We’ve recently had a bunch of students graduate and move on to their next schools. Unfortunately, this means closing down their Google accounts, filled with all the extra awesome documents, presentations, videos, contact lists, photos and blogs they’ve compiled over the years. Fortunately, downloading a copy of all this data is pretty easy using Google Takeout. Students can then import this data into personal accounts or new school accounts, whether Google based or not. Check out the video tutorial below on how it works.

Since a few days ago, the voice recognition tools used in Google Now are available via Google Search.

This is pretty epic – especially when considering the good old classroom staple, spelling.

So now if you’re in need of the correct spelling of a word, you can go to your Google Search page, hit the microphone button lurking to the far right of the search box, and say:

“How do you spell extremely”

A voice then proceeds to spell out the word for you. It’s also spelled out as the top card-like result, and includes a definition.

To make it even handier, here’s a link to a Chrome extension called NowVoiceSearch which puts a direct link button to voice search right next to your omnibox. I’ll be pushing this out as an auto-install for our Chromebook users on Monday.

This is pretty cool. It addresses the age-old problem of the dictionary: A) It takes ages and B) How the heck can you look-up a word if you don’t know how to spell it?

Can’t wait to introduce this to the kids tomorrow.


P.S: I pretty sure no technology alive can accurately recognise the Kiwi accent, so fellow NZers, expect delays when asking to spell pen. No, it’s not pin. No it’s not pan. Don’t even attempt the word six, you’ll probably get more than you bargained for.

I was browsing around my local supermarket the other day – shout out to New World Thorndon for it’s excellent craft beer selection – and realised that most of the math I’ve had to do outside of school has been in this place.

It’s a context ripe for real-world mathematical investigation – maths which will be helpful IRL (especially if you’re on tight budget).

I’ve jotted down a few rough ideas for a ‘Supermarket Maths’ unit for school. The prompts for these questions could be photos or videos you’ve taken.

How many “flosses” per pack? Price per floss? If you flossed the recommended amount, how soon would you run out?

There are a few here, but I’m sure there are more options… do you have any more ideas I can add? Leave a comment!

Supermarket Maths:

– servings per item (as per the serving size suggestions)

– calories per item and total calories per meal

– total price for a meal

– price per serving

– compare the price of items to other similar items

– price per ml or kg

– buying in bulk V buying single items

– buying little chippie packets V a big pack

– pre-cut items (ie, carrots, celery, apple slices) V normal

– working within a budget, making choices

– discounts and sales, coupons

– Fly Buys / loyalty programs – is it worth it?

– calculating GST

– cost of import items v local

– cost between different supermarket chains V cost of fuel (the cheapest, the most expensive)

– online shopping – is it cheaper?

– going to the local farmers market (+petrol) – is it cheaper?

– charting the cost of fruit / vegetables through the seasons

– Christmas Club, how much do you save?

– What % do farmers make / distributors etc.

– could you grow it for cheaper?

– the cost of plastic bags V buying reusable

– cheapest / healthiest meals you can make for a day / week

– fuel vouchers – how much can you save?

Supermarket Maths – Statistics:

– What’s the best checkout to choose?

– How much time do you save by going through the self-checkout?

– What is the busiest time for supermarkets?

– Price according to position on the shelf (more expensive at eye level?)

– Average distance to the bread / milk (why is the bread always at the back?)

– Time in supermarket V total purchase cost (ever noticed how there are very few windows and clocks in supermarkets?)

– Do you save money by using a shopping list?


Ummm…. 15 for $31.99, 12 for $35.99?

And a few more IRL math contexts to think about:

Sport Maths

Video Game Maths