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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to Use Classtools.net to Create a Fake Text Message Exchange

Russel Tarr, owner of Classtools.net, has developed and published a bunch of great tools over the years. One of my favorite of those is the Fake SMS Generator. The Classtools Fake SMS Generator is free to use and does not require students to register to use it. In the video below I demonstrate how to create a fictitious text message exchange between historical characters.


As I mentioned in the video, the Fake SMS Generator could also be used to create visuals for lessons on cyber-safety and etiquette.

Need More Storage Space? Google Drive for Education Has You Covered

I have created nearly all of my documents and many of my presentations in the same Google Drive account for the last six or seven years and I have yet to run out of storage space. But if you store a lot of large multimedia files in your Google Drive account, you might bump up against a limit. Starting this week Google Apps for Education users will not have to worry about storage limitations again. Yesterday, Google announced that Google Apps for Education users will now have unlimited storage space for free.

In that same announcement we learned that by the end of the year Google will begin providing Google Apps Vault for free to schools using Google Apps for Education. Google Apps Vault provides administrators with email and chat archiving, drive file search, email search, audit reports, and tools to comply with legal hold requirements.

ClassCharts Helps You Formulate Seating Plans Based on Behavior Data

Disclosure: ClassCharts is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

ClassCharts is an excellent tool for creating online seating charts, behavior charts, and behavior reports. One of the best features of ClassCharts is the option to create seating charts based on behavior data that you record for each class. When you are viewing a seating chart in your ClassCharts account you can select the option to rearrange students manually, randomly, or based on behavior patterns. Create a chart based on behavior patterns simply move the behavior score slider to "cluster similar" or "disperse similar." See the screenshot below for an illustration of this setting.
Click the image to view it in full size.

Learn more about ClassCharts in the video below.

Easily Add Charts to Infographics With Easelly

Easel.ly is an online tool for creating infographics. I've reviewed a couple of times in the past on this blog. The latest update to Easelly introduced a tool for creating charts to incorporate into your infographics. The chart creation tool is a drag-and-drop option that can be found in the Easelly toolbar.

Easel.ly provides a canvas on which you can build your own infographic by dragging and dropping pre-made design elements. You can use a blank canvas or build upon one of Easel.ly's themes. In addition to using the built-in creation tools you can upload your own graphics to include in your infographic. Your completed infographic can be exported and saved as PNG, JPG, PDG, and SVG files.


infographics from easel.ly on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Using Easel.ly could be a good way for students to create visual representations of what they learned through a research assignment. I've also seen infographic assignments used in place of traditional book report assignments.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Most Popular Posts of September

It's the last day of the month and as I do every month I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the month. This month FreeTech4Teachers.com received more than 1,000,000 pageviews for the first time. That is amazing! Thank you to all of you who have shared posts through Tweets, Pins, Facebook, and other means. Your support keeps this blog going.



Here are the most popular posts of the month:
1. Powtoon Is Giving Away Free Accounts to Teachers - Create Animated Videos Online
2. Socratic Smackdown - A Game for Learning and Practicing Discussion Strategies
3. Engage Students in History With Fake Facebook and Fake SMS
4. 12 Good Tools for Gathering Real-time Feedback from Students
5. Frequently Overlooked Google Search Tools and Strategies
6. How to Use the Random Name Selection Tools on Classtools.net
7. How to Create Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional People, Places, and Events
8. Sources of Free Sound Effects and Music for Multimedia Projects
9. MyStorybook - A Good Platform for Creating Picture Books
10. Turn a Set of Spreadsheet Cells Into Easy to Read Documents

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.
GoSocialStudiesGo is an online textbook for social studies students.

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