Wednesday, August 28, 2019

It's That Time Again - Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall

There are some trees in my neighborhood whose leaves always start to change color earlier than the rest. I noticed them this morning as I drove down my road. And when I got home I noticed one in my backyard was starting to develop some red leaves too. That means it's time for my annual post about why leaves change color in the fall.

Reactions is a great YouTube channel from the American Chemical Society. I've featured a handful or more of their videos this year. One of the Reactions videos explains the chemistry involved in the process of leaves changing color. The video explains how chlorophyll and the glucose stored inside trees create the red, yellow, and brown of fall foliage.

For an explanation of why leaves change colors that elementary school students can understand, watch the following SciShow Kids video.

Two Handy New Features Added to Google Slides

Google Slides users are about to get two features that many people have wanted for a long time. Yesterday, Google announced that you'll now be able to black-out or white-out your slides when you pause in the middle of a presentation. To do this you'll simply hit either B or W on your keyboard while your presentation is in full screen mode. You'll be able to remove the black-out or white-out by simply hitting any other key or clicking on your slides.

The other new feature that is coming soon to Google Slides is the ability to have your presentation play on a loop. To do this you'll simply put your presentation into full screen mode then click on the gear icon to open settings and select "loop."

Applications for Education
The new keyboard shortcuts to black-out or white-out your slides when you pause a presentation could be useful for hiding the slides while you're answering a question from your students.

Being able to have your Google Slides presentation play on a continuous loop could be great for things like open house nights when you want to be able to let the slides scroll for a long time as people filter in and out of a room.

Both of these new Google Slides features will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.

If you're new to using Google Slides or other aspects of G Suite for Education, consider signing up for my on-demand Getting Going With G Suite course that will be available on September 3rd. 

Ten Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures - Updated for 2019-20

Four years ago I published a PDF that outlined ten tools and how students can use them to tell stories with pictures. On Monday I received an email from a reader who had recently stumbled upon that PDF. She rightly pointed out that a couple of the tools featured in that document were no longer available for free and one was not available at all anymore. This morning I created an updated version of Ten Great Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures.

Within Ten Great Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures there are sections on digital collages and on making ebooks. The PDF also contains information on how to quickly and easily remove and replacing the background in an image. You can view the PDF as embedded below. The embed frame includes the option to download the PDF.

If you cannot see the embedded PDF, you can view it here as a Google Document.

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