Saturday, December 3, 2022

Posters, Pictures, and Leftovers - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where yesterday it felt like winter and today it feels like spring. My family is supposed to go see the Christmas lights display at the Boothbay Botanical Gardens this evening, but the rain might dampen our plans. So we might end up spending the day making Christmas cookies. Either way, we're going to have a fun weekend and I hope that you do too. 

This week marked the 15th anniversary of Free Technology for Teachers. On Monday I published some thoughts about what's happened in the world of edtech, blogging, and social media over those years. That post also included a list of the ten most popular posts of all time on this blog. You can read it all here

On the same day that I marked the anniversary of this blog I also scheduled a workshop for an organization that reached out to me. If you'd like to have me run a workshop for your school, library, or organization in 2023 please get touch with me soon

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. C-SPAN Offers a Free Electoral College Poster
2. More Than 70,000 Pieces of ClipArt and Pictures for Students
3. Three YouTube Features Every Teacher Should Know How to Use
4. How to Add Descriptions to Google Drive Folders
5. Two Good Ways to Create Simple and Focused Websites
6. A Thanksgiving Leftovers Search Lesson and Bookmarking Tip
7. In Memory of Ed Webster - Resources for Teaching and Learning About Mount Everest

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!
50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integrators, and media specialists in mind. In it you'll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions. Get a copy today!

Workshops and eBooks
If you'd like to have me speak at your school or conference, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) or fill out the form on this page. Book me for this school year and I'll include copies of my eBook for all of the teachers in your school. 

Other Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 43,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • If you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Strava.
This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

50 Canva Tutorials for Teachers

Other than Google Workspace tools, Canva is the tool that I've published the most tutorials about on my YouTube channel. In fact, with the publication of my latest Canva tutorial video I've now published 50 tutorials about using Canva's many features for making videos, presentations, timelines, posters, greeting cards, worksheets, and many other graphics. All of those videos are available in one playlist that you can find and bookmark right here on my YouTube channel.

You can view my updated Canva tutorials playlist right here. A handful of highlights from the playlist have been embedded below. 

How to Create a Video With Canva

How to Create an Audio Slideshow Video in Canva

How to Import PowerPoint Slides into Canva

Friday, December 2, 2022

Two Ways to Make Timelines With Adobe Express

A couple of days ago I read a Book Widgets blog post about fun ways to use timelines in your lessons. Reading that blog post inspired me to create a new video about another tool that students can use to create timelines. That tool is Adobe Express

In Adobe Express there are two ways that students can create timelines. The first is to use one the more than 250 timeline infographic templates that Adobe Express offers. Students can customize those templates by changing the font, color scheme, and graphics. They can also use the integrated image search to find pictures to use in their timelines. Completed timelines can be downloaded as PDFs and as PNG files. 

The other way that students can create timelines in Adobe Express is by creating a simple web page in a linear format. When using that option students can include videos and hyperlinks in their timelines as well as pictures and text. 

Video - Two Ways to Make Timelines in Adobe Express

Applications for Education
If you and your students are already using Adobe Express for other things like making videos and editing images, Adobe Express provides a convenient way to build a printable timeline. If you're not already using Adobe Express and you're looking for a tool that is specifically designed for building timelines, I would try Timeline JS or Sutori first.

Image Candy - A Free Suite of Image Editing Tools

Image Candy is a free set of image editing tools that you can use without having to register for any kind of account. In all there are thirteen free image editing tools included in Image Candy. All of them are quick and easy to use. 

Some of the free image editing tools that you'll find on Image Candy include a background remover, watermark tool, meme generator, and image file-type converter. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate a few of the easy-to-use features of Image Candy. 

Video - Remove Backgrounds, Make Memes, and More With Image Candy

Applications for Education
One of the first things that I thought of when trying Image Candy was to use the background remover to strip the background from a photograph and then use the new image as an overlay on another background like a famous landmark. Another way that you might have students use Image Candy is to create memes based on images of historical events and notable people in history. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

The True Costs of Owning a Car - A Lesson Plan for High School Students

I paid $1500 for my first car. That was a hefty sum for me back in the fall of 1996. That car needed a little bit of brake work to pass the state's safety inspection and then it needed about a dozen other little repairs over the next two years. Fortunately, I had someone in my life who taught me a lot about working on cars and saved me lots of money in the process. I made the same mistake that many young people make in believing that saving money to purchase the car was all that I needed. That's why I like EconEdLink's free lesson plan titled Owning a Car.

Owning a Car is a free lesson plan that is designed as a personal finance lesson for high school students. The lesson is based around a video titled What are the True Costs of Car Ownership? The video was produced as a collaboration between Bank of America and Khan Academy. The lesson plan has students first estimate what they think the costs of car ownership are then watch the video while taking notes (template provided) about the actual costs of car ownership. The follow-up activity has students comparing ownership costs for a variety of vehicle types.

To build upon EconEdLink's Owning a Car lesson plan consider showing your students Common Craft's videos about insurance and borrowing money. You can preview both of those videos as embedded below.

Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind relationship with Common Craft.