Google Books helps students locate and search inside books without having to track down a physical copy of each book that they are interested in reading. If students do want a physical copy of a book, Google Books can help them find a local library that has a copy of the book they desire. Those features of Google Books and more are demonstrated in my new video Five Things Students Should Know About Google Books.
Flippity's Badge Tracker template lets you create a customized badge system. You can add in your own badge designs and set your own badge goals. It can be used to award complete badges and partial badges to students.
Watch my short video that is embedded below to learn how to use Google Sheets to create your own badge tracker.
Thinking about those spinning rides prompted me to look for some concise explanations of centripetal force. Here are a few resources that I found that could be helpful to students.
CK-12 offers a couple of interactive simulations and lessons about centripetal force. Students can use these on their own or as part of a larger lesson that you lead.
Planet Nutshell published a concise, animated explanation of centripetal force. You can watch it here or as embedded below.
Here's What's Changing in Screencastify
The new free version of Screencastify increases the recording time for your videos from five minutes to thirty minutes. That's a huge change! The trade-off is that you now can only store ten videos in your free Screencastify account. That's also a huge change! The previous free version allowed unlimited videos as long as they were under the five minute limit. You can still export all of your videos as MP4 files. So if you find that you bump up against the ten video limit, you can export one or delete one to get back under that limit.
Ways to Use Screencastify in Your Classroom
In the brief video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to use virtual backgrounds and how to blur backgrounds in Microsoft Flip videos.
The import feature in Microsoft Forms makes it possible to quickly take a quiz that you've written in Word and have it automatically turned into a quiz that students can complete in Microsoft Forms. Likewise, you can do the same with a quiz that you have in a PDF. This feature works with quizzes that are written in multiple choice, true/false, and short answer format.
Watch my video that is embedded below to learn how to convert Word documents into quizzes Microsoft Forms.
How to Find Public Google Workspaces Files:
Watch the following short video to learn how to find public Google Workspace files or follow the steps outlined below.
The parents page for Elinor Wonders Why is full of resources for activities for parents do with their children. Of course, the resources are also great for elementary school teachers who are looking for some hands-on activities. On the parents page you'll find directions for making Elinor-themed finger puppets, placemats, mini-libraries, costumes, and many other craft projects. You'll also find directions and templates for creating investigative activities like identifying insects and sorting "treasures" found in nature.
PBS Kids also offers some online games for kids to play and learn from. Those games include the investigative style games Elinor's Nature Adventure, Pond Life, and Backyard Life. There are seven games in all. All of the games can be played without having to sign-up or sign into any kind of account. The games I tested worked equally well in the web browser on my laptop and on my iPad.
When you open the recording tool in Microsoft Flip press record and then open the options menu you'll find lots of tools for enhancing your videos. It's there that you'll also find an option for a whiteboard. You can use that virtual whiteboard when recording a video as a topic prompt and or when replying to a topic.
Watch the following video to learn how to record a whiteboard video in Microsoft Flip.
Turbulence: One of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of Physics is a TED-Ed lesson that explains what turbulence is and the forces that create it. The lesson explains that even though we typically associate turbulence with flying in airplanes, turbulence exists in many other places including oceans.
This week I hosted my Search Strategies Students Need to Know webinar. That was the fifth webinar in my summer series. Next week I'm hosting To Geography and Beyond With Google Earth and Maps. I hope you'll join me!These were the week's most popular posts:
Flap to the Future is an online game through which students can learn about the evolution of animal flight. The game has four levels for students to progress through. They begin play as a small theropod dinosaur and end play as a futuristic flying animal. Along the way students will also play the game as a microraptor and as a robin. The game is played in a classic video game style of running or flying along a landscape while collecting points for advancement through the game. It's a bit like what you might see if the classic version of Mario Brothers replaced Mario and Luigi with dinosaurs and birds.
The new video editing features on Chromebooks will actually be found inside of Google Photos on Chromebooks (availability for other platforms seems to be coming later). These will be an update to the current video creation options available in Google Photos. The updated video editing tools in Google Photos will let you create a video from scratch by combining pictures and video clips that are stored in your Google Photos. There is also a new set of themes coming to the video editor that you'll be able to use to create videos.
If the Google Photos video editing tools don't offer everything you need, it appears that you'll soon be able to add the LumaFusion app to your Chromebook for multitrack video editing. Whether or not that's better than using WeVideo, I can't say at this point.Here's the easiest way to record a screencast on your Chromebook
Thinking about the Polar Coaster got me to look in my archives for some resources for teaching and learning about the physics of roller coasters. Unfortunately, everything that I wrote about the topic in the past is no longer available. Therefore, I compiled this new list of resources for teaching and learning about the physics of roller coasters.
In this new video I demonstrate how to capture and markup web pages in Microsoft Edge.
A Unit on Saving and Investing for High School Students appears to be created to coincide with the use of The Stock Market Game. In the unit students gather and compare data about financial then use that information in the construction of a portfolio. What's interesting about Mr. Frey's activity is that students will learn to use the Entity Framework in Wolfram's Knowledgebase to create and compile comparisons. (Take a look at this page for a demo of Wolfram's Knowledgebase for finance).Applications for Education
In Getting Started With Microsoft Flip you'll see:
How to Make a Rainbow is a SciShow Kids video that I featured when it was released about six years ago. The video gives directions for a little activity in which kids can make rainbows appear on white paper by properly positioning a glass of water in front of ray of sunlight. The video then goes on to explain what makes rainbows appear outside.