Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thinglink Announces an Important Change to Education Plans

Thinglink is a service that I have used and introduced to teachers for years. It's a great tool for creating interactive images as I did here in a blog post about using interactive images to summarize field trip experiences.

Today, Thinglink sent an email to users of their free Thinglink EDU service to announce a major change to the free plan. Beginning on December 15th, the free Thinglink EDU plan will no longer support the option for teachers to create and manage their students' accounts. That feature will only be available to those who subscribe to the pro or premium accounts.

While we're on the topic of interactive images, you might want to consider trying Formative or Wizer for creating interactive images that include quiz questions.

Introduction to Teaching With Video

A couple of weeks ago I announced that Keith Hughes, Tom Richey, and I will be hosting an online course all about how to teach with video. That course will begin on November 27th. Since the course was announced I have fielded quite a few questions about it. To answer those questions and to share a few of our favorite tips, we're hosting a free event tonight at 7pm ET.

Click here to join me, Tom Richey, and Keith Hughes for Intro to Teaching With Video tonight at 7pm Eastern Time. If you can't make it to the live session, the recording will be posted here tomorrow morning.

Incredibox Music App

Incredibox has been around since 2009 which is a very long time in internet years! Incredibox can be used on your desktop or iOS device to create mixes of instruments, percussion, voices, and a variety of effects to create a unique mix.

This app is very easy to use. Select which version you wish to use then drag icons from the bar and drop them on top of the shirtless guy. You can add up to seven elements to your mix. There is an option to record your mix as well.

Applications for Education
This app can be used to introduce students to different rhythms. It can also be used by students to create raps that are based on different content areas. Imagine how much fun students would have writing a rap about the Constitution or some other topic. Students could even capture their rap and mix by using a screencasting app.

AutoMastery Google Forms Add-on

AutoMastery is a new Google Forms Add-on that was created by Mary Ellen West, a technology coordinator from Georgia. This add-on allows you to automatically differentiate assignments for students based on the score they receive on a Google Forms quiz.

As the teacher, you will set a mastery score and a beginner level score. Students who score at or above mastery will receive a link to an extension activity. Students who score at or below the beginner level will receive an assignment that is designed to fit their needs and help them build the necessary skills to move to the progression level. Students who score above beginner but below mastery will receive an assignment that is designed to bring them up to the mastery level. All assignments will be sent to the students through an automated email.

When you go to install the AutoMastery add-on, you will more than likely see a warning message that says the app has not been approved by Google and to only install it if you know and trust the developer. This is just a glitch that will be worked out soon!

Once installed, you will need to configure AutoMastery. During this step you will set the mastery and beginner scores and add the links to the three different assignments you have selected.

Applications for Education
Administering a quiz, sorting the scores, then trying to make sure students get the correct assignment takes a lot of time! This add-on automates all of those tasks so teachers can spend time facilitating and following up with students who need extra help. This add-on has the potential to be used by teachers across grade levels and subject areas.

5 Ways to Use Google Earth & Maps Outside of Social Studies Lessons

When most teachers hear "Google Earth" or "Google Maps" they immediately think of history and geography lessons. While Google Earth and Google Maps are great for history and geography lessons, Earth and Maps are also powerful tools in other areas. Here are some ways that you can use Google Earth and Maps outside of social studies.

Physical Education
Google's My Maps tool can be used to plan safe bicycling and running routes.

Take a look at Tom Barrett's Maths Maps project for lots of ideas on using Google Maps in elementary school math lessons.

Space Exploration
Take a look at the lunar field trip Google Earth file available through Real World Math.

Environmental Science
Juicy Geography offers this demonstration of using Google Earth to identify sites for windmills.

Google Lit Trips continues to be a tremendously popular source of Google Earth files and lesson plans for teaching literature through the use of Google Earth.

Learn more about how to use Google Earth and Google Maps by joining my upcoming course, To Geography & Beyond With Google Earth & Maps

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