MacReach Show #39: Mountain Lion Roars & iPad Research Exists!

This week on the MacReach Show: There is a lot to discuss with the announcement of Apple’s next Mac major software update, Mountain Lion, and the release of the Advantage 2014 Kindergarten iPad 1:1 research! Also, elementary school teachers will love the IEAR App of the Week!

Show Hosts: Meg Wilson (@iPodsibiities) and Kelly Dumont (@KDumont)



Leave us some feedback! 

Contact us with any questions or comments- macreach@edreach.us

InstaGrok Educational Search Engine

Can you define the word “Grok?”

Grok Definition

InstaGrok is a developing answer-engine that is specifically designed for the education market. The mission of  InstaGrok is to teach 21st Century research and curation skills in a safe, age appropriate environment. InstaGrok is commercial free and organizes search results according to themes and concepts. In a way, InstaGrok is similar to Wolfram|Alpha as it provides answers and information rather than a list of links. Using the search box, type in any term or idea that you are interested in learning about. The results returned are divided into five categories:

  • Overview
  • Websites
  • Videos
  • Q&A
  • Quizzes
The results returned are derived algorithmically which means the database is as wide as the internet. There are three features of InstaGrok that are especially noteworthy and should excite educators:

InstaGrok's version of the "Wonder Wheel"

“WonderWheel”
Anyone who enjoyed using the Google WonderWheel (RIP) will appreciate the concept map feature of InstaGrok. Much more sophisticated that its predecessor, this concept map includes the ability to click on related terms or the ability to see the relationship between two words by clicking on their connecting lines.

Dynamic Leveling
All results returned from an InstaGrok search can be sorted by academic level. The current options include “College”, “High School” and “School.” All of the content returned in a search are clearly marked with its associated level. Leveling is determined by vocabulary and work complexity.
Quiz Questions
InstaGrok is able to dynamically create multiple choice quiz questions from relevant content. Students can answer questions and receive immediate feedback on the answer as well as the ability to read the content from which the question was generated. This is a very exciting feature that teacher will appreciate.
The next time you or your students are research information, give InstaGrok a try! Let us know what you think.

EdGamer 35: Break is Over, Let’s Play Some Games


 

WE’RE BACK! EdGamer welcomes you into 2012 with a show chock full of educational gaming information. In this episode we recap the holidays, visit a few new articles and look forward to the possible future of gaming and education. EdGamer 35 will give you everything you need to start your edugaming year off right! Tune in.


Show Host: Zack Gilbert

Show contributor: Gerry James


 


Contact us with any questions or comments- edgamer@edreach.us

EdGamer 28: Are Games the Modern Novel?

We’re back! The 28th installment of EdGamer takes off with a discussion about video games and creativity and then sinks into one of the best and deepest articles we have found about gaming. You do not want to miss this episode as it is jam packed with some useful info, some hilarious info, and some true ‘what am I listening to’ moments! Also, sorry for the downgrade in Zack’s microphone. Listen and find out what happened to his favorite listening/recording device.  He hopes to have a new one for next week’s show.

 

Show Host: Zack Gilbert

Show contributor: Gerry James

Subscription Page and Feeds for EdGamer

The complete show notes are now on the EdGamer Wiki


Contact us with any questions or comments- edgamer@edreach.us

 

 

EdGamer 26: The Results Are Obvious, Kids Are Playing More Games

This week on EdGamer 26 we analyze the results of a telling new study. According to the study, 91% of children today are…PLAYING VIDEO GAMES (cue dramatic music)!!! We brace ourselves as we dissect this ridiculously obvious study. Why are children playing video games…um…because they are fun? Duh. Tune in for some more heavy sarcasm as well as some criticism of violence in video games and some support of games and storytelling in the classroom. Another great EdGamer is on the way!

