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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Flipgrid, Forms, and Accessibility - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where the sun has set on a nice summer day. The week was full of great summer weather and none better than the actual first day of summer on Thursday when my daughters and I played outside all day except for nap time. I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere are also enjoying summer like we are here in South Paris, Maine.

I'm not going to be at the ISTE conference this year. But I've already had virtual meetings with many vendors who are announcing new products and product features during the conference. I'll be publishing about those new features throughout the next week. And you can also follow ISTE happenings through a variety of online channels outlined in this article by Kathleen Morris.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Huge Flipgrid News! - All Features Now Free
2. New Google Forms Customization Options
3. Identifying Cities from Historic Maps - A Geography Game
4. Five Ways to Create Mind Maps and Flowcharts Online
5. Grackle - Assess the Accessibility of Your Google Docs & Slides
6. Vynchronize - Watch Videos and Discuss Them in the Same Window
7. Add Voice Recordings to Maps

Bring Me to Your School
My fall calendar is almost full! If you would like to bring me to your school for a professional development day, please get in touch. I offer professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, and many other topicsClick here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to book me today.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

A Lesson for Beachcombers - How Seashells Are Made

If your summer plans include going to the beach, you may be interested in a new video from Reactions about how seashells are made. In How Seashells Are Made viewers learn that seashells are made of 95% calcium carbonate and 5% protein and sugar. The video doesn't stop with just listing the components of seashells. By watching the video viewers can learn how calcite and aragonite are layered in seashells to create a hard shell.


Applications for Education
I've never been a "lay on the beach" kind of person. I'm the person you'll find wandering and looking at neat things that get washed up on shore. If you have students that like to wander and collect seashells, use that curiosity as a segue into a science lesson about how seashells are made. This video is a great candidate for inclusion in an EDpuzzle lesson in which you add questions and your own clarifying remarks for students. Watch my EDpuzzle tutorial to learn how to add questions to an existing video.

Use Scheduling to Blog Consistently

Earlier this week I hosted a webinar about creating and maintaining classroom blogs. One of the topics that I addressed during the webinar was the importance of publishing blog posts on a consistent schedule. Publishing consistently helps your students and their parents know when they should expect to see new entries appearing on your blog.

You might not always have time to write on the same day(s) every week, but you can publish on the same day(s) if you use blog scheduling. When you have the time to write more than one blog entry, don't post them at the same time. Instead schedule one to appear at a later time so that you can maintain your consistent publishing schedule.

In the following video I demonstrate how you can schedule blog posts in Blogger, Edublogs, and WordPress blogs.


By the way, this post appears thanks to the scheduling tool. I wrote it on Tuesday night and it's appearing now on Saturday morning. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Two Lessons on Cloud Types and Their Names

Meteorology is a science topic that affects all of us whether you like it or not. Look up at the clouds and you're making a science observation. But what exactly are you looking at when you look at the clouds? And what kind of clouds are you seeing? Those questions are answered in a National Weather Service video titled Weather 101: A Tutorial on Cloud Types.


The NWS video above mentions the Latin origins of the cloud type names. A better video about the naming of clouds is found in this TED-Ed lesson titled How Did Clouds Get Their Names?


Applications for Education
As a follow-up to having students watch the videos about clouds, take them outside to try to identify the clouds that they see above them. It's a breezy and sunny summer day as I write this blog entry. In other words, it's perfect for laying in the grass and watching the clouds go by. So take your kids outside and do the same.

Where You Can Follow My Work

If you're reading this, the numbers say that you found my blog through one of the following methods:
  1. Facebook referral - Here's the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page.
  2. Email referral - Join the daily email list.
  3. Organic search 
  4. Twitter referral - Follow me on Twitter.
  5. Pinterest referral - Follow my primary board
There are other places that I publish online and other ways to to keep up with what I'm doing. 
  1. The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week is the email that send out on Sunday evening. That email contains my favorite tip of the week and a rundown of the most popular posts of the week on Free Technology for Teachers. You can join that mailing list here.
  2. I publish a new tutorial or two every week on my YouTube channel.
  3. If you're interested in what's going on my life beyond ed tech, you're welcome to follow me on Instagram (it's mostly pictures of my babies, my dogs, and whatever outdoor sport is in season).