Friday, September 25, 2015

My Reading Mapped is Back!

At about this time two years ago I wrote a post about a great collection of Google Maps and Earth files called My Reading Mapped. Suddenly, six months ago it went offline. This morning I received an email from the developer of My Reading Mapped. The email was an announcement that he has relaunched the site.

On My Reading Mapped you will find KML files (AKA Google Maps & Earth files) for things like historical migration and trade routes, monarchies and republics, famous explorer and conqueror expeditions, and climate change patterns. More than 150 maps are available to download from My Reading Mapped.

Applications for Education
My Reading Mapped is a great resource for social studies teachers to bookmark and share with students. The maps offer an excellent alternative to reading out of a textbook because students can not only read the information they can also quickly explore the areas that they are reading about.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sorting TED-Ed Lessons by Grade Level

Yesterday, I received an email from someone who saw my post about TED-Ed's The Writer's Workshop. She was wondering if there is a way to search TED-Ed videos by grade level. That's not a function available on YouTube, but it is a function available on the TED-Ed lessons website. To sort TED-Ed lessons by grade level go to the TED-Ed lessons page then choose "student." In the "student" drop-down menu you can choose elementary school, middle school, high school, or university. You can combine grade level sorting with content search.

Applications for Education
As TED-Ed's lesson database continues to grow, being able to sort by grade level will become more and more useful in our searches for content appropriate for our students.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

151 Practical Ed Tech Tips

Earlier this year I started to organize the screencast videos that I've made over the years. I called the list Practical Ed Tech Tips. Since I started that list I've made an effort to add one or two new screencasts to it every week. The playlist now contains 151 videos.

In the playlist you will find videos about tools for flipping your classroom, videos on managing workflow, social media tips, search strategies, and media production. The playlist also contains videos about tools like Remind, Duolingo, ClassDojo, Classtools, Photos for Class, and many other popular web services for teachers and students. The entire playlist is embedded below.

Happier Icons Coming Soon to ClassDojo

Over the last couple of months ClassDojo has added some great new features like Class Story and Groups. Later this week they'll be releasing another update.

Beginning on Friday you will be able to use a new set of icons for giving feedback to students. As I reviewed the new icon set I saw only one icon that appeared to have a negative mood (a thumbs-down icon). Click here to see the new set of icons and the logic behind the update.

Coggle - Mind Mapping With Instant Messaging

Coggle is a free mind mapping tool that I started using a couple of years ago. Coggle is a collaborative mind-mapping service. This week Coggle received some enhancements to bolster the collaborative aspects of the service.

This week Coggle added more space for longer notes, messages, and comments. The messages feature works much like the chat feature found in Google Documents. Through the messages feature students and teachers can communicate on the same page on which they're developing their mindmaps.


Learn more about Coggle in the video embedded below.


Applications for Education
Creating mind maps is one of my favorite ways to organize ideas and information. I've often had my students create mind maps as an exercise in making visual connections between important concepts, events, and people in a unit of study. Coggle's new messaging and commenting features should help students work together to create better mind maps of concepts they are studying.

To create a Coggle mind map just sign-in with your Google account and click the "+" icon to start your mind map. After entering the main idea of your mind map you can add branches by clicking the "+" icons that appear next to everything you type. To re-arrange elements just click on them and drag them around your screen. You can invite others to view and edit your mind maps. You can also just invite others to view by sending them an email through Coggle. All Coggle mind maps can be downloaded as PDFs or PNG image files. You can also save and organize Coggle mind map files in your Google Drive account.