Thursday, November 19, 2020

How to Use and Adjust Grid View in Google Meet

In my unofficial tech support role at my school I get asked a lot of questions. Now that we're back to 100% online teaching and learning those questions are coming as emails instead of as "hey Richard" questions in the hallway. One of the questions I got this morning was about viewing all students in an online meeting. This is much easier to do in Google Meet now than it was last spring. I made this short video to show how to enable and adjust the grid view in Google Meet so that you can see all participants on one screen. 

How to Find Google Earth Files Without Endless Browsing

This morning I responded to a Tweet from someone who was looking for "plate tectonics virtual experiences for students." My mind immediately went to using Google Earth. A quick search in my archives and I found this lesson plan calling for using Google Earth to teach plate tectonics and I found this Google Map filled with pinmarks containing questions about plate tectonics. I knew that I could find more Google Earth files related to plate tectonics if I just spent a few minutes searching. 

Instead of just opening Google Earth and browsing for tours about or related to plate tectonics I went to Google and searched according to file type. The file types supported in Google Earth and KML and KMZ, but KML is more commonly used. So to conduct the search I entered plate tectonics filetype:kml You can also accomplish the same thing by opening the advanced search menu in Google and selecting KML from the filetype menu. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate both methods of searching for Google Earth files. 


You can learn more search strategies and how to teach them in my on-demand webinar, Ten Search Strategies Students Need to Know

Map Quiz - Another Game for Geography Awareness Week

Earlier this week I shared a few games and activities for Geography Awareness Week. Here's another one that I recently discovered through Maps Mania. Map Quiz is exactly what its name implies. It's a quiz game in which you're shown a country or territory on a map and have to identify its name. 

The questions on Map Quiz are multiple choice so you have at least a 25% chance of getting it right. Whether you answer the question right or wrong you'll be shown the right answer and be given some basic information about the country or territory. 

When you're shown a question on Map Quiz the map may be oriented in way that is unusual for some people. You can spin the map by using the compass icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Zooming in and zooming out is also possible in the game. 



Applications for Education
One of the things that I like about Map Quiz is that it does provide students with a little bit of information about about the places that appear in the game. Students not only learn where the countries and territories are, but they also see the flags of the countries and are given links to learn more about those countries and territories. 

Map Quiz is played without creating an account on the site. In fact, there isn't even an option to create an account on the site.