Friday, May 10, 2019

Woodrow Wilson's Mother's Day Proclamation and the History of Mother's Day

According to President Woodrow Wilson's proclamation in 1914, the second Sunday in May is Mother's Day in the United States. As the second Sunday in May is approaching, the U.S. National Archives recently featured President Wilson's proclamation in the daily documents feed. That document can be used as part of the Emergence of Modern America lessons produced by the National Archives.

Reading Woodrow Wilson's Mother's Day proclamation reminded me of a history of Mother's Day video that I shared a couple of years ago. That video is included below.

And here's a short lesson that explains why Mother's Day is written as "Mother's Day" and not "Mothers' Day."

Thursday, May 9, 2019

8 Options for Making Digital Maps

In yesterday's post about English Heritage's Map of Myth, Legend, and Folklore I included a mention of using StoryMap JS to create interactive maps. That prompted a response from Cindy Rudy who suggested the idea of using Thinglink or Google Earth to make similar maps of myths, legends, and folklore. That was my inspiration for this run-down of eight options for making digital maps.

Scribble Maps
Scribble Maps is a free service for making multimedia maps in your web browser on your laptop or tablet. You can use Scribble Maps without creating an account on the site. You can create a map by simply going to the site and clicking "create a map." Scribble Maps gives you a variety of base layer maps on which you can draw, highlight, and place multimedia markers. Watch my video for an overview of how easy it is to use Scribble Maps.

NatGeo MapMaker Interactive
National Geographic's MapMaker Interactive is another digital mapping tool that students can use without an email address or any kind of on-site registration. Just like on Scribble Maps students can choose from a variety of base layer maps to which they can add placemarkers that include videos and images. MapMaker Interactive also provides students with a selection of datasets that they can have displayed on their maps. View my video below to see an overview of how to use MapMaker Interactive.

Thinglink is a tool for adding interactive pinmarks to images and videos. You could use Thinglink to upload an image of a map and then add pinmarks to it. Those pinmarks can include text, videos, links to audio recordings, or images. A short overview of how to do that is included in the video below.

StoryMap JS
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, StoryMap JS is a free tool that you can use to create map-based stories. This is accomplished by matching slides to locations on a map. In the following video I demonstrate how to use StoryMap JS.

ESRI Story Maps
ESRI Story Maps is a free tool that you can use to create a variety of map-based stories. The basic ESRI Story Map lets you combine pictures and locations to playback as a series of slides. The learning curve is a bit steeper than the other tools in this list, but the finished product is quite slick. Here's a good example of an ESRI Story Map.

Google My Maps
My Maps is a free Google service for creating interactive maps that are similar in style to Google Maps. My Maps lets you add placemarkers that contain pictures and videos. Here's a set of videos detailing every part of using Google's My Maps.

Google Earth - Desktop Version
The desktop version of Google Earth provides one of the classic ways to create a multimedia map. Students can add pictures, text, and videos to the placemarkers in their Google Earth tours. And students can use the built-in recording tools to make tours that viewers can watch on their own. Here's a short overview of how to make a Google Earth tour.

VR Tour Creator
Google's VR Tour Creator lets anyone make a virtual reality tour that can be played back in your web browser and or in the Google Expeditions app. Don't limit use of VR Tour Creator to geography lessons. You can have students use it to make virtual reality book tours. Here's an introduction to using VR Tour Creator. And here's how you can use your VR Tour Creator tours in Google Expeditions.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Twelve Tools for Creating End-of-Year Review Activities

The sun is shining and I had my first flip-flops sighting of the year this morning. That means the end of the school year can't be too far away. This is a time when many of us will be looking to make end-of-the-year review activities to do with our students and activities students can do on their own. At this time every year for the last five years I've published a slideshow of tools for creating online games, video quizzes, multimedia flashcards, and interactive classroom activities to review the year's lessons. The latest version of that slideshow is embedded below. The slideshow includes a handful of video tutorials that are also available on my YouTube channel.

Give Video Feedback in the Otus LMS

Otus is a learning management system that I've watched evolve from a relatively simple iPad app into a full-fledged LMS that can be used on any device. When I first wrote about Otus in 2014 I wrote, "the possibilities for teachers using Otus seem limitless." This morning, thanks to an Otus Facebook post, I learned about another way to use Otus.

You can add video feedback to your students through the Otus learning management system. It's easy to do from any computer that has a webcam. In the following video I demonstrate how to add video feedback to your students' portfolios in the Otus LMS.

Applications for Education
Video feedback can feel a lot more personal to a student than just reading some comments that you have written in a document. While it might not be as efficient as using canned comments, giving video feedback on big projects can make students feel better about the feedback they're getting. Video feedback in Otus could also be used to just give students some encouragement.

An Interactive Map of English Myths and Legends

Thanks to the Maps Mania blog I just learned about English Heritage's Map of Myth, Legend, & Folklore. The interactive map feature a couple of dozen historical sites that under the care of English Heritage. As the name of the map implies, each of the sites on the map is basis for a myth or legend.

Click on one of the landmarks on the Map of Myth, Legend, & Folklore to read the legend connected to that landmark. When you select a landmark you will also be able to view images and a video about that landmark. An explanation of the source of legend or myth is included in the text about each landmark.

I used the map to learn a bit about Tintagel Castle. The castle is the landmark connected to the story of Tristan and Isolde who may have lived at Tintagel. My short version of the story is that Tristan was the dragon-slaying nephew of the king and Isolde was a woman from Ireland who had healing powers. Obviously, it's a myth but the English Heritage map does explain where and how the myth originated.

Applications for Education
The Map of Myth, Legend, & Folklore is a good example of using multimedia mapping to showcase a series of stories. Students could create their own myth, legend, and folklore maps for other countries and regions by using a tool like StoryMapJS. My StoryMapJS tutorial is included below.