Wednesday, March 15, 2023

1759 Art Lesson Plans

The playroom in our house has lots of Crayola products in it because my daughters love to make pictures to hang on our refrigerator and cards to give to friends and family. And like most kids they don't always remember to put their boxes of crayons and markers away. While picking up one of their Crayola boxes last night I was reminded of Crayola's huge collection of lesson plans.

Crayola's lesson plan library contains 1759 free lesson plans. There are lesson plans for every grade from pre-K through 12th grade. As you might expect, the lesson plans incorporate one or more Crayola products, but you could probably substitute in similar products made by other companies. The lesson plans include step-by-step directions as well as a list of standards addressed by in the lesson.

All of the lesson plans on the Crayola site have an art component, but many cover topics in other areas. For example, this lesson plan on storytelling traditions is based upon a couple of brief history lessons. And this lesson plan for high school students focuses on using whiteboards and dry erase markers in group or individual problem solving. You can search and browse Crayola's lesson plan catalog according to grade level, subject area, and topic.

Annotate Videos With Text and Pictures

Timelinely is a neat tool for annotating videos that you find on YouTube to share with your students.

To get started simply paste a YouTube URL into the Timelinely homepage to get started. Once you have entered the URL for a video, a new screen appears that allows you to add tags or annotations to the timeline of the video. You can do this while the video plays or you can simply jump to a place on the video to add annotations. Your annotations can include text or images. As you can see in the screenshot below, I included an image of my friend Tom Richey in the annotation that I made on one of his YouTube videos.

Before you get too involved with Timelinely it's important to note that you'll have to create an account in order to save and share your work. You can create an account by using your Google account, by using your Facebook account, or by signing up with any email address. You can share your annotated version of a video via email and social media. 

Applications for Education
One of things that I like about Timelinely is the option to include pictures in your annotations. I can see that feature being used to include an alternate example for students to view when watching a math lesson.

I'm not sure that Timelinely is any better than a handful of similar services, but it is nice to have options

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

AI Tools are Coming to Google Workspace Tools

It was only a matter of time until Google made a big announcement regarding artificial intelligence in their productivity tools. That announcement came today

All of the details about Google's implementation of AI in Google Workspace can be read here. The short version is that new AI features will be added to Google Docs and Gmail throughout the course of this year. Those new features will be used to generate suggestions for rewriting selected sections of your Google Docs and selected sections of messages that you compose in Gmail. 

Other AI features in Google Workspace to look for later this year include auto-generated images and videos in Slides, data analysis tools in Sheets, and notes capture in Google Meet. 

Applications for Education
I didn't see anything in today's announcement that specifically mentioned whether or not these AI tools will be available in Google Workspace for Education accounts. It will be interesting to see how Google addresses that moving forward. An AI-powered rewrite function in Google Docs could have a significant impact on how we teach the writing process. Likewise, auto-generated images and slides could have a significant impact on how we teach students to design presentations.

How to Record a Google Earth Tour

The Amazing Race is the only reality game show that I've watched with interest for as long as it has been on television. Years ago I created a classroom game based on the same premise of the show. Last spring I updated that game with some new graphics and new challenges and then published it as a PDF on

Recording a Google Earth tour is the capstone activity in Around the World With Google Earth. There are a couple of ways that students can do that. Students who are using the desktop version of Google Earth can use the built-in recorder. Students who are using the web version of Google Earth can use a screencasting tool like Screencastify to record a tour

In this short video I demonstrate how to record a Google Earth tour in your web browser by using Screencastify. 

Whimsical - An AI Concept Map Generator

For the last handful of months whenever I scroll through Product Hunt and just about every other new product is an AI-powered product. Or at least they claim to be using AI. One that recently jump out to me is Whimsical

Whimsical is a mind mapping and concept mapping tool that I first tried a couple of years ago. In addition to mind mapping and concept mapping it can also be used for creating Venn diagrams and other common charts in a collaborative environment. Now Whimsical has an artificial intelligence component. 

Whimsical's AI tool generates concept maps based on any keyword or phrase that you center on the screen. To use Whimsical's AI concept mapping tool you simply have to start a new concept map, enter a keyword or phrase, and then click the AI icon. The tool will then generate a simple concept map of linked terms and phrases. 

Applications for Education
Whimsical calls their AI tool an "AI mind mapping" tool. However, it's actually a concept mapping tool because the AI is doing the work for you that your mind would have otherwise done. That doesn't make it a bad tool, it just means that it shouldn't be viewed as a mind mapping tool. As a concept mapping tool it could prove to be quite handy for generating a diagram of connected terms and phrases. Showing those connections could be helpful to some students who are in need of assistance in seeing how concepts are connected.

For more AI resources, take a look at the links below:

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