Friday, November 2, 2018

How to Use QR Codes to Share Animated Videos

Earlier this week I answered an email from a reader who had heard someone talk about using QR codes so that people could watch animations made by students. Not having heard that person speak or seen the actual presentation my guess was that the process went like this; students wrote stories, students then made videos about the stories, and finally students made QR codes to link to their videos. That's the process that I outline in the following video.


Two Online Primary Source Document Activities for High School Students

Earlier this week the Library of Congress launched a new crowdsourcing project called Crowd. The project seeks volunteers to transcribe primary source documents that are available online through the Library of Congress. Crowd is similar to the Smithsonian's Digital Volunteers program. Both programs provide an opportunity for high school students and some middle school students to learn while contributing to a national project. In the following video I provide an overview of both programs.

Last Call for Guest Bloggers

Earlier this week I put out my annual call for guest bloggers. Tonight at midnight (Eastern time) is the deadline to apply to guest post on Free Technology for Teachers. If you would like to be a guest blogger this November please read on and then complete the form below.

I'm looking for guest bloggers who can share stories of current experiences using technology in their schools. Guest bloggers should be current classroom teachers, teacher-librarians, technology integration coaches, or school-level administrators. I would like to share stories of trying new things (apps, websites, strategies) and what you and your students learned from the experience. If you can tell the story in 500 words or less or with a video, that's a bonus. While I cannot pay you for your post, I will include links to your blog or website and include a short bio about you. Past guest bloggers have reported still getting traffic to their blogs more than a year after their posts appeared.

Please note that the last time I put out a call for guest bloggers, more than 100 people responded in 48 hours. I wish that I could publish all of the posts, but I simply cannot do that. I'll select 20 to 25 posts at the most. I will send notifications to accepted guest bloggers by November 4th.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

LOC Crowd - Crowdsourcing the Transcription of Primary Sources

The Library of Congress has launched a new crowdsourcing initiative to transcribe primary source documents. The new initiative simply called Crowd has contains collections of documents that the Library of Congress wants the public to help transcribe.

Anyone can participate in the LOC's Crowd project. To get started simply go to the site and click on one of the five collections of documents. The current collections are Branch Rickey: Changing the Game, Civil War Soldiers: Disabled But Not Disheartened, Clara Barton: Angel of the Battlefield, Letters to Lincoln, and Mary Church Terrell: Advocate for African Americans and Women. Once you've chosen a collection you can choose an individual document within the collection. Your chosen document will appear on the left side of the screen and a field for writing your transcription appears on the right side of the screen. After you have completed your transcription it is submitted for peer review.

Applications for Education
The LOC's Crowd project could be a good opportunity for high school students and some middle school students to learn while contributing to a national project. All of the collections in Crowd do have timelines and some other resources that help to provide context for the documents that are in need of transcription.

The Smithsonian has a similar crowdsourcing project called Smithsonian Digital Volunteers.

What are Spices and Herbs? - And What is Pumpkin Spice?

We are in full-blown pumpkin spice season here in New England. Everywhere you look stores are selling pumpkin spice coffee, donuts, cakes, candles, and anything else that spice can be crammed into. This, of course, begs the question "what is pumpkin spice?" That's the question that is addressed in the latest episode of SciShow Kids. But before answering that question the video explains what spices and herbs are and how they are combined to create flavors. Click here to watch the video or watch it as embedded below.