“Some may say homework is good practice, and practice makes perfect. Others insist homework is unproductive and pointless.
“What benefit is there in doing 20 of the same type of math problem? If students didn’t understand the lesson from the day, not understanding 20 problems may make them feel that math is inaccessible. This is how children begin to struggle in math and decide it’s not for them. And if they did understand the lesson, repeating similar problems is pointless. Worse still, students begin to believe math is boring, irrelevant, a set of mundane rules, and maybe even a waste of time.
“What if homework could be a means for promoting self-efficacy, agency, and motivation to learn? Teaching students to actively pursue knowledge and see it as valuable is critical to their success both in and out of school.” — Margie Pearse, Edutopia
Blubbr is a free website that makes it possible for you to create and play trivia games with embedded videos. Blubbr calls the games trivs. You can play trivs in different categories, from celebs and music to sport and education. Click on the image below to play a sample triv now.
I setup my Blubbr account (I’d be glad for you to connect with me) and gave it a test drive. It seems that at its core, Blubbr is about making interesting things into fun games. I see many potential educational connections and personal uses.
Here are a few ideas that might be useful to teachers and students.
You and your students can create trivs focused on the unit you’re currently studying.
Students can develop a triv focused on personal interests and then extend that into research, writing, journaling, etc.
It can be a useful strategy for pre-testing, review and as a study guide.
Trivs can be an engaging alternative strategy for book reports, science presentations, social studies reports, and more.
Allowing students to design quizzes puts them in the role of the teacher. This technique can encourage higher-order thinking.
You and your students can create trivs to introduce yourselves at the beginning of the year.
Developing trivs can be a fun way for students to reflect on a novel, science unit, historical event, poetry, or the highlights of their school year.
You can challenge your students and their families by sharing trivs on your website, via email, through social networks, or by sharing the links in your print-based newsletter.
In addition to it’s many educational uses, Blubbr can also be used for fun with family and friends. Here are a few ideas that I considered.
Develop a triv about your parents and share it with your family to celebrate your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
Prepare for the sights you’ll be visiting during vacation by sharing a triv with your travel companions.
Show your support for your favorite team or athlete with a triv about them.
Challenge your family to a scavenger hunt with a series of trivs that will lead them to a surprise.
You can challenge your family and friends to complete trivs by sharing them on your blog, through Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, or via email.
Blubbr is simple and fun. With well-designed activities it can make significant educational contributions. So what are you waiting for? Go triv something…and share your trivs in this post’s comments so that we can play, too.
Posterous Groups is the simplest way to communicate with your students, colleagues, family and friends. Posterous Groups may be the next evolution in email communication.
Messages and attachments submitted to the group will be emailed to everyone in the group. Send any type of file to your group and Posterous will convert it to the most web-friendly format available. Photos will be sent to your group members inline, and if you send multiple photos, Posterous will automatically create a photo gallery for you. Submit a YouTube URL to the group and Posterous will grab the embed code and automatically embed it in your site. Email replies can include photos, videos or any other rich media and will be automatically shared with the rest of the group via email and stored on the group website.
A Few Benefits
Most everyone has access to email and understands how to send and received messages and attachments.
No account required. Anyone can participate in your group simply by emailing your group address while receiving email updates without ever having to visit your site.
Your group can be public or private.
Posterous Groups have been optimized for viewing on mobile devices. Your students and their parents can access your Posterous materials from their cell phones and iPads.
Multiple people can have full control of your group. That means you can share administrative rights to the website/group with others if you choose to do so.
Best I can tell (and I certainly hope I’m wrong) it isn’t possible to have a Posterous website and a Posterous Group integrated together in the same domain. This is disappointing because it means that we can’t connect blog posts and web pages with the group features in one site. This can be worked around by setting up a Posterous site and a Posterous Group and linking them together, but it means having to administrate two different instances. This isn’t difficult for teachers comfortable with technology, but will likely be a bit overwhelming to those entertaining the idea of developing their first class web presence. In this case, I’d suggest they simply stick with setting up a website (in most instances).
Get started by creating a group for your classes, clubs, groups, teams, or students’ parents. You can also start groups for your family, friends, church, and more.