Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego is a fresh take on the classic detective game from the 1990’s. As a newly graduated “gumshoe” from the ACME Detective Agency, you are given your first assignment: track down the elusive Carmen Sandiego who has recently stolen the Crown Jewels of London! You will need to use all of your globe-trotting skills, and an awareness of Google Earth, in order to catch this slippery crook!
How it works
Carmen Sandiego is a built-in component of the Google Earth app and can be accessed from the Voyager option in the main menu for both Chrome and mobile versions.
The interface is pretty basic, with a magnifying glass button to help you search for clues and interview witnesses. Each stage provides multiple locations (between three and four) to investigate. Once you have an idea of where to go to next, you can click on the plane button to book your flight.
This is just the first in what will hopefully be a series of Carmen Sandiego adventures for us to solve. Already in the works are two additional capers: “The Tutankhamen’s Mask Caper” and “The Keys to the Kremlin Caper!”
I’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to use WeVideo on Chromebook “laptop” devices. However, a new fleet of Chromebooks are being released that can wear more than one hat, switching over to behaving like a tablet device and then back to a laptop. We are currently piloting Chromebooks with this capability in our elementary schools. That being said, I wondered if WeVideo provided support for mobile and tablet devices.
Getting the app
If you prefer to film with a mobile or tablet device, then you can install the FREE WeVideo mobile app. Click here to download the app for Apple iOS and Android.
How it works
When using the mobile app here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
You will need to sign-in to the app with your GSuite account in order to access all of its features.
Once you film your scenes, remember to sync the clips to your WeVideo account so that you can edit them from your laptop (sync button located in the top-right corner).
If you are using a shared device, remember to sign out when filming is complete in order to keep your account secure.
NOTE: As I played around with the mobile app I kept encountering an incompatibility issue between the mobile app and the web app. Clips edited on the mobile app can be synced and then edited some more in the web app. However, I could not complete this process in reverse and would receive an error message in the mobile app if attempted. This is manageable for us since access to our filming iPad is limited, so the sooner students sync their footage up to the cloud and then do their editing on their Chromebooks the better. If anyone has additional information or insight about this issue then please leave a reply in the box below.
Back in April of 2017 Google announced a brand new version of Google Earth that was completely web-based, opening up the application to be accessed from just about any device that could access the Internet. They quickly followed this up with support for mobiles devices running Android, and now the new Google Earth is available on iOS.
Working with students in a 1-to-1 Chromebook environment, this news was HUGE! I had already observed students using Google Maps from their devices and some didn’t see how Google Earth was any different. Then I showed them the I’m Feeling Lucky option (a role of the dice icon) and the mystery of where they would end next was all they needed.
For teachers, the new Voyager feature is like having a virtual field trip already pre-planned for you! With interactive stories grouped into categories like travel, nature, culture, history, and education there is a lot of potential for exploration. I liken the experience to participating in a Google Expeditions virtual reality field trip except that each student can explore the various modules at their own pace.
What I mean is that Google has taken their Street View mapping program, wrapped it in waterproof material, and explored that natural wonders of the world that are under the Earth’s oceans.
Muli Kandu, Maldives
With Google Underwater Street View, you have access to over 129 different underwater locations where you can explore wild life, coral reefs, and shipwrecks. See the effects of climate change on various underwater ecosystems as well as the efforts being made to restore them. If you have Google Cardboard, then use their Street View app (iOS, Android) to explore these underwater realms in virtual reality.
Once a class gets going, there is a great deal of information that moves back and forth between teacher and student. Google has made it easier to keep track of all this communication for both teachers and students with the new single view of student work.
Single View for Teachers
Navigate to the Student tab where the roster of students is displayed. Clicking on any student will open the single view screen for that student, displaying a list of all of the assignments that you have currently assigned and the status of each for that particular student. In addition to the name of each assignment and its due date, this view shows information on:
The number of attachments in each assignment.
The number of private comments that have taken place between you and the student.
The current status of each assignment.
