Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to Embed Flipgrid Topics Into Google Sites

One of the good things about the new version of Google Sites is that Google has made it much easier to embed content from third party services. Flipgrid is one of the popular ed tech tools that you might want to add to your Google Site. By embedding a fully functional Flipgrid topic into your Google Site your students can record their video replies to your topics while they're viewing your Google Site. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how you can include Flipgrid in your Google Site.


Applications for Education
By embedding Flipgrid into a page on your Google Site you are essentially creating a video blog on your Google Site. In a social studies course you might have students post weekly responses to news stories. You could also use it as a place for students to simply share weekly reflections on what they learned in your classroom.

New to New Google Sites? 5 Features You Should Know How To Use

The new (current) version of Google Sites is easier for new users to start using. But with that ease of use comes fewer features and some "hidden" features that are often overlooked. If you're thinking about building a website with the new version of Google Sites, here are five features that you should know how to use.

Custom Header Images
Google provides plenty of stock images to use in your site's header, but to really add personality to your site you'll want to use own header image. You can upload an image from your computer or you can insert an image that you have stored in your Google Drive account. Follow these steps to upload your own header image:

  • Place cursor over the lower, left corner of the header field. 
  • When the "change image" button appears select "upload" from the drop-down menu. 
  • Upload image. Note that your image might be automatically re-sized or re-positioned to fit with your theme. 
  • To choose an image from your Google Drive select "select image" rather than "upload" from the "change image" menu. 

Custom Favicons
The favicon is the little image that appears in the browser tab when your site is open. You can change this image by selecting "edit favicon" from the little menu that appears just to the left of the "publish" button.

Public Search Settings
You might want your site to appear in Google Search results or you might not want it to appear in search results. If you don't want it to appear in Google Search results, you can make that specification in the "publish settings" menu that appears just to the right of the "publish" button.

Video from Google Drive
YouTube can be a great source of educational videos to include in your website. But if your school blocks YouTube or you have a video that you want to include in your site without first putting it on YouTube, you do have other options. One of those options is to insert a video from your Google Drive account. First upload your video to your Google Drive account then in your Google Site select "From Drive" in the "insert" menu on the righthand side of your screen.

3rd Party Embeds
The old or "classic" version of Google Sites was notoriously finicky about embedding content from third party websites. The new version of Google Sites includes much improved support for embedding content from third party services. There are two ways to add content from third party services. The first option is to just paste a link into the "embed" widget available in the "insert" menu. The second option is to paste an embed code into the "embed" widget available in the "insert" menu.

Join Me Tomorrow for 5 Ways to Blend Tech Into Outdoor Lessons

As the winter fades and spring begins to bloom here in New England, kids and adults are itching to get outside more often. This is a great time to take your students outside for some lessons. In a live webinar tomorrow afternoon at 4pm Eastern Time we’ll explore five ways that you can incorporate technology into outdoor lessons.

Join me on April 26th at 4pm Eastern Time to learn how you can incorporate technology into outdoor learning experiences.

In this webinar we’ll explore:
  • Augmented Reality 
  • Digital mapping 
  • Geocaching 
  • Activity tracking 
  • Observing and collecting scientific data


Click here to register!

When you register you will get:
  • Access to the live webinar on April 26th at 4pm Eastern Time 
  • Unlimited access to the recording after the webinar. 
  • Digital handouts 
  • PD certificate
The recording will be available to anyone who registers but cannot attend the live session.

Click here to register!

About this post: The sale of my professional development online courses and my on-site professional development services provides the funding to keep Free Technology for Teachers running. The resources that I feature in my online courses and webinars are free. However, there is a significant cost associated with creating, hosting, and managing the courses and webinars which is why I am not able to provide them for free.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

WikiWhere - A Challenging Map Game

WikiWhere is a neat map-based trivia game. The goal of the game is to identify cities based on their descriptions. The descriptions come from Wikipedia entries. You can get up to three clues before you have to answer by clicking on the map to identify the city that you think is described by the excerpts. When you click on the map you'll be shown the correct answer and how far away you were from the correct answer.

Applications for Education
WikiWhere could be a fun and challenging way for students to test their knowledge of world geography. One way to extend the use of the game would be to set a rule for students that if they were off by more than 50 or 100 miles that they then have to do some light research about the city.

H/T to Maps Mania.

Hurricane Webinar 2018!

Thanks to a teacher at Sigsbee Charter School in Key West I learned about a free webinar for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. The webinar is the 2018 Hurricane Webinar hosted by Hurricanes: Science and Society team in partnership with the NOAA National Hurricane Center and the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center.

The goal of the 2018 Hurricane Webinar is to teach students about hurricane hazards, hurricane forecasting, observing hurricanes with airplanes, and hurricane preparedness.

This free webinar is scheduled for May 9, 2018 at 10:00 Central Time. Click here to learn more about the webinar and click here to register.

On a related note, Hurricanes: Engines of Destruction is a good video that explains how the Coriolis Effect influences the direction in which hurricanes rotate, the role of heat in hurricane formation, and the origin of the word hurricane. The video is embedded below, but you should also take a look at the video on YouTube to access the reference materials used in the creation of the video.