Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Quickly Create PDFs in Google Drive

From time to time I find that I need to create a PDF to use as a flyer or to send information that can't easily be edited. Most of the time I create my PDFs in Google Drive. It's a simple process and the directions for doing it are provided in the screenshots below.

I'll be covering a lot of these kind of topics and more in my December course, How To Use Google Drive In School.

Step 1:
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Step 2:
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Step 3:
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A Virtual Tour of the Globe Theater

Back in May I shared five good resources for teaching and learning about Shakespeare. Last night through Open Culture I learned of another resource to add to that list. Shakespeare's Globe offers a four part virtual tour of the Globe Theater. The tour is built on the work of graphic designers who built a model of the original theater. You can find the tour here. You will need to install the Quicktime browser plug-in in order to experience the tour.

NOAA View - Visualizations of Environmental Data

NOAA View is a new project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On NOAA View you can explore visualizations of data sets in the categories of Ocean, Land, Atmosphere, Cryosphere, and Climate. Each category has multiple subsets of data from which to choose. The data sets can be displayed in weekly, monthly, and yearly units. A basic explanation of each data set is available.

Applications for Education
NOAA View could be a good resource for students to consult during a study of climate change. Students can see historical patterns of data then attempt to make their own predictions for future patterns.

The video below offers an overview of NOAA View's features.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

How to Embed Quizlet Flashcards Into Wikispaces

Wikispaces recently added a Quizlet widget to the library of widgets that you can embed into your Wikispaces pages. Quizlet is a free flashcard service that anyone can use to create and share flashcards. Quizlet offers a massive library of flashcard sets created and shared by other users of the service. And now you can search for Quizlet flashcards, embed them into your wiki, and use four different study modes while those cards are embedded into your wiki. The screenshots below provide directions for adding Quizlet to your Wikispaces wiki.

(The directions assume that you already know the basics of creating and editing a page in Wikispaces. Click on the images to enlarge them).

Step 1:

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Step 3:

Step 4:

Students can choose from four study modes. The study modes are:
Scatter – Match words to their definitions.
Learn – Answer the questions, track your progress, and review the things you got wrong.
Flashcards – Simple flipping of flashcards from word/terms side to definition side..
Speller – Type in what you hear. This option is available in eighteen languages.

Class Charts Adds Support for Reporting In Multiple Languages

Class Charts, a free behavior and attendance recording service, has recently added support for translations in Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Dutch and German. The service previously and still does support French and Spanish translations.

Class Charts also recently added the option to back-date attendance. This could be handy for those times when you forget to take attendance at the beginning of the day (we've all done it).

A third recent enhancement to Class Charts is the option to create custom reporting fields for each of your individual classes.

Class Charts is a free service designed by a teacher for teachers. The service is best described as one part seating chart and one part behavior chart. In Class Charts you can create and arrange as many seating charts as you like. You can create charts in a "seating" format that shows seat placement or you can use a list view. You can use students' real pictures in your charts or you can use one of the avatar images in your charts.

Class Charts seating charts double as behavior tracking charts. To document a student's attendance and behavior just select his name from the chart and tap the appropriate icon for attendance or behavior. You can record positive and negative behaviors. Students and parents can see their reports by accessing Class Charts through an invitation code that you send to them.

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