Tuesday, March 16, 2021

PayGrade.io Now Offers Google SSO

PayGrade is a classroom economy simulation that you can use all year. As I wrote last year, unlike some mock economy activities PayGrade can be used in just about any classroom setting. Recently, PayGrade added the option to use your school-issued Google account to sign into PayGrade. This should make it easier for more teachers and students to participate in classroom economy simulations. 

How PayGrade Works
Last year I wrote this detailed overview of how PayGrade works. The following is a condensed version of that overview. 

PayGrade lets you create an online classroom space in which students have to complete jobs to earn virtual currency. PayGrade offers a list of jobs that you can assign to your students or you can create your own jobs for students to complete. Some of the default job listings that you'll find listed in PayGrade are secretary, conservationist, and technology assistant. The rate of pay for each job is something that you can choose.

At the end of each week in PayGrade your students get paid in virtual currency that they can redeem for various rewards of their choosing. Students also have the option to just bank their virtual currency for use at a later date.

PayGrade isn't just a simple "students do jobs, students get rewards" system. That is because students have to pay bills from their virtual paychecks before they can spend their currency for things that they want.

Webinar Recording - Copyright & Creative Commons for K-12 Educators

Yesterday afternoon I hosted a free webinar titled Copyright & Creative Commons for K-12 Educators. The recording of the webinar is now available to view here on my YouTube channel. The recording is also embedded below. 




Here's a list of the resources that I included in the webinar:
Lessons from the $9.2 million copyright judgment against Houston ISD

Crash Course Intellectual Property

Measuring Fair Use

Seven Free Tools for Helping Students Cite Their Work

Copyright & Creativity - Lesson Plans

Common Sense Education - Lesson Plans

Read Write Think - The Debate Over Downloading Music - Lesson Plan

C-Span Classroom - The Role of Congress in Music Licensing

US Copyright Office statements on Fair Use

Stanford University Libraries’ Copyright and Fair Use Charts

Kathy Schrock’s Respect for Intellectual Property

Just for fun I'm including this little note: 
There's a website called Cloud Computin' that has been stealing my work for years and won't comply with DMCA take-down requests. Let's see if they republish this post while completely missing the irony of doing so. I bet they do! Additionally, their hosting service, Name Cheap won't comply with DMCA take-down notices. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

City Guesser 2.0 - Guess City Locations from Video Clips

For years City Guesser has been a popular geography game in which players have to guess the identity and location of a city based on Google Street View imagery. The new version of City Guesser replaces Google Street View imagery with street level video clips. 

In City Guesser 2.0 players are shown video clips (silent or with background noise) and have to guess the location of the city they're seeing. After each guess players are shown how close or far their guesses were from the actual city location. It's a simple game while also being a challenging game.  

City Guesser 2.0 offers games based on cities of the whole world and landmarks of the whole world. There are also country-specific versions of the game for the United States, Canada, Russia, England, France, Japan, India, Brazil, Australia, and Argentina. Additionally, there is a version of the game covering all of Asia and a version covering all of Europe.  


Applications for Education
Some of the prompts in City Guesser are easier than others, but none are actually easy. To guess correctly players need to study the videos for little clues that tip-off the location. When students guess and discover the correct answers they may become curious about what they’re seeing. I've had this happen with students and adults when using previous version of City Guesser. They'll start investigating the clues in the imagery in detail and ask questions like “what is the language on that billboard?”

Four Short Lessons About the Arrival of Spring

The snow is melting, the sun is shining a bit longer, and we're starting to see and hear more birds around our house. Those are all sure signs that spring is on the horizon here in Maine. On that note, here are some short lessons about the arrival of spring. 

Why do birds sing? And how do they learn the songs that they sing? The answers to those questions and more are revealed in a TED-Ed Lesson titled How Do Birds Learn to Sing?



After learning how birds learn to sing, have your students explore The Wall of Birds interactive mural produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The mural features a variety of birds that when clicked on reveal information about that bird, audio of that bird's call, and a map of that bird's natural range.



Why do we have seasons? What causes the changes in weather patterns throughout the seasons? The answers to those questions and more are found in the following SciShow Kids video and Crash Course Kids video.




All of these videos are great candidates for use in an EDPuzzle lesson. Here's an overview of how to use EDpuzzle to turn existing videos into lessons of your own. 

Create Infinitely Recurring Zoom Meetings

Last week one of my colleagues asked me for help setting up some Zoom meetings. He needed to hold a series of meetings that were not going to be held at the same time each day. He could have set a series of individual meetings. That would have required students to have a different link for each meeting. The solution that I proposed to him was to create a recurring meeting without setting a schedule. 

In Zoom you can create recurring meetings without specifying a date and time for each instance of the meeting. By doing this you can give meeting attendees one link that can be used every time they join the meeting regardless of when the meeting is actually held. This also avoids the 50 occurrences limit that Zoom imposes when you schedule recurring meetings that have dates attached to them. The only downside to scheduling recurring meetings without a specific date and time is that you'll have to notify and remind your meeting attendees every time you want them to join the recurring meeting. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to create recurring Zoom meetings without having to create a specific schedule of dates and times.