Thursday, December 19, 2019

Spend July in Washington DC as a C-SPAN Fellow

Every year C-SPAN hosts an educators' conference and hosts a summer fellowship program. A friend of mine was selected for the conference a couple of years ago and he said it was an amazing experience! Both the fellowship program and the conference are held at C-SPAN's headquarters in Washington D.C.

C-SPAN's Summer Fellowship program is now open for applications. Those who are accepted into the program will spend four weeks in July in Washington D.C. working with C-SPAN's education team. Participants receive a $7,000 stipend for their participation in the program. More details about the summer fellowship program are available here. Applications are due by March 13, 2020.

C-SPAN's Summer Educators' Conference is held July 27th and 28th for middle school teachers and July 30th and 31st for high school teachers. Those who are accepted to participate will have travel and meal expenses paid for by C-SPAN. Applications for the summer conferences will be available in January. Bookmark this page and check it in January to get the application.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

How to Create a Video With Canva

In last week's episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast I mentioned that Canva has planned lots of new features. One of those new features is the option to turn your graphic designs into videos. For example, you can take a set of slides design in Canva and turn them into a video with just one click. In the following video I demonstrate how that works.


Canva also recently announced that teachers can get Canva Pro for free with their school-issued email accounts. At the end of the video I explain how to get Canva Pro for free for you and your students.

Dozens of Outline Maps You Can Print for Free

Even with tools like Google Earth and Google Map there is still a need for students to learn some basics of where things are in the world lest they think that Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon are near each other. To that end, a classic geography activity has kids labeling blank outline maps. You could make these maps yourself by using the Google Slides method that Tony Vincent demonstrated last week or you could just visit PrintableWorldMap.net to find what you need.

On Printable World Map you'll find dozens of maps that you can download as PDFs for free. Included in that collection are blank world maps, continent maps, region maps, and country maps. There are also some county maps for the United States.

To download PDFs from Printable World Map you will have to click through two screens to get the map that you want. On those screens you'll see advertising for purchasing all of the maps in one bundle rather than downloading them individually.

By the way, I chose the example of Portland, Maine versus Portland, Oregon because a friend who is a commercial pilot says that you'd be surprised how many people turn up in Portland, Maine thinking they were going to Portland, Oregon.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

How to Disable and Remove Chrome Extensions - And Why You Should

I try a ton of Chrome extensions every year. In fact, I try so many that I sometimes look in my Chrome settings and wonder, "why do I still have that extension?" That's not a good habit because I really should be uninstalling the ones that I don't need. You should do the same.

The reason that we should uninstall the Chrome extensions that we don't need is that doing so removes the opportunity for a long forgotten extension to either slow the browser or have a security vulnerability or both.

In the following video I demonstrate how to disable and remove Chrome extensions.

The History of Comic Art

The Library of Congress currently has an exhibit on display called Comic Art - 120 Years of Panels and Pages. The exhibit is both a physical exhibit and an online exhibit.

Comic Art - 120 Years of Panels and Pages has five sections. Those sections are Early Years, Mid-Twentieth Century, Late Twentieth Century, Web Comics, and Comic Books and Beyond! Each section has a small collection of comics on display. Each item on display is accompanied by short explanations of what is displayed and why it is noteworthy.

Applications for Education
What I find interesting about this exhibit is the evolution of comics from the late 19th Century through the early 21st Century. The evolution of comics could make for an interesting investigation into changes in the art form as well as changes in audience perception of comics.

Perhaps it's the history teacher in me, but I actually enjoyed the early comics more than the modern examples. Speaking of history, last fall the National Archives hosted a webinar about teaching with political cartoons. That webinar recording is available here.