Thursday, February 20, 2014

Have You Tried the New Google Maps?

Last spring Google announced the availability of a new desktop version of Google Maps for those who wanted to try it out. I've been using it since then and occasionally reverting to the old version. This week Google announced that the new Google Maps desktop version will be rolling out to all users over the next couple of weeks.

In the new version of Google Maps you can quickly find Streetview imagery, videos, and panoramic imagery by opening the "Explore" tray at the bottom of the map. Simply click the "Explore" link in the bottom, right corner of the map to open a menu of imagery. Placing your cursor over one of the images will generate a line that shows you where that image was captured in relation to the center of your current view of the map. Clicking on an image in the Explore tray will put you into Streetview or showcase the image if it is not a Streetview image.

Applications for Education
For classroom settings the best feature of the new Google Maps is the enhanced Streetview imagery which students can use to virtually explore interesting places all over the world.

How to Use Google Slides to Organize Research

Like many of you, when I was in middle school and high school I was taught to create index cards to organize our research. After creating the cards we sorted them into an order to support writing our research papers. That same concept can be applied to organizing research with Google Slides. In the video below I demonstrate how this is done.

Browse Hundreds of Old Newspapers in the Google News Newspaper Archive

Google Books is a great place to find books and old magazines, but if it is newspapers you're after then check out the Google News Newspaper Archive. In the archive you will find hundreds of newspapers that have been digitized for reading online. You can search for a specific newspaper by title or browse for articles by date and title.

Applications for Education
The Google News Newspaper Archive could be a great resource for history students. One of the activities that I might have students do is select a significant event like a Presidential election and compare how it was reported by newspapers in different parts of the country.

H/T to Lifehacker

The Global Screencasting Project with Explain Everything & Knowmia Teach

This is a guest post from Greg Kulowiec of, an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

One of the most powerful capabilities of iPads is the capacity to collaborate asynchronously on multimedia creations. By combining a creation tool (Explain Everything) and a collaboration tool (Google Drive), students and educators across the country - and world - have the ability to create, share, combine, and publish collaborative projects entirely from iPad.

To highlight this capability and have educators, and students, from across the world participate in a global collaborative project, Greg Kulowiec of EdTechTeacher is facilitating the Global Screencasting Project. The scope of the project is the English alphabet, and anyone who would like to participate needs to simply claim a letter of the alphabet by completing the Google Form below.

Global Screencasting Sign-up Google Form

Once a letter has been claimed, participants need to create a 30 second screencast using Explain Everything or Knowmia Teach (on iPad) that captures the meaning, perspective and interpretation of that letter. Explain Everything projects can be shared by uploading to Google Drive (share the file) or Dropbox (share the link to the file). Whether submitting through Google Drive or Dropbox, all content will be sent to
greg (at)

Google Drive Sharing Process:

Dropbox Sharing:

Finally, all of the screencasts will ultimately be merged into one global Alphabet Screencast within Explain Everything on iPad and published online to both YouTube and Vimeo.

If you are using Knowmia Teach to create your screencast, upload it to YouTube and tag the YouTube upload as Creative Commons. This allows the project editor to use the footage in a final product while using the YouTube editing tools from a computer.

The current deadline to participate is March 31st, and three screencasts per letter will be included in the final project. If the letter is available in the sign-up form, it can be claimed for submission into the final project.

To read more about the Global Screencasting Project, please visit Greg’s History 2.0 Classroom blog.

Greg will be discussing iPad collaboration during the EdTechTeacher Summer Workshops as well as the July 28-30 EdTechTeacher Learning Futures Summit.