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Saturday, May 28, 2016

What Connects These Things? - A Search Lesson

Dan Russell has provided the inspiration for many of the web research lessons that I have conducted with students over the years. Every week he posts an interesting search challenge for readers then provides the answers a few days later. The challenges vary in difficulty, but I always learn something from them regardless of how difficult they are. This week he posted a challenge called What's In Common?

The What's In Common? challenge asks you to identify the shared characteristics of two or more pictures, events, and or scenarios. In Dan's post this week he asked readers to find the commonalities between three floods and he asked readers to find the commonalities between three plants.
What do these two have in common besides being dogs?
Applications for Education
What I like about the What's In Common? challenge is that I can make it as easy or as difficult as I need it to be based on my students' current skill levels. For example, I might make one challenge based on reading the content of webpages that students find while searching and make another challenge based on being able to discover and use the meta data in images.

How to Customize Background Scenes in Storyboard That Frames

Earlier this week Storyboard That introduced customizable background scenes for all users. I've had a few emails this week about how to change the colors and other elements in Storyboard That scenes so this morning I created the following short demonstration video.


Applications for Education
Watch this recent webinar recording to learn more about the many ways that Storyboard That can be used in your classroom.


Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog. 

Summer Online PD Opportunities With Me

The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps have sold out, but there are other ways to learn with me this summer. This summer I'm offering three online PD courses for teachers. Two of those courses include a graduate credit option. You can bookmark the menu of courses here or read on for more information.

Getting Going With GAFE

Getting Going With GAFE is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using 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. Click here to learn more about the course including how to earn 3 graduate credits.

Summer section: July 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, and August 2nd at 7pm Eastern Time. Click here to register

Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders

Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a five week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned.  After establishing blogs we’ll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities. Click here to learn more about the course including how to earn 3 graduate credits.

Summer section dates: July 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, and August 4th at 7pm EST. Click here to register

Teaching History With Technology 

In Teaching History With Technology you will learn how to develop engaging and challenging learning activities through the use tools like Google Earth and Maps, video production tools, primary source databases, and how to help your students become better researchers. This course features three interactive online meetings along with a discussion forum in which you can further interact with me and your classmates. See the course highlights here.

Summer section dates: July 11th, 18th, and 25th at 7pm EST. Click here to register.

Discounts!

Subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter can receive a discount on the registration for any or all of these courses by using the code "subscriber" during online registration.

Schedule a private webinar for your school. If you have ten or more teachers from the same district interested in a webinar, I can schedule a course tailored to your needs. To schedule a webinar series for your school send me an email richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

The Week in Review - A Leisurely Breakfast at Home

Good morning from the Byrne Instructional Media, LLC headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. As I sit on my deck I can tell that it is going to be a beautiful weekend to play and relax in the outdoors. In fact, my dogs and I are going to do just that by going camping this weekend. Before we can do that I have to finish a couple of blog posts and Mason needs to finish his breakfast. As you can see in the picture to the left, he wasn't in a hurry to eat this morning. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have time to relax just like Mason.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 4 Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed Last Week
2. 12 Tools for Creating End-of-Year Review Activities
3. 10 Sites and Apps for Vocabulary and Spelling Practice
4. How to Create Images, Videos, and Web Pages With Adobe Spark
5. 10 Ways to Use Adobe Spark in School
6. Interactive Maps of Travel Through the Roman Empire
7. Thousands of Free eBooks for Summer Reading

Spring and Summer PD Opportunities With Me
Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
FrontRow offers adaptive online ELA and Math practice activities.  
Teach n Go is a comprehensive platform for teaching online courses.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
Buncee offers a great tool for creating visual stories.