Monday, March 18, 2019

Save Time by Creating Templates for Your Blog Posts

One of the reasons that I frequently hear given for not updating classroom or school blogs on a regular basis is "it takes too much time." If you're not in the habit of writing blog posts on a regular schedule it can take a lot of energy to get the blogging ball rolling. One way that you can get that ball rolling every time you sit down to write is to use a template. Having a template makes it a little easier to identify what you're going to write about and where it is going to fit on your page.

Even if you're not adept at writing HTML, you can make a template for your Blogger (Blogspot) blog posts. In the following video I demonstrate an easy way to create a template for a "weekly classroom summary" blog post. You can do this even if you have never written a single line of HTML.

How to Add Emojis to Word Documents - And How to Use Them in a Lesson

Last summer Tony Vincent helped me see emojis as more than just annoying symbols that people use in text messages and social media posts. He did that with a slick graphic that he created and shared on Twitter. In the graphic he featured a game in which students have to decipher school terms based on the emojis displayed. If you want to create a similar activity, you can do so by using emojis in Word. The Emoji Keyboard add-in for Word makes it easy to add emojis to any part of a Word document. Watch my new video to learn how to add emojis to Word documents.

You can also find emojis in Google Documents through the use of the special characters menu. Watch my video to learn how you can easily insert emojis into your Google Docs.

Pixabay Add-in for Word - A Quick Way to Add Images to Documents

Pixabay has been one of my go-to sources of high-quality images for years. The images on Pixabay are in the public domain which makes them perfect for all kinds of classroom projects. You can download the pictures for free from the Pixabay website. But if you or your students are working on on Word documents, the Pixabay add-in for Word makes it possible to find and insert images without having to go to the Pixabay website.

In the following video I demonstrate how to install and use the Pixabay add-in for Microsoft Word.

Find more Word add-ins here.

How to Create a Map-based Story With StoryMap JS

StoryMap JS is a free tool that comes from the same people that offer the popular multimedia timeline tool called Timeline JS. On StoryMap JS you can create map-based stories. You create the story by matching slides to locations on a map. In the following video I demonstrate how to use StoryMap JS.

Applications for Education
StoryMap JS can be used by students to tell the stories of great explorers and their explorations. Or as you saw in my video above, students can use StoryMap JS to tell personal stories that are connected to locations. While you could do similar things in Google's My Maps tool, StoryMap JS offers a better overall presentation particularly with regards to transitions between markers on the map.