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Thursday, September 20, 2018

How to Make a Timeline Through Google Sheets

Earlier this week I wrote about Flippity's new timeline creation template for use in Google Sheets. The template lets you create a multimedia timeline by simply entering information into a spreadsheet and then publishing it to the web. There are a couple of quirks to using the template that should be noted before you have a whole class of students use Flippity to make a multimedia timeline. I point out those quirks as part of my tutorial video embedded below.


Three Apps to Explore the Potential of Augmented Reality

On Friday I am giving a presentation about augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality in education. If you're unsure of the differences between the three, take a look at my explanatory video and slideshow on the topic. As a part of the presentation that I am giving I will be demonstrating a few augmented reality apps that you can use in your classroom. Those apps are Google Expeditions, Plum's Creaturizer, and Metaverse.

Plum's Creaturizer
Plum's Creaturizer from PBS Kids is a free iOS and Android app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. In the following video I demonstrate how the app works (apologies for the background noise, I recorded this video outside to show how the AR feature works in real settings).



Google Expeditions AR
Google Expeditions is best known as for its virtual reality tours, but it also has an augmented reality component. In late May of this year Google added augmented reality tours to Expeditions. The AR content in Google Expeditions lets students view and manipulate digital content in a physical world context. The new AR content can be used as components in science, math, geography, history, and art lessons. Some examples of the more than 100 AR tours that you'll now find in the app include landforms, the skeletal system, dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, the brain, and the Space Race. And as a good Mainer my favorite of the new AR tours is about lobsters.

To use the AR content available through Google Expeditions you will need to print marker or trigger sheets that students scan with their phones or tablets. Once scanned the AR imagery appears on the screen. (You can actually preview some of the imagery without scanning a marker, but the imagery will not be interactive or 3D). Students don't need to look through a Cardboard viewer in order to see the AR imagery. You can get the Google Expeditions Android app here and the iOS version here.

Metaverse
Metaverse is both an app and an augmented reality game creation tool. The app, available for Android and iOS, lets you find and play augmented reality games. The app includes a large selection of educational games. The game creation aspect of Metaverse lets anyone create his or her own augmented reality game. Since its launch eighteen months ago, teachers have been using it to create AR games for a wide range of topics including geography, math, science, and language arts. Watch the following video to see how you can create an augmented reality game on Metaverse.

Three Apps to Incorporate Into Outdoor Learning Activities

One of my passions is encouraging teachers to take their students outside for class. The technology that our students use the most in their daily lives is meant to be mobile so don't keep it locked up in your classroom. Tomorrow, I am giving a presentation about this topic at the ESC 20 Library Resource Roundup. Three of the apps that I will be demonstrating during this presentation are the Google Science Journal, Nature Cat's Great Outdoors, and the Geocaching app from Groundspeak.

Google's Science Journal app provides some neat tools for recording data and writing observations. Within the app students create notebooks for recording experiment data and observations. Students can also use those notebooks to simply organize observations by topic. There are sensors built into the app for recording sound, speed, light, direction, and magnetism. Learn more about the app here. You can download the Android version here and the iOS version here.

Nature Cat's Great Outdoors is a free app from PBS Kids. The app, available for iOS and Android, provides students with activities they can do outdoors in all kinds of weather. To use the Nature Cat's Great Outdoors app students simply open it, press play, and select a "daily nature adventure." There are adventures for sunny days, rainy days, and snowy days. An example of a rainy day adventure is recording the sounds of rain drops and the sounds of splashing in puddles. The app has more than 100 adventure suggestions built into it. Students earn digital badges for completing adventures.

Geocaching is a fun activity for students to do to learn about latitude and longitude, to discover geological features, learn or relearn basic math concepts, and to practice good digital citizenship. Seven years ago Jen Lefebvre, née Deyenberg wrote a great overview of geocaching in an education context. You can read that blog post here. When Jen wrote that post you had to use handheld GPS units to go on geocaching activities. Today, you can simply use the Geocaching Android app or iOS apps.

Learn more about this topic in my on-demand webinar, 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons.