Tuesday, November 15, 2022

A Google Earth Lesson With the "I'm Feeling Lucky" Button

Since it is Geography Awareness Week I thought I'd pull a lesson plan from my archives to share with you. 

From voyages to games to simple measuring tools, the web version of Google Earth has a lot of neat features that can help students learn about the world. One of those neat features is the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button that is found on the left hand toolbar in Google Earth. Clicking that button will take students to a randomly-selected place in the world. 

On its own the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button provides a good way for students to discover new places. That said, students learn more through the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button  if you give them a little more direction than just "click the button and look around." That's why I created a little question sheet to prompt students to do a little research about the places they discover in Google Earth via "I'm Feeling Lucky." My question sheet can be found here as a Google Doc

This short video demonstrates how students can explore Google Earth in more detail after clicking "I'm Feeling Lucky."



To learn more about using Google Earth in your classroom, take a look at my Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies. Use the code GEOAWARENESS22 for a 50% discount this week!

Fifty Tech Tuesday Tips

Are you a tech coach, tech integrator, or media specialist who has been asked to run a little tech workshop? Do you need some ideas for it? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is for you! 

50 Tech Tuesday Tips was curated from more than 400 editions of The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. In 50 Tech Tuesday Tips you will find 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!

Monday, November 14, 2022

An Overview of Five Fun Geography Games for Students

Today is the first day of Geography Awareness Week. In the following videos I provide an overview of five map-based geography games that your students can play this week or any other time they need to practice identifying places around the world. All five games are featured in this compilation video. Read on for descriptions of each game. 

Worldle Daily is a combination of the Wordle concept and Google Street View imagery. The game is played by looking at a featured Street View image then trying to guess, by clicking on a map, where in the world that image was captured. After each guess you're shown how far away you are from being correct. A circle covering the area in which the image was taken is also displayed after each guess. As you get closer, the circle gets smaller until you either use up all of your guesses or guess correctly. 

Here's my short video overview of how to play Worldle Daily. 



Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego? is one of many games that you can play in the web, Android, and iOS versions of Google Earth. If you go into the Voyager mode in Google Earth you will find other games and quizzes to try. The quizzes are neat because when you answer a question correctly you automatically zoom to the Street View imagery of the location. Check it out in this short video.



Geo Artwork from Google Arts & Culture is a game in which you view an image of an artwork and then have to guess where in the world that artwork belongs. There are categories for visual arts, sculpture, textiles, books, and places. The places category is based on Google Street View imagery of places associated with or featuring an art work. Watch my short video to learn how to play Geo Artwork.



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. Watch this short demo video to see how the app works. Watch to the end of the video for a special guest appearance by one of my dogs.



Geoquiz History Edition is a fun and challenging map game for history buffs. The game works like similar geography games in which you're given the name of a place and have to place a marker on a blank outline map as close as possible to the actual location. In Geoquiz History Edition you're given the name of a battle or the name of historically significant landmark. The War Battle edition of the game lists battles from wars all over the world throughout history. The Heritage edition of the game lists historically significant places in the heritage of a country or culture. Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how to play GeoQuiz History Edition. 

Tools for Translating Live Presentations

Last week a reader emailed me to ask the following question:

Do you have any recommendations for a live translation during a keynote address or conference? For example, if the speaker is doing their presentation in English but we have Spanish speakers in the audience. They can follow along by reading the Spanish on a projection screen as the presenter is talking in English.

As soon as I read the question I thought of Microsoft Translator and live captioning in PowerPoint. 

The live captioning function in PowerPoint lets you choose the language in which you want your subtitles to appear. The great thing about it is that you can have your subtitles appear in a language other than the one in which you are speaking. For example, you can speak in English and have your subtitles appear in Spanish. Watch this video for a demonstration of how it works. 



Microsoft Translator is another option for translating presentations in realtime. You can use it with or without PowerPoint. Watch this video for my brief demonstration of Microsoft Translator.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Creating and Conducting Polls in Google Slides and PowerPoint

Poll Everywhere is a polling tool that I've used off and on throughout the past decade. It's a great tool for gathering questions from an audience, polling an audience, and seeing word clouds of sentiment from an audience. People can respond to your poll questions from their laptops, tablets, and phones. 

You can use Poll Everywhere as a stand-alone tool or you can integrate it into Google Slides. When you use it in Google Slides you can seamlessly transition from your regular presentation into a polling slide. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Poll Everywhere in Google Slides. 


Poll Everywhere also offers a free PowerPoint add-in that you can use to create and conduct polls directly in your presentation. You can create polls that are multiple choice and open response. Results of the poll can be displayed in a variety of formats. Students can respond to your polls from their computers of phones anonymously or as logged-in users. 

In the following video I demonstrate how to create and conduct a poll in PowerPoint. The video also shows you how students respond to a poll created using the Poll Everywhere PowerPoint add-in. The features shown in the video work with both free and paid Poll Everywhere accounts.