Thursday, February 6, 2020

Adobe Spark Adds a New Way to Manage Your Projects

Last year Adobe finally added a collaboration option to Adobe Spark. That enabled students to remotely work together on video projects and graphic design projects. Today, Adobe added a new feature that students who are working on group projects may benefit from using.

Today, Adobe announced the option to create and manage multiple brands within your Adobe Spark account. While this is clearly designed for business users, other users could benefit from this. With the new brands feature you can design and save graphics for quick re-use across multiple projects. Think of the brands like folders that contain graphics aligned to one theme.

Applications for Education
I see the brands feature being useful to those who are in charge of publishing school newsletters, social media updates, and website updates. You could have a template or graphic saved and ready to re-use whenever you're publishing. This would keep the school's communications looking consistent from update to update.

Google Publishes 15 Favorite Street View Images

Google Maps turned 15 today. To celebrate, Paddy Flynn (Vice President of Geo Data Operations at Google), published Street View's 15 Favorite Street Views. Notably, only one of the fifteen actually has a street in it! The rest are images of interesting places around the world and one is from space. My favorite of the fifteen is Horse around with us at Mongolia’s Lake Khövsgöl Ice Festival.

I've always found letting students explore Street View imagery is a fun way to get them to ask questions about places they've either never heard of and places that they have heard of but don't have a good understanding of.

If you're wondering how to embed Google Street View imagery into a blog post, watch this short video.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Short Lessons on Colds and Flu

Well it's that time of year when classrooms aren't full because kids have a cold or the flu. 25% of my students were out today. I've been running a fever all afternoon. The only upside to this for me is that I am reminded of a few short video lessons about colds and flu.

Colds, the Flu, and You is a video from SciShow Kids that is appropriate for elementary school classrooms.

How is a cold or flu passed from person to person and what exactly is it doing to your body? NPR answers those questions in the following animated video.

Did you get your flu shot this year? This TED-Ed lesson explains why you should get one every year.

Here's one more explanation of the difference between a cold and flu.

Two Ways to Create Your Own Online Memory Games

Last week I was asked if it's possible to use the MIT App Inventor to create a matching game. It certainly is. In fact, I have a student who is working on doing that right now. It's a great exercise through which she's learning about all of the variables and parts of the app that need to be designed. If you're a little more pressed for time than my student is and you just want to quickly generate some matching games for your students to play, there are easier methods than programming your own app.

Educandy is a game builder that I reviewed last fall. Since then a couple of more game templates have been added. One of those is a matching or memory game template. To use the template you simply provide a list of words or terms and Educandy does the rest. Your game will be assigned its own URL that you can distribute to your students.

Matching Game is one of the many Google Sheets templates that Flippity offers. Like all Flippity templates you can make a copy of the template, modify it by adding your own words or terms, and then clicking the activity URL provided by Flippity. Try a sample Flippity Matching Game here and get the template here.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Free Webinar - Three Steps to Encourage Technology Integration

Next Monday at 4pm ET I'm hosting a free webinar for tech coaches, instructional coaches, tech directors, and anyone else who is responsible for helping teachers use technology in their classrooms. The webinar is titled Three Easy Steps to Encourage Technology Integration.

In the webinar I'll layout my framework for helping teachers use technology in meaningful ways in their classrooms. I'll also provide some examples of how I've done it in the past and how you can replicate them in your school. Register through the form that is embedded below.

Yes, the webinar will be recorded. Directions for accessing the recording will be emailed to everyone who registers for the webinar.

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