Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Multimedia Timeline of WWII in Europe

Last week I shared National Geographic's excellent multimedia timeline of the Pacific Theater of WWII. National Geographic offers a similar timeline of the European Theater. While the title of the timeline is World War II in Europe, it does include include events that happened in Africa and some events in the United States. The timeline World War II in Europe includes pictures, text, video, and maps of events beginning with Hitler's first violation of the Treaty of Versailles through the end of the war in Europe.

The timeline is layered in such a way that students can see the overlapping timelines of some events that were happening in various parts of Europe, Africa, and the United States at the same time. The layering of the timeline could help students see how many events of the war didn't happen in isolation from each other.

This timeline was created by using Timeline JS. Timeline JS is one of the tools featured in my Teaching History With Technology course that is on sale through the end of the month. 

Music Crab - A Cute App for Learning to Read Music

Music Crab is simple and free iPad designed to help students learn to read music. The app features a little crab that students move by playing virtual piano keys in the app. To move the crab students have to play the correct notes. If they play too many incorrect notes in a row, the game is over and they have to start again.

Applications for Education
Music Crab features ten levels that students can progress through. Each level is a bit more difficult than the last. In each level the speed of the game increases and students have to improve their sight-reading skills in order to advance through each level.

PuppetMaster - A Great App for Creating Animated Movies

PuppetMaster is a free iPad app that kids can use to create animated movies. The app is designed for elementary school students and therefore doesn't require students to create accounts in order to use it. All movies made with the PuppetMaster app are saved to the camera roll on a student's iPad.

To create an animated movie with PuppetMaster students simply open the app, select a character, and the select a background scene for their movies. PuppetMaster has pre-made characters and background scenes. Students can also add their own background scenes by taking a picture to use as the background. For example, I made a movie with a robot character attempting to reach under the Christmas tree in my living room (you can view that movie here).

Students can record themselves talking or singing in the background of their movies in order to tell their stories. Or in the case of one video that I made with PuppetMaster, you can record a baby crying in your video.

Applications for Education
PuppetMaster could be a great app for students to use to animate stories that they write. You could have students use the app to create an animation of a favorite story that they've recently read. Or you might consider using the app to get students to tell a personal story through the use animated characters.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Geography, eBooks, and Nature - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we're anticipating our first significant snowstorm of the year. As a skier, I cannot wait for the fresh snow. As a Dad, I'm excited to show my older daughter the joy of making snow angels. But as the owner of a long driveway, I'm not so excited about the snow.

This week the most popular posts of the week including two resources that are perfect for social studies classes, five resources for making ebooks with kids, and a site that lets you hear the sounds of nature around the world.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 51 World Geography Games for Kids
2. Free Wall Maps for Your Classroom
3. 5 Ways for Students to Create Multimedia eBooks
4. The Sounds of Nature Around the World
5. Zoho Notebook - Your Evernote and Google Keep Alternative
6. RWT Flip Book - Free Flip Book Creator for Kids
7. Promoting School Events Through Social Media

Professional development opportunities
This week ten people joined the Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group. I hope that you will join them in receiving 24+ hours of professional development in 2018. The cost is less than $10 per hour.

I am currently filling my calendar for workshop and keynote engagements. Click here to learn what I can do for you.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
SeeSaw is my favorite digital portfolio tool.
Metaverse enables anyone to create amazing things.
Kids Discover provides fantastic tools for helping kids discover new information. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

An Inexpensive Source of Earbuds and Microphones

Yesterday afternoon I went live on the Practical Ed Tech Facebook page to share a couple of tips about sourcing cheap earbuds and microphones for your classroom. You can watch the video as embedded below.

If you can't see the video, here's the main point:
  • Check eBay for vendors who sell earbuds in bulk. Many have microphone capabilities built into them. eBay even has a search filter that lets you specify that you only want earbuds that have microphones built into them. I did this search and found a handful of vendors who were selling earbuds priced between $0.77 and $1.99. 
So it's not free, but it is cheap and thought that folks would appreciate the tip. Happy shopping.