Friday, May 10, 2019

Lots of New Videos Added to One of My Favorite Alternatives to YouTube

Back in January I learned about a great alternative to YouTube called BoClips. BoClips offers millions of educational videos from well-known producers. In the last five months it has quickly become one of my top five alternatives to searching on YouTube for educational videos. This week BoClips announced the addition of more great video content.

BoClips now includes videos from PBS Digital Studios, Epic History TV, Smithsonian, and Nature League. The PBS Digital Studios content includes videos from It's Okay To Be Smart and many of the other popular PBS Digital Studios YouTube channels.

Watch the following short video to learn how you can find and share videos on BoClips.

Five Ways to Collect Registration Information for Summer Events

This time of year always feels exceptionally busy as the end of the school year nears while at the same time many of us are planning for summer activities like camps and summer enrichment programs. Automating or streamlining as many things as possible can make things feel a little less hectic. If you find yourself trying to plan a summer activity and need a good way to organize registration information, try one of the following methods.

1. Eventbrite

  • Eventbrite is an event ticketing service that you can use for free if you are not charging people for admission to the event. By having attendees register through Eventbrite you'll get a head count, a list of email addresses, and the attendees will be issued a ticket for the event. Eventbrite will let you set a cap on registrations too. You can embed your Eventbrite registration forms into an existing blog or website. EventBrite is the service that I am using for my Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp registrations. 
  • JotForm is a service that offers a lot of templates for creating event registration pages.Some of those features include the option to have personalized confirmation notices sent to registrants without the need for a third-party add-on, the option to collect signatures in forms, and the option to collect payments directly through your forms. Those features are all available in the free version of JotForms. 

  • SignUpGenius is a freemium service for creating event registration forms. The free version allows you to collect basic registration information. The free version will display a lot of advertising on your registration page and will not let you embed the registration form into your blog or website. 

4. Google Forms

  • You can use Google Forms to create an event registration page. By using the Google Forms add-on called FormLimiter you can impose a registration deadline. It is possible to issue tickets via email by using the Add-on called Certify'em with a certificate modified to be an event ticket. Watch my video here to learn how to use Certify'em.
  • Microsoft Forms is a solid option for creating registration pages for free events. Once you have the registration information collected, you can sort it in Excel. Take a look at this video for a tutorial on how to get started using Microsoft Forms. 

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.

Popular Posts