Quick Classroom Tools – a Timer and Maps

This week’s tip focuses on a couple quick tools for your practice, for those impromptu moments that you just need a resource that works. Today I’ll highlight an ad-free online timer that’s ultra-quick to use and an interactive map that creates blank maps quickly, with the added ability to scribble directly on top of them and save your notes.


E.ggtimer is a quick online app built for one purpose — to give a countdown from a specific time. What makes this any different from other timers? Two specific reasons:

  • Its ad-free, simplistic display (check out the screen shot below)
  • The ease of starting the timer. To start the countdown, you can visit the front page of the website (e.ggtimer.com) or simply type your starting time directly into the URL. For a two-minute timer, type e.ggtimer.com/twominutes. For one minute and thirty seconds, type e.ggtimer.com/oneminutethirtyseconds.

Simple. Easy.


ScribbleMaps is a relatively new site that has collected multiple mapping programs (Google Maps, OpenMaps, etc.) and added a layer of impressive functionality on top.

For quick use (our theme for today), at the bottom of ScribbleMaps is a menu of the variety of maps available. The default is Google, but selecting “CloudMade Plus” and then “Fresh” from the color offerings gives a simple, blank world map that can be annotated with ease.

For those using Smart Notebook, this can be a quick an easy way to collect blank maps of areas around the world. Just click the “Smart Capture Toolbar” icon and take some snapshots. 

For those with experience with Google Maps and Google Earth, you’ll appreciate the number of options available in ScribbleMaps Pro (currently free while ScribbleMaps is in beta). For detailed information, check out an impromptu manual put together by bloggers over at the Crossing Boundaries project.

Have another quick tool you couldn’t live without?  Drop it in the comments.

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