My, how you’ve grown

Doesn’t it seem like things have grown in your community over the years?

I know that, around here, there are subdivisions where there were once farmers’ fields or forests.

There’s another way to get a real sense of growth and what we’re doing to our communities and indeed, our planet.

It’s called Google Timelapse.  The landing page is the earth and it zeroes in to Miami, Florida.  Across the bottom, there are a number of interesting places to visit and see the growth over time.  In this case, the time goes from 1984 to 2016.

I wanted to test it with a place that I knew had grown so much and so headed to Toronto.  You can search for the location or move the map, just like you would with so many of Google’s mapping applications.


A little scrubber bar appears at the bottom and you can move the mapping display according to your wishes.  Or, you’ll notice a play button in the bottom left of the display.

Either way, you’ll be wowed with the visual display.

You know that you want to check out your own community.  If you’re like me, you may want to fixate on one subdivision at a time.  I could see the roads being build, expanded, and then houses appearing.

Applications in the classroom should be immediate.

This post originally appeared on:

If you read it somewhere else, it’s not original.


Challenge your students

In 5 clues…

This is a resource created by Michael Soskil and I’ll warn you right now, from personal experience, it’s a rabbit hole. A very nice rabbit hole!

It uses technology but it isn’t about technology. In fact, I could think of various ways to include technology but I think that would take away from the experience.

He calls it the “5 Clue Challenge“.

The rules?

If you are playing, simply pick a video and play it for your students.  After each clue, pause the video so that students can do a little research.  After the research, have each student take a guess.  At the end of the fifth clue, students can see how quickly they got the correct answer. The larger our collection of videos grows, the more opportunity you’ll have to expose your students to the world. 

So, the “technology” is that the videos included are done in YouTube. All that you need to do is press play and then pause after each clue. He does give you a bit of a pause but it’s not very long so keep your finger next to your mouse or trackpad. Ideally, you’ll have your computer connected to a display device and speakers for the audio.

The “real technology” involves students doing the research and the conversation that would be inspired by each of the videos and the clues contained within.

My personal rabbit hole was Animals.

Play just one and I’m sure that you’ll be hooked on the concept.

But it doesn’t have to stop there. In fact, it can really scaffold nicely; Michael encourages others to create their own 5 Clue Challenge video and share it back with him.

Imagine the power and the potential collection if classes just created and shared one video to help grow this collection.

Happy Summer Everyone

OK, this message should have been posted yesterday when the first day of summer actually occurred.  However, I did have my “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” to get out the door.

There’s a special message for you.  Just click here.

Billed as “How Geeks Show They Care”, geoGreeting creates a custom message for you based upon what it finds looking down on the earth from space.

Its use is dead simple.  Type your message and geoGreeting creates the appropriate URL for you.  Just send the URL to your friends or connect it to a link in your blog like I did.

These spaces intentionally left blank so not to spoil the moment.


















For Lisa

This post is for @nobleknits2 who stole a bunch of time from me when she suggested that I look at Geoguessr.  Well, Lisa, you know what they say about paybacks…

I re-ran into this site this morning and immediately dropped all productive work.  It’s called the Traveller IQ Challenge.

Presented with a challenge of a location or capital city or famous location and a countdown timer, the goal is to identify the location on a world map.  And that’s just the world challenge.  Test your knowledge of places by zeroing in on a continent or by photos or by flags and test your knowledge.

This is definitely a consumer of time – in a fun and educational way.

See you in a few months, Lisa!



@nobleknits2 owes me a few hours of my life back!

She introduced me to GeoGuessr and it’s been an obsession ever since.

It’s a geographic game and the “Guessr” part of the name is unfortunate.  If you enjoy geography and can get clues from images, it’s really all about inquiry and discovery.  All in a game format.

The premise is pretty simple.  Start a game and the application pulls an image from somewhere in the world, courtesy of Google.  Look around in 3D for clues about the location.  Some are fairly intuitive; some may take some noodle scratching; and, I guess some just require a guess.

No matter how, you end up with an idea of where in the world the image is.  Click as close to the location as on the map as you can and then “Make a Guess”.

Score is determined by how close to the actual location you got.

Play a number of rounds and the game is over.  Check out your score.

Embarrassingly, here’s one of my games that I hammered through to do a screen capture for this post.  I need to brush up on my Portugese language skills and learn the difference between Australian locations and New Zealand locations!

If you’re a geography fan, you’ll enjoy it.  I think this would be a wonderful competitive activity for the geography classroom.

Give it a shot.  If you get hooked, be like me and blame @nobleknits2!