Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The History of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

For millions of Americans watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning is as much a tradition as watching football after the turkey dinner. The Macy's Parade is 90 years old this year. It has evolved quite a bit since its early days. Macy's Parade History offers an interactive timeline of the parade's history. You can select any decade on the timeline to view 360 interactive images of the parade. Each decade on the timeline also includes some video clips. Scroll through the decades and you'll see that the parade reflects the popular culture of each decade.

History offers the following short video about the history of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


The Next News Network also offers a nice, concise summary of the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Emojis and More Special Characters in Blogger

This isn't groundbreaking, but you can now use emojis in Blogger. About a week or two ago a new icon appeared in the "compose" mode in Blogger. That icon represents the special characters that you can insert into your Blogger blog posts. Those special characters include emojis. They also include more practical things like arrows, math symbols, and special characters needed for properly writing a variety of languages.

You can search for special characters by name, by drawing a symbol, or you can just browse through the galleries.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Analyzing Word Choice in a Presidential Statement

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day in 1963. Later in the same day Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States. President Johnson took the oath of office on Air Force One. When the plane landed at Andrews Air Force Base he gave a short statement. His speech card is today's featured document in the National Archives' daily document series.

One of the interesting things on President Johnson's speech card is the freehand editing that was done to it. I would have students look at the speech card and analyze why President Johnson edited out things like "every American" and replaced it with "all people." When looked at in light of the Cold War that choice and some of his other editing choices are significant.

An audio recording of President Johnson's statement can be heard here on the LBJ Library website.

See Larry Ferlazzo's blog for a long list of more resources about the assassination of JFK.

Create Narrated Map Tours on a Chromebook

On Sunday and Monday I shared a couple of videos about making narrated Google Earth tours. Unfortunately, Google Earth doesn't work on a Chromebook. So if you want your students to create narrated map tours, the best thing to do is to have them map a series of placemarks in Google's My Maps tool then record a screencast in which they talk about the places on their maps.

You can learn how to use Google's My Maps tools by watching the video embedded below.


A couple of good options for recording a screencast on a Chromebook are Nimbus Screenshot and Capture Cast.

Apply Now for Early Access to Google Team Drives

A couple of months ago Google announced the development of a new product called Team Drives. Team Drives is a version of Google Drive designed specifically for team use. Rather than just sharing a single file or folder, Team Drives will give everyone in the team access to everything in the Team Drives account by default. 

Team Drives is a feature that will only be available to G Suite for Education and G Suite for Business users. G Suite for Education domain administrators can apply today for early access to Team Drives. Learn more about Team Drives in this post on the G Suite Update Alerts blog. 

Applications for Education
The default sharing settings in Team Drives might be a bit too open for use by younger students. But it could be great for high school and college students working together on long-term projects. Team Drives could also be a great asset for academic departments that want to have all members sharing lesson ideas and resources.