Class 12: Design, Explore and Teach with Interactive Images

Design, Explore, and Teach with Interactive Images

In today’s class we will explore interactive images with ThingLink, Google Tour Creator and Google MyMaps. All three apps provide tools for teachers and students to create and share interactive images that can contain additional multi-media content.

ThingLink (a Microsoft partner) provides a platform that makes it easy to augment images, videos, and virtual tours with additional information and links. It integrates well with Microsoft Office 365.

Google Tour Creator (a Google project) uses Google’s vast StreetView library as well as additional surround images to to build immersive, 360° tours right from your computer.

Google MyMaps is a great tool for visualizing place or creating tours. It works well with other Google tools and can be easily embedded in WordPress or shared via email. When you open a MyMap on your smartphone you can used it as a navigational tool. MyMaps gets saved in your Google Drive account for easy cataloging.

Peter will offer a brief intro into each app and next students will be assigned to one of three teams. Each team will try out the app and test its features. Then each team will share their impressions of the app with the class.


Students will one of the three apps to design a sample interactive learning activity. They will then use the app’s share feature to get embed codes. The embed code will be used with HTML snippets to create a post featuring the interactive image. The post should also include a description of how they would use these interactive images as part of a lesson.

Ideas for using ThingLink and a “how to” below

Ideas for using Tour Creator and a “how to” below

Ideas in a MyMaps Gallery and a “how to” below

Class 11: Teaching Social Studies with Data Visualizations

Today’s class will open with students doing 5-minute pitch sessions on their final project ideas. Students will get feedback and suggestions from their peers.

History and other humanities that tended to be strictly narrative are leveraging  data collection and display tools to spawn a new digital / data approach to teaching history and social science. See Digital Humanities Projects at Stanford

In today’s class we will explore a sampling of free online data visualization tools that can be used in the classroom. Students will be asked to incorporate one of these tools into a lesson design.

User defined world history data set

  • GapMinder World – manipulate moving bubble graphs, select x and y axis from a variety of data sets

Text-based tools

  •  NGram Viewer – online research tool that allows you to quickly analyze the frequency of names, words and phrases -and when they appeared in the Google digitized books. For more advanced searches using NGram Viewer click here.
  • Google Trends – see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time.
  • WordSift was created to help teachers manage the demands of vocabulary and academic language in their text materials.
  • Chronicling America – search America’s historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963

Map-based tools

Social justice projects (example American racial history)

Assignment 9

Sample posts from 2018

Choose one or more of these digital tools (or use a favorite of yours) and blog about how you would use it in an activity, lesson or unit. Be sure you focus on an idea that allows your students to be using the tool. Be sure to link to the tool and include a screen shot. If the digital tool allows results to be embedded in the blog. Reminder on how to use HTML Snippets.

Class 10: How to Lead a Conversation that Builds Student Understanding

Student discussion

Today’s class will be in two parts. One part will be an introduction to the final project. And we will also explore strategies and resources for taking the teacher out of the role of information gatekeeper and encouraging productive student-centered dialogue. 

  1. “Structured Academic Controversy” (SAC) model. Not all issues can be easily debated as pro / con positions. SAC provides students with a framework for addressing complex issues in a productive manner that builds their skills in reading, analyzing, listening, and discussion. It shifts the goal from “winning” the argument to active listening to opposing viewpoints and distilling areas of agreement. We will try Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? 251kb PDF. You might consider using the SAC process with my series “Great Debates in American History
  2. “Fishbowl” – a versatile discussion technique. Here’s a pdf explanation.
  3. “Brainstorm, Group, Label” – Scroll to  #13 in this collection I designed. “Strategies for Struggling Readers” pdf

Looking for more classroom discussion resources?

Assignment 8 | Completed Discussion posts 19A-8

Try a discussion idea with your students this week. Could even be a brief one. [As an alternative, do a post on a discussion strategy you used in the past.] Write a reflective blog post that includes:

  1. A good title and featured image.
  2. The context of the lesson.
  3. The discussion strategy you used.
  4. What you learned from the experience.

Class 8/9: Lesson Study 2

Lesson study is a form of classroom inquiry in which several teachers collaboratively plan, teach, observe, revise and share the results of a single class lesson.  (Learn more about the “formal” process here)

We are modifying that formal process into a simple one. Each student in the class will “teach” a 20-25 minute learning activity. The rest of the class will act as participate / observers – serving as “students” during the lesson and afterwards, giving feedback to the “teacher.”

ASSIGNMENT 6 – TEACHING A LESSON (Session 2) | Lesson ideas (2) 19A-6
  • Class 8 (10/21) – Jose, Jarrett, Casey
    Class 9 (10/28) – Renee, Maddy, Jacquie, Cody

“Teachers” have prepared a learning activity and written an anticipatory blog post following guidelines outlined here.

  1. target audience
  2. content (what will be studied)
  3. process (what will you do – what will students do)
  4. resources for lessons

Participate / observers will use the following prompts to guide their feedback  immediately following the lesson.

  1. Contentas a student, what were you learning – facts, skills, insights?
  2. Processwhat did you see the teacher do to set up and deliver the lesson?
  3. Productwhat were you, as a student, tasked to “do / produce” to demonstrate your learning?
  4. Assessmentas an observer, how did the lesson go? Insights on content, delivery, workflow. Suggestions?
ASSIGNMENT 7 (Session 2)

“Teachers” will write a blog post that reflects on how your intent was realized in your delivery. Possible prompts: 

  • Did you accomplish your goals? 
  • What worked well? What didn’t?  
  • How about your timing, delivery and workflow? 
  • What did you learn from the experience?