You can use the filter tools to the left of the window to only show assignments of a certain status (turned in, returned with grade, or missing). Unlike the To-Do tool (formerly called ‘Work’) which showed the status of student work by assignment, this view gives teachers an overall picture of the status of each student.
Single View for Students
Navigate to the About tab in a class. Note that the shortcuts to the Google Drive folder and the two Calendar views for the class have been moved to a box in the top-left corner of the page. A new tool has been added called ‘Your work.’ Clicking on this will open the single view screen and list all of the assignments that have been posted. Much of the information displayed in the teacher single view is also available in the student single view, including filters to show assigned, returned with grade, and missing. Students can also access this screen from the Classroom home screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner of each class card. When paired with the ‘To-Do’ tool which gives an overall view of their academic responsibilities across all of their classes, these two views provide students multiple ways to check and evaluate their status in each of their classes.
Single View for Mobile Devices
Where the single view really shines is for accessing this information on a mobile device. While students can access their To-Do tool from the Classroom mobile app, there is no tool for teachers. And as I stated above, the the single view for both teachers and students provide a wealth of information and filtering options even on the mobile device.
Recently Google added Reminders to the mobile Calendar app, allowing you to add an a reminder to your to-do list that will move with you from day-to-day until you complete it. Now, Google has gone a step further and added Goals to their mobile app. Unlike Reminders where you program in the when and whether or not it needs to repeat, Goals scans your schedule looking for the best times and then pencils itself in.
To begin, click the plus sign in the bottom-right corner in the Calendar app and from the pop-up choose the ‘Goal’ option.
Choose from five different categories: Exercise, Build a skill, Friends & Family, Me time, and Organizing my life.
Answer a few questions to help Calendar determine the what, frequency, duration, and what part of the day would be the best time to schedule your goal. If none of the questions fit your particular goal, each one has a ‘Custom…‘ field.
Before Calendar begins crunching on the data provided, you will have the option to look over all of the information and make changes if necessary.
Once a goal has been set, Calendar will monitor your progress and make adjustments along the way. For example, if you schedule an event that conflicts with a goal then Calendar will automatically reschedule the goal. Can’t make a scheduled goal time? Then tap on the goal and select ‘DEFER.’ Best of all, the more you use Goals the better Calendar will get at selecting the best times to schedule your goals. Check out the full story over at the Official Google Blog.
Do you have a reading goal for your students? Have students use Goals to help find them fit in that 30 minutes of book time.
Use Goals to promote acts of kindness. The cool thing is that kindness can be anything and happen at anytime.
Last week Google announced on their Apps Update blog that they have just added new templates for their core Google Drive Apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. These new collections were designed by experts in a variety of fields including Intuit QuickBooks, Google Science Fair, and Reading Rainbow. And the best part? These templates are available to users via the web, Android, and iOS apps.
From the web, use the File menu inside of any open project and choose New -> From template… or you can use the main links to each respective app
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to transition your students from one activity to another but the energy levels are just too high to bring them back down to earth. If only you had a tool to help calm things down (pun intended). Enter Calm, a website containing relaxing sounds and animated imagery. Choose from 25 different themes from ocean surf to forest raindrops. Use the sound bar located in the bottom-right corner of the site to change the volume level or mute the audio altogether. There is also a timer tool with five different presets. The timer tool can also be used in ‘Guided Relaxation’ mode where a voice will provide calming tips during the designated time period.
From the people at Common Sense Media, this article provides an independent evaluation of the top apps to consider getting for your child or students. Apps are first divided into groups by device: (iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch, Android, and Kindle Fire), then by age group: (ages 2-6, 7-12, and 13-17). After you specify your device and age group, you will see a listing of the 5-10 most popular apps. Each listing comes with a description and a link to the corresponding app store for your convenience.
If your school and/or classroom has access to any of these portable devices, then take a look at these apps to see if any would help with the review of key concepts. If you don’t have access to devices in school, then these could be suggestions to parents as resources to help reinforce learning at home.
Talking up these educational apps with students can help teach them how to use their portable devices in a positive, educational way while still having fun at the same time.