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Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Week in Review - A Little Break

Good evening from Maine where I'm getting ready for the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp that starts on Monday morning. Earlier this week, for the first time in years, I went consecutive days without publishing a blog post. I did that because I needed a little brain break after weeks of being on the road including a week at ISTE 2016 where I was bombarded with product pitches. During that little break I went bass fishing with a friend I hadn't seen in almost a year and I took some time for a long bike ride. We all need an unscheduled break sometimes. Now I feel ready to get back to cranking out helpful information to share on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Enable Automatic Grading in Google Forms
2. How to Create Online Collaborative Whiteboards
3. CK-12 Concept Maps Show Kids Connections Between Math and Science
4. Google Forms Can Now Automatically Grade Quizzes Without an Add-on
5. How Fireworks Work
6. Flubaroo Compared to the New Google Forms Auto-grading Feature
7. The History Project - Like Storycorps With Timelines

Bring Me To Your School or Conference
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 
Take a look at the online workshops I'm hosting throughout the spring and summer.

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.

Collect, Customize, and Share Resources from Smithsonian Learning Labs

Late last year I wrote a post about The Smithsonian Learning Lab which is a fantastic tool for organizing the thousands of digital resources available through the various Smithsonian museums. The Smithsonian Learning Lab allows teachers to create and search for documents, images, videos, interactive animations, and lesson plans. In June the Smithsonian put forth a revamped version of the Learning Lab. The latest version still allows you to create and search for resources. It also lets you create collections to share with others as well as create assignments to give to your students. The video playlist embedded below teaches you how to collect, customize, and share collections of resources in the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

Applications for Education
The Smithsonian Learning Lab's collections feature on its own is great, but the collections are better when you can share them with others. In the Smithsonian Learning Lab you can create a classroom. Students join your classroom by entering the password that you choose for your classroom. Once students have joined your classroom you can share resources with them. You can also distribute assignments to students through your Smithsonian Learning Lab classroom.

Mission Mapquest - Create a Map Game That Can Be Played on iPads

Mission MapQuest is a great map game creation tool developed by friend Russel Tarr for his ClassTools.net website. The concept behind Mission Mapquest is rather straight-forward one. On Mission Mapquest you create a series of clues that your students need to follow to identify places around the world. You can add as few or as many clues to your MapQuest as you like. When you're ready to have students try your MapQuest just give them the web address assigned to it. Mission Mapquest games are created in HTML5 which means that they can be played on iPads and Android tablets as well as on laptops. Watch the video embedded below to learn how to create your own map-based quizzes on Mission MapQuest.