Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Experience the Arabian Desert from a Camel's View on Street View

Google Maps Street View imagery has expanded again. This time Street View has gone off-road and into the Arabian desert of Liwa in the United Arab Emirates. Much of the imagery used in the new Street View imagery was captured by placing the Street View Trekker camera on the back of a camel. Google's promo video for the new imagery is embedded below. Click here to jump into the Street View imagery of Liwa.

Applications for Education
Much like the Street View imagery of Antarctica, Mount Everest basecamp, and the Galapagos Islands does, the new Street View imagery of Liwa allows students to virtually explore a place that can't be done by simply flipping through pictures in a book or on a website.

Recording & Mapping Local History - Project Idea

What is the history
behind this phone?
Here's an idea that I've shared in some of my presentations over the years, but I've never posted it here on Years ago when VoiceThread had a substantial free option, I asked students in one of my U.S. History classes to have a parent, an aunt or uncle, or a grandparent share a favorite memory about growing up in our area. The project worked fairly well and we collected some nice stories. I never upgraded my VoiceThread plan and those stories are long gone. But the same type of project could be undertaken by using a combination of Google Maps and YouTube or a combination of ThingLink and SoundCloud.

YouTube + Google Maps for recording and mapping local history.
With the YouTube capture app for iOS or any number of Android video recording apps (I like WeVideo) your students could record short interviews with parents, aunts and uncles, or grandparents. After uploading the videos to YouTube they can grab the link and include it in a placemark on a Google Map for which all of your students have editing permissions. In this post you will find directions for collaboratively creating a Google Map.

SoundCloud + ThingLink for recording and mapping local history.
The procedure for this activity is similar to that of the activity above. First, have your students record their interviews using SoundCloud. SoundCloud can be used to record through a laptop, on an Android device, and on an iPad. After capturing their audio interviews through SoundCloud have students place them on an ThingLink image of a historical map of your town. The ThingLink remix option allows you to upload one image to start the project then have students make their own copies to edit.

Simple Google Search Tools and Strategies for Students

Yesterday afternoon I presented a short webinar about ten Google search tools and strategies for students. The recording of the webinar is not available, but the slides from the webinar are available. The slides are embedded below.

If you would like a copy of these slides, open the editor through the gear icon then choose "make copy" from the "file" menu. You will need to be signed into a Google account to make a copy. 

How to Add Color Filters to Images in Google Slides

On Monday Google added a color filter option for images within Google Slides. I posted screenshots of the process here. In the video below I demonstrate how to use the new color filter options.

Create Halloween-themed Comics on Storyboard That

The candy and pumpkins on display at my local grocery store tell me that Halloween isn't too far away now. If you're looking to create some Halloween-themed lesson plans, consider developing a creative writing project on Storyboard That.

Storyboard That offers more than 40,000 customizable pieces of clipart that your students can use in cartoon storyboards. To find the Halloween-themed clipart just search for "Halloween" in the Storyboard That editor. When you find a piece of clipart that you like, drag it into a storyboard frame where you can adjust its size, shape, and positioning.

For an overview of how to use Storyboard That, check out this recording of a recent webinar that they sponsored here on

Storyboard That is an advertiser on

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