Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Berlin Job - And the Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall is a TED-Ed lesson that was released last week. It's a fine primer on the basics of the Berlin Wall, but it is not anything that on its own is going to wow a history teacher. After watching the TED-Ed video I went back into my archives to find a couple of resources about the Berlin Wall that I find interesting and that some of my students did too.

The Berlin Job, hosted on the Google Cultural Institute, is a photo essay by Peter Millar. Millar was a a British journalist who lived in East Germany from 1981 to 1990. Millar's essay blends images and stories about the political aspect of life in East Berlin with stories and images of daily life in East Berlin. The essay concludes with stories of the lead-up and eventual fall of the Berlin Wall. The photo essay does a great job of helping readers understand East Berlin and the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall from a more human perspective and less of a "history lesson" perspective.

The Wilson Center's Digital Archive is a resource that I have used many times when I need primary source documents to use in lesson plans related to the Cold War. Within the Wilson Center's Digital Archive there is a collection of documents organized around the topic of the Berlin Wall. The documents in the collection are arranged chronologically as it relates to the building, maintenance, and eventual dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

And now back to the TED-Ed lesson that started this post. The video from the lesson is embedded below.

TinyTap Introduces a New "Houdini" Mode for Educational Games

TinyTap is a great tool for creating your own educational games for students to play on their iPads or on their Android tablets. Earlier this year they added an option to create games that have voice response features. For the new school year TinyTap has added another new feature. The new feature is called Houdini mode and it lets you create games in which students can make an image or part of an image appear or disappear based on how they answer a quiz question.

See TinyTap's Houdini mode in action in the video embedded below.


Watch the videos in the TinyTap handbook to learn how to start creating your own iPad and Android games.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Phrasal Verbs Friends - Fun Phrasal Verb Videos

One of the challenges that ELL students face is understanding the meanings of phrasal verbs. In the past I have featured a couple of apps that are designed to help students understand phrasal verbs. A newer resource worth bookmarking is the YouTube channel Phrasal Verbs Friends.

Phrasal Verbs Friends videos are cartoons featuring cats explaining the various meanings of common phrasal verbs.

How to Add a QR Code to a Google Document

Earlier this morning someone sent me a direct message on Twitter to ask me how to add a QR code to a Google Document. This is a process that is easier to understand if you see it in action. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to insert a QR code into a Google Document. In my example the QR code contains contact information.

How to Collect Files Through Google Forms

One of the many updates that was made to Google Forms this summer was the option to accept file uploads from people who are not a part of your G Suite for Education domain. This means that you can now create a Google Form through which parents can submit files like a signed copy of a permission slip. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to collect files through Google Forms.