Textivate – Fun on a Friday!

ImageHow about  quick way to create up to 44 different activities based on up to 500 words?  Find your favorite vocab list and head to Textivate. Once the words are pasted into the box on the Textivate page, generate the desired activity. There is even a “?” that can be clicked so the user can get directions if s/he needs help.

This would be fun to use in so many classes – really anything with vocabulary, matching, math problems and answers, events, it could be used for almost anything text-based.

The Friday Five: Food Safety

This Friday Five is dedicated to an important cause, food safety. (I was reminded of its importance late last week, I wish the restaurant that made the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich I ordered investigated some of these resources. Perhaps I would have been able to blog sooner this week! :P) But I digress. Every FACS/food class and many health classes focus on food safety and food preparation safety. These free resources could easily come in handy either as individual assignments to explore, or in some cases, as resources to share and explore collectively.

Number 1: From Canada, this CBC Marketplace place resource has an interactive investigation of a coffee shop and key points to food prep safety consumers can watch for in any fast food place. This interactive also has links to  additional resources about food poisoning, news reports, and eighteen more pieces on food safety, some with videos.

Number 2:  Food Safety Mobile Game from the USDA. The USDA’s flash game has safety tips and questions on how to handle food safely with a focus on fighting “BAC” (bacteria).  The Food Safety Mobile Game would be great for elementary and younger middle school-aged students, though a high school student might enjoy it too (if no-one is looking).

Number 3 (probably my favorite): Food Safety Music from the University of California. 27 “downloadable” songs parody mainstream songs and all focus on food safety. The songs also have PowerPoint slide presentations with accompanying lyrics and clip-art, lyric files, Flash animations and in some cases concert footage. Pretty fun, really, check it out!

Number 4:  Food Hygiene Mission Control, an interactive series of quizzes, games and information aimed at young people ages 7-14 and their teachers/parents. The teacher resources includes two printable activities, a glossary, and links to more resources.

Number 5: From the American Museum of Natural History, the interactive “magazine” Infection Protection Detection. With articles, a game on cafeteria bacteria, an introduction to scientists in this field, links to related content on the web and more, the American Museum of Natural History created a user-friendly resource for students through at least grade 8.

And just for good measure, number 6: Curriculum on food safety for all grade levels. For K-3, a script for a skit on food safety, ideas for storytelling and other lessons focusing on food safety. For grades 4-8, experiments, games and activities focusing on fighting bacteria and food illnesses. And for grades 9-12, a link to the USDA’s food safety program for high school students including a free curriculum kit with video, teachers guide and lessons for the classroom.

Happy Friday and here’s to healthy, enjoyable dining! 🙂

Rock-Paper-Scissors Analysis?

When I was in college, our statistics prof once bought the class lottery tickets to try to show us the calculation of odds. I really didn’t appreciate stats very much so at this point my stats vocabulary is pretty poor (a certain actuary I know is probably shaking his head right now) and I don’t know the exact terms for how this game could fit into a curriculum. I can say, however, that this virtual game of rock-paper-scissors is at least an interesting starting point for discussions about predicting behavior and artificial intelligence.

To play the game, select either “novice” or “veteran” for the computer (novice predicts your moves based on only your previous moves, “veteran” draws from its “experience” of 200,000+ rounds of previous play) and click away.

Have you played rock-paper-scissors lately? I think I did pretty well in my first attempt and it was fun. Could this fit in a sociology unit on behavior? Choices? Trust? Statistics class for prediction and odds? Either way, it can be fun just fun to play around with it too.

Make Your Own Map Game?

My colleague Brian was looking to find some make-your-own map game/activity/quiz today. We know that QuizStar allows users to upload images so we were thinking that would be an option, but we found UMapper’s GeoDart Game. Introduced in 2009, Users select a map from Bing, Google, OpenStreetMap, CloudMade, or Yahoo and then create an interactive map game which will become an embeddable flash game. By the end of the day, Brain was well on his way to making a map game of Southeast Asia. I was a little surprised that there weren’t more quality “map game generators” out there, or at least easily identified, but GeoDart is looking like it has great promise.