Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SPENT - Experience Life on a Low Income

SPENT is a great interactive for Practical Living and Economics classrooms.  The site comes through a Faith Based Ministry called Urban Ministries of Durham, so if that is an issue for your school, I wanted to let you know that.  However, I hope that it is not an issue because this could be a great lesson for students who don't have a grasp of reality.

Students will go through a process of seeing if they can make $1000 a month last while trying to take care of a kid, daily issues, bills, make a paycheck last, etc.  The goal is to finish the interactive with positive money in the account after 30 days.  Each selection that a student makes in the interactive, it provides a scenario for making that decision and information about homelessness and poverty.  It is a great way for students to gain a "realistic" view of life on a low income.

I highly recommend doing this as a class and letting students choose options as a class and see if as a class they can succeed.

IDroo - Intergrated Whiteboard for Skype

IDroo is a collaborative whiteboard for educators.  There are several other options for collaborative whiteboards: Twiddla, Flock Draw and CoSketch to name a few.  What sets IDroo apart from those options is that it integrates directly with Skype, so it uses your Skype Contacts to collaborate on the whiteboard.  With IDroo, not only will you be able to video conference with others, but you will be able to also draw with each other.  You also have an unlimited number of participants that can participate in the collaborative drawing.

For math teachers, there is a professional math typing tool that you can use for integers and functions.  There are also several geometrical sheets that you .  You can easily add pictures through upload and drag and drop as well.  For homebound students and absent students, IDroo offers a great service for supplying those students with notes and other aspects of a daily classroom lesson.