Sunday, September 27, 2020

ICYMI - Episode 20 - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff

Every Thursday at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT I join Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning for a free webinar in which we answer questions from readers and viewers. We also feature a couple of cool/ interesting things we've found on the web during the week. And in the process of answering questions we often share even more cool stuff. If you missed our latest episode you can watch the recording and see a list of featured resources right here. And while you're there check out Rushton's other webinar series called Activities Across Grade Levels

 

Register here to join us for the next episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Week in Review - Trolls, Jam, and YouTube

 

Good morning from Maine where I'm waiting for the sunrise on what is supposed to be another gorgeous fall day. I'm planning to play outside with my family and go for a bike ride. I hope that you have something fun planned for the weekend as well. 

This week I once again joined Rushton Hurley to host a webinar. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Next week I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar about making instructional videos. You can register for that one right here

As I do every Saturday, I've compiled a list of the most read posts of the last week. Take a look and see if there's something interesting that you missed earlier this week. 

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Google Adds Another Control for Teachers Using Google Meet
2. Five Zoom Features You Need to Know
3. Jamboard is Now Integrated Into Google Meet
4. The Google Science Journal App is Now the Arduino Science Journal
5. TeacherMade - Quickly Create & Share a Variety of Online Activities
6. Using YouTube to Share Lessons This Fall? - Settings and Tools You Need to Know About
7. Spot the Troll - Can You Spot Fake Social Media Accounts?

Friday, September 25, 2020

Rank Country - Explore Mapped Demographic Data and More

 

Rank Country is a website that features datasets about education, healthcare, infrastructure, tourism, weather, and dozens of other topics. It is easy to browse the Rank Country data maps. Simply head to the site and open the "browse" menu in the upper, left corner of the page. That menu will reveal all of the data categories. Clicking on a category will reveal all of the datasets available within the category. Once you've selected a dataset it will appear on the map. Clicking on the map will reveal more information about the data as it relates to that location.

From my review of the sources that the Rank Country uses it appears that the bulk of the datasets come from The World Bank rankings. In some cases you'd be served just as well by heading directly to The World Bank's Open Data website. 

One curious aspect of Rank Country that might be worth noting is that the site doesn't contain any information about who built it or owns it. I performed a WHOIS look-up on the site and found that it is registered to company called Lil Robots whose website refers to them as "multi-channel marketers." 

Applications for Education
I generally find sites like Rank Country to be useful in helping students make connections between the names of countries that they're reading about and where those countries actually are in the world. These kind of sites can also be helpful in starting discussions about regions and or groups of countries. Beyond the geography of the countries a site like Rank Country can be helpful in getting students to make comparisons of countries based upon a particular set of economic or social data parameters.

H/T to Larry Ferlazzo

Cronobook - A Map of Historical Photographs

 

Cronobook is a new-to-me website that features a searchable map of historical photographs. The premise of the site is simple and using it is easy. Just head to the site, search for a location, and click on the small images to see them in full size. A little bit of information  including location and date is included with the images. 

Cronobook is still a beta product so that breadth of the imagery is fairly limited. You'll have better luck finding historical images if you stick to large cities as compared to small towns. It should also be noted that just because the images are old that doesn't mean they're not copyrighted. Check the image licensing before downloading any images from Cronobook. 

In a lot of ways Cronobook feels like a lightweight version Historypin. Depending on your perspective that could be a good thing or a bad thing. I like it because it's a little easier to use. 

Applications for Education
If you're a history teacher, Cronobook is one of those sites that is worth bookmarking and consulting when want to show students what a city looked like in the past. It could also be a good site for students to explore on their own to inspire some curiousity for learning more about the history of city or neighborhood within a city.

H/T to Maps Mania

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Independent Project Inspiration

This fall in one of my computer science classes I'm reserving half of each class meeting for students to work on independent projects of their own choosing. From the first day about half of my students knew exactly what they wanted to do or at least had some ideas. The other half struggled to come up with some ideas. That changed when I showed them the Remix Contest being held by Instructables. 

The Instructables Remix contest asks contestants to find an existing project on the Instructables site then remix and build upon it. Entries have to include credit to the original source and directions for replicating the remixed version of the project. 19 prizes are being awarded with the top prize being a $500 Amazon gift card. So far there are only 13 entries with 46 days left to enter. The contest is open to students over the age of 13. 

The Remix contest is one of eight contests that Instructables is currently hosting. Some of the other contests are a pumpkin contest, a Halloween costume contest, and a "back to basics" contest with a STEAM theme. Take a look at the contest page on Instructables to see if there is something that will inspire you or your students.