Friday, October 14, 2022

A Fun Timeline Game for History Students

Play Your Dates Right is another great game template developed by Russel Tarr at The concept of Play Your Dates Right is that students have to pick the correct sequence of three historical events. The event in the middle of the game template is always the event that actually did come second. Students have to guess if the first and third events are in the proper sequence. Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how the game is played and how you can create your own version of it. 

You can create and publish your own version of Play Your Dates Right by using the free template provided through ClassTools. To get the template all that you need to do is click the "edit" link that appears in the lower, right corner of Play Your Dates Right. Then you can enter a list of events with their corresponding dates. When you publish your game ClassTools will randomly select from your list to be displayed.

Applications for Education
I've always stressed to my history students the importance of sequence. Play Your Dates Right could be a fun way for students to review the sequence of events in a unit of study. An obvious case use is in reviewing the causes of the outbreak of a war.

How to Print Guest Lists for Google Calendar Events

Google Calendar, like most products in Google Workspace, has lots of little features that are often overlooked. Just because those features are overlooked doesn't mean that they're not useful. For example, you can print a guest list from an event on any of your Google Calendars. In the short video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to print guest lists for Google Calendar events

I use printed guest lists for meetings because it's often faster for me to take attendance on paper than it is to toggle between tabs or screens (especially when hosting virtual meetings). 

Watch this video for five more Google Calendar features that you should know how to use. 

The settings and features demonstrated in the video below include:

  • How to create a Google Calendar.
  • How to share a Google Calendar.
  • How to invite colleagues to collaborate on a Google Calendar.
  • How to create appointment slots in Google Calendar.
  • How to create task reminders in Google Calendar. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Explore the K-12 Section of The Open Library

The Open Library is a part of the Internet Archive that provides vistors with the opportunity to search for, browse through, and read eBooks. The Open Library is a collection of more than one million ebook titles. I recently revisited the Open Library and noticed a couple of new-to-me things. First, there is now a virtual bookshelf explorer that you can use to browse through books much like wandering through a library's bookshelves. Second, there is now a dedicated K-12 section of The Open Library

The collection is cataloged by a community of volunteer online librarians. The eBooks in the Open Library can be read on your computer, tablet, and some eReader devices. Most of the books can be digitally borrowed in increments of one hour or up to fourteen days (it is possible to renew the borrowing period). If a book isn't available when you find it in The Open Library, you can add your name to a waitlist for it and or use the library's integrated WorldCat search to find a copy in a physical library near you. 

Applications for Education
The Open Library could be a good place for students to find books that they want to read on their own. The dedicated K-12 section could be helpful to middle school and high school students. Unfortunately, The Open Library requires an email address in order to borrow books so it's utility is limited for younger students.

Lesson Plans About Setting SMART Goals

Storyboard That is a great tool that can be used for creating cartoons, flowcharts, timelines, and wireframes in addition to typical storyboards. Storyboard That also offers a huge library of lesson plans on everything from classic literature to history to cyber safety. One of the newest lesson plans added to the Storyboard That library is about helping students set and reach SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action, Realistic, Time.

The SMART goals lesson plans are designed for use in middle school settings. Each of the five lesson plans focuses on a different aspect of the goal setting and goal reaching processes. A significant component of any goal setting process is being able to identify and visualize the steps needed to reach a goal. That's where Storyboard That shines as it helps students create a clear picture of the steps they need to take in order to reach their goals.

Applications for Education
As we move into the time of the year when many schools have their first rounds of parent-teacher or parent-teacher-student conferences, the SMART goals lesson plans could be useful in helping your students identify what they want to improve upon after the first conference.

Read and Help Transcribe Walt Whitman's Notebooks and Diaries

A handful of years ago the Library of Congress launched a crowd sourcing project called Crowd which has since been renamed as By the People. The purpose of the project is to enlist the help of the public to transcribe thousands of primary source documents that are housed by and have been scanned by the Library of Congress. Over the years there have been collections of documents from the American Civil War, papers from the American Revolution, presidential papers, documents about suffrage, and documents about the integration of Major League Baseball. 

For the last year the Library of Congress has been seeking help transcribing a collection of Walt Whitman's notes and diaries. If you previously participated in transcribing the Whitman collection, you should note the the LOC recently added more materials to the "to transcribe" pile. 

Anyone can participate in the LOC's By the People project to transcribe documents in the Walt Whitman collection of notes and diaries. To get started simply go to the collection and choose a document. Your chosen document will appear on the left side of the screen and a field for writing your transcription appears on the right side of the screen. After you have completed your transcription it is submitted for peer review. A demonstration of the process is included in the video below.

Applications for Education
The LOC's By the People project is a good opportunity for high school students and some middle school students to learn about Walt Whitman while contributing to a national project. All of the collections in Crowd do have timelines and some other resources that help to provide context for the documents that are in need of transcription.

The Smithsonian has a similar crowdsourcing project called Smithsonian Digital Volunteers.