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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Simple Way to Make Your Own Google Maps Street View Game

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a local radio station's blog in which they had posted a little game called How Well Do You Know Maine Roads? That game was nothing more than ten Google Maps Street View images that you had to try to identify. The answers to the game prompts were posted at the bottom of the blog post.

As I looked at the game I thought that it was an instructive model for creating games to use with students. You could embed a series of Street View images into a post on your classroom blog and then have students submit their answers into a Google Form that provides them with instant feedback. Your Street View images could be of local places to test your students' knowledge of local geography. Alternatively, you could test your students' knowledge of world geography by embedding Street View imagery of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to embed Street View imagery into your blog posts.


If you want to use Google Forms to collect responses from students and give them instant feedback, watch the following video to learn how to do that.


11 Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed This Summer - PDF

Over the summer Google released a bunch of updates to teachers' and students' favorite Google Apps. If you took a little break from your school Google Account over the summer and have just started to look at it again, you might notice that there are some new features available to you. I put together a summary of those new features, including some tutorial videos, in document that is embedded below. If you're the person who will be leading Google Apps PD at your school this fall, feel free to print this document and circulate amongst your staff. A Google Docs copy is also available to view here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Create a Map and Timeline Mashup

myHistro is a free multimedia timeline creation tool. When you create a timeline on myHistro each event that you add can be simultaneously displayed on a map on the same screen. Every event that you add to your myHistro timelines can include pictures and videos. On myHistro you can build a personal timeline or build a timeline about a theme or event in history. myHistro timelines can be created online or you can use the free iOS app to create events on your timeline. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create a multimedia timeline on myHistro.com.

TurboNote - Take & Share Notes While Watching Videos

TurboNote is a great Chrome extension that enables you to take notes while watching a video in the same web browser window. Unlike some similar extensions, TurboNote isn't limited to working with YouTube videos. TurboNote can be used on Vimeo, Netflix, and Facebook videos.

With the TurboNote extension installed you can take notes while watching any video. To take notes just tap the TurboNote extension icon in your browser and a menu for taking notes appears. Any notes that you type are automatically time-stamped. You can go back and edit your notes at any time by opening the TurboNote sticky notes option as seen in the video below. All notes can be shared via social media and email.


Applications for Education
TurboNote could be a great extension for students to use to write questions that pop-up while they are watching a video that you've assigned to them or that they have found on their own. They could then share those questions with you and or their classmates. I would have students share their questions with me then research the answers and share those with me too.

A Google Apps Guidebook Published by Students

My friend Kern Kelley and his students at Nokomis High School in Newport, Maine have spent most of this year putting together The Google Apps Guidebook. Kern and his students, collectively referred to as the Tech Sherpas, created the book for teachers who are new to using Google Apps for Education. The guidebook takes teachers through the core features of Google Apps for Education including Google Drive, Docs, Slides, Sites, Forms, Sheets, and Classroom. They also share tips for learning and leading Google search lessons.

Kern has long been my go-to person for questions regarding advanced aspects of Google Sheets and Forms. I jumped to that section when I received a copy of the book. I quickly found a great tip about using case-sensitive data validation to password-protect Google Forms. I also found a handy tip on conditional formatting in Google Sheets that will help me automate some functions in future Google Sheets.

For visual learners, The Google Apps Guidebook offers plenty of visuals that illustrate key steps in formatting of Documents, Slides, Classroom, Sheets, and Slides.

Like any physical how-to book about technology, The Google Apps Guidebook does suffer a little bit from recent changes to Google Apps. For example, this week Google rolled-out new features in Forms and Classroom. Those new features won't be found in the book. Fortunately, the book has more than enough evergreen content, the search lesson for example, that the book is worth your investment.

Overall, The Google Apps Guidebook is a good publication for new Google Apps for Education users. It can be purchased in bulk for professional development purposes. Tell Kern that I sent you.