Monday, December 20, 2021

A Platypus in My House! Fun and Learning Through Augmented Reality

My four-year-old loves Gus the Platypus in the Pete the Cat series. A couple of weeks ago that led to her asking questions like "can we get a platypus?" and "what's a platypus sound like?" My answers were "no" and "I don't know." I did, however, put an augmented reality platypus in our house. 

Through the use of Google's augmented reality in search experiences I was able to make a digital rendering of platypus swim through our house. Here's a little video of the experience. 

The augmented reality platypus was fun for a while, but my daughter still wanted to know what a platypus sounds like. For that, I just did search for "platypus sounds" on YouTube. This video had what I needed. 

Kids who are older than my preschooler can learn a lot about how the biology of a platypus through a fascinating TED-Ed lesson titled A Year in the Life of One of Earth's Weirdest Animals

How to Use Google Keep as a Comment Bank

Last week I had a reader ask me if there was a way to have a comment bank in Google Documents without using Chrome extensions or Google Classroom. My suggestion was to try using Google Keep as a comment bank in Google Documents. 

To use Google Keep as a comment bank in Google Keep you need to write your comments as notes in Google Keep. I recommend giving the notes titles that are easy to remember because you'll later use those titles to find your notes to use as comments. Then when you're giving students feedback on their documents you can simply search for the title of the note, copy the note's text, and paste the text into a comment. The whole process is rather quick and you can update your comment bank on the fly. 

Watch this short video to learn how to use Google Keep as a comment bank in Google Docs. 

Applications for Education
Using Google Keep as a comment bank in Google Docs can be a good way to save time when you're trying to provide students with feedback on first drafts of their writing. I like to include links to helpful additional resources in the comments. 

In addition to using it as a comment bank, I use Google Keep for keeping track of my to-do list, bookmarking, and setting reminders for myself. Learn more about Google Keep in Five Helpful Google Keep Features for Students