 

Show Host: Zack Gilbert

Show contributor: Gerry James

Subscription Page and Feeds for EdGamer

The complete show notes are now on the EdGamer Wiki


Contact us with any questions or comments- edgamer@edreach.us

 

 

Join us Tonight for #EdReach Chat with EasyBib! [Updated]

One thing we just can’t enough of is Twitter chats for educators! So we thought we’d add a little spin on it- let’s bring in some of the Web’s best education resources and tools, the brightest innovators in the field (you), and bring them together into the conversation. We wondered: can we create conversation around making the tools we use- more intuitive?  So, we got together with EasyBib.com (since they’re so good with Internet research) and they’re joining us for #EdReach chat! Here’s the scoop: 
Simplifying Internet Research: An #EdReach Chat with EasyBib
When: Sunday, August 28th, at 8pm EST/ 7pm CST
Where: Get on Twitter Search here: or come right here to EdReach.us to join the EdReach contributors, Easybib creators, and you-  as we discuss the current state of researching on the web. How do we make research fun for students? How does the Internet help us to do research intuitively? What problems have we had with students that we can prevent with the right tools? Let’s answer these questions and more, as we collaborate and highlight your innovations and ideas. Should be fun!

Awesome! We’ll see you Sunday night. Please let your neighbor know- tweet this out!  [tweetbutton]

 

 

ResearchEd: Findings from the e-Book Quality Rating Tool

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 5 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.

 

So, is Quality Rating Tool 2 (publicly accessible at http://bit.ly/eQRT_v2) any better? We will now hone in on our data to see if we have achieved better reliability with Tool 2. The following 4 charts show the inter-rater reliability on three subscales of version 2 of the e-Book Quality Rating Tool. Ten independent raters evaluated 5 books by assigning each book a score between 1 (strongly disagree) and 5 (strongly agree) on ease of use, multimedia and interaction features. Ratings were considered reliable if they fell within +1 point of the rating assigned by the Expert Rater, the project technology expert.

 

Continue Reading …

ResearchEd: An e-Book Quality Rating Tool is Born

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 4 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.

 

Drawing on the professional knowledge base we used for developing the Blueprint Key and Analyatic Tools 1 & 2, we developed a matrix to guide the design of a prototype tool for evaluating the e dimension of the early childhood e-book. This matrix provided a framework for organizing the tool (categories & elements) and specified criteria for judging the electronic environment. We used the Quality Rating Tool 1 (publicly available at http://bit.ly/eQRT_v1) with a set of internal raters, consisting of 4 teachers, and also external raters, who were members of our research team.

Continue Reading …

ResearchEd: Analytic Tools for Examining e-Book Features

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 3 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.


From the Blueprint Key, we moved to the development of 2 unique analytic tools. Analytic Tool I was adapted from the coding categories of de Jong and Bus (2003) and focused primarily on multimedia/ interactivity design features. This tool uses the entire e-book as the unit of analysis. It is organized into four categories—Book Assistants; Multimedia Illustrations; Multimedia Print; Interactivity—that reflect the major early literacy learning domains of Book Handling, Comprehension, Word Recognition and Cognitive Processing. The four categories include 14 elements that describe ebook design (e.g., presence of static and/or animated illustrations).

 

Continue Reading …

ResearchEd: e-Books, Learning Objects and the Blueprint Key

In Phase 1, our research goal was to design an effective and usable tool for early childhood teachers to us in order to rate the quality of the e-Book for use in early literacy instruction. Our interest in developing an e-Book rating tool began in 2008 with our first attempt, the Blueprint Key, and has evolved over time by blending several different analytic tools to create the most recent version, the Quality Rating Tool. Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of each component of the Quality Rating Tool.

Continue Reading …

ResearchEd: Developing an e-Book Quality Rating Tool

Editor’s note: Guest author Jeremy Brueck is an educator and PhD candidate from the University of Akron, who is researching the use of e-Books and mobile devices in early literacy learning. This is part 1 of a 5 part series for EdReach.us called ResearchEd. You can follow him on Twitter @brueckj23.


e-Books are becoming increasingly common in our society. Children and adults can read e-Books easily using devices such as the Kindle, Nook, iPods, iPads, iPhones, and computers. The speed at which e-Books are adapted into routine use could be accelerated even faster as communication technologies such as Wi-Fi and smartphones become more common in people’s daily lives.

 

So, then what does this mean in regards to e-Book reading from the perspective of e-Book pedagogy in early childhood classrooms? What do we know about the quality of current e-Books that many children are reading? During this presentation, we will briefly explain an e-Book instructional model in early literacy, and then we will focus on the issue of developing an e-Book quality-rating tool.

 

Continue Reading …