Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How to Create a Multimedia Timeline Through Google Sheets

Timeline JS is one of my all-time favorite tools for use in history classes. It is always at the top of my list of tools for creating timelines. Timeline JS allows you to create a Google Sheet that then becomes a multimedia timeline. In your Google Sheet you can add links to pictures, maps, videos, and audio files. Of course, there is also plenty of space for writing in the timeline.

Five years ago I published a video tutorial on how to use Timeline JS. While that video is still good, there have been a few changes to Timeline JS over the last five years. Therefore, I created a new tutorial on how to use Timeline JS to create a multimedia timeline. That tutorial is embedded below.


Applications for Education
The obvious aspect of Timeline JS is the ability for students to create multimedia timelines to publish online. The thing that I often have to point out about Timeline JS is that because it does rely on Google Sheets, it can be a collaborative creation tool. Have one student start the spreadsheet then share it with his or her classmates. Similarly, you could start a timeline template for your students then distribute it as an assignment through Google Classroom.

Monday, November 11, 2019

It's Official! Google Slides Will Have Native Audio Support by End of November

Last night I published a post in which I speculated that Google is rolling out the "insert audio" feature to more G Suite accounts. This afternoon my speculation became reality when Google announced that all G Suite accounts will have the option to insert audio into Google Slides by the end of November. Read Google's statement here.

If you haven't seen the "insert audio" feature, watch my short video that is embedded below for a demonstration.



And if you're looking for a quick and easy way to record audio, try the new version of Vocaroo that I demonstrate in the following video.

More Than 30,000 Historical Maps for Student Projects

This morning I was looking for a historical map of Mount Vernon to overlay onto Google Earth imagery. (I'm publishing a video about that later this week). I was able to find exactly what I was looking for in the historical map collection available through the Library of Congress. LOC's online historical map collection has nearly 38,000 items for visitors to view. Many of the maps are in the public domain or have Creative Commons licenses. You can browse and search for maps in the collection according to date, location, subject, language, collection, and contributor.

Applications for Education
Historical maps can provide students with perspective on how physical and political landscapes have changed over time. Putting historical and current maps side-by-side is one of the easiest ways for students to see and make comparisons. Layering historical maps on top of current maps is another good way to do that. Google Earth makes layering maps possible.

Now You Can Use Vocaroo Without Flash

For more than a decade I've used Vocaroo.com whenever I've needed to quickly create an audio recording. The one complaint it about was that it required the use of Flash. And with Flash being deprecated in 2020 it looked like Vocaroo wouldn't be in my toolbox any longer. That changed when I noticed that Vocaroo has a new version that doesn't require Flash. The new version is in beta and can be used at beta.vocaroo.com.

The beta version of Vocaroo works the same way as the classic version just without the annoying step of enabling Flash. As you can see in my demo below, just go to the site and click record to start recording your audio. When you're done recording you can download an MP3 or embed your recording into a webpage.


Applications for Education
One of the ways that I've used Vocaroo over the years is for recording substitute teacher plans. I simply record my directions for the day and then post them either on my classroom blog or in Google Classroom.

Fling the Teacher! - A Fun Review Game from Classtools

Russel Tarr recently added a new game template to the toolbox available on Classtools.net. The new game is called Fling the Teacher. Fling the Teacher lets students fling or slingshot their teachers across the screen for up to sixty seconds after they correctly answer fifteen consecutive multiple choice questions. Try it for yourself with this demo game.

You can create your own Fling the Teacher game by simply going to Classtools.net and then choosing the Fling the Teacher template. You'll then have the option to click "create your own" (bottom, left corner of the screen) where you can write your own questions and answer choices. Classtools will automatically shuffle answer choices when the questions are presented to students.

Your complete Fling the Teacher game will be assigned a unique URL for you to give to your students. Classtools will also generate a QR code and an embed code for you to use. Fling the Teacher games can be played on computers, tablets, and phones.

Applications for Education
Fling the Teacher could provide students with a fun reward for successfully completing a review quiz. Of course, you could also have your students make their own review games with the Fling the Teacher template.