Monday, July 18, 2022

Create and Share Collections in Bing Maps

Google Maps is one of my favorite tools for geography lessons and for some elementary school math lessons. In fact, next month I'm hosting a webinar all about using Google Maps in your classroom. That said, there are some alternatives to Google Maps that I do use from time-to-time. Bing Maps is one of those alternatives. 

Bing Maps has a collections feature that you can use to create thematic collections of places. In this brief video I demonstrate how I created a small collection of National Parks in Bing Maps and how I enabled sharing of that collection. 

Applications for Education
Creating and sharing a thematic collection of places in Bing Maps could be helpful in preparing an introductory geography lesson. It can also be an activity that you have students do to create a collection of places related to a theme that you assign to them. 

Custom Tables in Google Docs

Earlier this year Google added new table templates into Google Documents. Those templates include tables for project management and checklists. While those templates are good, there are still times when you might be better off creating your own custom tables in Google Documents. Today, there are more table customization options in Google Docs than ever before. 

In this brief video I demonstrate how to create custom tables in Google Docs. The video includes a demonstration of setting default column and row sizes, setting custom color schemes, and setting custom cell padding in your tables in Google Docs. 

Applications for Education
One of the ways that I've used tables in Google Docs is to provide students with some structure when they are writing notes in the same document. Some students need a little guidance so that they don't write over each other in a shared notes document. By giving students a table that is color-coded for their names, they know exactly where they should be writing their notes in the document.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Try the Fact Check Explorer

Fact Check Explorer is a free tool from Google that anyone can use to explore the veracity of claims made on the Internet. As you can see in my brief video embedded below, on Fact Check Explorer you can enter a topic or name then see a list of articles accompanied by notations about the accuracy of the claims in those articles. You can click through to the source of each article and the fact checker. 

Watch this short video that I made for an overview of how to use Google's Fact Check Explorer. 

Applications for Education
It should be noted that Fact Check Explorer isn't an infallible tool. That said, it could be a good tool to use to help students get a better understanding of the context around claims that they may have heard from other people and or read on the Internet. 

Join my Search Strategies Students Need to Know webinar on July 27th to learn about more tools and strategies for teaching search strategies. 

Webinars This Week and Next

This month I've hosted three webinars and I have two more scheduled before the end of July. By the end of August I'll have hosted seven. 

The next webinar in my summer series is DIY App Creation for the Rest of Us. Join this webinar to learn how you can have your students create mobile apps in your classroom even if you don't have any computer science background.  

Next week I'm hosting Search Strategies Students Need to Know. This is always my most popular webinar of the summer. If you have ever had a student say, "Google has nothing on this," this webinar is for you! In the webinar you'll learn how to get your students to look beyond the first page of Google search results and dive deeper into the online research process.

Both webinars will be held live and recorded for those who cannot attend the live sessions. 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Spot the Differences - Another Founder's Day Lesson

As I mentioned in a blog post yesterday, I'm spending today helping with one of our community's Founder's Day events. The event that I'm helping with is the car show. I'm doing it because I'm friends with care-taker of the collection and because it gives me a chance to look at the cars up close. One of the cars that will be on display today is the 1942 Cadillac that is in the featured picture of this blog post. 

The car isn't just any 1942 Cadillac. It has some features that make it different from any other Cadillac produced in the 1942 model year. If you're looking for a little research challenge for the weekend, see if you can figure what makes this car so unique. (A larger picture is included below). 

If you think you've figured it out, please let me know. If you'd like help, send me an email and I'll give you some hints. And if you'd like to use this picture as part of your own research lesson, please feel free to do so (just credit me for the picture). 

At the end of this month I'm hosting a webinar about teaching search strategies to students. Activities like this one will be included in the webinar. You can learn more and register for the webinar here