Linking Magic with Google Drive

Google Drive’s sharing options are great. Today my seniors discussed some research

about cases on the Supreme Court’s 2013-14 docket. Some of them typed their notes into a Google Doc, others used Pages and even one used paper (amazing, isn’t it?). Once we were finished, all of the research needed to be turned in and it was my goal to allow the students to see the work of the others so I created a Google doc that had a table in it and each student typed the name of their court case into the document. The students who created their notes in a Google doc clicked “Share” and set the privacy settings to “Public: Anyone With the Link Can View.” They then copied the URL, went to their case name in our shared document, highlighted it, clicked the link button, and added their URL so their case name became a hyperlink to their research. For those who created their notes in Pages, we uploaded the document to Google Drive, didn’t convert it, and then shared it with the same process. For the one who wrote out in pencil? We scanned the paper to pdf, uploaded it to Google drive and shared that too. It was great.

This same process could be used to make a great class fake “Facebook” assignment. Have each student pick and research an author, famous person, event, something like that. Then, each student will make a copy of a “Fake Facebook” Google template like this one. They fill in the required information, share their links with the class, and then in the “Friends” column, they can select their classmates’ URLs and create hyperlinked “Friends” like the real Facebook allows so an historical period could be linked together like this! (Only JFK & LBJ are linked in this example.)  Pretty sweet…

Lesson Plan on Identify Theft

My first post of the new year is actually a lesson plan I customized from the free curriculum on Online Identify Theft: Information is Power from Common Sense Media. Our technology office teaches what I would describe as a survey course in technology and digital citizenship and safety landed in my corner for the upcoming semester. While the customized lesson uses a lot of the Common Sense Media lesson ideas and resources, I found a few more resources and was a bit more specific on the use of a webtool. As of this writing, I am glad to see that it looks like “ID Theft Faceoff” the “game” designed by several federal government agencies to explore  identify theft is back online (it wasn’t looking so good about two weeks ago).

Too often teens think identity theft is only something adults need to be concerned about. I hope we are able to bring this issue to light with our students next semester.

It would be easier…part 4

Beyond the in-class activities we did in our month-long water unit, we could have used some of the great resources for learning about water online. NOAA (The National Oceanaic Atmospheric Administration) created an interactive WaterLife Game which teaches about estuaries through activities like cleaning rivers, answering trivia questions, and watching an animated story. Even more closely related to our shipwrecks, Mr. Nautical Chart, another NOAA game, creates a (safe) nautical chart for boaters. Mr. Nautical Chart would be great to do after studying the paths of both the Fitzgerald and the Titanic.

The USGS (Dept of the Interior’s US Geological Survey) has a great website with water resources, interactive maps, ground water information, coloring books for younger children, and more. The USGS also has available online water posters which could be incorporated into Animoto or Remix America projects too. The EPA has a kids page focusing on safe water, and even more water education ideas, statistics and a game teaching about water pollution are available through the Water Education Foundation.

And if we just wanted to have fun? How about a some free online water games? (True, an ad or two will play). Definitely a unit that would be more engaging now than it was then!