Wednesday, July 26, 2017

View and Print in 3D More Than 200 Objects from The British Museum

The British Museum collection on Sketchfab contains 252 3D models of artifacts in The British Museum's collections. You can view these models in 3D in your web browser or in a virtual reality viewer. (To view the models in your browser your browser needs to support WebGL, you can test your browser here). If you have a 3D printer, you can print the models yourself by downloading the corresponding files from Sketchfab. You can also embed the models into a webpage as I have done below.


Applications for Education
A few years ago I spent nearly an entire day inside The British Museum. It was an experience that I wish every student of history could have. And although it doesn't replace the experience of being inside the museum, The British Museum's 3D objects collection does give students the chance to see some artifacts in more than a flat 2D view. Speaking of 2D views, the museum does offer more than one million images of their artifacts.

H/T to Open Culture

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Warning! The Default Order of Icons in G Suite Launcher is Changing

Today, Google announced an upcoming change to the default display of apps in the Google app launcher. That's the little menu that appears in the upper, right corner of your screen when you're logged into your G Suite account and using a G Suite product. Google stated that the change was made to improve the experience of users who never customize their launcher menus. The new default order will prominently feature Gmail, Docs, and Drive. The new default order will appear beginning on August 1st.

This is a minor change to G Suite and it will have no effect on how the G Suite apps work. I point it out only because some teachers may return to school in August and find that their launcher's app order has changed a bit.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Half-life of Links and School Social Media Plans

In Randy Krum’s book, Cool Infographics (disclosure, he gave me a copy) he shares that according to research done by Bitly, the half-life of a link on Twitter and Facebook is 2.8 and 3.2 hours respectively. The half-life of a link refers to the amount of time it takes for a link to reach one-half of the number of clicks it will ever receive. Krum notes that those half-life statistics were calculated in 2011. Six years later more people are active on Twitter and Facebook. In turn, the half-life of links posted today is likely shorter than it was six years ago.

Applications for Education
If your school has a Twitter account, Facebook page, and or Google+ and your school’s social media updates are only going out once per day, you’re probably not reaching as many students and parents as you could be reaching. Think of it this way, when was the last time you scrolled twelve hours back in your Facebook timeline or in your Twitter feed? A solution is to post to social networks through a free service like Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to publish updates on a schedule to multiple social media accounts.

Guy Kawasaki, former chief product evangelist at Apple, repeats posts on Twitter four times per day. Schools could adopt a similar schedule for distributing announcements and reminders through social media. A good schedule for schools to update their social media accounts would be to publish an hour before school starts (7-9am), shortly after dismissal (2-4pm), shortly after supper time (6-8pm), and late night (10pm-12am).

Learn About the Sounds of Nature on Wild Music

Wild Music is a fun and educational website on which students can learn about sounds commonly heard in nature. On Wild Music students can listen to the sounds of nature and explore what creates those sounds. Some of the activities students will find include a game of animal audio memory in which students hear sounds and have to match them to each other. Students can find activities such as The Mosquito in which they compare their hearing to the hearing of various animals.

Applications for Education
Wild Music is a resource that could be used by both science teachers and music teachers. Science teachers can use Wild Music as an exploration of the sounds animals make and why they make those sounds. Music teachers can use Wild Music to explore how the sounds of nature influence musicians.

Blocking and Filtering in Gmail

This afternoon a friend sent me a text message asking about methods for blocking and or filtering messages in Gmail. Like requests of this nature, it was easier to show the method than to explain it in writing. So I recorded the following video about how to block senders in Gmail.


The following video explains how to apply filters in Gmail.


Applications for Education
By using filters in Gmail, including the G Suite for Education version of Gmail, you can apply some automatic organization to your inbox.