Monday, August 13, 2018

An Animated Shark Tracking Map - How Far Do Sharks Roam?

Years ago I included a shark tracking Google Earth layer in my workshop about Google Earth. It provided a good example of how Google Earth can be used in science classes. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find that file for a couple of years now and even if I did find the data is outdated now. That's why I was excited when I saw the Maps Mania blog post a link to a new shark tracking map.

The Global Fishing Watch map includes an animated layer that displays the movement of tagged sharks off of the east coast of the United States. The map contains records for 45 tagged sharks. You can find shark tracks by clicking on one of the small placemarkers on the map. When you select a shark you will see the entire path of travel for that shark. The timeline slider at the bottom of the map lets you select a timespan for the tracking of the shark. The play button on the timeline will replay the travel of the shark in the Atlantic ocean.

Applications for Education
The Global Fishing Watch map of tagged sharks could be great for showing students how far a shark will travel in a typical year and or over the course of its lifetime. The map itself doesn't display the distance the sharks travel. To figure out the actual distance you will need to copy the coordinates of a shark's locations into Google Earth (web or desktop version will work) and then measure the distance traveled.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

How to Manage Installed Chrome Extensions

During a workshop that I was leading this week someone asked me how she could remove some of the extension icons that were displayed in her Chrome browser. The simple solution is to right-click on the extension icon and then choose the option to either hide or remove the extension. Hiding it will just hide it from view without disabling it or uninstalling it. Choosing the option to remove an extension will uninstall it. Watch the following video that I made to show how to manage your installed Chrome extensions.

Google Classroom, Jeopardy, and Scratch - The Week in Review

Good evening from Paris Hill, Maine where I'm home after a week on the road in which I facilitated professional development for teachers in Kansas and Illinois. Next week I'll be in Missouri. If you would like to have me visit your school in the new school year, please get in touch. I only have two openings left for 2018, but I have more availability in 2019. Speaking of the new school year, I hope that those of you who started school this week had a great start to the year!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Two New Google Classroom Features Available to Everyone
2. How to Create a Jeopardy-style Game in Google Slides
3. A Free Presidential Timeline Poster for Your Classroom
4. 56 Examples of Using Scratch Across the Curriculum
5. Add Music to Play Continuously in a Google Slides Presentation
6. How to Record Audio in Google Slides
7. Take a Look at Microsoft's Free Hands-on STEM Lesson Plans and Projects

Only Two Days Left!
As I write this, I only have two days left in my 2018 workshop calendar. If you would like to have me lead a professional development day at your school in November or December, please get in touch ASAP. I can be reached at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com - more information is available here.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

SeeSaw's Android App Has New Features for Students and Teachers

SeeSaw is one of my favorite tools for creating and maintaining digital portfolios. In fact, I featured it in a workshop that I facilitated yesterday. This week SeeSaw added some new options to their free Android app. Students can now use the app to respond to activity prompts that their teachers have shared. Students can also use the app to add labels to the pictures and drawings that they add to their portfolios. Teachers can use the updated SeeSaw Android app to view the public SeeSaw Activity Library.

Earlier this summer SeeSaw added some features that teachers can use on the web and in the mobile apps. The highlight of those new features being an expanded activity library that contains more than 1500 activities created, used, and submitted by SeeSaw's teacher ambassadors. The library is arranged by grade and subject. Watch my video to learn more about SeeSaw's expanded activity library.

56 Examples of Using Scratch Across the Curriculum

Scratch is one of the ed tech tools that I always mention in my Built to Last presentation. That presentation is an overview of ed tech tools that have stood the test of time. As I shared a couple of weeks ago, Scratch 3.0 is now available in a public beta. Scratch is a free program through which students learn to program. Despite being a flexible tool that can be used in all subject areas, many people think of it only for computer science classes.

The ScratchED team at Harvard Graduate School of Education wants you to see the potential for using Scratch in all subject areas. To that end they have published a couple of resources to bookmark. First, their Creative Computing Curriculum Guide (link opens PDF) is a 32 page guide that includes a nice template for planning a mini Scratch project, prompts for thinking about remixing projects, and guidelines for assessment. Second, Scratch Projects Across the Curriculum is a listing of 56 sample projects for math, ELA, science, social studies, world languages, music, and visual and media arts. Click on the link for any of the projects in the list to find details on how it was made and instructions for your own use.