Saturday, July 29, 2017

Digital Storytelling With Comics - Free Ebook

Disclosure: Storyboard That is a long-running advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

A few years ago I put together a PDF of five projects that your students can complete with Storyboard That. The projects outlined include creative storytelling, retelling of history, using comics in videos, crafting book reviews with comics, and creating multimedia ebooks. While the document focuses on using Storyboard That (they sponsored it) the concepts can be applied to many other other digital storytelling tool. The PDF is embedded below.



A Game for Learning About International Trade

This post contains content that I originally published a couple of years ago. An email from a reader who was looking for suggestions on activities for teaching global trade prompted me to pull these resources from my archive.

The multimedia library on The Economist contains a set of cartoon videos explaining some big concepts in economics. Of the six cartoons, the cartoon on international trade has the broadest appeal. The video is appropriate as an introduction to the topic for middle school and high school students.



After watching the video on international trade have your students put their new knowledge to use in Trading Around the World from the International Monetary Fund. The object of the game is to provide students with knowledge of the variables affecting international trade. Students experience the impact of each variable by playing the game as a representative of a country or region that is trying to buy or sell resources. The overall object of the game is to accumulate cash through buying and selling natural resources.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tools to Show Your Students the Reach of Their Blogs

ClustrMaps is a free service that you can use to show students the global traffic sources of their blogs. ClustrMaps will display a real-time map of where in the world visitors are when they visit your blog. To get a ClustrMap for your blog just visit ClustrMaps.com, enter your blog's URL, and enter your email address. After your URL and email address are verified you will be able to get a ClustrMaps embed code to place anywhere on your blog.

Blogger users have a built-in set of visitor statistics that will show you where your visitors are coming from. To access these statistics select "Stats" from the drop-down menu next to the name of your blog when you sign-in at Blogger.com.

If you want to get really geeky with your blog statistics you can use Google Analytics to gather all kinds of information about visitors to your blog. To use Google Analytics you do have to add a bit of code to your site (Google Analytics offers good directions for doing this). Some of the statistics that Google Analytics will enable you discover are where visitors come from, which posts and pages are most visited, the top referrers to your blog, and how much time people spend on your blog.

Applications for Education
Depending upon which tracking method you use there is a lot that you and your students could do with blog visitor statistics. At the elementary school level looking at the geographic dispersal of visitors could lead into a geography lesson about countries and states. At the middle school and high school level you could have students investigate the visitor statistics to try to determine what keeps a visitor on a blog or why their blog posts are more popular in one location than another.

Down for Everyone? Or Just You?

Down For Everyone Or Just Me? will tell you if a site that you're trying to visit is down or not. To use the site just enter the name of a site into the search tool on Down For Everyone Or Just Me? and you will quickly get a yes or no answer.

Applications for Education
The next time you try a site in your classroom and the kids say to you, "it's not working" put the site's address into Down For Everyone Or Just Me? to see if the problem lies with the site or with your school's filters.

Practical Ed Tech Search Strategies Webinar

Next week I'm kicking-off a new series of Practical Ed Tech webinars. The first in the series is Search Strategies Students Need to Know. This webinar sold out every time it was offered in the 2016-17 school year.



Start the new school year on the right foot by helping your students conduct better web searches. 


Search Strategies Students Need to Know will be held on August 1st at 4pm Eastern Time. The cost for the webinar is just $20 including the live session, unlimited access to the recording, handouts, and the option for a PD certificate.