Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A New Grammar Checker is Coming to Google Docs

Google Docs has had a spell check tool for years. The grammar check tool has always been a bit rudimentary. That is going to change in the next few months.

Earlier today Google announced that a new grammar suggestions tool is going to be added to Google Docs. The new grammar suggestions tool will automatically underline possible grammar mistakes. Google Docs users will be able to right-click on underlined grammar mistakes to see suggested corrections.

The new grammar suggestions tool in Google Docs will initially be available only to those who apply for the Early Adopter Program.

Loom is Introducing a Desktop Screencasting Tool

Loom is a screencast recording tool that I started to use earlier this year and have found to be excellent for making short videos directly from my inbox. This afternoon I received an email from Loom that announced their plans to introduce a desktop app this fall. There are not many details about it available right now, but as I shared on Facebook, if the desktop app is as good as the browser version of Loom, it will be a great product.

You can register for early access to Loom's desktop app right here. And if you haven't tried Loom, watch my video that is embedded below to see how you can create a screencast right from your inbox.

23 World Languages Lesson Plans That Incorporate Comics

Storyboard That is known for its excellent storyboard creation tool that can be used for many purposes including making comic strips, creating scripts, making greeting cards, and developing timelines. Storyboard That also offers detailed lesson plans that you can use for free.

The lesson plans in Storyboard That's collection of free lesson plans are written by teachers who actually use the product in their classrooms. One of the smaller, but growing sections of that collection is the World Languages section. In the World Languages section you will find seven lesson plans for French language classes and sixteen lesson plans for Spanish language classes. You can use the lesson plans and their corresponding storyboard templates as they are written or modify them to meet your students' needs.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Monday, July 23, 2018

More Than 5,000 Historical Maps for Teachers and Students

Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse has a collection of more than 5,000 historical maps. The maps are licensed for free download and reuse by teachers and students. The collection is organized by continent and country. The US category is further broken down and organized by state and by historical theme.

Some of the maps in this collection are excellent maps to download and layer over Google Earth and Google Maps for the purpose of showing current maps and historic maps in the same screen. Learn how to do that during Tuesday's webinar about Google Earth, Google Maps, and virtual tour creator.

Applications for Education
Historical maps can be very useful in helping students to get a better sense of an entire historical event or story. These maps could be used as a supplement to a history lesson or as the beginning of an inquiry-based lesson. These maps could also be used as overlay images in Google Earth files that students develop.

Promethean Grant - Win an Interactive Whiteboard for Your Classroom

If you have desired to get an interactive whiteboard for your classroom, but budget has kept that wish from becoming reality then you should check out Promethean's "grant" program. Promethean calls it a grant program even though it seems more like a contest. To be eligible to be awarded a Promethean ActivPanel interactive whiteboard you must create a video that demonstrates your need for an interactive whiteboard and the impact that it would have on teaching and learning in your classroom. Entries will be judged based on creativity, need, and potential classroom impact.

Applications for Promethean's grant program will be accepted August 1st through November 1st. Teachers are encouraged to include students in the creation and production of their grant application videos. The complete program details can be found here