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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Virtual Reality and Black Flies - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we have entered everyone's least favorite season, Black Fly Season. The sequence of rainy days followed by warm sunshine is the perfect recipe to bring out swarms of blood-sucking insects. But those moments when the bugs aren't swarming are soooo nice after a long winter so we'll be trying to play outside this weekend despite the bugs. I hope that you get to play outside this weekend too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Twelve Tools for Building End-of-year Review Activities (That Aren't Kahoot Games)
2. Six New Features Coming to Google Forms
3. TED-Ed Lessons About Every Element on the Periodic Table
4. A Fun Game for Learning About Physics
5. Map-based Stories from National Geographic
6. How to Add Points of Interest to Virtual Reality Tours in Google's Tour Creator
7. How to Create Staff Notebooks in OneNote

Bring Me to Your School
I have three openings left in my summer schedule for on-site professional development workshops. I can provide professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, Edupreneurship, and many other topics. Book me for a G Suite workshop and in addition to my on-site visit your whole school gets access to my online G Suite for Teachers course. Click here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to book me today. 

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

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.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
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.

City Guesser - A Challenging Map Game

City-Guesser is a challenging map-based game. The game shows you a section of a map centered over a city. The labels are removed from the map so you have to guess the city's name based on other clues like bodies of water and orientation. City-Guesser gives you four answer choices to choose from. If you choose correctly, you move to the next level. If you choose incorrectly, the game is over and you have to start again from the beginning.

Applications for Education
The lack of labels on the maps could make City-Guesser maddeningly frustrating for some students. There is not a time limit on the game so encourage your students to take their time and evaluate each of the four answer choices that they are presented. They could even open Google Maps in a second browser tab to try to compare the answer choices to the view that they see in Google Maps.

H/T to Maps Mania

Play Code Fred to Learn About Circulation and Respiration

Code Fred is a free online game developed by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. The game helps players learn about the human body's responses to trauma. The object of the game is to help "Fred" escape from the woods while he is chased by a wolf. To keep Fred running players have to pump blood, increase the flow of oxygen, and send adrenaline through Fred's body. If a player doesn't respond to the needs of Fred's body fast enough, he will get caught by the wolf that is chasing him.

Applications for Education
Playing Code Fred could be a fun way for students to review a lesson they have learned about circulation and respiration. The game doesn't last long if it's played correctly, perhaps fifteen minutes at the longest, so don't plan on using the game for a full lesson.