Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Download KML Data from Google Maps

Last summer Google transitioned maps made with Classic Google Maps and Google Maps Engine Lite to their new My Maps platform. This morning I received an email from the Google Maps team announcing that you need to export the KML files of your original maps or lose them on June 1st when all maps will be forced into the new My Maps formatting. If you're happy with the way that the new version of your maps looks, there is nothing that you need to do. If you want to store the original KML file then you will need to export that file. I created the video embedded below to demonstrate how to export KML files from Google Maps.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How Do Airplanes Fly? - And Five Ways to Flip This Video

Last month I had the privilege to fly on an A380. The A380 is the largest commercial jet in the world. As I saw the plane towering over the jetway in Dallas I couldn't help but be amazed at the engineering that makes it possible for something so large to fly across the Pacific in one shot.  The explanation can be found in a Minute Physics video that Airbus recently sponsored. How Do Airplanes Fly? explains the roles of wings, propellers, turbines, and wind currents in making a plane fly.

This video could be the basis of a flipped science lesson. In this post I provided an overview of how to use five services to create flipped video lessons.

How to Create Bookshelves in Google Books

This afternoon I received an email from a reader who had seen my video about conducting research in Google Books and now wanted to build Google Books bookshelves of his own. To demonstrate that process I created the short video that you see embedded below.

Applications for Education
Creating bookshelves in Google Books is a great way to organize a selection of books around a topic that your students are studying. Think of creating Google Books bookshelves as a way of building reading lists for students.

WhatsDue - Schedule and Send Reminders to Students

WhatsDue is a free service (available for Android and iOS) that enables teachers to create and send due date reminders to their students. Students receive the reminders as push notifications on their iOS and or Android devices.

Here's how WhatsDue works. First, the teacher registers for a free account on the WhatsDue website and creates a class or classes. Each class is assigned its own unique join code. Teachers then invite students and parents to join the class through the join code. Once students have joined the class they will begin receiving due date reminders on their mobile devices.

Teachers can create multiple classes and schedule multiple reminders for each class from one dashboard on the WhatsDue website. Students opening WhatsDue on their iPhones or Android phones will see reminders of approaching due dates and past due dates.

Applications for Education
If you have been leery of using other reminder systems because of privacy concerns with phone numbers or two-way communication, WhatsDue might be for you. It doesn't require phone numbers and it doesn't have two-way communication. It also allows students to be reminded of assignments on a schedule that works for them. For example, they can set the app to remind them of assignments a day before or a couple of hours before an assignment is due.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dozens Free iPad App Reviews Arranged by Grade

A couple of years ago when I started I did something that I wish I had done when I started That is I created a structure for categorizing my app reviews according to grade level. I was also smarter about my use of tags. Both of those decisions have made it relatively easy to find things on

If you visit and click on the "free iPad apps" tag in the right-hand column it will pull up all of iPad apps I've reviewed that are free. Below the headline of each review you will see a category tag of "pre-K," "elementary school," "middle school," or "high school." Ten reviews are listed on each page. Below the last review you will see a link to view older posts.

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