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Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Week in Review - The Nebraska Edition

Good evening from Scottsbluff, Nebraska where I am visiting my good friends Beth and Kris Still. Some followers of this blog may recall that Beth was the person who organized the NECC Newbie project back in 2009. We had never met before that project, but in the years since we've become great friends.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Six Tools for Creating Classroom Quiz Games - A Comparison Chart
2. Math Playground - Hundreds of Math Games & Instructional Videos
3. 5 Videos to Help Students Understand the Electoral College
4. 5 Map Creation Activities for Geography Awareness Week
5. 11 Video Tutorials About Creating Multimedia Maps
6. How to Create Multimedia Timelines on HSTRY.co
7. A Few Tips on Using Tables in Google Docs & Slides

Getting Going With G Suite begins next Monday. In the five week course you can learn how to effectively into your practice. Learn more here.

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Pixton provides a great way to create comics. 
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
SeeSaw is the best platform for creating digital portfolios with K-8 students. 
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

5 Good Tools for Creating Multimedia Timelines

On Friday I shared a post about using HSTRY.co to create multimedia timelines that include quiz questions for students. HSTRY is just one of a handful of excellent tools that students can use to create multimedia timelines. In the playlist embedded below I provide directions for using HSTRY as well as five other timeline creation tools.


If I was looking for a tool appropriate for elementary school, I would use Read Write Think's timeline tool. MyHistro is a good choice for folks who have access to iPads. The History Project is excellent for recording audio to include in a timeline. HSTRY is the best choice if you want to include quiz questions in your timeline. And Timeline JS is the most flexible of all of the tools in this list.

5 Fun Geography Games for Geography Awareness Week

On each of the previous three days I've shared some resources and ideas for Geography Awareness Week. Continuing that pattern, here are five fun games that your students can play to test and develop their knowledge of geography.

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.


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.

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.

Clarifying Canva

Last week I received an email from a reader who had seen my video about how to use Canva. She had questions about copyright regarding graphics made in Canva. Here's what she wrote,

I just read your post on Canva and was trying to get their contact info to ask if I could use Canva in my website, school, or anywhere without infringing copyright laws... Couldn't find a "contact us" link so I am asking you... Do you know if whatever I create with Canva can be used anywhere?

Canva offers an answer to this in their help section. That answer is a bit heavy on legalese. My explanation is below.

Canva was created for the purpose of helping people create great graphics to share in print and on the web. All of the stock imagery found within Canva can be used by you and your students to create graphics to share online and in print without breaking any copyright regulations. Where you might run into an issue is if you or your students import images from outside of Canva into the Canva templates. In that case, you will need to make sure that the images imported are either in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license that allows re-use with modification.

A good explanation of Creative Commons is found in the following video produced by Common Craft.