Quantcast

News

Earlier this week I wrote about Flippity's new timeline creation template for use in Google Sheets. The template lets you create a multimedia timeline by simply entering information into a spreadsheet and then publishing it to the web. There are a couple of quirks to using the template that should be noted before you have a whole class of students use Flippity to make a multimedia timeline. I point out those quirks as part of my tutorial video embedded below.





Every autumn people tour Maine just to see the leaves changing color. Seeing the leaves change is one of my favorite things about the fall too. Here are three good videos that explain why leaves change color in the fall.





Untamed Science offers a good, partially animated, explanation of why leaves change colors, what produces the colors, and why bright and sunny days are best for viewing red leaves. The video is embedded below.






Reactions, a great YouTube channel from the American Chemical Society, offers a nice video about the chemistry involved in the process of leaves changing color. The videos explains how chlorophyll and the glucose stored inside trees help reveal the reds, yellows and, browns of fall foliage.






SciShow Kids offers the following video about the science of changing leaves.



Good morning from Maine where it feels like fall. Starting on Monday week I'll be working with the Sigsbee Charter School in Key West, Florida for most of the next few weeks which means that I'll miss a good chunk of my favorite season here in Maine. That's why today I plan to soak up the fall weather by playing outside with my daughters and my dogs. As always, I hope that wherever you are you get to spend some time enjoying the weekend too.



These were the most popular posts of the week:

1. If You Manage a School Facebook Page, Watch Out for This Scam

2. Why We Say "OK" - And Other Lessons on the Origins of Words

3. How to Create a Progress Tracker With Google Forms and Sheets

4. Seven Ways to Create Screencasts on Chromebooks

5. Math Playground - Hundreds of Math Games & Instructional Videos

6. Use Flippity to Make a Multimedia Timeline

7. 7 Reasons to Try Using Backchannels in Your Classroom




I'll Come to Your School This Year!

If you would like to have me lead a professional development day at your school during this school year, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com - or click here for more information about my professional development services.




Book Me for Your Conference

I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.



Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.

Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.

TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.

Book Creator is a great tool for creating multimedia books.

Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

I'm currently flying home the ESC-20 Library Resource Roundup in San Antonio, Texas. Before I boarded the flight the gate agent was looking for volunteers to take an alternate flight due to overbooking. This seems like a good time to share the TED-Ed lesson Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets?



In Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets? students can learn about the mathematics that airlines use to maximize the revenue that they can generate from each flight. That math includes calculating the probability that everyone who holds a ticket for a flight will actually show up for the flight. The way that probability is calculated is explained in the video. Finally, the lesson asks students to consider the ethics of overbooking flights. Watch the video below or go here to see the entire lesson.



The fall is my favorite season of the year. I love waking up to cold, crisp mornings then enjoying mild days outside. In fact, that's what I'm planning to do tomorrow morning. This time of year always reminds me of one of my favorite uses for time-lapse video creation tools. The outline of my time-lapse of autumn project is included below.



The idea is to take one picture every day to document the changes in the foliage as we progress through autumn from the first few orange leaves to full-blown autumn foliage colors to the drab brown we see after in the winter.



Here's how your students could create their own autumn foliage time-lapse videos.



1. Take one picture per day of the same view or of one singular tree. 

Using a cell phone is probably the best tool for this because students rarely go anywhere without one.



2. Upload the pictures to a Google Drive folder. 

It only takes one tap to move photos from a phone phone to a Google Drive folder labeled "Fall foliage." If This Then That has a recipe for doing this automatically from Android phones and from iPhones.



3. After four to six weeks, upload photos to JellyCam or Stop Motion Animator and create your timelapse. 

JellyCam is a free video editing program for Windows and Mac users. You can easily adjust the duration of each frame and easily add a soundtrack to your video. Click here for a video about using JellyCam. Stop Motion Animator is a free tool for creating stop motion movies on Chromebooks.

Today I had the pleasure of giving four short presentations at the Texas ESC-20 Library Resource Roundup. It was a great day! Thank you to everyone who came to my presentations. And a special thank you to those who came for multiple presentations. As I always say, the best compliment that I can get is when you have seen me present and you come back for more. Here are the slides from the presentations that I gave today.


Quick & Powerful Video Projects

Technology to Take You & Your Students Beyond Library Walls

Worlds Are Colliding - Intro to AR & VR

Best of the Web 2018

Earlier this week I wrote about Flippity's new timeline creation template for use in Google Sheets. The template lets you create a multimedia timeline by simply entering information into a spreadsheet and then publishing it to the web. There are a couple of quirks to using the template that should be noted before you have a whole class of students use Flippity to make a multimedia timeline. I point out those quirks as part of my tutorial video embedded below.





On Friday I am giving a presentation about augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality in education. If you're unsure of the differences between the three, take a look at my explanatory video and slideshow on the topic. As a part of the presentation that I am giving I will be demonstrating a few augmented reality apps that you can use in your classroom. Those apps are Google Expeditions, Plum's Creaturizer, and Metaverse.


