Saturday, April 27, 2019

Mobile Apps, Copyright, and Flipgrid - The Week in Review

Good evening from rainy Maine where I spent part of the day pumping water out of the basement of my 170 year old house. I hope that your day was a little better than mine.

This week I had the privilege to speak in Bonner Springs, Kansas to a great group of teachers who welcomed me with the sign that's featured in this post. That was the last stop on a long string of speaking engagements that I had all over North America over the last two months. Now I have a few weeks to recharge. By the way, click here if you'd like to have me speak at your school or conference.

In other news, I've spent a lot of time this week fighting against the copyright infringement committed by a site called Online Cultus. If you see this post there, please let me know so that I can submit it their hosting company as another example of copyright infringement.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Four Free Tools for Creating Your Own Mobile Apps
2. AP Government Review Resources - Kahoots and Quizlets from C-SPAN Classroom
3. A New Way to Access Google Slides, Docs, and Sheets Offline
4. 5 Ideas for Using Glide to Create Your Own Mobile Apps in Your School
5. Google Earth Timelapses and Historical Imagery
6. This is a Copyright Infringement
7. 13 Flipgrid Tutorial Videos - #FlipgridFever

This week I welcomed a new site supporter. Please take a look at and tell them that you appreciate their support of Free Technology for Teachers.

Checkology - Lessons in Being Discerning Media Consumers

Checkology is a website designed to help students learn to be discerning consumers of online, print, and television media. Checkology has a free version and a premium version. This review is only about the free version of Checkology.

Checkology's free version offers four interactive modules for students to complete. Each of the modules is comprised of between twenty and forty-seven instructional video clips and interactive comprehension checks. The four modules are titled Info Zones, Democracy's Watchdog, Practicing Quality Journalism, and Misinformation. As you might expect, the contents of the modules gets progressively more difficult as each section is completed.

Checkology's Info Zones module is contains thirty-one sections. The purpose of the Info Zones module is to help students understand how online media (videos, memes, articles) is used to persuade, provoke, sell, entertain, or otherwise present information. Throughout the module students will watch a short video explanation then answer application questions. Most of the application questions present students with three examples of media and they have to identify its purpose and or how it is used to persuade, provoke, sell, or entertain.

In the Checkology module titled Democracy's Watchdog students work through twenty-two modules designed to help them learn about role of investigative journalism in democracy. While this module does include some short explanatory videos, the stars of this module are the detailed timelines and articles about significant moments in history like Watergate and Nixon's subsequent resignation that were shaped by investigative journalism.

Checkology's Practicing Quality Journalism is the longest of the four free modules. This module contains forty-seven parts. In this module students play the role of a journalist gathering and verifying information. In the module students have to make decisions about which stories are newsworthy and which are not. As you might guess, students have to make decisions about the validity of the information that they find throughout this module.

The fourth free Checkology module is rated by them as the most difficult one. That's the module that is titled Misinformation. In the Misinformation module students learn the difference between fake news and misinformation. The module does this by showing students examples of information that has been manipulated into misinformation. The examples include videos and articles, but the bulk of the examples are memes.

Applications for Education
Checkology could be a fantastic resource for middle school and high school students to use to learn how to be discerning consumers of online, print, and television media. Each of the four modules should take students forty-five to sixty minutes to complete accurately.

It should be noted that Checkology is provided by the joint effort of the News Literacy Project and the Facebook Journalism Project.

ClassHook Offers a New Way to Organize Educational Videos

ClassHook is quickly becoming one my favorite tools for teaching with video clips. In fact, I recently included ClassHook's Pause Prompts feature in my Best of the Web presentation at the Texas Library Association's annual conference. ClassHook recently added another convenient feature for teachers.

ClassHook's latest feature is one they're calling Personal Clips. Personal Clips are the videos that you find on the Web outside of the ClassHook environment as well as those that you find within ClassHook. In other words, they're playlists or bookmark lists of videos that you find around the web to use within the ClassHook environment. By using Personal Clips you could organize a set of videos that draws from Next Vista for Learning, YouTube, and Vimeo all in one place.

Applications for Education
As ClassHook pointed out in their announcement of the Personal Clips feature, Personal Clips could be a good way to have a set of videos cued-up and ready to display in your classroom without jumping from tab to tab or site to site.

It's not ready yet, but ClassHook says that soon you will be able to use the Pause Prompts feature with all Personal Clips regardless of the source of the video. In the meantime you can use Pause Prompts with videos that you find through the ClassHook platform. Pause Prompts are discussion prompts that appear while your chosen video is playing. The Pause Prompts automatically pause your video until you're ready to advance it. Learn more about ClassHook's Pause Prompts in this video that I made six weeks ago.

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