Saturday, March 31, 2018

Food, Timers, and Search - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine from where the wind is howling and the sun has not yet risen. Why am I up so early on a weekend? Because I have two little kids and this is the quietest time of the day. It's perfect for drinking coffee and writing things like this week's week-in-review post.

This week I hosted a Practical Ed Tech webinar all about search strategies for students. 60 of you attended and a few more have watched the recording that is now available here. This week Apple hosted a big event in Chicago to reveal some of their updated and new products. All of those announcements are summarized here. Take a look at the following list to see what else was popular on Free Technology for Teachers this week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 5 TED-Ed Lessons About How the Food We Eat Affects Our Bodies
2. Free Timer Templates for PowerPoint Presentations
3. Seven Good Resources to Help Students Learn the Periodic Table
4. Three Mistakes Students Make In Online Research
5. Everything That Apple Announced Yesterday - In Under Three Minutes
6. 5 Good Story Starters for Students
7. The Basics of Creating a Quiz in Google Forms

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Vintage Travel Posters, Advertisements, and Films

In my post about Seward's Folly I included the image of a vintage advertisement for an Alaskan cruise on Canadian Pacific. That poster came from the Boston Public Library's Flickr collection of vintage travel posters. Most of the images in that collection are either in the public domain or have a Creative Commons license allowing for re-use with attribution.

Viintage (yes, two "i"s) is another source of vintage travel advertisements, posters, and postcards. Viintage features collections of vintage posters, postcards, and various printed advertisements that have been released into the public domain. Viintage hosts thousands images organized into dozens of categories like vintage travel postersclassic alphabet learning books, and vintage nursery rhymes images.

The Travel Film Archive is a collection of hundreds of travel films recorded between 1900 and 1970. The films were originally recorded to promote various places around the world as tourist destinations. In the archives you will find films about US National Parks, cities across the globe, and cultural events from around the world. The videos are available on The Travel Film Archive website and on YouTube.

Applications for Education
Some of theses travel posters and films could be good for students to use in presentations about the history and or appeal of various places around the world. Many of the posters could be used as part of a lesson on advertising methods (endorsement, appeal to emotions, etc) as well as lessons on the evolution of graphic designs.

Seward's Folly Lesson Plan


Thanks to this Tweet from the Library of Congress I was reminded that today in 1867 was the day that the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. At the time it was referred to as Seward's Folly. The discovery of gold thirty years later changed that perception.

The Library of Congress offers a free lesson plan that asks high school students to evaluate primary sources from the American and Russian perspectives in 1867. The lesson plan includes links to suggested primary sources. Students who need some guidance evaluating the primary sources included in the lesson plan will be aided by the LOC's Primary Source Analysis template. After they evaluate the primary sources, students have to use evidence to make an argument for or against the purchase.

Applications for Education
To extend the lesson plan offered by the Library of Congress, ask your students to evaluate whether or not a transaction like Seward's Folly would be possible today.

Image credit: Alaska via Canadian Pacific. Taku Glacier. Boston Public Library, Print Department.

This Periodic Table Shows Elements By Country and Date of Discovery

On Tuesday morning I shared a collection of seven good resources to help students learn the Periodic Table of Elements. The next day Open Culture shared this periodic table visualization that shows the country and year in which each element was discovered.

The Periodic Table by country and date of discovery

(If you cannot see the image it is because your network is blocking imgur which hosts the image).

The visualization is based on this Wikipedia hosted Timeline of Chemical Element Discoveries. You want to double-check the accuracy or have students look for points of contention surrounding some of the claims.

In Case You Missed It - Ten Search Strategies Students Need To Know

Yesterday 60 people joined my live presentation of my Practical Ed Tech webinar titled Ten Search Strategies Students Need To Know. More than a few of you have inquired about accessing the recording. It is now possible to access the recordings and handouts through this registration page.

Some of the highlights of the webinar include:

  • The types of searches that give students the most trouble and why they are so difficult.
  • How to get students beyond the first pages of Google results.
  • The search tools students often overlook.
  • Why search isn’t just typing or speaking into a search engine.
  • How to plan a search lesson for students of all ages.
Access the webinar recording and handouts through this registration page

If you're wondering why I charge for the Practical Ed Tech webinars, please watch this short video