Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where I'm getting ready for my annual ice fishing trip on Moosehead Lake. Every year during the February vacation week I join 15-20 other teachers for a few days of ice fishing and relaxing at a camp that doesn't have Internet access or reliable cell phone coverage. In other words, it's a great break. Whatever your plans are for this weekend, I hope you have time to relax too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Practical Ed Tech Handbook - 2017 Edition
2. Tools for Creating, Hosting, and Printing Infographics
3. Quickly Create Bingo Boards In Google Sheets
4. Three Ways for Students to Create Digital Flashcards
5. My Five Most Frequently Recommended Google Forms Add-ons
6. How to Search for Creative Commons Images
7. The Art of Storytelling - Pixar in a Box

Join me this summer for the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp or the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp. Early registration and group discounts are available.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosts workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

This Creepily Named Site Reminds Us To Check Facebook Privacy Settings

Stalkscan is the creepy name of a website that lets people enter the URL of a Facebook profile and view all of the public information for that profile. The site is a good reminder to check your Facebook privacy settings regularly. You can can always view your own profile as another person by going to the "view as" menu found in the header of your Facebook page. The "view as" option will also show you how your profile looks when it is returned in a search conducted by someone who is not your Facebook friend.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, Stalkscan is a good reminder for students and adults to keep tabs on their digital footprints. It's also a good reminder to read those privacy updates whenever Facebook changes their privacy policies.

H/T to Lifehacker.

Presidential Historians Survey Ranks the Presidents of the United States

The Presidential Historians Survey is a ranking of U.S. Presidents based on the responses of dozens of Presidential historians as surveyed by C-SPAN. The survey asks historians to rank the past Presidents of the United States according to ten leadership characteristics. Some of those characteristics are vision/ agenda setting, persuasion, and moral authority. Abraham Lincoln ranked at the top of this year's ranking while James Buchanan was last in the ranking.

Applications for Education
The Presidential Historians Survey could be a good jumping-off point for research into the attributes that people seek in a President. It's also a good starter for conversations about the events that define the terms of some Presidents.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Get a Free Presidential Timeline Poster for Your Classroom

C-SPAN Classroom is currently offering a free timeline poster depicting all of the past Presidents of the United States. The poster shows each President's time in office, a short biography, the era of American history in which each President served, and a couple of major events that happened during each President's time in office. The poster is free for anyone who has a free C-SPAN Classroom account. The first posters will be mailed during the week of March 6th.

Applications for Education
C-SPAN Classroom offers a number of suggestions for using the poster in your classroom. I had a similar poster in my classroom seven or eight years ago. I let my students choose a President from the poster and create a short video biography of their chosen President.


Hexagon Learning Template

Earlier this week I Tweeted Terri Eichholz's blog posts about hexagonal learning. In those posts she outlined how hexagonal learning worked in her classroom. It's notable that Terri also shared the mistakes she made when trying to use visual hexagonal learning lessons with her students. Terri works with elementary school students. Hexagonal learning can also be used at the high school level as Russel Tarr outlines in his blog post about using it in his history classes. Russel offers a hexagonal learning template on his Class Tools website.

The Class Tools Hexagons Generator lets you create an online hexagonal learning activity to share with your students. To use the template just enter a topic then a minimum of five terms related to that topic. For example, I entered the topic of "American Revolution" then entered the terms "Stamp Act," "Sugar Act," "Boston Tea Party," "Intolerable Acts," and "Olive Branch Petition." The generator then created five hexagons that my students can arrange online to show the connections between the topics. Students can also edit the hexagons to add explanations to the connections.

If you're in a classroom that isn't 1:1 you can print the hexagons created by the Class Tools Hexagons Generator.

Applications for Education
As Terri and Russel explain in their respective blog posts, hexagonal learning can be a great way to help students see how multiple topics within a subject are connected to each other. This can be an excellent activity for students to do when they are preparing to write a long research or editorial piece.