Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Good Source of Last-minute Halloween Games

I mentioned this in the list of Halloween-themed resources that I shared a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be worth reminding you that Kahoot has a huge gallery of Halloween-themed games. You can find those games by clicking the "Discover" tab in your Kahoot dashboard and then entering the search term "Halloween" or "Halloween Trivia." You can then preview the games before you play them with your students. The games can also be duplicated and edited in your Kahoot account. I'll often find a game in Kahoot and then remove a few questions and add my own. 

On my Practical Ed Tech Instagram account I shared this short video demonstration of how to find Halloween games in Kahoot. 

The Living Atlas of the World

The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is a collection of thousands of online, interactive maps representing all kinds of data. The contents of the collection range from relatively simple displays of historical map imagery to complex, displays of data updated nearly live. For example, this map displays active hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. Another good example is this map that displays current air quality conditions around the world

All of the maps in the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World include links to the sources of the data displayed, a description of the data, and an update date. Additionally, some maps include a glossary of terms and links to lessons for learning about mapping data with ArcGIS. For example, the air quality map mentioned above includes a link to this lesson plan about mapping data in realtime

You can browse and search the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World according to content type, creation and update date, and regions of the world. Additionally, there is an option to limit research results to only content produced by ESRI (the makers of ArcGIS) and content that is labeled as "authoritative only."


Applications for Education
The ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World can be a great place to find examples of mapped data sets to use in your lessons. The real-time nature of many of the maps can be used to have students analyze and form predictions. Of course, it's always helpful to have a resource that shows students where in the world the events and patterns they're reading about are happening.

Here's my video overview of The Living Atlas of the World. 

An Easy Way to Remove Things from Pictures

CleanUp.Pictures is a new online tool for quickly editing your pictures. With CleanUp.Pictures you can selectively remove objects and imperfections from your pictures. You can also use it to blur faces in your pictures. To use CleanUp.Pictures all that you need to do is go to the site, upload the picture you want to edit, then use the marker tool to select the objects and imperfections that you want to remove. Watch the short demo below to see how it works. 



Applications for Education
CleanUp.Pictures could prove to be a handy tool for teachers or administrators who want to share pictures of school events, but want to make sure that faces of people who don't want to be in public pictures are blurred. It's also handy for removing other identifying information that might have been accidentally captured in a picture.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

How to Share Specific Google Earth Views and Turn Them Into Assignments

Google Earth has a lot of great little features that sometimes get overlooked. One of those features is the ability to share a specific location and view of that location. In fact, you can share a specific location and view directly into your Google Classroom. When you share it you can share it as an announcement or as an assignment.

In this short video I demonstrate how to share a specific Google Earth location and view in Google Classroom. The second half of the video demonstrates how to create an assignment based on the view that you're sharing. 




My self-paced course, A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies covers many more great ways to use Google Earth in your classroom.

Unfolding History - A New Library of Congress Blog

 

The Library of Congress has started a new blog called Unfolding History. The blog is written by the staff of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The purpose is to highlight interesting manuscripts and their backstories or greater historical context.

The first Unfolding History blog post features a couple of 1972 documents from Nixon's CREEP (Committee to Re-elect the President). In the blog post you can read the orginal documents (you can also download them for free) and learn a bit of the context of them. In this case we learn how the CREEP responded to Vice-Presidential candidate Sargent Shriver's comments unfavorably likening President Nixon and his allies to a football team.  


Applications for Education

Reading the first entry in Unfolding History sent me down a rabbit hole of reading about some of the people mentioned in the manuscripts. It also got me thinking about how I might incorporate the manuscripts into a classroom discussion. In this case, there were two things that I'd focus on with my students. First, I'd ask them if the stereotype of the "big, dumb" football player would be employed in political campaigns today. Second, I'd have them look at the security notes on the second document and have them discuss how similar information is protected today (readers who are my age or older may notice the note about "no carbons" and have memories of using carbon paper they'll have to explain to students).