Google
 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Test Your Geography Knowledge With These Games

This evening I watched the finals of the National Geographic Geo Bee. I wish I could say that I answered every question correctly, but I didn't. It's time for me to brush-up on my geography knowledge. If you and your students want to brush-up on your geography skills too, take a look at these fun games.

Quizzity is a fun game that 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.

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.

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.

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.

Where is...? is another good game geography game. This game uses a popular format for geography games; the name of a city is presented to the players and they have to click the map to guess where the city is located. Players are given immediate feedback on their accuracy in the form of a measurement, in kilometers, of the distance between their guesses and the correct answers.

National Geographic offers a daily GeoBee quiz to help students practice for the National Geographic Bee. The quiz offers ten new questions every day. Students earn points based on accuracy and speed.

Fun Brain Teasers and Trivia Games for Kids

Braingle is a host of more than 20,000 brain teasers, trivia quizzes, games, and mentalrobics (aerobics for the brain). The games section is comprised of popular games like chess, checkers, sudoku, and common word games. The Mentalrobics section of Braingle is what makes it worth mentioning. Mentalrobics includes memory tests, flashcards, and vocabulary building activities. The vocabulary builder activities require users to register for a free Braingle account. To help users practice more effectively the Braingle vocabulary builder tracks the words users know and the ones they don't.

Applications for EducationBraingle could be a good resource for students to use to practice vocabulary words. The other Braingle activities could be useful for educational fun during those few minutes of downtime that teachers sometimes find in the course of a day.

Shy? Going to a Conference? - Try These Strategies to Connect

As the summer nears some of us will be thinking about attending a conference for professional and or personal growth. I tend to think of myself as a shy person and I have to work at making connections at conferences. Nearly five years ago I got some great tips from Sacha Chua on making connections at conferences when you feel shy. If you feel the same way, review  her tips in the Slideshare presentations below.





Three Good Tools for Building Animated Videos in a BYOD Environment

One of the challenges that teachers face in BYOD environments is finding tools that will work for all of their students and all of the various devices they bring to school. I was reminded of this today when I received an email from a reader who was looking for a tool similar to Tellagami for her students that didn't have iOS or Android devices.

Tellagami is an app for iPad and Android that is a lot of fun to use to create narrated animations. Tellagami allows you to create customized animated scenes in a matter of minutes. To create a narrated, animated scene simply open Tellagami and tap “create.” After opening the create menu you will see a default character and background scene. The characters can be altered by selecting from a big menu of customization options. The background scenes can be changed by selecting from a menu or by inserting a picture from your iPad or Android tablet’s camera roll. To add your voice to your animations simply tap “record” and start talking. Completed animations are stored on the camera roll of your iPad or tablet. Tellagami does not require students to create accounts or have an email address.

Wideo is a neat video creation service that allows anyone to create animated videos and Common Craft-style videos online through a simple drag-and-drop process. A couple of months ago Wideo started offering templates to help users start their video projects. Wideo templates provide a basic framework for a video's theme. A couple of the templates that might be of interest to teachers are the slideshow template and the curriculum template.

Scratch allows students to program animations, games, and videos through a visual interface. Students create their programs by dragging together blocks that represent movements and functions on their screens. The blocks snap together to help students see how the "if, then" logic of programming works.

Applications for Education
Creating animated videos is a great way for students to bring a story to life. They can create animations for stories they have written or for stories they have read.