We need to be “do-ers” and not “blockers.”

A digital camera is a universal technology that can be used in any subject area. A digital camera is fairly inexpensive, a $99 5 megapixel digital camera is more than adequate for the classroom. Digital cameras appeal to the millenial generation of sight and sound. Students can operate digital cameras with little or no instruction. If the camera has a built in megapixel sizes, many classroom pictures can be taken at lower megapixels and moved directly into other programs with no memory-reduction manipulation program.

Digital cameras can be used in any subject. Here’s a few examples:

Math – show math applied to real life such as construction; show various manipulates that add up to the same total; and demonstrate difficult concepts like add negatives

English- visualize the emotion in a poem; show the steps in a process; use as part of a persuasion speech;

Science – show the key parts of a lab; explain a science concept; see the details of plants

Social Studies – have images of the ethnic diversity of the community; show the pro and con of a debate issue; show the changes in an event.

Students can move these images into a PowerPoint slideshow; create an e-movie program; print out and add captions; make up instruction manuals; produce persuasive posters; create timelines; make history galleries; etc.

How have your students used a digital camera in your classroom?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


High School & College University Educators Disagree on What’s Important

High School and College Learning

Mary Beth Marklein in “Schoolteachers, professors differ on what’s important” in USA Today Tues April 10, 2007 IID reports on the ACT’s study which was just released. Some major differences

Math – High School teachers emphasize advanced content while profs want an in-depth understanding of fundamentals (basic operations and applications).

Science – High School teachers emphasize factual knowledge while profs want process and inquiry skills (evaluating similarities and differences).

English – High School teachers emphasize introductions and conclusions while profs do not think it is very critical.

Reading – Both agree on teaching ideas of “main ideas and author’s approach”

Maybe if we could get high school teachers and professors to sit together to discuss common learning goals then students would have a seamless transition from high school to college learning. Have you talked with a college prof recently about common learning goals? Have you talked with a high school teacher recently about common learning goals? Let’s set common goals.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Improving Students’ Math Standard Learning Through Technology: 13 Examples

I wrote, Make Math Work, an article on improving students’ math NCTM standards learning through technology with thirteen examples for TechLearning

What other examples have you used to improve students’ standards math learning through technology?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

Acuity, Student Diagnostic Testing, and Teacher Time To Refocus Instruction

Teach it Differently

A district is using the Acuity program to assess its students at various grades levels on Math and ELA. (The same company that makes the state benchmarks produces this program-just a coincidence, I’m sure :) )

If the school district uses this program three times a year, they can get valuable information on the progress of each student. My concern is that the teachers will have insufficient time to analyze the results and refocus instruction. If teachers do not have plenty of time to figure out how to do “remediation” or “re-teaching”, then the Acuity program serves no purpose.

I was involved in a program in which our Spanish students were tested every 6 weeks on the 40 most important objectives for the course. An hour or even a half day of release time was not enough time to digest the feedback on the students’ progress and to refocus instruction. Often we would see major gaps between what we thought we taught and what the students actually learned. A day was not even enough to figure out different ways of presenting the learning so students could be successful. Reteaching by speaking slowly and speaking loudly with the same material was not going to result in better student learning. Having students just do more problems will not help them unless they have learned a new strategy.

I advocate that any school district using Acuity or any similar tool gives those teachers at least two days after the results are available each testing time. For example, all ELA teachers of the same grade level will have the same two days to analyze the results, to share successes, and to plan for how to re-teach. If Acuity were administered three times, they would have a total of six days.

So how many teacher refocusing days have your built into your Acuity program? Or are you just having students do more problems that they still do not understand?

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


Teacher Technology Use For Students: On Task or a Waste of Time?

Technology Use Learning or Waste

I heard a classroom teacher say, “Do a few Math exercises on the computer and then you can play games for the rest of the period.”

When I heard this, I was shocked. I wanted to scream. This school has very low state math scores and yet the students are going to play non-academic games. I kept track and most students finished the Math in ten minutes so they played for thirty minutes.

It reminded me of a school where every Friday the Special Education students got to play computer games as a reward for working hard the rest of the week. So for working 4/5 days, they got to waste time, a full class period, on the computer. It meant that for 20% of every week, they did not learn. 20% of an 180 school year was 36 days of not learning. I do not know of any student that could miss 36 days of learning and be successful.

Do you use your students’ time effectively when they are using technology? How do you maximize thinking time and minimize hyper-jumping? How do you scaffold the technology-use to help them quickly climb up the thinking levels? How does every minute using technology bring the students closer to being proficient in the standard?


RSS Education with Technology

  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior ( Equally important, a letter […]
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
  • English Common Core Mobile Activities ebook June 18, 2014
    I recently published English Common Core Mobile Activities ebook. Use these 150+ different mobile activities to guide your students in learning and demonstrating the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Anchor Statements in Language, Speaking and Listening, Reading, and Writing. The activities, organized by Anchor Statements, actively eng […]
  • Giving Students a Voice in App Selection January 8, 2014
    Traditionally, teachers research apps for their class. They assign apps to students.  The teachers assign a specific app or give students a choice of several pre-selected apps.  As a Modern Language teacher, I suggested apps to my students in the early part of the year. However, in January, I let my students select which apps […]
  • Considering Home Learning When Doing Mobile December 14, 2013
    Many schools are going mobile or one-to-one.  Schools sometimes make decisions without thinking about the full consequences such as mobile and home learning. If schools supply mobile devices to the students, do the students take the mobile devices home?   If students do not take the mobile device home, then mobile is only considered an […]

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