Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ten Handy Google Keep Features for Teachers and Students

Google Keep is a great tool that students and teachers can access through G Suite for Education and through Gmail. Google Keep works just as well in the Chrome web browser as in the mobile apps. There are many some obvious features of Google Keep, like bookmarking, and there are some "hidden" features that are also good to know about, like annotating images. In the following video I demonstrate ten handy features of Google Keep.


Ten Google Keep Features Demonstrated in the Video:
1. Bookmarking
2. To do lists
3. Sharing notes and bookmarks
4. Date and time reminders
5. Location-based reminders
6. Drawing notes
7. Annotating images
8. Sending notes to Google Docs
9. Using note labels and searching notes
10. Color-coding notes

What's the Fastest Tire Pressure? - A Science Lesson

Global Cycling Network is a popular YouTube channel that produces high-quality videos about all aspects of bicycle riding. The videos are hosted by retired professional cyclists. The topics covered by GCN range from basics like picking a proper helmet to more nuanced topics like finding the tire pressure that will make you fastest on your bicycle. That's the topic covered in this GCN video featuring Emma Pooley, a retired professional cyclist who also holds a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering.

In What's the Fastest Tyre Pressure? Emma Pooley does some road testing of tire pressures before then heading into the classroom to explain the physics factors that influence the speed.


Applications for Education
Before showing this video to your students they could do some of their own testing of tire pressure on bicycles. Have them make some hypotheses about which tire pressure will be the fastest on their own bicycles. Or if your school is one that has bicycles available in the physical education department, make this experiment an outdoor activity during the school day.

The video could also be useful in demonstrating to students the many variables that must be accounted for when conducting an experiment. For example, in the first few minutes of the video there are many opportunities for students to identify variables that could affect the outcome of the experiment.

Quik - Quickly Create Audio Slideshow Videos

Quik is a free app from GoPro for quickly creating videos on your Android or iOS phone or tablet. With the app installed on you can import pictures and videos that you have stored on your phone, in Google Photos, or in a GoPro Plus account. After you've selected a few pictures or video clips Quik then generates a video that combines those selected pictures and video clips. Quik automatically adds music and applies image effects to the video. You can change the automatically added music and image effects by simply selecting a different theme from Quik's menu of video themes. Watch my video that is embedded below for a demonstration of the Quik app. Get the Android version here and the get the iOS version here.


Applications for Education
Quik could be a good app for students to use to quickly create a video of highlights of a field trip, to showcase some highlights from a group project, or to simply make a little autobiographical video to share with friends and family.

It should be noted that Quik is also available as desktop software for Mac and Windows. The desktop version offers more features than the mobile version.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

See What's Behind Any Webpage With Mozilla's X-Ray Goggles

One of the topics that we talked about during the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp was digital literacy and critical thinking. To that end, I presented Mozilla's X-Ray Goggles as a tool that can be used to create a modified version of real news story from legitimate sources. Mozilla's X-Ray Goggles lets you see the code behind any web page and change that code to display anything that you want in place of the original text and images. After you have made the changes you can publish a local copy of the web page.

Watch the following video that I created to learn how to use Mozilla's X-Ray Goggles.



Applications for Education
Mozilla's X-Ray Goggles provides a good way for students to see how the code of a webpage works.

As I mentioned in the video, you could use X-Ray Goggles to alter an article on the web to make it a satire story. Then print the page and give it to your students to try to identify the satire elements of the story.

Find and Share National Parks Stories

A buffalo I saw while hiking in
Grand Teton in 2006.
Find Your Park is a U.S. National Parks service website. The purpose of the site is to help people discover the National Parks near them and the activities they can enjoy in the parks.  To that end, Find Your Park offers tools for finding parks according to location and or activity type. You can search for a park or public land by name, location, or activity. When you select a park from the search results, you can dive into more information about that park.

If you do visit one of the parks, Find Your Park encourages you to share your pictures and stories of the experience. You can do that by uploading your pictures and stories directly to the Share Your Experience section of the Find Your Park website.

Applications for Education
As the weather warms and you start to think about outdoor activities for your children or your students, take a look at Find Your Park. Find Your Park could help you discover educational programs happening in a national park near you.