Monday, March 8, 2021

5 Features of Google Advanced Search That Students Should Know How to Use

One of last week's most popular post was this one in which I explained how excluding words from search results helped my students get past a little roadblock in their quest to find plans for an Arduino car. Excluding words from search results is one of many features in Google's Advanced Search menu that students should know how to use. A couple of years ago I published this short video about other advanced search options that students should know how to use. 

In this video I demonstrate and explain why students should know how to use the following advanced search functions:
  • File type
  • Top level domain
  • Language
  • Region
  • Publication date

One of My Favorite Minute Physics Lessons

Flying is one of the things that I've missed a lot in the last year. I used to log more than 100,000 miles a year flying to speak at conferences and conduct in-person workshops at schools. (I hope to do that again whenever this pandemic ends). One of my favorite things to do at large airports like ATL, DTW, and LHR was to watch the really big planes like 747s, A350s, and A380s rumble down the runway before getting get airborne. I was reminded of this today when I stumbled upon a Minute Physics lesson that I shared a few years ago.

In Why Are Airplane Engines So Big? viewers can learn why jet engines have gotten larger over time, why they biggest engines don't always go on the biggest or fastest airplanes, and the basic principles of jet propulsion. The video briefly explains the mathematics involved in determining at which point an engine becomes too big or too small to be efficient. It is a fast-paced video so your students may need to watch it a couple of times to catch everything.



Back in 2015 privilege to fly on in A380 from Dallas to Sydney. The A380 is the largest commercial jet in the world. Two things stand out from that experience. First, as I saw the plane towering over the jetway in Dallas I couldn't help but be amazed at the engineering that makes it possible for something so large to fly across the Pacific in one shot.  Second, the flight itself was remarkably smooth. The explanation of how that jumbo plane can fly is found in a Minute Physics video that Airbus sponsored. How Do Airplanes Fly? explains the roles of wings, propellers, turbines, and wind currents in making a plane fly.



These videos could be the basis of a video science lesson. In this post I provided an overview of how to create video lessons with videos like those from Minute Physics.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps

Last week I held a webinar titled 5 Google Earth & Maps Projects for Social Studies. After the webinar I realized that there was a lot more that people wanted to know about using Google Earth and Google Maps in social studies lessons. That's why I put together a new on-demand course titled A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies

A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies contains more than two hours of instruction divided into eight self-paced modules. In addition to the nuts and bolts of how to use Google Earth some of the things you'll learn in this course include how to create virtual tours, how to map datasets, how layer maps and images for comparisons, and how students can collaborate on Google Earth projects. 



FAQs:
  • The cost for this course is $27. Registration fees from my Practical Ed Tech courses make it possible to keep FreeTech4Teachers.com and my free Practical Ed Tech newsletter going. 
  • This course is designed for teachers of grades 3-12 (ages 9 to 18). Who use Windows computers, Mac computers, or Chromebooks in their classrooms.
  • When you register you will have immediate access to all of the course modules for one year. You can go back through the modules as many times as you’d like during the year.
  • Group registration is available. Email richard (at) byrne.media to learn more.

Why Do Our Clocks Spring Forward Next Weekend?

It's almost that time of year when when most of us in the northern hemisphere have to move our clocks forward by one hour. I never liked moving my clocks forward in the spring before I had kids. And now as the tired dad of two little kids who don't like to sleep, I really don't like moving the clocks forward.  

If you or your students are wondering why we have to change our clocks next weekend, here are few short explanations.

Daylight Saving Time Explained

Daylight Saving Time 101



Daylight Saving Time Explained



TED-Ed has two lessons that aren't specifically about Daylight Saving Time but are related to the topic. First, The History of Keeping Time explains sundials, hourglasses, and the development of timezones. Second, How Did Trains Standardize Time in the United States? explains the role of railroads in the development of the timezones used in the United States (and most of Canada) today.



How to Quickly Find the Sum of a Spreadsheet Column

Right now some of my students are designing their own Arduino projects. I have money for them to spend on materials, but they have to stay within the budget allotted to them. I'm having them use Google Sheets to keep track of materials and budget. Last week I noticed one student tallying her materials cost by hand. I used that as a chance to show the class how to use the built-in sum function in Google Sheets to tally the value of a column. 

A few years ago I made a video about about using the sum function in Google Sheets. That video is embedded below.