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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Origins of the London Underground

Fun fact: I once got terribly lost in London when the Tube line that I was on unexpectedly (to me, anyway) went out of service and I had to find an alternate route back to my hotel. I'm telling you that only as a way to introduce a new TED-Ed lesson about the world's first subway system. How the World's First Subway System Was Built is a new TED-Ed lesson that teaches viewers how and why the London subway system was first developed. The lesson also dives into a little bit of the unintended outcomes of the development of the subway subway system.



Applications for Education
I can see myself incorporating this video lesson into a larger social studies unit about crowding, urban planning, and transportation.

Guides and Rulers for Google Slides

If you're like me, you might need a little help making things line up the way they should in your presentations. If you're a Google Slides user, one of the things that can help you with that is using the guides and rulers. This week Google updated the guides option so that you can add your own guidelines for placement of objects in your slides. The rulers tool was updated with finer controls and indentations.

You will find guides and rulers in Google Slides in the "view" drop-down menu in Google Slides. Select "show ruler" to display the updated ruler on your slide editor. Select "guides" to view the pre-defined guidelines and or add your own guidelines.


Applications for Education
Whether we're teachers, administrators, or students we all want to make our presentations look good. The updated guides and rulers options in Google Slides can help everyone make their presentations a little bit better.

Learn more about Google Slides in my online course, G Suite for Teachers. The course is on sale now through Monday. 

Now You Can Include Google Slides In a Google Document

Inserting charts from Google Sheets has been an option in Google Documents for quite a while. This week Google added the option to add a slide from Google Slides into a document. Your chosen slide essentially appears as an image within your document. Once it is inserted into your document you can resize your slide and text wrap just as you would an image.

To insert a slide from Google Slides into your Google Documents select the "copy" option on the slide that you want to insert and then use the "paste" option in your document.

As with almost all new features, Google is rolling this one out over the course of a couple of weeks. If you don't see the new option today or it doesn't work as you expected, give it a day or two and then try again.

Applications for Education
I can see this new option being useful to students who have used Google Slides to create charts and diagrams for a presentation. Those charts and diagrams from the presentation could also be useful in writing a corresponding paper.

Animated Map of First Foliage Appearances

Last Friday I was in Greenwich, Connecticut to give a presentation. Greenwich is roughly 300 miles south of my home in Maine. Greenwich was in full spring bloom with green grass and foliage starting to bud on the trees. Meanwhile back home in Maine my yard was covered in snow. In making that drive I saw what The New York Times has illustrated in a new animated map of spring foliage. The map, put together by Henry Fountain and Jeremy White, is a time-lapse map that shows when, on average, the "first leaf" appears in each state. The data represented in the map comes from the USA National Phenology Network. The animation moves quickly, but you can pause it by clicking on it.

Applications for Education
Autumn is when most of us in New England think of and take notice of the changes in foliage. But the spring has just as many changes in foliage even if those changes are quite as colorful. None-the-less, the changes throughout the season are the perfect subject for a timelapse video project. You could have students take one picture per day of their backyards or your school yard for a month. Then at the end of the month stitch those pictures together to create a timelapse video by using a tool like Jellycam or Stop Motion Animator.

H/T to Cool Infographics for the map. 

Enable These Google Forms Settings to Save Time When Making Quizzes

Making quizzes and giving quizzes is a common use of Google Forms. If you have ever built a quiz and given it to your students only to notice after the fact that you forgot to assign a point value to a question, then you need to watch my video about setting Forms preferences. If you've ever forgotten to make a question required, you need to watch my video about setting Forms preferences. In the following video I demonstrate how to set your Forms preferences so that you always have a point value assigned to your questions and made every question required.


Learn more about Google Forms in my on-demand webinar, Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners. Or get a complete training on all things G Suite in my ten module G Suite for Teachers online course