Friday, May 12, 2017

Try YouTube Live for Review Sessions - Breakfast With Tom Richey

This morning I opened YouTube to see a notification from my friend Tom Richey that he was going live with a review session for AP European History students. When I joined in there were nearly 2,400 viewers and at one point there were over 2,500 viewers. Tom was talking to students in his own classroom and broadcasting the review for anyone who wanted to watch. A bunch of classrooms around the U.S. were watching.

What Tom was doing is something that many other teachers could do for a small or large audience. If you're hosting a review session for students during school hours or after school hours, streaming it on YouTube Live will let the students that can't be in the room with you, follow along and ask questions too.

Broadcasting on YouTube can be done from your Android phone or iPhone. You can also broadcast from your laptop, but the set-up is a little more difficult than it is on a phone. Here are the directions for broadcasting YouTube Live from your laptop.

How to Find Old Maps Online

In yesterday's Practical Ed Tech Live episode I answered a question about where to find old maps to layer in Google Earth. One of the resources that I suggested was Old Maps Online. Old Maps Online is a map that you can browse and search to find historical maps to view online, to download, and to print. You can search the map by entering a location or you can just pan and zoom around the world to find historical maps. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Old Maps Online.


Applications for Education
The maps that you and your students find could be used as overlays in the Google Earth layers. You might also use the maps for a local history comparison activity by comparing your students' current vision of where they live with what it looked like in the past.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to Grade Vizia Quizzes in Google Sheets

In this afternoon's Practical Ed Tech Live session I answered a couple of questions about the video quiz platform, Vizia. One of those questions was about how to grade the responses in Google Sheets. I suggested using the Flubaroo Add-on for Google Sheets to grade responses to Vizia quizzes. In the video below I show how to do that.


Here's how to create a quiz in Vizia.

Practical Ed Tech Live! Episode 5

Earlier today I hosted the fifth episode of Practical Ed Tech Live. Thank you to all who submitted questions in advance to those who joined in during the live broadcast. I'll be hosting another episode next week at 3:30pm EDT on Thursday, May 18th. If you missed today's episode, the recording is embedded below. The text of the questions that I answered are copied below the embedded below.


Questions answered in the show:

What’s your email address?

I’ve been following you for a while. I watched for the webinar you did with Greg Kulowiec about virtual reality. I’m still a little confused about the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. Do you have anything I can read about the differences?

I am going to be a technology coach in our small district next year (I just found out last week). I’ve been following your blog for years. Do you have any tips for new technology coaches?

I was looking at your list of ten ways to use Google Earth in the classroom and I want to try layering old maps onto Google Earth. Do you have recommendations for places to find old maps?

Will Vizia.co work in Google Classroom?

I’m trying to join a Google Classroom with a code that a colleague gave me so that we could learn Classroom together. The code she sent me keeps saying “invalid” no matter how many times she resets it. Do you have any idea why this might be happening?

My Two Most Requested Documents

Last night I forgot to silence my phone before bed. Not ten minutes after putting my head on my pillow I heard a Google Drive alert. I looked over at my phone to see that someone had requested access to my file titled Life on Minimum Wage. That is one of the two most frequently requested documents that I have. The other is titled Captains of Industry. Both documents outline hands-on economics lesson for middle school and high school students. I have now uploaded both documents to Box.com and I have embedded them below for viewing and downloading.

The purpose of Life on Minimum Wage is for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent.

All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one "business" slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also effected. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects of a business closing on a small town's economy.


Captains of Industry is an economics simulation activity. The original version of this activity was developed by my colleague Jason Long. What I'm sharing here is the activity as I've modified it for my classroom. My version is about 75% the same as Jason's original. The point of the activity is for students to experience and experiment with the tactics of American businessmen in the second half of the 19th century. Before trying the activity it is best for students to have some familiarity with the business practices of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan.


(Note, before you email me about the Browning rifle goal card in Life on Minimum Wage, please understand that these were goals chosen by my students in a rural community. You're welcome to change that card for use in your own classroom).