Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts of the Week

Good afternoon from the Syracuse airport where I am waiting for a flight home after a great morning of speaking at the NYLA-SSL conference. Earlier this week I visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania to speak with educators from the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit. Thank you to everyone that helped make those opportunities possible. Thank you to everyone that came to either event.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How Not to Cite an Image
2. A Handful of Ideas for Using Tellagami In School
3. EverySlide - Share Your Slides and Run Polls At the Same Time
4. Photograph Math - #mathphotoaday
5. Go Social Studies Go - A Good Alternative to Social Studies Textbooks
6. 14 Educational Resources for Earth Day 2014
7. Doctopus Is Now Easier to Use Than Ever Before - Automate Workflow in Google Drive

My updated PracticalEdTech.com webinar series, How To Use Google Drive In School, begins on Monday evening. Some seats are still available in that webinar series.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Class Charts provides a great way to record and analyze student behavior information.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston and Chicago.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
Fresno Pacific University offers a wide variety of technology courses for teachers.

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A Study in Rising Sea Levels - A Tale of Two Cities

The BBC offers a nice resource about global warming and sea level change. Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities compares the responses of two coastal cities to changes and future changes to sea levels. Rising Sea Levels compares Rotterdam and Maputo. In the feature, readers will learn about the causes of sea level change and unique challenges facing each city because of sea level change. In addition to text, the feature includes an "in pictures" section in which you can see sketches of Rotterdam's potential responses to rising sea levels.

Applications for Education
Rising Sea Levels: A Tale of Two Cities could be useful for anyone that teaches lessons on environmental science and climate change. After having students explore Rising Sea Levels, you could have them locate other cities which could be affected by rising sea levels. Then have the students propose responses for those cities.

Friday, April 25, 2014

View Geolocated Historical Imagery With These Maps

Earlier this week Google released "historical" imagery for Google Maps Street View. That imagery only goes back seven years. To show your students historical imagery from the 20th Century, take a look at the following options.

Historypin is probably my favorite service for locating geo-located historical imagery. Historypin allows anyone with a Google account to place images within the setting of current Google Maps Streetview imagery. If you don't have images to add, you can simply explore the imagery added by others. To explore the imagery on Historypin, zoom in on a location then select a range of dates on the Historypin timeline. Learn more about Historypin in the video below.


Historvius is a neat site that is part search engine, part map, and part reference source. The purpose of Historvius is to help people locate historically important sites associated with people and events from 4000BCE through today. Visitors to Historvius can search for places by selecting range of dates, choosing a historic period, selecting a person, or by entering a combination of search terms. Search results are displayed on a Google Map. You can then click on a placemark on the map to find more information about that historic site.

What Was There is a good example of using Google Maps to show the way places used to look. What Was There allows registered users to upload old images of buildings and landmarks and have them displayed in the place where they were taken. Anyone can explore the map and view the historical images on the map. Enter a city name in the search box or browse the map's placemarks to find images. Click on a placemark to open an image then choose "Google Street View"  to see the image placed over current image of a place.

Typing Speed Monitor Shows Your Typing Speed During Routine Web Tasks

Typing Speed Monitor, a Google Chrome extension, evaluates your typing skills while you're going about your daily web browsing or word processing activities. Typing Speed Monitor is a Google Chrome extension that will track how fast you type and what keys you use most frequently. If you do a lot of writing online, Typing Speed Monitor is one way to get accurate feedback on your typing proficiency in real-world settings. The latest version of Typing Speed Monitor allows you to opt out of having it track your typing on domains you specify. For example, if you don't want it to track how fast you type on Facebook, you can exclude that domain.

Applications for Education
Typing Speed Monitor could be a good way to find out how well students actually type in realistic scenarios.

Silk Adds Support for Drag & Drop Editing of Your Collaborative Digital Portfolios

Silk, one of my frequent recommendations for a good digital portfolio tool, has added support for drag and drop editing of your collaborative digital portfolios. Now you can just drag items from one part of your portfolio to another instead deleting an item and then re-uploading it to move it to a different section of your portfolio.


Silk is intended to be a place where you can share collections of materials as well as write text directly into your webpages. Your Silk dashboard provides a place to organize your materials into collections and subcollections. Your collections can include documents, videos, images, charts and graphs, and links to other sites. You can create multiple sites within your free Silk account. Your Silk sites can be public or private. Creating collections on your Silk site can become a collaborative activity by inviting others to be editors or administrators on a site.

Applications for Education
Silk could be a good tool for students to use to create digital portfolios. Teachers could use Silk to create digital collections of information to supplement or replace textbooks for their courses.