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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Glossary of Blogging Terminology - A PDF Handout

After years of leading workshops on blogging I have found that many people benefit from having a glossary of terms that they can refer to. Likewise, if you’re blogging with your students it is helpful if there is a common understanding of the terminology used in your blogging activities. Embedded below is the glossary of terms of that I created a couple of years ago for participants in my workshops. You can also click here to view and download the document.

Online PD With Me All Summer Long - Graduate Credit Available

The summer is a great time to learn a new skill, develop new ideas, and create new lessons to take into your classroom in the fall.

This summer I'm offering a handful of online professional development opportunities. Two of them carry graduate credit options and all of them provide certificates for professional development hours. All courses feature live webinars with Q& A forums. All webinars are recorded for students to watch at their leisure if they miss a class.

Getting Going With GAFE (Google Apps for Education) 

Getting Going With GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership with Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph.  This course begins on July 2nd
Click here to learn more. Click here to register today. The cost of this course is $147


Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders

Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. After learning about how each of the tools works we’ll dive into developing strategies for implementation. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership with Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. This course begins on July 6th
Click here to learn more. Click here to register today. The cost of this course is $147


Teaching History With Technology

History teachers come learn with me, Richard Byrne, and Ken Halla of US and World History Teachers’ Blogs. In Teaching History With Technology we take you through the process of developing engaging, web-based history lesson plans. This course features three interactive online meetings along with a discussion forum in which you can further interact with me, Ken, and your classmates. The class will meet online on July 16, 23, and 30 at 5:30pm Eastern Time. 
Click here to learn more. Click here to register today! The cost of this course is $97.


Blogger Jumpstart!

Over the last eight years I’ve published more than 11,000 blog posts across four blogs. Along the way I’ve grown my primary blog, FreeTech4Teachers.com, from less than 1,000 pageviews per month to more than 1,000,000 per month. In doing so I’ve learned, often the hard way, what works in blogging. More importantly, I’ve learned what does work. In Blogger Jumpstart on June 10th and 11th I’ll share all of those lessons that I’ve learned.  

Blogger Jumpstart is a live two night event in which I will share all the lessons I’ve learned about what works and doesn’t work in blogging. The cost of this course is $97. The course will be conducted in two 90 minute live webinars. Each webinar will begin at 8pm Eastern Time. It will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live sessions. The recordings, slides, and workbook are yours to keep and refer to forever. Click here to learn more. Click here to register today!

Custom Webinars

If you have ten or more faculty members that you want to participate in one of these webinars, a special schedule can be created just for you. We can cover any of the standard topics of Google Drive, Google Apps, Blogging, and Google Earth or create a custom series of webinars just for you. Click here to learn more about offering a custom webinar for your organization.

About the costs and my decision to advertise these opportunities on my blog:
Sometimes when I advertise one of these webinars I get messages from people who are upset that I am advertising it here and or that I am charging for it. I understand why some people feel that way. I thought long and hard about how to offer these opportunities. In fact, I thought about it and talked about it with trusted advisors for a year before offering the first webinar series. The purpose of this blog and my goal for years has always been to help people use free technology in their classrooms. The tools and strategies featured in my webinars and at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp are free to use. However, my time for teaching isn't free. Further, I pay licensing fees to GoToTraining and to Wistia for hosting all of the media content of the courses.

Teaching Supply and Demand With Toys

Think back to your childhood and there is bound to be a toy that you just "had to have." That toy was probably in one of the new toy fads that hit the marketplace every year.  If you got that toy during the height of its popularity it surely cost more than it did a few months later. EconEd Link has a lesson plan devoted to this pattern.

Supply and Demand, Lessons from Toy Fads is a lesson plan designed to help middle school students understand the concepts of supply and demand. The lesson plan is based on two case studies. One case study focuses on Hula Hoops while the other focuses on the more recent Silly Bandz fad. Through both studies students will learn about shortages, surplus, and price equilibrium.

Applications for Education
Rather than relying on the somewhat dated Silly Bandz fad and the definitely dated Hula Hoop examples, modify the lesson plan for toys and other objects currently desired by the students in your classroom.

A Short Lesson on Credit Cards

My local newspaper and my Facebook feed are filled with pictures of fresh high school graduates and the names of the colleges that they will be attending in the fall. When those students get to campus in the fall offers from credit card companies will be one of the first things to greet them in their campus mailboxes.  Unfortunately, a lot of students don't understand just how quickly they can rack-up huge debts with these credit cards. The following videos are worth sharing with students before they apply for their first credit cards.

Credit Card Responsibility from Common Craft explains how credit cards work and how you can avoid getting into trouble with them.



Credit Card Debt Explained With a Glass of Water shows students how long it can take to pay off a credit card debt if they only make the minimum payments every month.

Move Your Body, Move Your Mind

Whether you're trying to come up with new lesson plan ideas or new blog post ideas, at some point we all feel our creative energy sag. One of the ways that I get my creative juices flowing again is to go for a long walk, a hike, a bike ride, or paddle down a river. I emphasize long because a quick 15 minute lunch time walk doesn't do it. I have to get outside for an extended time, at least an hour, to let my mind really wander. When my mind wanders it can come up with some interesting ideas.

You might be saying, "Richard, I hate running and biking." That's okay. The important thing is to get outside away from your desk and without your cell phone. If you feel you must take your cell phone for emergency purposes, do so but turn off the ringer and resist the temptation to check Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter/ Email. Even just strolling around a park for an hour can do wonders for your mood and your creativity.

The next time you feel your creativity waning, try moving your body and you'll find you're mind moving too.

This is one of the methods that I've used for years to keep my blog posts flowing. I'll be sharing more ideas and methods like this one in Blogger Jumpstart later this week.