Saturday, March 23, 2019

Picture Books, Story Maps, and Emojis - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where I'm home after a few days in Detroit for the MACUL Conference. It was great to meet many of you who have been following this little blog of mine for years. Getting to meet teachers all over the world is one of the best things to come from writing this blog for last 11+ years. Thank you!

The snow just keeps falling here in Maine even though the calendar says that it's spring. Eventually, the snow will stop and the warm weather will arrive and then it will be time for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. The early registration discount is available until the end of March.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Where On Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? - A Great Geography Game
2. 5 Free Tools for Creating Online Picture Books
3. Are You Being Phished? - A Lesson from Google
4. A New Way to Add Images to Google Sheets
5. How to Create a Map-based Story With StoryMap JS
6. How to Add Emojis to Word Documents - And How to Use Them in a Lesson
7. 5 Ways to Tell Stories With Maps


The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is happening on July 15th and 16th. I've secured a beautiful location for it that offers lots of activities for the whole family within walking distance. Register in March and save $50! Registration is now open here.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Make Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional Characters

Read Write Think Trading Cards is a free tool that students can use to create trading cards about people, places, and events both real and fictional. You can use it in your web browser, as an Android app, or as an iOS app. In this video I demonstrate how to use Read Write Think Trading Cards in your web browser.




Applications for Education
Some of the ways that the Read Write Think Trading Card app could be used by students is to create a set of trading cards about characters in a novel, to create a set of cards about people of historical significance, or to create cards about places that they're studying in their geography lessons.

How to Manage Chrome Extensions & Google Docs Add-ons

Earlier this week during the Practical Ed Tech Live Q&A I addressed a topic that I have received a lot of questions about during the last few weeks. That topic is the vetting or trustworthiness of add-ons for G Suite tools (Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms) and Chrome extensions. One of my recommendations on that topic is to disable or remove the add-ons and extensions that you find yourself not using on any kind of regular basis. The fewer third-party services you have connected to your account, the fewer opportunities there are for your account to be compromised in some way. In the following videos I demonstrate how to manage Chrome extensions and G Suite add-ons.


Friday, March 22, 2019

The Story of the United States Told in 141 Interactive Maps

Manifest Destiny - The Story of The U.S. Told in 141 Maps is a great website developed by Michael Porath. As you probably guessed from the title of this blog post, the site features 141 interactive maps chronicling the expansion of the United States from March 1789 to August 1959. When you click on any of the maps you will see the new territories acquired in that year and month. Each map is accompanied by a brief description of how the new territories were acquired.

Applications for Education
If you're creating a website or an interactive ebook to supplement or replace the textbooks in your U.S. History curriculum, Manifest Destiny - The Story of The U.S. Told in 141 Maps is a resource that I highly recommend including. 

Things to Learn and Do at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

For the last two days I have been featuring slides from my presentations at this week's MACUL Conference in Detroit. Many of the things in those slides will be included in the hands-on learning experiences at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp that I'm hosting in July. Here's a list of ten things that you can learn during the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

1. Helping students develop better search skills.
2. Using augmented reality in education.
3. Using virtual reality in education.
4. Infusing technology into outdoor lessons.
5. Making videos with students.
6. Producing podcasts with students.
7. Interactive digital storytelling.
8. Crafting meaningful formative assessments.
9. Creating a plan to make the most of the technology you have in your school.
10. Workflow hacks to free up time to take care of yourself throughout the school year.




Here are ten fun things you do before after each workshop day:
1. Hike a stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
2. Fly fish for rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout in a blue-ribbon stretch of the Androscoggin River that runs through Bethel and the neighboring town of Gilead.
3. Adventure a little further north and explore the Rapid River and Pond in the River. The Pond and the River are the setting for the classic, We Took to the Woods.
4. Hit the links at the Bethel Inn & Resort, the host of this year’s Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.
5. Try the other award-winning course in the area at the Sunday River Resort in neighboring Newry.
6. Bring your mountain bike or rent one locally to explore the new trails that connect to the Bethel Inn & Resort.
7. Taste some of the local craft beer (Maine has more breweries per capita than all over states).
8. Paddle on one of the local lakes.
9. Look for moose early in the morning or at dusk along route 16 through Grafton Notch.
10. Just chill out and watch the sunset over beautiful western Maine.

There are just nine days left to register at the early bird rate.

Register now and save $50!