Thursday, July 12, 2018

7 Places to Create Your Own Educational Games for Students to Play at Home

The Internet is not lacking for websites that offer games that students can play online. Despite that fact, there are still occasions when you can't find exactly what you or your students need. In those cases you might want to just create your own game instead of conducting more fruitless searches. Here are seven places where you can create your own educational games that students can play at home or in your classroom.

ProProfs Brain Games provides templates for building interactive crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word searches, hangman games, and sliding puzzle games. The games you create can be embedded into your blog or shared via email, social media, or any place that you'd typically post a link for students. If you don't want to take the time to create your own game, you can browse the gallery of games. Most of the games in gallery can be embedded into your blog.

ClassTools.net has long been one of my favorite places to find free educational games and templates for creating educational games. On ClassTools you'll find templates for creating map-based games, word sorting games, matching games, and many more common game formats. Use the search function on ClassTools to find the game template that is best for you and your students.




Purpose Games is a free service for creating and or playing simple educational games. The service currently gives users the ability to create seven types of games. Those game types are image quizzes, text quizzes, matching games, fill-in-the-blank games, multiple choice games, shape games, and slide games.

TinyTap is a free iPad app and Android app that enables you to create educational games for your students to play on their iPads or Android tablets. Through TinyTap you can create games in which students identify objects and respond by typing, tapping, or speaking. You can create games in which students complete sentences or even complete a diagram by dragging and dropping puzzle pieces.



Wherever I've demonstrated it in the last year, people have been intrigued by Metaverse. It's a free service that essentially lets you create your own educational versions of Pokemon Go. This augmented reality platform has been used by teachers to create digital breakout games, augmented reality scavenger hunts, and virtual tours.



There was a time when Kahoot games could only be played in the classroom and only created on your laptop. That is no longer the case. Challenge mode lets you assign games to your students to play at home or anywhere else on their mobile devices. You can even share those challenges through Remind. And the latest update to Kahoot enables you and your students to build quiz games on your mobile devices.


Finally, if you're a G Suite for Education user, you should check out Flippity's assortment of game templates. Flippity offers seventeen Google Sheets templates including seven templates for making games like hangman, Bingo, and Memory.

Flippity's Google Sheets Add-on is Working Again!

Back in May I started to get a bunch of messages from readers who were experiencing trouble with the Flippity Add-on for Google Sheets. The trouble was that after years of successful use, people were getting a warning message from Google that said the Flippity Add-on was unverified and not recommended for use. I reached out to the developers of Flippity back in May and was told that they were aware of the issue and were working to resolve it. (By the way, Flippity wasn't the only Add-on that had this trouble in the spring).

This evening I checked on the Flippity Add-on for Google Sheets and it seems to be working again without any problems. I was able to successfully install it and use it in three different Google Accounts. So if you were having problems with the Flippity Add-on for Google Sheets in May or June, give it a try tonight and see if it works for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Text2MindMap is Back - Outlines and Mind Maps on the Same Page

For a few years there was a popular mind map tool called Text2MindMap that enabled you to create mind maps from typed outlines. It was popular because you could see a written outline on one side of your screen and the connected mind map on the other side of the screen. Unfortunately, Text2MindMap went offline a couple of years ago and never returned. However, this morning I discovered that an independent developer named Tobias Løfgren has revived it on his own site.

Tobias' installation of Text2MindMap is open for anyone to to use. To use it simply go here, clear the existing text and replace it with your own text. Every line that you type in your outline becomes a node in the mind map. You can create a branch from a node by simply indenting a line in your outline (see my screenshot below for an example).

You can save the text of your mind map as a plain text file but there isn't an option to print it other than by using your browser's print function which will print the entire webpage instead of just the mind map. There is not an option to save your mind map or outline online so you will need to either download the plain text file, print the webpage, or take a screenshot of your mind map.

Applications for Education
Text2MindMap is an excellent tool for students to use to write outlines and see the connections between ideas in their outlines. Students can rearrange the connections in their mind maps by simply cutting and pasting lines from their written outlines.

How to Share Specific Google Earth Views in Google Classroom

The development of the browser-based version made Google Earth accessible to students who use Chromebooks as their primary classroom computers. One way that I like to use Google Earth is to create sets of inquiry questions based upon a specific location and or a specific view of a place. You can tell students the location and have them find it on their own in Google Earth. But if you are short on time, let's say your intent is to quickly start a classroom conversation about a particular view, then sharing a link to a specific view is the way to go. You can share that link in Google Classroom or any other LMS. In the following video I demonstrate how to share specific Google Earth views in Google Classroom.

Rye Board - An Online Corkboard for Your Ideas

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo's This Week In Web 2.0 I recently learned about a new online corkboard tool called Rye Board. Rye Board provides you with a blank canvas on which you can place text notes, images, and drawings. Notes and pictures can be dragged and dropped into any arrangement that you like. Drawings can be added in the spaces between notes and or directly on top of images on your Rye Board. Watch my video that is embedded below to see how Rye Board works.


Applications for Education
Rye Board is still in beta. According to the site developer's notes there are plans to add collaboration options as well as comment widgets. Once those options are added Rye Board could be a good place to host online, collaborative brainstorming sessions. Until then Rye Board could be a good place for students to organize their own notes or simply maintain to-do lists for themselves.