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Monday, October 30, 2017

Getting Going With G Suite for Education

Last summer more than 100 people participated in my online course Getting Going With G Suite. Throughout the Fall I've fielded requests from folks who missed out on the summer course and would like to get into the next offering. I'm happy to announce that I have scheduled another offering of Getting Going With G Suite for Education. The next course will begin on November 30th at 7pm ET.

This course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that G Suite for Education offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With G Suite is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using G Suite for Education. This 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.

Course highlights:

  • Streamline your workflow with Google Classroom.
  • Get control of your inbox with Gmail hacks.
  • Create self-paced, self-grading assessments in Google Forms.
  • Develop an classroom website with Google Sites.
  • Organize meetings with Google Calendar.
  • Keep track of bookmarks and notes with Google Keep.
  • Make beautiful presentations in Google Slides.
  • Create guided reading activities in Google Docs.
  • A Google Classroom for Q&A during the course.


Getting Going With G Suite costs $147. (Subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter receive a discount code to save $15).

Can't make to all of the live webinars? Don't worry, every live session is recorded and emailed to you the next day. And you can still participate in Q&A through the discussion forum.

A note about fees for webinars:
Whenever I advertise a Practical Ed Tech webinar I am asked why they aren't free. There are two reasons. One, hosting professional development events is one of the ways that I am able to keep the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. Two, while all of the tools featured in my webinars are free to use, my time for teaching about them is not free.

Planboard for Lesson Planning



Planboard is a lesson planning app that is free for individual teachers. Create digital lesson plans and access them from anywhere. Use templates to build lessons that can include attachments, photos, and videos. Add individual standards to your lessons and track student progression for each class. Cutback on lesson planning time by reusing lessons from one semester to another or share lessons with colleagues. 

An additional planning tool to check out is the lesson plan tool for Google Docs.

How to Create a Digital Breakout Game

Breakout EDU has been a breakout hit in classrooms over the last couple of years. The success of the physical Breakout EDU games has spurred the creation of many digital versions built on everything from Google Forms to full-fledged online game environments. Metaverse recently published a tutorial on how to make your own digital breakout game on their free augmented reality platform. These are breakout games that you can build and your students can play on their mobile phones. Of course, your students can also build their own games on the Metaverse platform. Watch the tutorial below to learn how to build your own digital breakout game.


Disclosure: Metaverse is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

How to Enter Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow Contest

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Last week I shared some information about Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow contest. he contest is designed to get students in grades six through twelve interested in STEAM projects that can have an immediate impact on local and global communities. As I wrote last week, initial entry into the contest is free and only requires answering a few short questions. In the video below I demonstrate how to complete the initial entry form. Entries are due by November 9th. Take a few minutes to enter and you could be on your way to winning $25,000 worth of Samsung products for your school.


All state finalists (255 in all) will receive a Samsung tablet (valued at $499.99). From those state finalists’ plans, state winners will be chosen. State winners will receive $25,000 in Samsung technology for their schools. State winners will be invited to submit a video about their projects. Those videos will be used in selecting ten national finalists who will receive $50,000 in school technology and a trip to the national pitch event where three national winners will be chosen. National winners will receive $150,000 in Samsung technology for their schools.

Library of Congress Congressional Data Challenge

The National Data Challenge from the Library of Congress is a competition that is asking "citizen coders" to develop creative ways to use technology to analyze, visualize, and interpret data sets from congress.gov as well as other platforms. The idea is to create a product that helps others discover, use, and explore the massive collection of legislative information that is available from the Library. 

Some examples of what the staff at the Library of Congress envision include:

  • A visualization of how the legislative process works. 
  • Tools that could be embedded on Congressional websites. 
  • A tool that will allow members of congress to be matched with other members who have similar legislative interests. 
 The Library of Congress will award $5000 to the first prize winner and $1000 for the best high school project.  Submissions must be received by April 2, 2018 and include a 2-minute video. 

Applications for Education
This could be a project that students could work on for a coding class or after school coding club. 

Last Minute Halloween Ideas

Halloween is tomorrow! You either love celebrating this day with students or you absolutely dread it. No matter which camp you are in, hopefully you have something planned to make tomorrow memorable. If you have procrastinated then keep reading! This is a collection of Halloween ideas that have been shared here on Free Technology for Teachers. We've compiled them into one post to make it easier to find a fun Halloween activity.