Monday, June 24, 2019

Two Lessons About Invasive Species and the Threats They Pose

My favorite bike training ride goes through a portion of the White Mountains National Forest on the Maine-New Hampshire border. As you enter the forest you'll see reminders about not bringing in firewood from outside of the area. The reason for the reminders is to prevent the spread of invasive insects that can damage the ecosystem. As is explained in this new National Geographic 101 video, invasive insects, plants, fish, and other animals can all wreak havoc on an ecosystem.

Last year TED-Ed published a lesson about invasive species. The Threat of Invasive Species explains the problems caused when plants and animals are introduced to non-native habitats. The lesson explains how plants and animals get introduced to new environments, what happens when they are introduced to those environments, and what some governments do to try to control invasive species.

Book Creator Adds New "Magic Ink" and Autodraw Tools for Making eBooks

Book Creator, the massively popular ebook creation tool, has added a new set of drawing tools. A couple of the highlights of the new drawing tools are Magic Ink and Autodraw. Magic Ink is a feature that will enable students to fill the pages of their Book Creator with chalk-like drawings as well as fill drawings with tie-dye style coloring.

Autodraw is a new Book Creator feature that appears to be made for people like me who are not blessed with the ability to draw much more than a stick figure. Autodraw will let people like me start sketching an object and then have it automatically completed in a much clearer form. To use this feature just start drawing on a page in Book Creator and it will try to predict what you're drawing. Book Creator will give you a selection of suggested drawings that you can insert in place of what you have attempted to draw.

Learn more about Magic Ink and Autodraw by reading Book Creator's announcement or by watching the video below.

Applications for Education
Book Creator's Autodraw feature could remove some of the frustration that students feel when trying to illustrate pages in their ebooks.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

How to Use the Math Manipulatives in SeeSaw

Just in time for the annual ISTE conference SeeSaw introduced a handful of new tools for students to use in the creation of their digital portfolios. One of those new tools is a whiteboard interface onto which students can drag and drop math manipulatives. Students can use freehand drawing tools along with the manipulatives to demonstrate how to solve mathematics problems. In the following video I demonstrate how students can use the new math tools within SeeSaw.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Immersive Reader, Carmen Sandiego, and Fire Alarms - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where it was a beautiful summer day. It was perfect for playing outside and that's exactly what we did. I hope that you were able to do something fun today too.

This week I had the privilege to spend two days with tech coaches and teachers in the Portsmouth, Virginia school district. It was great to see so many teachers (nearly 200) come in for an optional professional development day. For me the first day started out a little earlier than I expected when the fire alarm went off in my hotel at 4:30am. There's nothing like having to evacuate a hotel first thing in the morning to get your blood flowing. Fortunately, it was just a faulty sensor that triggered the alarm.

As you look through this week's most popular posts you may notice that they all feature updates to some of the most popular educational technology services and tools. That's because next week is the annual ISTE conference where all of the big companies will have their latest developments on display. I won't be attending this year, but I am bombarded with press releases from the companies that will be there. I'll be sure to pass along the updates that I find most interesting throughout the week.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Immersive Reader is Being Added to Microsoft Forms
2. The Third "Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego?" Game is Now Available
3. Create Rubrics in Google Classroom - Coming Soon!
4. Kahoot Adds New Game Creation Options
5. 5 New SeeSaw Features for Teachers and Students Creating Digital Portfolios
6. How to Automatically Caption and Translate PowerPoint Presentations
7. Adobe Spark Now Has a Collaboration Option

Thank You for Your Support!

How to Make Digital Collages in SeeSaw

Yesterday, I shared five highlights from SeeSaw's update in advance of next week's ISTE conference. One of those highlights is a new drag-and-drop digital collage creation tool. Students can use the new collage tool with pictures, text, speech and thought bubbles, drawings, and digital stickers. Students can also use SeeSaw to record themselves talking about the elements of their collages. In the following video I demonstrate how to use the digital collage tools in SeeSaw.