Monday, April 10, 2017

Peaks and Valleys - An Interactive Story Map

Peaks and Valleys is an interactive story map produced on the ESRI platform. As you scroll through the story map the highest peaks and lowest valleys on each continent are revealed in 3D renderings. As you scroll through the 3D imagery a sidebar pops-up. That sidebar contains a photograph of the peak or valley and a fact or two about the peak or valley you're seeing. You can zoom and pan on the 3D imagery to see the peaks and valleys in greater detail.

Applications for Education
Peaks and Valleys could be a handy resource for an introductory lesson on mountain and valley formation. It's also a model that students might follow as they attempt to create their own story maps. To bring the focus closer to home, have students create story maps about the peaks and valleys in their state or province. Storymap JS is one of many good tools that students can use to create story maps.

H/T to Maps Mania for the Peaks and Valleys link. 

An Interactive Mural of Birds

This afternoon while walking my dog, Max, I saw the first ducks of spring paddling around a small opening in the ice on a local pond. This reminded me of a neat resource from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Wall of Birds is an interactive mural of bird drawings. Clicking on a drawing will reveal a side panel that contains information about that bird, audio of that bird's call, and a map of that bird's natural range. Watch my video below to see the mural in action.


Applications for Education
As the weather warms in the Northern Hemisphere a fun outdoor learning activity is to take students on nature walks during which they try to identify as many different birds as possible. They could do this by sight and sound with the help of some of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's resources.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from gray and rainy Maine. It appears that we're into the "April showers" portion of the "April showers bring May flowers" adage. On the upside, this crummy weather has made it feel a little easier to stay inside and work. I have some new projects in the works that I think you're going to like. The folks in my Thursday evening class have already had a preview of one of those projects.

While summer might feel far away, it's not too early to think about your summer professional development needs. I'm hosting two Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps this year. Additionally, I'll be offering online courses in May, June, July, and August. Registration for those courses will open on Monday.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Google Product Updates You Might Have Missed in March
2. 33 Lessons on Critical Thinking
3. 7 Blogging Tools for Teachers Compared and Ranked - Updated for 2017
4. Jeopardy Rocks Now As Factile - Jeopardy & Flashcards
5. Downloads On A Chromebook and 4 Other Tips for New Users
6. 12 Tools for Creating Videos on Chromebooks - A PDF Handout
7. If I Was Starting Free Technology for Teachers Today...

Are you looking for a keynote presenter or workshop leader? Click here to learn how to bring me to your school or conference. 

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.
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.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

Three Ways to Create Jeopardy-style Games

On Friday I shared a video about how to create and play Jeopardy-style game on the Factile platform. There are other good options for creating and playing Jeopardy review games in your classroom.

On eQuizShow you can build and display your quiz completely online. To build your quiz just enter a title, an administrative password, and your question categories. eQuizShow will then generate a grid on which you can enter questions and answers. If you don't have time to build a quiz or you just need some inspiration, browse the eQuizShow gallery. When you play the games you have the option to assign points to up to six teams playing the game. You can also play without awarding points.


FlipQuiz is a site that makes it easy for teachers to create and display Jeopardy-style review games. To create a game just register for a free account then select "new board." Your new board will have six columns and five rows, but you do not have to use all of the columns and rows and you can add or subtract questions at any time. To create your questions simply type in the question and answer boxes. When you're ready to use your game click the "presentation view" to display it through a projector. Try a demo quiz on the FlipQuiz homepage to see how the presentation view works. FlipQuiz is no longer available (November, 2020 update). 

Flippity offers a dozen Google Sheets templates that you can quickly modify to fit your needs. One of those templates is a Jeopardy game template. In the following video I demonstrate how to use the template.

How to Create PDFs of Padlet Walls

Padlet has always had an option for saving the contents of the walls that you make with students. The trouble with doing that has always been that the formatting was kind of wacky when you printed contents of the wall. Recently, that changed when Padlet introduced new options for formatting PDF versions of your Padlet walls. In the following video I demonstrate how to create and format a PDF of your Padlet walls.


Check out the other videos in my Padlet tutorials playlist to learn about all of the great features that Padlet has to offer.