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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Visuals Matter In Storytelling

I've had the pleasure of seeing Ken Shelton present on a number of occasions. Each time he has had superbly designed slidedecks. I've used many of Ken's presentation design tips in my own presentations over the last year and I think they've helped make my slides better. Recently, Ken shared with me a slidedeck that he made about the use of visuals in storytelling. He made the presentation on Haiku Deck and you can view it here or view it below.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Applications for Education
One of the things that I love about Haiku Deck is that it intentionally limits students ability to add lots of text to their slides. This in turn makes them focus on the use of visuals. Ken's Haiku Deck presentation can be an instructive model for your students.  

Shmoop Now Offers History, Math, and Literature Videos

This evening I looked at Shmoop for the first time in quite a while and learned that they now offer videos. The videos are short summaries of topics in U.S. History, classic literature, and mathematics. The videos are a mix of animated and green screen productions. I watched nine of the videos this evening and give them mixed reviews. A couple of the U.S. History videos were a bit too glib or cheeky in their handling of some serious topics while other videos were just fine.

Applications for Education
The Shmoop videos are a bit too short and lack the depth that I hope to find in review materials. The literature videos are more like book trailers than analysis of the books.  In that regard you might find the Shmoop videos could be models for having your students create book trailers of their own.

Join This Hangout to Learn More About PBL

I've just learned from Steve Dembo that on March 14th Discovery Education's Wilkes University Instructional Media Program is hosting a Google+ Hangout to talk about PBL. The Hangout's featured guests include Kathy Schrock, Ginger Lewman, and Cynthia Treichler. Some of the questions to be discussed during the Hangout include:
  • What types of project based learning is there and how does one decide which to use? 
  • What is authentic learning? 
  • What kinds of resources are available to support teachers who want to teach using PBL? 
  • Are there any projects that can serve as models for people getting started?
To join the Hangout on March 14 just head over to http://gplus.to/discoveryed or you can sign up for reminder emails here.

Disclosure: Discovery Education's Wilkes University Instructional Media Program is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Core of Education - Episode #5 - Collaboration

It had been a few weeks since our last recording so yesterday Rod Berger and I sat down to record another short episode for the Core of Education. This time we talked about collaboration and the Common Core standards. The video is embedded below.


By Popular Request - Another Section of How To Use Google Drive in School

When I first decided to offer some webinars on my own I was a bit nervous about how they would be received. After all, it was the first time that I actually tried to sell my instructional time directly. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to the first one hundred folks who joined me in the December and January webinars.

One request that I have had from quite a few people is to offer How To Use Google Drive in School at a later time to accommodate people outside of the Eastern and Central timezones of the U.S. Therefore, I'm happy to announce that I have schedule a new section that will meet at 10pm EST (7pm PST) on March 13, 20, and 27. You can register here.


How To Use Google Drive In School is a three hour interactive course for educators who want to learn how to use Google Drive (Google Docs, Presentations, Forms, Spreadsheets). This course covers everything from the basics of document creation to using scripts to automate workflow in Google Drive.

This course is taught by Richard Byrne who is a Google Certified Teacher and the author of multiple publications on using Google Apps in the classroom.

Registration is limited to 25 people per course. For only $87 all participants receive digital how-to guides, access to three hours of live webinar training, access to all webinar recordings, and access to a dedicated course discussion forum.

The cost of this course is $87.00 USD. The next section is scheduled to meet on March 13, 20, and 27 at 10pm EST. Registration is limited to 25 seats per section. Click here to register today!

Course Highlights
*Creating and sharing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
*Using Google Documents and Presentations for collaborative writing and reading exercises.
*Using Google Forms and Spreadsheets for collecting and analyzing data. 
*Using Google Documents as a publishing platform.
*Managing the flow of files in your Google Drive.
Registration is limited to 25 students per course.

This course is designed for educators who: 
*Are new to using Google Drive/ Documents.
*Have previously used Google Drive/ Documents but would like a refresher course.
*Would like to learn how Google Drive/ Documents can be used to help their students meet ELA Common Core Standards.

Registration Information 
Click here to register today!
Payments can be made with a personal credit card, with a school district credit card, or with PayPal.
Checks and purchase orders can be accepted however the cost of registration is $15.00 USD higher to cover additional processing associated with those payments. International orders can only be accepted via credit card or PayPal.
Please contact me directly at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com with questions about course registration and or payment processing.

Important: Registrations are not guaranteed until a payment or a purchase order has been received.

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