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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Free Webinar - Protecting Students While Empowering Them to Publish

Red Jumper, the producers of the popular Book Creator app, is hosting a free webinar about protecting students when they publish online. The webinar is being conducted by my friend Beth Holland and Bill Fitzgerald. The webinar starts today at 11:30am. The webinar is being conducted through YouTube Live where you'll be able to chat while watching the webinar.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Turbulence Explained - #BigMetalBird

Big Metal Bird is a series of videos about aviation and the aviation industry. The videos were produced by United Airlines and some of the episodes are clearly done for marketing purposes, but the episode about air turbulence is useful to anyone who is nervous about flying or is just curious about what causes turbulence. By watching the video embedded below viewers can learn what causes four types of turbulence and how airline pilots and ground crews work to avoid turbulent air.


Here are two related resources that you might find useful for helping students learn how airplanes fly:

How Things Fly features an interactive module in which students design their own airplanes. The activity starts with a simple and slow airplane that students have to modify until it reaches a target speed and altitude. As students modify the wings, fuselage, and engines of their airplanes they are given instant feedback on the effects of those modifications. In some cases the feedback includes the airplane crashing and the students having to start over again.

The Minute Physics video How Do Airplanes Fly? explains the roles of wings, propellers, turbines, and wind currents in making a plane fly.


H/T to The Points Guy for the Big Metal Bird videos. 

Mapping Local Art - A Google Maps and Earth Activity

Winslow Homer [Public domain]
 via Wikimedia Commons.
Whenever I conduct workshops on Google Maps and Google Earth I always point out that there are uses for those tools beyond the realm of geography and history. A recent, popular, example of this is found in the Google Arts & Culture Institute's Street View imagery of museums.

While the Google Arts & Culture Institute is great for viewing existing imagery on maps made by others, it still leaves a lot of art, artifacts, and interesting landmarks to be mapped. That's where your students can take over.

By using Google's My Maps tools or the desktop version of Google Earth, students can map the locations of where a piece of local art is housed, where it was created, and the places that inspired the artist. Each placemark on a student's map could include a picture of the artwork, a picture of the artist, and or a video about the art and artist. To provide a complete picture a student can include text and links to more information about the art and artist.

Students can use the Google Street View app (available for Android and iOS) to capture 360 degree photospheres of local landmarks, sculptures made by local artists, or the places that inspired local artists. The photospheres that students create can be saved privately or they can publish their photospheres to Google Maps.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Convert Physical Sticky Notes Into Digital Notes

Post-it Plus is a free iPad app that you can use to turn your physical sticky notes into digital notes. With this free app installed on your iPad or iPhone you can snap a picture of a collection of physical sticky notes and have them quickly digitized. Once your notes are digitized you can re-arrange them, share them with collaborators, or send them to another application like Dropbox. If you have multiple sets of notes you can combine the best notes into one board on the Post-it Plus iPad and iPhone app.

Applications for Education 
Post-it Plus is a good app for digitizing the output of a brainstorming session that started with physical notes. In a classroom in which only the teacher has an iPad or there are only a few iPads you could have students carry-out brainstorming sessions with physical notes then go around the room with one iPad to create a digital record of those notes. Then project the app through an LCD projector or interactive whiteboard to show students all of the notes and talk about which notes should be sorted into various categorized boards in the app.

An Easier Way to Register for Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps

Last week I publicized the group discount rate for the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp and the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp. Since then I've had a few people inquire about an option to register with a payment plan instead of paying all at once. So I looked into it and I'm happy to announce that I can now offer the option to register and pay over time instead of all at once. Please email me at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com for more information about this new registration option.