Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Filmstrips and Rubber Trees

This morning as I was braiding my five-year-old daughter's hair she was playing with one of seemingly ten thousand hair ties that we have in our house. It was then than she asked me what they're made of. I told her they were made of rubber. Of course, I couldn't stop there. I had to then ask her, "do you know that rubber comes from trees kind of like maple syrup comes from trees?" She asked how I knew that. I told her I learned it in school when I was about her age. 

That whole conversation with my daughter lasted about thirty seconds. It had the effect of jogging my memory of watching a filmstrip about rubber nearly forty years ago in my first grade teacher's (Mrs. Anderson) classroom. The filmstrip projector is a piece of educational technology that today's students will never experience. They'll never get to be excited to get picked to be the person who turns the filmstrip when the record beeps. And I know that some of you reading this have no idea what I'm talking about. Others of you may feel a twinge of nostalgia thinking about your own filmstrip experiences. Either way, if you find yourself trying to explain what a filmstrip was, here's a little video demonstration of how they worked

If you have a child in your life who is also curious about where rubber comes from, Maddie Moate has a video for you. In Where Does Rubber Come From? Maddie visits a forest in Thailand to learn how rubber trees are tapped and how the sap is used to make products like rubber boots. 

New Google Docs Templates for Project Management

For years I've used tables in Google Documents to help students organize group notes and to keep track of who is doing what in group projects. On Monday Google introduced some new table templates that can be used for those same purposes.

The new table templates in Google Docs appear to have been developed with business projects in mind. However, as you can see in my video below, all of the templates can be easily modified for academic projects. 

Along with the table templates Google also introduced a feature called "dropdown chips." These chips are little dropdown menus that you can use inside of a table in Google Docs. The dropdown chips can be used to indicate if a part of a project is in progress, not started, under review, or approved. Those are the default options for dropdown chips, but as you can see in my video below, the dropdown chip titles can be edited for each template. 

Watch my new video to learn how to use the new table templates in Google Docs. 

Blending Technology Into Outdoor Learning

On Monday we had our first truly warm and sunny spring afternoon here in western Maine. I went fly fishing for a little while on a little stream near my house. It was while I was fishing that I thought to myself, "self, you haven't hosted your outdoor learning webinar in over a year." So when I got home I revamped the materials for that webinar and scheduled it for next Tuesday at 4pm ET. 

On May 10th at 4pm ET I'm hosting my Practical Ed Tech webinar titled Blending Technology Into Outdoor Learning. By attending this webinar you'll learn five ways that you can use technology to enhance outdoor learning experiences. In the webinar I'll cover geocaching, augmented reality, data logging, digital mapping, and using technology to solve some outdoor mysteries. 

Watch the video below to learn more or click here to register today!

Yes, the webinar will be recorded for those who register in advance.

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