Thursday, April 8, 2021

A Video Tour of 17th Century London in 3D

This morning I read a BBC article about the rediscovery of the oldest 3D map in Europe. The map is a roughly 5 x 6.5 foot slab of carved rock. Reading that article prompted me to start looking in my archives for collections of historical maps. While doing that I came across a video that I shared back in 2013. That video is an animated 3D tour of 17th Century London

Pudding Lane Productions created a three and one half minute video tour to show viewers what London may have looked like prior to the Great Fire. The tour is based upon historical drawings and maps that the Pudding Lane Productions team researched. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good supplement to lessons about British history to show students a slightly different perspective of an overview of London that they may have read about or seen drawings of in textbooks.

This video might also inspire some ambitious students to create their own historical video tours of other cities they're studying in history and geography classes. It's possible to do that with the tour creation tool that is built into Google Earth Pro.

On a related note, in A Crash Course on Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies I teach how to make tours in Google Earth and how to overlay historical maps onto current Google Earth imagery.

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

TeacherMade Adds More Features to Make Your Online Lessons Better

Disclosure: TeacherMade is an advertiser on

Back in September I wrote a lengthy piece about a new service called TeacherMade that was made by a teacher for teachers like you and me. Since then I’ve mentioned it in a few webinars and published a video about it. Every time I mention it I hear back from people saying how much they use it and love it! According to TeacherMade, more than 200,000 teachers have used it this year! 

TeacherMade continues to improve every month. In this post I’ll highlight some of the features of TeacherMade that are new since the last time I wrote about it.

What is Teachermade? 
Before jumping into what’s new with TeacherMade, let’s recap the core functions of the service.

You can use TeacherMade to turn your PDFs, Word docs, Google Docs, and pictures into online activities. And if you choose to make your activity a graded one, TeacherMade will automatically score responses for you. There are thirteen question or prompt formats that you can add to your TeacherMade activities. My favorite of those are the “Hotspots” and matching responses. Some of the other response types include typical multiple choice, true/false, and short answers. There’s also an option to have students respond to questions with fractions, mixed fractions, numbers, formulas, and Algebraic expressions.

My Favorite TeacherMade question types.
Hotspots allow you to have your students click on an image or document to identify things in response to your question. One example of this from my own classroom is having students click on an image of the inside of a computer to identify parts that I have listed. Another example, not from my classroom, is having students click on words in a document to identify parts of speech that are listed by their teacher.

The matching responses option in TeacherMade is my other favorite response type. I like using that option to have students match event names to sequences. For example, in my PC repair class students need to know the boot order of a Windows 10 computer. In a TeacherMade activity I can list the steps of the boot order then have students match them to their numbers 1-10. Literature teachers could use that approach for designing an activity in which students match excerpts of a novel to its place in the story arc.


New TeacherMade Features!
TeacherMade recently introduced a Pro version of their service. The Pro version is free to all registered users for the rest of this school year (ending July 1, 2021). TeacherMade Pro builds upon and enhances all of the core features of TeacherMade that I outlined above and in this blog post back in September.

Highlights of TeacherMade Pro include:
  • Audio recording.
  • New highlighter and drawing tools.
  • Annotating/ marking student responses.
  • Teacher/ Student feedback threads.
  • Integration with Learning Management Systems
  • Integration with Google Classroom
  • Integration with Canvas
  • Integration with Schoology

Of all of the new features available in TeacherMade Pro, the ones that I’m most excited about are audio recording, Google Classroom integration, and drawing/annotating student submissions.

Audio Recording in TeacherMade
The audio recording function in TeacherMade Pro enables you and your students to make short recordings directly inside of TeacherMade activities. You can use it to record yourself giving directions, clarifying comments, or even as a prompt for students to respond to. Students can use the audio recording function to respond to prompts in TeacherMade activities. For some students that will be a lot easier than writing responses or trying to click the correct response.

The new audio recording function in TeacherMade Pro opens up the possibility of having students in world language courses respond with audio that you can listen to and then provide with feedback.

LMS Integration
The Google Classroom integration, like the other LMS integrations, just makes life easier for teachers and students. It’s a lot easier to share an assignment directly to Google Classroom and have students access it from there than it is to direct them to yet another website that they have to use for your class. The Google Classroom integration also pulls-in your rosters so that you can quickly find your students’ TeacherMade activity submissions in TeacherMade and in Google Classroom.

Draw/ Annotate Submissions
The new option to draw/ annotate student submissions in TeacherMade is one that I can see myself using when looking at long answer responses to TeacherMade activities. For example, when looking at lines of code that students have written I’ll use the drawing tool to point to errors or places for improvement.

