Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Couple of Fun and Simple Map Games for Students of All Ages

Ian Fisher is a software engineer at Google. In addition to his work at Google he's developed a couple of fun map games. The games are How Many European Cities Can You Name? and How Many US Cities Can You Name?

Both of the games are played the same way. Simply open the game map and start typing the names of cities. When you enter a city it will appear on the map. The object is to name as many cities as you can without stopping. When you're done you'll see a list of the cities that you named and the populations of the five biggest cities and the five smallest cities that you named.

Applications for Education
What I like about these games is that there isn't a points system. It's simply a challenge for students to continue to recall the names of cities that they have learned about or at least heard about. For students who have heard of city but aren't sure where it is, the game shows them the location. And as a bonus, students don't need to register to play the games.

H/T to Maps Mania

Maps, Games, and SumoBots - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it's cold outside and quiet in my house. In other words, I'm up early before anyone else. It's a perfect time to drink coffee (black, dark roast) and write.

This week some of computer science students worked on programming SumoBots to do battle. While SumoBot kits provide a lot of documentation and directions there is a still a lot for students to figure out on their own. It has been a fun challenge so far.

A couple of weeks ago a reader reached out to me asking if I had any plans for a webinar about Google Earth. So this week I hosted Google Earth & Maps - It's More Than Social Studies. The recorded version of that webinar is now available here.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. topoView - View and Download Thousands of Historical Maps
2. How to Create Vocabulary Games on Educandy
3. The Globe of Extremes - An Interactive Map
4. Slido - Create and Run Polls Within Your Google Slides
5. How to Add Folders to Wakelet Collections
6. Educandy - Quickly Create Educational Games from Word Lists
7. How to Share Videos Through OneDrive

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
I'm already booking my 2020 workshop and conference schedule. This will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Click here to learn how to bring me to your school or conference.

On-demand PD
On I have seven professional development webinars available to view whenever you like.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Google Arts & Culture Presents "From a Picture to 1000 Stories"

Google Books turned 15 this week. To mark the occasion Google released an interactive book titled From a Picture to 1000 Stories. The interactive book is a part of the Google Arts & Culture Institute.

In From a Picture to 1000 Stories readers learn some fun facts about famous authors and their works. On the pages that have the facts about authors and their works you will find a set of images. Each of those images leads to a page of book recommendations based. The book recommendations pages lead directly to Google Books where you will find options for downloading and or purchasing the book. Overall, it's an interesting way to discover new books.

Google Books has been one of my favorite research tools for years. The new version of Google Books appears to be rolling out to more users all the time. In the following video I provide an overview of how to use the latest version of Google Books. Below that video you'll find an overview of the classic version of Google Books.

Make Long Google Docs Easier to Navigate With a Hyperlinked Outline

One of the "hidden" or frequently overlooked features of Google Documents is the built-in outline tool. The outline tool lets you create an outline that is hyperlinked to sections of your document. Any section that begins with header text or bolded font can be automatically added to the hyperlinked outline in your document. Watch the following video to see how this process is done.

Applications for Education
Creating an outline in this manner can be useful in long reference documents that you create or that your students create. The outline makes it easy to jump into any section at any time. This could be particularly useful when students are working on a collaborative document and want to jump right back to the section(s) they're responsible for. 

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode #14

This afternoon I recorded the fourteenth episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. The episode follows the same format as all of the other non-interview episodes. I shared some news and notes from the world of ed tech including a new Google Slides add-on and a fun game for physical education. The middle of the episode includes my thoughts and reflections from my classroom (spoiler, my students reminded me that I'm as old or older than their parents). The last part of the episode features my answers to questions from readers and listeners like you.

You can listen to episode 14 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast network.

The complete show notes can be found here.

You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks: