Friday, February 6, 2015

Thematic - A Nice Tool for Creating Visual Stories

Thematic is a new service designed for building and sharing visual stories. Thematic allows you to display up to twenty pictures organized around a theme of your choosing. You can add one line of text to each image in your story. Your completed story is displayed in a vertically scrolling format with each of your images occupying all of the available space in your browser. Completed stories can be shared publicly or kept private. Each public story can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, email, or embedding into a webpage. I've embedded my sample story below.

Creating my Thematic story was rather easy. After creating an account I was able to import pictures from my desktop and from Dropbox. I recommend importing high resolution images as smaller images will become pixelated when enlarged to Thematic's full size. After importing your pictures you can add text and rearrange the sequence in which your images appear on your screen.

Applications for Education
Thematic, like the similar iPad app Storehouse, could be a good service to use to tell a story about the highlights of a field trip, a research assignment, or a school event.

H/T to The Next Web.

How to Email Reminders from a Google Spreadsheet

A few weeks ago I shared three methods for efficiently sending reminders to students and parents. Another method is to use a Google Sheets Add-on called Add Reminders. Add Reminders will set-up your spreadsheet so that you simply enter reminder messages and email addresses then specify a date on which you want your reminders sent. The Add Reminders Add-on allows you to send the same reminder to everyone in your email list or you can send individualized reminders to everyone in your email list.

In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use the Add Reminders Google Sheets Add-on.

ReadWorks Offers New Reading Lessons With a Presidents' Day Theme

Presidents' Day (in the United States) is only ten days away. ReadWorks has published a new collection of articles and question sets to support your lessons about President's Day. ReadWorks is offering articles and question sets are available for every grade from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Every article is indexed with a lexile score. You can download the articles and question sets as PDFs.

Applications for Education
Some of the topics covered by the ReadWorks Presidents' Day articles include the story of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree (Kindergarten lesson), the role of the President as outlined by the Constitution (high school lesson), and a letter from Jackie Robinson about civil rights (middle school lesson).

For more resources about Presidents' Day, check out Larry Ferlazzo's ever-growing list of Presidents' Day resources

How to Create Flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet

The Google Docs Template Gallery hosts some templates for creating flashcards from a spreadsheet in your Google Drive account. None of those templates are as easy to use or as flexible as the template offered on Through you can quickly create a set of flashcards that include pictures, videos, and text. You can even turn your flashcards into a printable quiz. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how easy it is to use Flippity to create flashcards from a spreadsheet.

For more tips and tricks like this one, check out my Practical Ed Tech Tips playlist on YouTube.

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