Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Crowdsourcing Civil War Document Transcription

Last fall the Library of Congress launched a new online initiative called Crowd. As the name implies, it's a crowdsourcing project that anyone who registers on the LOC Crowd site can participate in. All of the documents in the Crowd project are documents in the LOC's collection that need to be transcribed.

The latest collection of documents added to the Crowd project is a set of roughly 35,000 documents related to the American Civil War. Anyone can participate in this project. To get started simply go to the site and select a document within the Civil War collection. Your chosen document will appear on the left side of the screen and a field for writing your transcription appears on the right side of the screen. After you have completed your transcription it is submitted for peer review.

Watch the video that I made last fall to see how the LOC Crowd project works and how your students can participate in it.

Applications for Education
Participating in the LOC's Crowd project could be a good opportunity for high school students and some middle school students to learn through primary source documents while contributing to a national project.

As is show in the video above, The Smithsonian has a similar crowdsourcing project called Smithsonian Digital Volunteers.

How to Add Alt Text to Images and Videos in Google Slides

Alt text is text that you can add to images and videos to describe what they are and or what they contain. Adding alt text can make your materials that you post online more accessible to more visitors. This morning a friend of mine asked if it is possible to add alt text to images in her Google Slides presentations. Yes is the answer to that question. You can also add alt text to videos in Google Slides.

In the following video I demonstrate how you can add alt text to images and videos in Google Slides.

The 6,000 Calorie Challenge - A Lesson in Sports Nutrition

At the end of June I completed a double century bike ride and in the process ate as much as I possibly could without feeling sick. What I ate was nothing compared to what a professional cyclist consumes during the Tour de France which I've been watching every morning for the last couple of weeks. Just how much does a cyclist eat during the Tour de France? Generally, 6,000-8,000 calories per day.

What does it look like and feel like to eat like a professional cyclist? That's what the Wall Street Journal's Joshua Robinson set out to discover in his 6,000 calorie challenge. Take a look at the video below to see how he did it. Pay attention to the professional cyclist at the 2:40 mark in the video for commentary about energy gels.

If you want to get into a bit more of the science of nutrition of cyclists, take a look at this video featuring the team nutritionist for EF Education First's professional cycling team.

Applications for Education
Both of these videos could be useful in a lesson about nutrition. They could be helpful in showing students why many of the energy drinks that are marketed to them aren't necessary or even good for them to consume on a regular basis.

As always, if you want to create a flipped lesson with these videos, I recommend using EDpuzzle. This video provides an overview of how to use EDpuzzle.

Canva Adds New Trifold Design Templates

Canva has been my go-to graphic design tool for the last half decade. It's a tool that's easy to use and makes those of us who don't have an eye for design look like we do have a bit of a clue. I often the use Canva's blog post graphics, Twitter graphics, and YouTube cover image templates. This week Canva added a new category of design templates. That new Canva category is Trifold Brochures.

Canva's new trifold brochures category contains templates for making travel brochures, college brochures, photography brochures, and many other brochure purposes. Like all Canva templates, you can customize the color schemes, font sizes and styles, and swap out place-holder images for your own images. You completed trifold design can be saved as a PDF for easy printing.

Applications for Education
As soon as I saw Canva's new trifold brochures templates I thought of the classic social studies project of having students create travel brochures about cities and countries they have researched.

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