Monday, September 28, 2020

Think Like a Coder - The Final Episode!

Last spring my freshmen class enjoyed TED-Ed's Think Like a Coder series of videos. The final episode of the series was released a few days ago. The last installment is called The World Machine. 

The World Machine follows the same format as the previous nine installments of Think Like a Coder. The episode features Ethic and Hedge using logic to solve some programming puzzles to unlock and collect artifacts. During the episode there are calls-to-action for students to try to apply their knowledge to the problems that Ethic and Hedge face. Watch the full episode right here


As I wrote last spring, my freshmen in Intro to Computer Science class loved these videos. I didn't think that they would so I didn't plan to show them. Then we had a day that wrapped up a little early so I put one on just to see how they'd react, they really liked them and ended up calling out how they would have solved the problems in the episodes. I plan to use these videos again a little later this year with my new group of freshmen.

MoocNote - Add Quizzes to Existing Videos

MoocNote is a free service that I've written about a few times in the past as a tool for collaborative note-taking while watching a video. It is a good service for doing that. Recently, MoocNote expanded to offer tools for adding quiz questions to videos. You can now use MoocNote to add multiple choice, true/false, multiple selection, and fill-in-the-blank questions to the timeline of any video that you find on YouTube (premium users can import their own videos as well). 

Adding questions into the timeline of a video in MoocNote is fairly straight-forward once you know where to find the question icon (see this video for an explanation). You can add as many questions as you like to the timeline of a video. One nice feature is that you can have your questions be active or inactive and toggle between the two settings. That could be nice if you want to show the video without interruptions to one class but then use it with a different class in which students will be required to answer questions online. 


The other recent update to MoocNote that some teachers will appreciate is that it is now possible to share MoocNote lessons with students who don't have email addresses. You can now give students a link to the lesson and a pin that they have to enter to access the lesson. See this video for an explanation. 


The obvious comparison for MoocNote is EDpuzzle. MoocNote doesn't have as many reporting functions as EDpuzzle. On the other hand, the initial set-up for using MoocNote is a little simpler and getting students into it is easy. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

ICYMI - Episode 20 - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff

Every Thursday at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT I join Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning for a free webinar in which we answer questions from readers and viewers. We also feature a couple of cool/ interesting things we've found on the web during the week. And in the process of answering questions we often share even more cool stuff. If you missed our latest episode you can watch the recording and see a list of featured resources right here. And while you're there check out Rushton's other webinar series called Activities Across Grade Levels

 

Register here to join us for the next episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Week in Review - Trolls, Jam, and YouTube

 

Good morning from Maine where I'm waiting for the sunrise on what is supposed to be another gorgeous fall day. I'm planning to play outside with my family and go for a bike ride. I hope that you have something fun planned for the weekend as well. 

This week I once again joined Rushton Hurley to host a webinar. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Next week I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar about making instructional videos. You can register for that one right here

As I do every Saturday, I've compiled a list of the most read posts of the last week. Take a look and see if there's something interesting that you missed earlier this week. 

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Google Adds Another Control for Teachers Using Google Meet
2. Five Zoom Features You Need to Know
3. Jamboard is Now Integrated Into Google Meet
4. The Google Science Journal App is Now the Arduino Science Journal
5. TeacherMade - Quickly Create & Share a Variety of Online Activities
6. Using YouTube to Share Lessons This Fall? - Settings and Tools You Need to Know About
7. Spot the Troll - Can You Spot Fake Social Media Accounts?

Friday, September 25, 2020

Rank Country - Explore Mapped Demographic Data and More

 

Rank Country is a website that features datasets about education, healthcare, infrastructure, tourism, weather, and dozens of other topics. It is easy to browse the Rank Country data maps. Simply head to the site and open the "browse" menu in the upper, left corner of the page. That menu will reveal all of the data categories. Clicking on a category will reveal all of the datasets available within the category. Once you've selected a dataset it will appear on the map. Clicking on the map will reveal more information about the data as it relates to that location.

From my review of the sources that the Rank Country uses it appears that the bulk of the datasets come from The World Bank rankings. In some cases you'd be served just as well by heading directly to The World Bank's Open Data website. 

One curious aspect of Rank Country that might be worth noting is that the site doesn't contain any information about who built it or owns it. I performed a WHOIS look-up on the site and found that it is registered to company called Lil Robots whose website refers to them as "multi-channel marketers." 

Applications for Education
I generally find sites like Rank Country to be useful in helping students make connections between the names of countries that they're reading about and where those countries actually are in the world. These kind of sites can also be helpful in starting discussions about regions and or groups of countries. Beyond the geography of the countries a site like Rank Country can be helpful in getting students to make comparisons of countries based upon a particular set of economic or social data parameters.

H/T to Larry Ferlazzo