Friday, March 6, 2020

Ugh! It's Time to Spring Forward - Here's Why We Do It

As I Tweeted earlier today, it's a deflating feeling when you realize that you have to move your clocks forward this weekend. That's especially true of you're the parent of toddlers who have been on a sleep strike for a few weeks.

If you or your students are wondering why we (most of us in North America) have to change our clocks this weekend, here are few short explanations.

Even though it is not about daylight saving time, this TED-Ed lesson about the standardization of timezones is worth watching.

Sweet Lessons on the Making of Maple Syrup

This week we had a couple of relatively warm days here in Maine. In fact it was so warm (40F) that I rode my bike outside on Thursday. It was on that ride that I noticed sap buckets and hoses on some maple trees. That reminded me of some videos about making maple syrup that I shared last year and prompted me to look for some new ones too.

Ever Wonder How Maple Syrup is Made? is a new video from Highlights. The succinct video shows a mix of the old way of using buckets to collect sap and the modern method of using hoses.

My friend Gardner Waldeier AKA Bus Huxley on YouTube collects maple sap to make maple syrup. He does it the old fashioned way and he made a video about the process. Gardner's video shows viewers how he collects maple sap and turns it into maple syrup. In the video he explains why maple sap is collected at this time of year, how much sap he'll collect from a large tree, and just how much sap it takes to make a gallon of maple syrup. You also get a nice tour of Gardner's woodlot.

Maple Syrup the Modern Way is a three minute video about the process commercial producers use to make syrup.

How to Schedule, Host, and Customize Google Hangouts Meet Events

Last night I published Tips and Tools for Teaching Remotely. This morning I had an email from someone who read that and wanted to know if I had any tutorials on using Google Hangouts Meet. I didn't so I quickly made the following set of screenshots before my own class starts today. I'll try to make a video of this process later today, but for now these screenshots should get you started.

Step 1: Create a new event in Google Calendar. 

Step 2: Enable Hangouts Meet in your Google Calendar event. 

Step 3: Share the details for joining your Hangouts Meet event. Hangouts Meet should give you a link as well as a pin code for those who want to dial into your meeting. An easy way to do this is to post the link in Google Classroom.

Step 4: At the scheduled time go to and launch your meeting. 

You can share your meeting details with anyone even after the meeting has started. 

Step 5: Make sure your camera and microphone are working. 

Step 6: Enable captions for your meeting. You'll find this option by clicking on the little menu that appears in the upper, right corner of your webcam screen. 

Step 7: Customize the layout for your meeting or let Google automatically adjust it as people join. 

Step 8: Click "Present" to share your screen. 

Step 9: Click the red hang-up button to end the meeting. 

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