Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Denali Distance Learning Opportunities

Although I've been to Alaska twice, I've yet to visit Denali National Park. I hope that some day soon I can visit it with my daughters. In the meantime there are some cool resources for learning about Denali on the National Parks Service's website. One of those resources is a free distance learning program offered to schools in the United States. 

The National Parks Service offers the Denali Distance Learning Program from November 1st through March 31st. Through this program you can request a live, virtual presentation by Denali staff for your students. There are six programs/ presentations available for elementary school classrooms and one available for high school classrooms. 

The elementary school programs are:

  • At Home in Denali's Biome
  • Denali's Dinosaurs
  • What Would You Do: Winter Wildlife
  • Lessons from the Land
  • The Science of Sled Dogs
  • Ask an Alaskan - Living and Working in Denali
The program for high school classrooms is called Why Wilderness?

You can learn more about all of Denali's Distance Learning programs right here and request a presentation on that same page. 

According to this recent Instagram post on the Denali National Park account, there is still some availability for presentations this year, but space is filling up fast. 

Wiki History Game - A Fun Timeline Game

Wiki History Game is a free timeline game based on Wikipedia entries. I discovered it on Product Hunt last week and immediately lost about 30 minutes of my day playing the game. The game is a simple one, but an addictive one for history buffs. The premise of the game is to sort events into order on a timeline. 

To play Wiki History Game just go to the site and click start. You'll then see two events on the screen. Drag them into the correct order. As soon as you do that another event will appear and you have to drag that into the correct order with the two previous events. There aren't any points awarded or any levels. The object is just to consecutively, correctly sort as many events as possible. 

Here's a little video demo of the game.

Applications for Education
If you're a middle school or high school social studies teacher who is looking for a fun activity for your students to do when they have a little free time, this game could be worth linking to on your classroom website or in your Google Classroom materials section.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Create a Teacher Report Card With Google Forms

Last week a teacher emailed me looking for suggestions on how to create a teacher report card that her students can complete anonymously. One of the things that I suggested was to create a Google Form that doesn't require students to sign into their Google accounts. Google Forms includes a course evaluation template. I would simply use that template and change a few items within it to meet my needs. Then before sending the Form to my students I'd disable all of the options for collecting email addresses and any other identifying information. In this video I demonstrate the process of using Google Forms to create a teacher report card

Take a look at this collection of videos on my YouTube channel to learn more about helpful ways to use Google Forms in your classroom.

50 Tech Tech Tuesday Tips and a Webinar

As I announced last week, on January 31st at 4pm ET I'm going to host a webinar just for those who have purchased a copy of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips. If you've already purchased a copy, thank you! You'll be getting an email with webinar information soon if you haven't already gotten it. If you haven't yet purchased a copy, get one by January 30th and you'll be able to join us. 

In the webinar, A Framework for Technology Integration, I'll share my framework for helping teachers use technology in meaningful ways in their classrooms. I'll also provide some examples of how I've done it in the past and how you can replicate them in your school. 

About the eBook:

50 Tech Tuesday Tips was curated from more than 400 editions of The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter 50 Tech Tuesday Tips provides you with ideas for lots of helpful things that you can teach to your colleagues and to students. Throughout the eBook you'll find tutorials and handouts that you can pass along in your school. 

Some of the many things you'll find in 50 Tech Tuesday Tips include:

  • What to do when a web app isn't working as you expect.
  • Building your own search engine.
  • How to create green screen videos.
  • Improving instructional videos. 
  • Streamlining email management.
  • Creating educational games. 
  • DIY app creation.
  • Podcasting tips for teachers and students. 

Get your copy of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips right here!

No, this ebook isn't free but the tools that feature within it is free to use. Creating something like this takes many, many hours but reading it can save you many, many hours. Purchases of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips make it possible for me to create other free resources like The Practical Ed Tech Handbook that I update and give away to thousands of teachers every year.

Two Free and Cool Summer Learning Opportunities for Teachers

Summer feels like it's a long way off right now which is why I like to start thinking about it now and putting some fun things on summer calendar. If you like to do the same, here's a couple of cool summer learning opportunities that you might want to investigate and apply for. 

C-SPAN Fellowship and Conference
Every year C-SPAN hosts an educators' conference and hosts a summer fellowship program. A friend of mine participated in the conference a couple of years ago and he said it was an amazing experience! This summer the program is going to be virtual. C-SPAN's Summer Fellowship program is now open for applications. Those who are accepted into the program will spend a few weeks working remotely with C-SPAN's education team. Participants receive a $1,000 stipend for their participation in the program. More details about the summer fellowship program are available here. Applications are due by May 6, 2022.

Smithsonian Teacher Innovator Institute
This is a program for middle school STEAM teachers. This is a two week program hosted at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Lodging, food, and travel is paid for by the museum. If you're not sure if that's you, there is a little eligibility check tool that you can use on the Smithsonian Teacher Innovator Institute website. Applications are due by February 15th.