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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Create a Physical Record of Your Blog With BlogBooker

The end of the school year is near for many of us. If your students have been blogging all year, you might want to have a physical copy of what they've written this year. Creating a physical copy of a classroom blog is a great way to show students just how much they wrote in the course of the school year. It's one thing to tell them they wrote 10,000 words it's another to show them how many pages that is when printed.

BlogBooker is a free service that allows you to turn your the contents of your Blogger blog into a PDF. Using BlogBooker is a fairly straight-forward process. BlogBooker walks you through each step of the process except for the very first step which might sound a little too "techy" for some Blogger users, but it's actually quite easy. The first step in using BlogBooker is to export the contents of your blog as an XML file. This is actually easy to do in Blogger. Step one is to open the "settings" menu of your Blogger blog. Step two is to select "export blog" under "basic" menu. Step three is to click "download." Don't worry, exporting the contents of your blog will not remove any content from your blog. After you've completed the export process, jump over to BlogBooker and follow their directions for completing the transition from XML file to PDF.

How Do Batteries Work? - A Nice TED-Ed Lesson

How Batteries Work is a new video lesson from TED-Ed. In this lesson students learn about the origins of batteries, how batteries work, the differences between disposable and rechargeable batteries, and why rechargeable batteries eventually cannot be recharged any more. Students watching the video will also see the difference between dry cell and wet cell batteries.


Applications for Education
To extend the lesson on batteries consider using one of the seven resources featured here including the Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits and Squishy Circuits.

5 Good Ways to Send Text & Push Notifications to Students & Parents - A Handout

When it comes to communicating with parents nothing can replace a good face-to-face meeting. Face-to-face meetings are not easy to schedule. Not every communication requires the intimacy of a face-to-face meeting. A phone call, a text message, an email, a blog post, or a social media post might be all that you need in order to convey your message. In the PDF embedded below I explain the features of five services for sending text messages and push notifications to students and their parents. You can download the PDF here.

Who Cares That You Rode Your Bike?

As long time readers of FreeTech4Teachers.com know, every Saturday I publish a week-in-review post. In that post I always include something about what I'm doing that weekend. In the summer that is usually biking or fishing. In the winter it is usually skiing or snowshoeing. And it almost always involves my dogs. Recently, someone asked me why I do this by asking, "who cares that you rode your bike?"

I stumbled into doing the week-in-review posts six or seven years ago when a former colleague suggested it to me. She also suggested that I add a little personality to my blog. I took her suggestion and started to include a little blurb about my life along with the list of the most popular posts of the week. Over the years I've heard from lots of people in-person and virtually who tell me that they like that little personal touch. And more than a few have commented that my mention of an activity has reminded them to get outside too. I'm a big believer in the power of exercise to stimulate creativity. Many of my best ideas come to me while walking in the woods, riding my bike, or skiing. It's also important to remember to balance work with play.

And just a reminder, if you feel like you can't keep up with my pace of posting, I do offer a once-per-week email summary of the most popular posts of the week. That email comes from my PracticalEdTech.com blog. You can sign-up for the weekly email here.

I'll be covering topics like this one and more in my online course Blogger Jumpstart!