A complete list of all of the TeacherMade Pro features is available right here. Again, I’ll point out, the core features of TeacherMade that have been available to all users since the fall are not changing. The TeacherMade Pro is just an add-on that you can use now through July 1st and then will become a paid option.

There are more TeacherMade features in the works. You can see that list here. Some of the highlights are listed below.

New TeacherMade Pro features coming soon:
  • Audio uploads
  • Embedding videos
  • Timed activities
  • Clever integration
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams
  • Real-time student progress monitoring
  • Co-teacher access to activity scores
Finally, if you haven’t tried TeacherMade this year, give it go before the end of the school year. If you’re like me, you’re probably starting to think about end-of-year review activities before final exams. TeacherMade makes it easy to take some of your documents and diagrams from earlier in the year and build review activities on top of them. This video that I made in the fall shows you how to do that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Activities for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I forgot all about it until this morning when I looked at my video about using Google Jamboard to create magnetic poetry activities. That's just one of many resources for National Poetry Month that I have in my archive of resources. Here's a handful of my favorite activities and resources for National Poetry Month. 

Verse by Verse is an experimental AI project from Google. Verse by Verse lets you compose poems by combining lines from the works of famous poets. In other words, it's a poetry remix tool. To use it you simply visit the site and select three poets to inspire you. Then you write your own first line of a poem. Once you've written a line of your own Verse by Verse will suggest three lines from each of the three poets you originally selected. You can then include those lines in your new poem. Finished poems can be downloaded as text overlaid on an background image. 

Read Write Think used to host a great, interactive template to help students create theme poems. Unfortunately, that template was Flash-based and it no longer works. That said, the page it was hosted on still offers more than a dozen poetry lesson for use in K-8 classrooms

Make Beliefs Comix offers more than 700 writing prompt pages. All of the pages are designed to be printed and given to students to write on. Within that collection you will find a small collection of poetry pages. All the the printable poetry prompt pages include artwork designed to spark a student's imagination. Some of the artwork is in color and some is in black and white. A bonus of the black and white artwork is that you're essentially getting a coloring page and a poetry prompt in one package.

Poetry 180 is a Library of Congress project that was created when Billy Collins was the U.S. Poet Laureate. The purpose of the project is to provide high school teachers with poems for their students to read or hear throughout the school year. Collins selected the poems for Poetry 180 with high school students in mind. I didn't look at every poem in the list, but of dozen or so that I looked at, none would take more than a few minutes to read in a classroom. Speaking of reading in class, Collins encourages teachers to read the poems aloud or have students read the poems aloud. To that end, here's his advice on how to read a poem out loud.

There's a Poem for That is a series of twelve TED-Ed lessons featuring six famous works. The lessons include poems from from Frost, Shakespeare, Yeats, O'Keefe, Gibson, and Elhillo.

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

Handy Microsoft Forms Settings for Teachers

On Monday I shared a video that demonstrated how to use videos in quizzes created with Microsoft Forms. That video is one of four that I recently created to provide teachers with a comprehensive overview of how to create quizzes in Microsoft Forms and how students view quizzes in Microsoft Forms. The shortest video in that series is this one in which I provide an overview of sharing settings and question sequence settings in Microsoft Forms. 

Handy Microsoft Forms Settings for Teachers shows the following:

  • How to automatically collect student names.
    • Why you might not want to automatically collect student names. 
  • How to limit quiz attempts.
  • How to automatically shuffle question order. 
  • How to hide quiz results. 
  • How to customize quiz completion messages. 

Applications for Education
In case you didn't watch the video, the reason that I give for possibly not automatically collecting student names is to honor students' name preferences. For example, I have a student whose given name is a traditionally female name but prefers to be referred to with a traditionally male name. The school's student information system lists the student's given name and that is what would be automatically collected by the Microsoft Form if I used the automatic name collection option. 

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin , 711Web, and Today Headline.

A Handful of Jamboard Tutorial Videos

Last week I posted a video that contained a quick overview of five Jamboard features that are helpful to teachers and students. That was just the latest in a series of videos that I have made about Jamboard over the last couple of years. To learn more about Jamboard and how you might use it in your classroom, take a look at the following videos. 

I made this video a couple of years ago when many people thought that you had to own one of Google's physical Jamboard interactive whiteboards in order to use

How to Use Jambord & Screencastify to Make Whiteboard Videos

How to Make Whiteboard Videos With Loom & Jamboard

How to Use Jamboard in Google Meet
You can use Jamboard in Google Meet without having to share your whole screen. 

Making Magnetic Poetry With Jamboard and Google Classroom

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

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