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Monday, September 17, 2018

Three Sites That Help Students Understand the Size of the Universe

Living in a relatively rural area that doesn't have a lot of artificial light helps make it easy to spot constellations. Some nights when I take my dogs out before bedtime I look up at the constellations and I try to wrap my head around the size of the universe. Over the last few years I've shared some resources that can help viewers understand the scale of things in the universe, here they are.

How Far Is It To Mars? is a neat infographic that provides a pixel scale to show you how far it is from Earth to the Moon and the distance from Earth to Mars. The infographic is a motion infographic so you have to click on it to make it move. The distances are represented by pixels. After you get to the moon on the infographic click it again then sit back and watch as it takes a while to scroll to Mars.

3D Solar System Web is a neat resource available through the Chrome web store. 3D Solar System Web features a narrated tour of the solar system beginning at the sun and working out through all of the planets. The tour explains the classifications of each planet, how long it takes each planet to orbit the sun, and each planet's unique features.

Magnifying the Universe is an interactive infographic that allows you to see the size of atoms, animals, buildings, mountains, planets, stars, and galaxies in relation to other objects in the universe.

Bonus Video:
The Known Universe is a six minute video tour of the known universe that starts with Earth's biggest mountains in the Himalaya and zooms out from there. 

Join Me Tomorrow to Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep

Tomorrow evening at 7pm ET I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep. This is the second time that I'm offering the webinar this year. I hosted it at the end of August and it was well attended. In the weeks since then many people asked if I would host it again. That's why I'm hosting it tomorrow night.

In this live webinar on September 18th at 7pm ET you will learn what’s new in Google Classroom, what’s changed, and how you can use Google Classroom to stay organized throughout the school year.

In this webinar you’ll also learn how to use Google Calendar and Google Keep to organize and maintain your schedule in the new school year.

Five Key Things You'll Learn In This Webinar:
1. How to streamline your workflow through Google Classroom.
2. How to organize and share resources with students.
3. How to keep track of goals (yours and your students’) through Google Keep and Calendar.
4. How to manage multiple course calendars without losing your mind.
5. How to streamline meetings and meeting scheduling.


This webinar will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live broadcast. Everyone who registers will be sent a copy of the recording of the live webinar.

About this post: The sale of my professional development, webinars, online courses, and my on-site professional development services provides the funding to keep Free Technology for Teachers running. The resources that I feature in my online courses and webinars are free. However, there is a significant cost associated with creating, hosting, and managing the courses and webinars which is why I am not able to provide them for free.  

How to Create a Progress Tracker With Google Forms and Sheets

Last week I wrote about using Google Forms and a pivot table in Google Sheets to create reading logs and other progress trackers. Over the weekend I received a lot of emails from folks asking various clarifying questions on how to use the pivot table functions. To answer those questions I recorded the following tutorial video. Watch the video to learn how you can create a progress tracker with a combination of Google Forms and a pivot table in Google Sheets. This method is a good one to use if you want your students or a teacher's aide to record progress through a Google Form.

Shakespeare Uncovered - Ten Free Lesson Plans

Shakespeare Uncovered is a series of videos about Shakespeare's life and work. The series, hosted on PBS Learning Media, is organized thematically. Some of the themes are "Shakespeare and History," "The Use of Soliloquy," and "Gender Roles in Shakespeare."  Each of the themes is explored in the context of some of Shakespeare's most recognizable works including Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, and Romeo & Juliet. Each collection of thematic resources includes short, documentary video clips, reading materials, and discussion questions.

Applications for Education
All of the lesson plans in Shakespeare Uncovered are intended for use with high school students. Like all PBS Learning Media resources, the Shakespeare Uncovered lesson plans can be shared directly to Google Classroom. The lesson plans include a lot of questions that are intended as discussion questions. So if you plan to post the lesson plans in Google Classroom, I would post them as announcements rather than as assignments.