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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Penguins and 3D Printers

We went to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas today and saw endangered African penguins. Seeing the penguins immediately reminded me of the story of Purps the Penguin.

Purps is a penguin at the Mystic Aquarium who was helped by middle school students who designed and printed a walking boot for Purps when she was injured. With the help of their school's library media specialist, Sue Prince, the students in a Mystic, Connecticut middle school created the boot for Purps. The whole story can be found in the video embedded below.


To me, this story is another great example of students putting their heads together to solve a problem with the help of their teacher and the help of technology.

How to Subscribe to a YouTube Channel

I have a few YouTube channels that I enjoy and look forward to their next uploads. I subscribe to those channels so that I'm notified when new videos are uploaded and whenever those channels host live streams. A few of the channels I'm subscribed to are SciShow Kids, Tom Richey, and Minute Earth. If you're a high school history teacher, I'd recommend subscribing to Tom Richey's channel and sharing it with your students. In the following video I demonstrate how to subscribe to a YouTube channel.

The first part of the video shows you how to search within a YouTube channel. This is a great way to search within a trusted source for additional content.


Tomorrow at 9:30am EDT I'm hosting a YouTube Live session in which I'll answer your ed tech questions. You'll find that Q&A on my YouTube channel.

Three Tips for Getting More Out of Webinars

About nine or so years ago I watched a webinar for the first time. I can't remember exactly what the webinar was about (it was something about Second Life), but I do remember thinking that I didn't get "it." After that I watched bunch of free webinars about all kinds of things because that's what I thought I should do to be a modern teacher staying current in his practice. Finally, in late 2011 I paid to join a webinar and something weird happened, I got a lot more out of the experience. Since then almost every webinar I've attended, both free and paid, has been a good learning experience. Here's what I figured out about learning from webinars.

1. Participate in live webinars, don't just watch them.
Every webinar platform has some kind of chat or Q&A feature. Use it! Use it to ask the presenter questions. An experienced webinar presenter will be able to handle questions in realtime. Don't be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Even when I'm attending webinars about things with which I'm already familiar, I make an effort to think of questions to ask. This forces me to tune-in and listen with more focus than if I was just listening in the hopes that something said by the presenter will jump out at me.

2. Close Facebook and take notes.
If I cannot attend the live version of a webinar, I still find great value in recorded webinars. When I watch recorded webinar I focus on it the same way I would during a live session. That means closing Facebook and taking notes in my notebook. In that notebook I write the questions that I want to send to the presenter via email.

3. Act on webinar ideas quickly.
When I participate in a webinar my participation isn’t over until I actually act on what I was just taught. Just like in a traditional classroom setting, it’s important to try for yourself what was just demonstrated for you. Do this as quickly as you can.

If you’re ready to try learning through webinars, take a look at the online courses that I'm offering this summer. And if you're a subscriber to the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter, check your email for a discount offer that was sent on Wednesday.

Practical Ed Tech Live - Tomorrow Morning With a Special Guest

Tomorrow morning at 9:30 EDT I am hosting another edition of Practical Ed Tech Live in which I will answer your questions about all things ed tech. This week's episode will be coming to you live from the waterfront in New Orleans with a special guest. That guest is my daughter Isla Quinn. Why we're broadcasting from New Orleans will be revealed in tomorrow's show.

You can join tomorrow's live broadcast by joining us on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to my channel and you'll receive a notification when the broadcast goes live. Watch this video to learn how to subscribe to a YouTube channel.

Tomorrow morning I'll answer questions that are submitted live on the broadcast. I will also answer questions that have been submitted in advance. Please use the following form to submit your questions.