Thursday, July 9, 2015

Measure Yourself - Comparing the Feet of Animals

Measure Yourself is a fun, educational activity featured on the Lawrence Hall of Science website. Measure Yourself asks students to measure the size of their ears, feet, and overall height in centimeters. Students then plug those numbers into Measure Yourself and are shown a list of animals that have similar dimensions. I tried it and learned that my ears are almost as big as an armadillo's ears, my feet are longer than a bear's, and I'm taller than a grizzly bear walking on all four feet.

Applications for Education
Measure Yourself could be a fun way to introduce students to measurement using the metric system. The activity give students some familiar animals by which to gauge metric measurements.

Try Strikingly to Create Beautiful Webpages is a service that can be used to create one page websites to show off your best digital work or to advertise an event. provides a variety of templates for digital portfolios and digital flyers. Each template can be customized by hovering your mouse on any element of the template and selecting the edit button. Free pages are assigned subdomains. Premium accounts can have custom domains.

Applications for Education
Creating a page could be a good way for students to showcase examples of their best images and videos. Students can also use pages to feature examples of their best writings.

A Nice Tool for Creating Animated Maps

Animaps is a free service built for the purpose of allowing users to create animated Google Maps. The basics of creating maps in Animaps is very similar the process for creating maps in Google Maps. The main benefit of using Animaps over Google Maps is that you can create a tour of your placemarks that plays through according to the timing that you specify. Another benefit is that you can build in colored shapes to expand and contract to demonstrate patterns. You can also import images to your map from Flickr, Picassa, and Facebook.

Applications for Education
Animaps could be a great tool for having students create tours of historic events. You could also have students create fictional stories that they illustrate on Animaps.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to Import an RSS Feed Into Google Sites

One of the questions that frequently comes up in my workshops about Google Apps is about importing RSS feeds into Google Sites. Yes, you can import a blog's RSS feed into a page on a Google Site. To do this you will open the "insert menu" while editing a page in your Google Site, select "more gadgets," choose "RSS Feed," then enter the address of the blog that you want displayed in your Google Site. In the video embedded below I demonstrate the process for importing and RSS feed into Google Sites.

Explore the Tour de France in Google Earth

Last week I shared a small collection of resources related to the Tour de France. Last night I fell asleep watching a replay of the day's stage. This morning I explored the Google Earth file of the 2015 Tour de France route created by Velowire's Google Earth map of the 2015 Tour de France includes not only the start and end points of each stage but also the intermediate hill climbs and sprints of most of the stages. Elevation profiles for each stage are also included in the file.

To find the Google Earth file about the Tour de France visit Velowire's page then scroll to the bottom and stop just before you reach the comments section.

H/T to The Google Earth Blog.