Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Make Multimedia Mind Maps in Padlet

A few weeks ago I published a list of fifteen tools for creating mind maps and flowcharts. Padlet was one of the tools that I mentioned in that list. Since then Padlet's user interface was updated. The update makes it even easier than before to create a mind map or flowchart in Padlet. In this new video I demonstrate how it works. 




Applications for Education
Padlet's canvas format (demonstrated in video above) and capacity for inclusion of videos, text, hyperlinks, images, and audio recordings make it a great tool for students to use to show connections between resources that they've found in the course of conducting online research. It's also a good tool for simply creating text notes that are connected around a central idea.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Five Places to Find Dozens of Constitution Day Lessons

This Friday is Constitution Day in the United States. According to federal law all schools that receive federal funding have to teach some type of lesson about the Constitution on this day. C-SPAN, DocsTeach, and the National Constitution Center all offer either lesson plans or resources for building your own Constitution Day lesson plans.

Constitution Day Lesson Plans from C-SPAN Classroom
C-SPAN Classroom offers free lesson plans and Bell Ringers (discussion prompts) that were either designed for Constitution Day or can be used to meet the requirements of Constitution Day. All of the lesson plans incorporate short video clips addressing topics like enumerated and implied powers of Congress, interpretation of the Constitution, and checks and balances. You can find all of the lesson plans and additional resources in this Google Doc.

Constitution Hall Pass
The National Constitution Center offers an online program called the Constitution Hall Pass. The Constitution Hall Pass is a series of videos mostly featuring scholars discussing elements of the Constitution and issues relating to it. There are also a few "discussion starter" videos that are intended to get students thinking about how the Constitution can have a direct impact on their lives. I know from experience that this Freedom of Expression video and accompanying questions will get high school students talking.

Interactive Constitution
The Constitution Center's website features the U.S. Constitution divided into easily searchable sections. From the main page you can select and jump to a specific article or amendment. What I really like about the site is that you can choose an issue like privacy, civil rights, or health care and see how those issues are connected to the Constitution. 

DocsTeach
DocsTeach is a National Archives website that all middle school and high school U.S. History teachers should have in their bookmarks. DocsTeach lets you build online activities based upon curated collections of primary source documents. DocsTeach also provides some pre-made activities that you can give to your students. DocsTeach has twenty pre-made Constitution Day activities that you can use today. An additional 166 documents and artifacts about the Constitution can be found through a quick search on DocsTeach.

TED-Ed Lessons
TED-Ed offers a bunch of lessons that are appropriate for Constitution Day. Those lessons are linked below.

The Making of the American Constitution.



Why is the US Constitution So Hard to Amend?



Why Wasn't the Bill of Rights Originally Included in the US Constitution?



How is Power Divided in the US Government?



A 3-Minute Guide to the Bill of Rights


How do Executive Orders Work?



What You Might Not Know About the Declaration of Independence

Webinar This Thursday - Search Strategies Students Need to Know

This Thursday at 4pm ET I'm hosting the new version of my most popular Practical Ed Tech webinar, Search Strategies Students Need to Know

The updated version of this webinar includes new handouts for you and your students. These include templates for formulating lessons to teach search strategies and templates for students to follow when conducting online research. 

Other highlights of the webinar include alternatives to Google search (and why students should try them), how to build your own school-safe search engine (great for K-5 teachers), and tools and tips for helping students organize their research findings. 

This is a live webinar and there will be time for Q&A. The webinar will be recorded for those who register in advance but cannot attend the live session. Register here!

A Simple Trick to Make Audio Editing Easier

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I featured five podcasting tips for students and teachers. One of those tips was to "clap and pause." That tip is demonstrated in the short video that is embedded below. 

Editing an audio recording is much easier if you make a loud clap before a brief pause and then begin speaking. The same is true if you need to pause while recording. That clap will be easy to hear and will be easy to see in audio editing tools. In audio editing tools like Audacity and GarageBand that clap and pause will be identified by a big visual spike followed by a steep drop. You won’t need to listen through the whole recording to find the places you need to edit because you’ll see them in the audio editor.

How to Find Image Metadata

Behind every digital image that you capture there is a bunch of information that isn't visible to the naked eye. That information is called metadata and it includes information like when and where the image was taken, what kind of camera was used, and the original size and color scheme of the image. Much of that information is passed along when the image is published online. 

Image metadata can be used as part of the process to solve a research challenge. For example, in this video I demonstrate how to use image metadata to discover what used to standing where I took the picture that is posted below. 




The tool that I demonstrated in the video above is called Jeffrey Friedl's Image Metadata Viewer

On Thursday I'm hosting a webinar all about teaching search strategies. The use of image metadata is one of the topics I'll be covering in more depth during the webinar. You can register for it right here