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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Free Through the Weekend - Teach Your Monster to Read Mobile Apps

Teach Your Monster to Read is one of my favorite online programs for helping children learn to recognize letters and sounds. The browser-based version of Teach Your Monster to Read is free and always has been free. The mobile apps for the program are usually not free. Through this coming Sunday (March 26th) the iPad and Android apps for Teach Your Monster to Read are completely free to download. The free download includes access to all aspects of Teach Your Monster to Read.

The Teach Your Monster to Read environment contains eight levels (or islands as they’re called in the game) each containing four activities. Students play the game as a friendly monster avatar. On each island students can earn prizes for their monsters and customize the look of their monsters

Students Evaluating Student Work

This is a guest post from my friend Rushton Hurley. Rushton is the founder of Next Vista for Learning and the author of Making Your School Something Special.

At the recent #CUE17 conference, I ran a workshop on getting a digital video project going. While a good chunk of the session was devoted to exploring several easy-to-learn tools, such as SpeakPipe Voice Recorder and Adobe Spark Video, we also took time to look at a variety of student videos.

Getting students to create videos explaining what they've learned can yield pretty disappointing results when students decide to record what they normally think of as teaching. One student might stand at a whiteboard to explain something, while another holds a phone (hopefully horizontally) and records it.

Giving students a variety of videos (narrated images or art, stop-motion, puppets, etc.) to consider can help them come up with much more interesting pieces.

For the workshop, I created a doc (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PEGpGrH2t-bJegz53FCrwul63iMa5DfkYsuL5U6c_fE/edit?usp=sharing) with sets of student-created videos that others could watch in order to identify strengths and weaknesses, and also brainstorm completely different approaches to exploring the video's topic.

The doc contains instructions on ways to use the many linked videos and sets, but I think it can be better, and would love your feedback.

How can I improve it so that it better fits what you ask students to create? Please let me know at videos@nextvista.org, and if I can create something good for you, I'm happy to do so!

Choice Eliminator Lite - Remove Choices from Google Forms as They're Used

Early last month I shared my most frequently recommended Google Forms Add-ons. Choice Eliminator was one of the Add-ons on that list. Unfortunately, official support for Choice Eliminator was eliminated at the end of February. Many people have since asked me for an alternative. The best alternative that I've found so far is Choice Eliminator Lite.

Choice Eliminator Lite will remove choices from a Google Form as they are used up. For example, if you were to create a Google Form for reserving computer lab space, the time slots would disappear from the form as they were selected.

The difference between Choice Eliminator and Choice Eliminator Lite is that the lite version is not intended to be used by large groups simultaneously.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Protecting Online Accounts With Strong Passwords - Video

Creating a strong password is a good first step to protecting your email and social media accounts from being hacked. But that's just the first step. To really protect your account there are some additional steps you should take like using two-factor authentication. In the following video Common Craft explains how to protect your online accounts. Click here to watch the video or you can view it embedded below.


Applications for Education
The tips in the video may be a old news to some of us, but to a lot of students and teachers those tips are new. It also never hurts to remind people of these tips.

For help in creating a strong password consider using a tool like Wolfram Alpha's password generator.

Common Craft videos can be reviewed online for evaluation purposes. To use embed them into a blog as I've done requires a membership (which are very reasonably priced).

Disclosure: I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp - Super Early Discounts End Soon

Every year for the last four years the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps have sold out. Compared to this time last year, there are more people registering early than ever before. The super-early discount on registration ends this Friday night. The super-early discount price is $100 less than the full price and $50 less than the early registration discount. Please see the Chromebook Camp and BYOD Camp pages for more details or just send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

Chromebook Camp - July 20th & 21st

BYOD Camp - July 27th & 28th