Monday, October 17, 2022

How to Catch Monsters - A Halloween Play Script

How to Catch Monsters is a free play script published by Playbooks Reader's Theater. The play was written to be performed by students in first through third grade. The play centers around two children who are trying to catch blue, green, and purple monsters. The children do get a little help from their work-from-home dad. In all there are six roles for students to play. There is also a narrator role for a teacher to play in How to Catch Monsters

The How to Catch Monsters script is color coded to make it a little easier for students to follow. The script also includes some cues and other notes to help students perform the play. 

Applications for Education
Performing How to Catch Monsters could be a fun Halloween-themed activity for elementary school students. You can read the entire script online and or print it for free from the Playbooks Reader's Theater website. One concern I do have about the script is that it might be a bit too advanced for some first and second grade students. The whole script is less than thirty pages so it won't take you long to decide if it's a good fit for your students.

Two EdTech Guys Take Questions - Season Three, Episode Two

Last week Rushton Hurley and I hosted the second episode of the third season of our Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions series. We were joined by a handful of fine folks and even more people were registered to join us. If you missed our live broadcast, you can now watch the recording and find all of the associated links right here on Next Vista for Learning. The recording is also available to view here on Rushton's YouTube channel and as embedded below. 

We'll be hosting the next episode of this series on November 1st. Register here for the live session and to receive an email containing the recording and all of the resources we mention in the webinar. Until then feel free to email me or Rushton with your questions. 

Webinar - Engage and Investigate With the Ken Burns Classroom Collection

As a student and teacher of U.S. History, I've enjoyed many of the documentaries produced by Ken Burns (even if my students didn't always enjoy them). That's why I'm excited about a new webinar from the National Council for the Social Studies. The webinar is titled Engage and Investigate With Resources from the Ken Burns Classroom Collection. The description of the webinar promises to showcase some new ways to teach with resources aligned to the documentaries The Civil War, The Roosevelts, The West, and The Vietnam War

Engage and Investigate With Resources from the Ken Burns Classroom Collection is going be held live at 7pm ET on October 18th (tomorrow, if you're reading this on Monday). The registration process is a bit clunky, but it is free if you navigate through the "register as a non-member" on this page

Sunday, October 16, 2022

GeoGeek AR - An Augmented Reality Geography Game

GeoGeek AR is a fun app for testing and developing your knowledge of world geography. As its name and icon imply, the app uses augmented reality to put a virtual globe in any space that you choose. You can spin the globe with your fingers or simply move around the room to see different parts of the globe. 

GeoGeek AR is basically a quiz game. Players have to identify places by tapping on the globe. Questions are presented in two ways. The first is simply the name of a place appearing on screen followed by the prompt to tap on the globe to identify where you think that place is. The second way questions are presented is with a place being highlighted on the globe and then a list of four multiple choice options from which to pick. 
Applications for Education
GeoGeek AR doesn't require you to register in order to play. That can make it a good option for use on shared classroom iPads. Overall, it's a fun little game for practicing place identification. 

Five Ways QR Codes Can Be Helpful in Your School

Last week I was looking through my YouTube Studio analytics and noticed that once again my video about creating QR codes for Google Forms was trending upward. Searches on my blog for "QR code generator" were up last week as well. If you were one of those people searching for information about QR codes, here are five ways to use them in your school and a few tools for making them. 

Five Uses for QR Codes in School Settings
QR codes are easy to make and easy to scan with mobile phones and tablets, they can be helpful in accomplishing a lot of things in school settings. Here's a short list of ways to consider using QR codes in your school. 
  • Share sign-in/sign-out sheets via QR code. If you're using Google Forms or Microsoft Forms to maintain sign-in/sign-out sheets, post a QR code on the wall of the room to be signed into or out of to make it easy for students or colleagues to access those forms. Here's a demonstration of using QR Code Monkey for that purpose. 

  • Share links to important and frequently updated webpages like the school lunch menu. Last year the daily lunch menu was plastered all over my school in the form of a QR code that students could scan to get the day's menu and place orders in advance. One of the easiest ways to make a QR code for that purpose is to use the QR code generator that is built into Google Chrome. Here's a demo how that works

  • Create QR codes to access voice messages. With the Mote Chrome extension installed you can simply click the Mote icon to record voice notes. When you're done speaking simply click the share button and you'll have an option to view and download a QR code. Anyone who scans your QR code will be able to listen to your voice recording. Watch this short video to learn how you can share voice notes via Mote QR codes.  

  • QR codes can be useful for distributing important contact information to parents and students. QR Code Monkey lets you not only create QR codes for URLs, but also create QR codes to distribute contact information like phone numbers and email addresses. 

  • I forget which school I that I first saw it in, but a handful of years ago I visited a school library in which there was a selection of books that had QR codes inside the dust jacket. The QR codes linked to book trailer videos that students had made about those books. 
How to Make QR Codes
There is no shortage of tools available on the web for creating QR codes. I have three that are my favorite go-to options. For simplicity, I like the QR code generator built into Google Chrome. For adding a fun aspect to QR codes, I like to use QR Toon. And for the ultimate in design flexibility, I like QR Code Monkey. In the following video I demonstrate how to use all three of those tools.