Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Podcast for Learning Math - It's Math Dude

Yesterday's post featured Grammar Girl, a podcasting website that provides audio podcast grammar tips.  The same company features Math Dude.  Math Dude is written by Jason Marshall and here is his bio.

Much like Grammar Girl, Math Dude features short audio podcasts that can be downloaded to an MP3 player or accessed from a computer.  The sites features concepts from beginning math to real world math.
If you teach math and you are looking for another way for your students to learn and retain the concepts you teach, have them try using this site.  Using audio files is easy and cool for students and this site keeps it simple.  You do not need to register to hear a podcast.  The written script is included below the audio tool.  Simply click play and you are into the world of learning with podcasts.
You can view available podcasts by type or see all the available topics.  The best way to stay connected to this site is to subscribe to new posts and can do that through a newsletter, iTunes (for your mp3 player) or by RSS feeds.

I encourage teachers to explore the use of audio podcasts with students and I would love to hear your experiences.  Math Dude and Grammar Girl can be another tool in your instructional tool belt.  Check out Math Dude and pass it on to a math teacher.  Thanks for reading my post and if you know good instructional podcasting sites, please share them in the comment section below.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Listening for Learning - Grammar Girl Podcast

I have been sharing Grammar Girl with teachers for several years.  It is one of those tools that middle and high school students will use because they can access it from their phones, mp3 players and computers.  Listening to audio is an integral part of students' lives so listening to podcasts is cool and is a medium that is comfortable to students.  Grammar Girl is an audio podcasting website that provides short audio and/or written tips to improve students' writing.  The founder of Grammar Girl is Mignon Fogarty.  You can read her bio at: About Grammar Girl

Podcasts are like listening to the radio on your computer and the possibilities for learning are endless.  Grammar Girl keeps it simple.  The podcasts are free and there is no log in.

You can listen to the audio and learn about grammar, punctuation, word choice, style and more. The site also includes the dialogue of the podcast in writing.  Episodes are about 5 min in length.  You can also subscribe to new podcasts in a variety of ways. Subscribing means you receive notification every time Grammar Girl posts a new podcast.
Have you ever struggled over "affect versus effect," "who versus whom," "bad versus badly," or "active versus passive" voice?  Grammar Girl has the answers.  

I hope you check out Grammar Girl and use it with your students or share it with another teacher.  Share your thoughts in a comment if you have used Grammar Girl.  Give it a try!  I'm confident your students will like it and learn from Grammar Girl.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Site Sharing with Portaportal

Portaportal is another tool teachers can use to organize and share websites.  The free version of the Web 2.0 tool works well but there is an upgraded membership that eliminates the ads.  You will need to register for Portaportal but it is quite simple.  Portaportal offers a getting started tab that helps keep it simple. They also clearly state their privacy policy so you know that your websites will not be linked to your email address.

With Portaportal, you create categories of websites you want to share and you populate a form.  When your portaportal site is displayed, your categories are listed and they link to the sites you have saved.  You can continue to update your portaportal and you share the link with students, colleagues, etc.  They will be able to easily find and use the sites you add to your Portaportal.

The best way to understand Portaportal is do see what other teachers have created.  I have shared a screen shot of one Portaportal and links to a few more.  Check out this easy to use tool.  Give it a try and see if it works for you and your students.  As always, share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post. 

This is Harveys Portaportal.
You click the "triangle" next to a topic to open the category and reveal the weblinks.

Here are two examples you can explore.
 A resource portaportal.
A math and science portaportal. 
Training resource page -

Enjoy Portaportal a new way to organize and share your bookmarked websites.  Does anyone have any other ideas on how to use Portaportal?