This is a very simple, yet awesome discovery I had recently. I love Google Drive and all of the document features. I really think they are on par with Microsoft Office. By default, Google Drive only gives you a few fonts to choose from, but there are many more that can be revealed. Below is my first Ed Tech video tutorial that shows you how to access the other fonts. This should be the first of many more!
There is a fun series of free geography puzzle games called Enjoy Learning that I find simple, stable, and addictive. I tried the two apps most relevant to me: Enjoy Learning World Map Puzzle, and Enjoy Learning US Map Puzzle. Each game is based on the same premise: locate states, regions, and countries and slide the cut outs on to the map. Each map starts blank and you drag and drop pieces of fill in the puzzle.
There are different levels of difficultly which would be great for differentiating among students. Also, every game is timed, so there is significant replay value as you try to beat your (and other students’) best scores. That repetition would be great for reinforcing student learning.
I could see using this as a short transition activity, game break, or maybe even a reward activity. With a small group, I could imagine developing a larger competitive game around the puzzle.
There is some banner advertising at the bottom of the menu pages, but not the game, which is much less intrusive than so many free games. I recommend these apps for any age group in school, or even for adults just to pass a few minutes doing a brain activity. Without hints on large world maps, the puzzle can be quite challenging.
Enjoy Learning World Map Puzzle (Free) Minimal advertising
Enjoy Learning US Map Puzzle (Free) Minimal advertising
Photo by chriswalts CC license
In the past few months I have become a more active Instagram user, finally seeing the value in the service. It is very different and separate from my DSLR photography, which is still a slower, often more thoughtful and technical process. Instagram is more like snapping Polaroids to capture interesting, casual moments, and instantly sharing them. You know how people take photos with their phone or point and shoot camera and immediately walk up to you wanting to show you the picture? Instagram allows us to post those moments instantly and tap into that urge to share, all while feeling really cool. I stayed away from the service thinking that all it was were pictures of drinks, pets, fashion, food, and selfies. Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of that going on (even some of my own). But there is a lot of beautiful things going on in hidden corners and not so hidden corners of the Instagram world. And despite the spontaneous nature of instaphotography, there are photographers practicing thoughtful composition and clever concepts. I like to try to follow people who only post photos from there phone, part of the fun is viewing and creating images that look like they were taken with professional equipment, using only your phone and mobile post processing.
Here is my list of favorite accounts to follow:
@uncornered_market is my absolute favorite Instagram account. This couple have been on the road, traveling the world, for years. They post stunning photos of the places they visit, as they visit them. A source for daily inspiration.
@bkindler is a pilot in Europe who posts pretty landscape photos from his plane that will open your mind to a bird’s eye view of the world.
@samhorine is a NYC photographer who posts awesome iPhone pictures capturing the pulse of the city.
@japhetweeks and @sollsken share crisp images from life in Egypt. They do not post frequently, but when they do, you will be glad you are following.
@vagfrag shares awesome iPhone street photography from Greece.
@swopes posts some really fun, hip, colorful images from Chicago.
@payphones is a really fun concept. This account posts hip, colorful pictures of payphones around the world.
@dguttenfelder is a photojournalist for the AP in Asia who posts photos from his iPhone showing the texture of life in North Korea and other countries.
@nasagoddard posts awesome photos from the NASA archives. You do not have to be a space geek to appreciate the science and won display in this account.