Monday, April 2, 2018

How to Quickly Create a QR Code for Almost Anything

Over the weekend I shared the news that Google is shuttering the Goo.gl service. In that post I shared a handful of alternatives to Goo.gl. This morning someone emailed me to ask about an alternative to Goo.gl for creating QR codes. My suggestion is to use QR Droid Zapper. With that tool you can create QR codes to direct people to websites, to share contact information, to share files, or to just share a chunk of text. In the following video I demonstrate how to create QR codes with QR Droid Zapper.


Applications for Education
QR codes are useful for getting all of your students on the same page at the same time, provided they all have an iPad, an Android tablet, or are allowed to use their mobile phones. While the name QR Droid Zapper might imply that you need an Android device, it works on all operating systems. Once your QR code is created you can project it for students to scan and or print it and post it in your classroom for students to scan.

Two Easy Ways to Create Printable Storyboard Templates

Next week Common Craft is hosting a free webinar about their video creation process. I attended one of their webinars last summer. In that webinar Lee LeFever stressed the importance of planning and using storyboards as part of that planning process. Both PowerPoint and Google Slides can be used to create online and printable storyboards to plan a video. Watch my videos embedded below to learn how to create printable storyboards in PowerPoint and in Google Slides.

How to create a storyboard template in PowerPoint.

How to create a storyboard template in Google Slides.

The Lives of Teenagers and Soldiers in Ancient Rome

One of the earliest TED-Ed lessons was about teenage life in Ancient Rome.The video and its associated questions feature the story of seventeen year old Lucius Popidius Secundus.

Last week TED-Ed published a new lesson about life in Ancient Rome. In A Day In the Life of a Roman Soldier students learn about a soldier named Servius who joined the army as an eighteen-year-old and has been in the army of eight years. Through the video students learn why some soldiers are in the army, their pay, and how long they had to be in the army in order to retire. And true to the title, the lesson teaches students about what soldiers carried, who they served with, and who they served under. Find the full lesson here or watch the video as embedded below.


On a related note, National Geographic 101's Ancient Rome 101 provides an excellent introduction to the origin, rise, and fall of the Roman Empire. The length and substance of the video makes it an ideal candidate for inclusion in an EDpuzzle lesson.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Three Earth Day Resources

Earth Day is coming up in a few weeks. Here are a few resources that you might consider incorporating into your Earth Day lesson plans. I'll be sharing more resources later this week.

Google offers tours in its Explore Climate Change series. The tours explore the actions of organizations to prevent or adapt to climate change in different parts of the world. These tours include the World Wildlife Foundation's efforts in the peatland swamps of Borneo, Greenpeace's actions to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, and Conservation International's efforts to reduce deforestation in Madagascar. The tours can be viewed three ways, in Google Earth, in the Google Browser plug-in, or through YouTube.

My Garbology, produced by Nature Bridge, is an interactive game that teaches students about sorting garbage for recycling, reusing, and composting. Students sort garbage into four bins according to where they think each piece of garbage should go. When a piece of garbage is sorted correctly a series of short animations explains why it should be there.  For example, a banana peel should be sorted into the compost bin. When the banana peel is placed into the compost bin students watch and hear a series of animations explaining how composting works.

Storyboard That's Earth Day Activities page offers eleven lesson plan ideas appropriate for elementary school and middle school classrooms. Some of the featured plans on Storyboard That's Earth Day Activity page include creating "cool Earth facts" storyboards, creating comics about how to help the Earth, and creating public service announcements about pollution and pollution prevention.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog. 

Math, Newspapers, Animations - March in Review

March has come and gone. Today was a nice Sunday to play outside with my older daughter. In walking the back edge of our property we found the interesting cluster of trees seen in the picture. I hope that you had a nice Sunday and nice start to your month too.

Every month I put together a list of the most popular posts of the previous 30 days. Doing this is a good way for me to recognize what all of you are interested in. It also gives you a chance to see if there is anything neat that you missed in the previous month.

These were the most popular posts in March, 2018:
1. The Library of Congress Seeks a Teacher-in-Residence
2. 10 Free Apps for Elementary School Math Lessons
3. Newspaper Templates for Google Docs & Word
4. 8 Changes to Google Docs & Slides Menus
5. Three Free iPad Apps for Creating Animated Movies
6. Goo.gl Is Being Shut Down - 5 Alternatives
7. My Top 5 Choices for Making Multimedia Quizzes
8. Why I've Stopped Making My Public Google Docs Printable
9. New Shared File Organization Coming to Google Drive
10. Free Hands-on STEM Lesson Plans and Projects

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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.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
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