Monday, June 24, 2019

Google Expeditions is Now Available on Chromebooks!

Google Expeditions is probably the most popular virtual reality app for use in classrooms today. One of the things that has kept it out of some classrooms is that it requires the use of a compatible phone or tablet. That is going to change this summer.

As announced at the ISTE conference, Google is adding support for use of Google Expeditions on Chromebooks and Chrome OS tablets. The initial list of supported Chrome OS devices is fairly short, but will be expanding just in time for the back-to-school rush in August.

Find Out if Google Expeditions Will Work on Your Chromebook
To find out if Google Expeditions will work on your Chromebook or Chrome OS tablet, take a look at the technical requirements here. The Acer Chromebook Tab 10 and the ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100 are the only devices that fully support both VR and AR Google Expeditions right now. There are Chrome devices that will support VR expeditions while not supporting AR expeditions. Again, both lists will expand in August.

How to Use Google Expeditions
If you haven't tried Google Expeditions, take a look at the following tutorial that I created. The tutorial includes the teacher and student perspectives of Google Expeditions.



Create and Use Your Own Google Expeditions Tours
Thanks to Google VR Tour Creator you can create your virtual reality tours to use in Google Expeditions. Watch my tutorials below to learn how to get started.


Two Lessons About Invasive Species and the Threats They Pose

My favorite bike training ride goes through a portion of the White Mountains National Forest on the Maine-New Hampshire border. As you enter the forest you'll see reminders about not bringing in firewood from outside of the area. The reason for the reminders is to prevent the spread of invasive insects that can damage the ecosystem. As is explained in this new National Geographic 101 video, invasive insects, plants, fish, and other animals can all wreak havoc on an ecosystem.



Last year TED-Ed published a lesson about invasive species. The Threat of Invasive Species explains the problems caused when plants and animals are introduced to non-native habitats. The lesson explains how plants and animals get introduced to new environments, what happens when they are introduced to those environments, and what some governments do to try to control invasive species.

Book Creator Adds New "Magic Ink" and Autodraw Tools for Making eBooks

Book Creator, the massively popular ebook creation tool, has added a new set of drawing tools. A couple of the highlights of the new drawing tools are Magic Ink and Autodraw. Magic Ink is a feature that will enable students to fill the pages of their Book Creator with chalk-like drawings as well as fill drawings with tie-dye style coloring.

Autodraw is a new Book Creator feature that appears to be made for people like me who are not blessed with the ability to draw much more than a stick figure. Autodraw will let people like me start sketching an object and then have it automatically completed in a much clearer form. To use this feature just start drawing on a page in Book Creator and it will try to predict what you're drawing. Book Creator will give you a selection of suggested drawings that you can insert in place of what you have attempted to draw.

Learn more about Magic Ink and Autodraw by reading Book Creator's announcement or by watching the video below.



Applications for Education
Book Creator's Autodraw feature could remove some of the frustration that students feel when trying to illustrate pages in their ebooks.