I got a great email yesterday! It was from the nice folks at Quia.com.
If you have never heard of Quia, it is a neat site that, if you pay some $$ you can create any one of about a dozen different kinds of on-line activities, quizzes or surveys to share with your students.
The thing is that they have thousands of free pre-made activities, nicely categorized, that you can access without having to get a subscription in a â€˜try before you buyâ€™ marketing strategy. It just so happens that four of the activities are Flash based, and therefore are suitable for embedding within Google Earth placemark balloons (Windows Only, Current Version of Google Earth Required)!
On a whim I tried a little mash-up (or hack) to see if I could get one of the flash activities to load in a GE balloon and lo and behold, it worked! It is ultra cool!
Rags to Riches, adding even more value to Google Earth!
Well, I wanted to share it through this site but thought it might be prudent to find out if it was legal first. After reading every word of Quiaâ€™s Terms and Conditions of Use I still wasnâ€™t sure so I shot them off an email telling them how their content could be used, that I wanted to train others how to do it and quick as a wink I got a note back from them saying that it was OK and thanks for sharing it on the gelessons site!
The four activities are some of their best ones. There is a Jeopardy style game called â€˜Challenge Boardâ€™ which would be excellent for a whole class 20-30 minute game, a Hangman game that is great for reinforcing vocabulary, a game called Rags to Riches which is based on the TV show â€˜Who wants to be a Millionaireâ€™ (one Quia teacher I spoke with said that when her kids win that one, the younger ones expect money to come out of the floppy drive on the computer and finally a game called Battleship where when you hit the opponents ship you have to correctly answer a question in order for the hit to count.
The best part is that the trick is soooo easy to do! There is now a new â€˜Two Minute Tutorialâ€™ in the Nifty Tricks section with the amazingly easy details.
No, I am not getting anything from Quia to plug their site or service (wish I was!), I just thought it was cool. Ever since I got my own Quia account by going to a District sponsored workshop a month ago I have been impressed with what it can do. The on-line quizzes and surveys are especially useful as a paid subscriber, unfortunately for Google Earth they are not Flash based.
Now all we need is for Quia, or someone, to come up with Flash based quizzes that are scored by the system and we would really be able to teach and assess in one foul swoop!
P.S. If you comment on any of the posts here, your comments will most likely never show up. It is nothing personal. It is just that this blog gets, on average, 800-1200 spams a week, mostly for bogus pharmaceuticals, and while I scan through them, the real comments are nearly impossible to spot. If anyone has experience with this older version of WordPress who can offer suggestions on how to get rid of the massive amounts of spam I would love to know!