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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nine Fun and Challenging Geography Games

Yesterday, I shared the City-Guesser geography game. That game was just the latest in a long list of online geography games that I have tried over the years. Many have come and gone over the years but the following are still going strong.

GameOn World is a multiplayer geography game developed by a high school teacher and his student in Portland, Maine. The game is similar in structure to that of Kahoot. In GameOn World the teacher selects a game category (cities, places, and timeline are three of the nine categories) and starts the game. The students join the game by going to GameOn.World and entering a game pin. In the location and timeline games, students answer the questions by moving a placemark on a map or selecting a date on a timeline. In some of the other games students answer by choosing a number on a sliding scale.



WikiWhere is a neat map-based trivia game. The goal of the game is to identify cities based on their descriptions. The descriptions come from Wikipedia entries. You can get up to three clues before you have to answer by clicking on the map to identify the city that you think is described by the excerpts. When you click on the map you'll be shown the correct answer and how far away you were from the correct answer.

Outline Maps offers a free set of geography games. The site contains games about Africa, South America, Europe, the United States, and the world. There are two basic types of games on the site. The first type, "find by name," displays a state, country, or city name and you have to click the map to identify that place. The second type of game, "find by feature," highlights a location and you have to type the name of the highlighted location.

GeoGuessr shows you a Google Street View image and a clue to try to guess where in the world the imagery was captured. Playing GeoGuessr is a fun way to get students to look at all of the visual and text clues they have in order to form a good guess as to where in the world they think the imagery came from.

Quizzity is an online geography game that uses a familiar concept. Quizzity presents you with the name of a city and you have to click on the map where you think that city is in the world. Quizzity quizzes you on cities all over the world. To increase the accuracy of your guesses you should zoom-in on a region before clicking the map. Each round of Quizzity presents you with six city names. Points are awarded for accuracy and speed.

Spacehopper is a game based on Google Maps Street View imagery. Spacehopper shows you a Street View image and you have to guess where in the world the image was captured. You can click the clue button to have the country identified before making a guess. After three incorrect guesses the correct answer will be revealed to you. You can play Spacehopper on a global level or you can specify that you only want to see images from a particular continent.

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps game develop by Google. Smarty Pins presents players with a trivia question that they have to answer by placing a pin on a map. Players earn "miles" for correctly placing a pin on the map. Players can lose miles for answering incorrectly and or taking too long to answer. Games are available in five categories; arts & culture, science & geography, sports & games, entertainment, and history & current events.

Capital Toss is a free geography game from ABCya. The game has a state capitals mode and a country capitals mode. In both modes of the game works the same way. The name of a state or country appears at the bottom of the screen and three rows of capital names scroll across the top. When the correct capital name appears players virtually toss a ball at it. After ten correct answers players can choose a new ball. Three consecutive incorrect answers ends the game.

City-Guesser is a challenging map-based game. The game shows you a section of a map centered over a city. The labels are removed from the map so you have to guess the city's name based on other clues like bodies of water and orientation. City-Guesser gives you four answer choices to choose from. If you choose correctly, you move to the next level. If you choose incorrectly, the game is over and you have to start again from the beginning.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Virtual Reality and Black Flies - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we have entered everyone's least favorite season, Black Fly Season. The sequence of rainy days followed by warm sunshine is the perfect recipe to bring out swarms of blood-sucking insects. But those moments when the bugs aren't swarming are soooo nice after a long winter so we'll be trying to play outside this weekend despite the bugs. I hope that you get to play outside this weekend too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Twelve Tools for Building End-of-year Review Activities (That Aren't Kahoot Games)
2. Six New Features Coming to Google Forms
3. TED-Ed Lessons About Every Element on the Periodic Table
4. A Fun Game for Learning About Physics
5. Map-based Stories from National Geographic
6. How to Add Points of Interest to Virtual Reality Tours in Google's Tour Creator
7. How to Create Staff Notebooks in OneNote

Bring Me to Your School
I have three openings left in my summer schedule for on-site professional development workshops. I can provide professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, Edupreneurship, and many other topics. Book me for a G Suite workshop and in addition to my on-site visit your whole school gets access to my online G Suite for Teachers course. Click here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to book me today. 

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City Guesser - A Challenging Map Game

City-Guesser is a challenging map-based game. The game shows you a section of a map centered over a city. The labels are removed from the map so you have to guess the city's name based on other clues like bodies of water and orientation. City-Guesser gives you four answer choices to choose from. If you choose correctly, you move to the next level. If you choose incorrectly, the game is over and you have to start again from the beginning.

Applications for Education
The lack of labels on the maps could make City-Guesser maddeningly frustrating for some students. There is not a time limit on the game so encourage your students to take their time and evaluate each of the four answer choices that they are presented. They could even open Google Maps in a second browser tab to try to compare the answer choices to the view that they see in Google Maps.

H/T to Maps Mania

Play Code Fred to Learn About Circulation and Respiration

Code Fred is a free online game developed by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. The game helps players learn about the human body's responses to trauma. The object of the game is to help "Fred" escape from the woods while he is chased by a wolf. To keep Fred running players have to pump blood, increase the flow of oxygen, and send adrenaline through Fred's body. If a player doesn't respond to the needs of Fred's body fast enough, he will get caught by the wolf that is chasing him.

Applications for Education
Playing Code Fred could be a fun way for students to review a lesson they have learned about circulation and respiration. The game doesn't last long if it's played correctly, perhaps fifteen minutes at the longest, so don't plan on using the game for a full lesson.

Friday, May 18, 2018

How to Include a Discussion Element in Your Google Site

The transition from the old version of Google Sites to the new version of Google Sites has left a lot of people longing for features of the old version. Commenting was one of the features of the old version that does not exist in the new version. That prompted one reader to email me with the following question:

I have created a Google Site for a group of teachers that I have been supporting in implementing a new curriculum in special education. We are wondering if there is a way to facilitate some discussion through this site so that teachers can continue to support and share ideas with each other—as a sort of professional learning community. I know there isn’t the option of having a comments section, but can you think of another way to do this through the Google Site?

My suggestion was to try embedding a Padlet wall or a Flipgrid grid into a page within the Google Site. In the following video I demonstrate how to include a discussion element in your Google Site.



Directions for using Padlet can be found here.

Directions for using Flipgrid can be found here.

Learn more about Google Sites in my online course G Suite for Teachers