Plum's Creaturizer

Plum's Creaturizer from PBS Kids is a free iOS and Android app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. In the following video I demonstrate how the app works (apologies for the background noise, I recorded this video outside to show how the AR feature works in real settings).






Google Expeditions AR

Google Expeditions is best known as for its virtual reality tours, but it also has an augmented reality component. In late May of this year Google added augmented reality tours to Expeditions. The AR content in Google Expeditions lets students view and manipulate digital content in a physical world context. The new AR content can be used as components in science, math, geography, history, and art lessons. Some examples of the more than 100 AR tours that you'll now find in the app include landforms, the skeletal system, dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, the brain, and the Space Race. And as a good Mainer my favorite of the new AR tours is about lobsters.



To use the AR content available through Google Expeditions you will need to print marker or trigger sheets that students scan with their phones or tablets. Once scanned the AR imagery appears on the screen. (You can actually preview some of the imagery without scanning a marker, but the imagery will not be interactive or 3D). Students don't need to look through a Cardboard viewer in order to see the AR imagery. You can get the Google Expeditions Android app here and the iOS version here.



Metaverse

Metaverse is both an app and an augmented reality game creation tool. The app, available for Android and iOS, lets you find and play augmented reality games. The app includes a large selection of educational games. The game creation aspect of Metaverse lets anyone create his or her own augmented reality game. Since its launch eighteen months ago, teachers have been using it to create AR games for a wide range of topics including geography, math, science, and language arts. Watch the following video to see how you can create an augmented reality game on Metaverse.



One of my passions is encouraging teachers to take their students outside for class. The technology that our students use the most in their daily lives is meant to be mobile so don't keep it locked up in your classroom. Tomorrow, I am giving a presentation about this topic at the ESC 20 Library Resource Roundup. Three of the apps that I will be demonstrating during this presentation are the Google Science Journal, Nature Cat's Great Outdoors, and the Geocaching app from Groundspeak.



Google's Science Journal app provides some neat tools for recording data and writing observations. Within the app students create notebooks for recording experiment data and observations. Students can also use those notebooks to simply organize observations by topic. There are sensors built into the app for recording sound, speed, light, direction, and magnetism. Learn more about the app here. You can download the Android version here and the iOS version here.



Nature Cat's Great Outdoors is a free app from PBS Kids. The app, available for iOS and Android, provides students with activities they can do outdoors in all kinds of weather. To use the Nature Cat's Great Outdoors app students simply open it, press play, and select a "daily nature adventure." There are adventures for sunny days, rainy days, and snowy days. An example of a rainy day adventure is recording the sounds of rain drops and the sounds of splashing in puddles. The app has more than 100 adventure suggestions built into it. Students earn digital badges for completing adventures.



Geocaching is a fun activity for students to do to learn about latitude and longitude, to discover geological features, learn or relearn basic math concepts, and to practice good digital citizenship. Seven years ago Jen Lefebvre, née Deyenberg wrote a great overview of geocaching in an education context. You can read that blog post here. When Jen wrote that post you had to use handheld GPS units to go on geocaching activities. Today, you can simply use the Geocaching Android app or iOS apps.



Learn more about this topic in my on-demand webinar, 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons.

A couple of the most popular posts that I have published lately were about creating backchannel chats to use in your classroom. In response to those posts some readers have sent questions asking for more explanation of why they should try tools like Backchannel Chat or Yo Teach. Here are some reasons to try using a backchannel chat in your classroom.



1. A Voice for Shy Students

Typing a response or asking a question in a backchannel chat can be a little less intimidating for some students who aren't comfortable asking questions aloud.



2. An Outlet for Chatty Students

We've all had that student who wants to say something about everything. A backchannel chat gives that student a place to ask all of the questions that he/she can think of.



3. Extend Classroom Discussions

If you've ever had a great classroom discussion cut short by the sound of the bell, a backchannel can help. With an online backchannel chat your students can continue to add comments and questions to the discussion after the school day ends.



4. Post Quick Warm-up/ "Do Now" Activities

Do you need a place to post little activities for your kids to do when they walk into your classroom? If so, post those warm-up activities in a backchannel chat for students to see when they open their laptops or unlock their iPads.



5. Preserve the Flow of a Presentation/ Video

Whenever I have shown videos in a classroom there have always been students who want to ask questions about what they're seeing and others who are annoyed by those questions interrupting the flow of the video. By using a backchannel the students who need to ask questions can do so and I can respond to them without breaking the flow of the presentation for the other students.



6. Create a Record of a Classroom Discussion

Have you ever had a student who was absent during a great classroom discussion come back to you a day later and ask, "what did I miss?" If so, a backchannel chat could be a solution for you. Using a backchannel to have kids share their questions and their comments creates a record of some of the highlights of your classroom discussion.



7. Practice Good Digital Citizenship

Hosting a backchannel chat for class by using a tool like Backchannel Chat or Yo Teach! can provide you with good opportunity to have your students develop digital citizenship skills in the form of respectful online discussion. Both Backchannel Chat and Yo Teach let you remove inappropriate comments and mute students who don't adhere to the standards that you have set for online discussion.

Pages