Thursday, November 13, 2008

Science Glossaries for EL Students

Do you know that Google has a translation tool? On the Google search page, in the navigation options, click on "more". At the bottom of that pull-down is the "even more" option. Choose it to find a list of tools. You will fine Translate in the section titled Communicate, Show & Share. Type your text in the field provided and choose the appropriate language.

Another free, online tool comes courtesy of McGraw-Hill. The Multilingual Science Glossary presents an extensive vocabulary list, with each term and definition translated into 13 different languages. There are separate glossaries for middle and high school.

Hispanic-speaking students might find the Pearson Audio Glossary for the Earth Sciences interesting. They can hear how some terms are pronounced in English and Spanish. There's also the talking glossaries in English and Spanish.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Slideshare & Effective PowerPoint

Slideshare is the the world's largest community for sharing presentations. Membership is free. It is a great way to get your slides out there on the web, so your ideas can be found and shared by a wide audience, or to find slideshows for your research or teaching. You can share slideshows publicly or privately, download presentations, and embed them in your blog.

Most experts agree on guidelines to creating effect PowerPoint presentations:

  • Use the rule of six (called by some "joy of six"): maximum 6 lines per slide and 6 words per line.
  • Maintain unity of design elements, such as color, font, and graphics.
  • Test readibility using the "floor test" by placing a printed copy of a slide on the floor and reading it while standing over it. If not, increase font size or style. In general, font size should range between 18 and 48 points.
  • Avoid fancy fonts or all caps -- they are difficult to read.
  • Include only essential text that is self-evident.
  • Minimize special effects for they can be distracting.
  • Graphics, such as clip art, should not overwhelm the text. They are used as support to the text message.
  • For presentation timing, consider using three slides per minute maximum.

Monday, July 21, 2008

BEN: Digital Biology Education Library, or BEN for short, is the biology education pathway of the National Science Digital Pathway. Over 11,187 reviewed resources to date, covering 77 biological sciences topics, are available. BEN resources can help you engage student interest, shorten lesson preparation time, provide concept updates, and develop curricula that are in line with national standards for content.

You can locate resources in several different ways: basic keyword search, advanced search, "browse by subject", and "browse by resource type". Only about 10 percent of the BEN resources require a subscription or fee to view the resource. If you do not want to see fee-based resources in your searches, an option is provided to view free records only. Currently, registration is not required in exchange for access to the wealth of information freely available through the BEN Portal. Users retain the option to register and/or login to join the library's community of 10,046 biological science educators.