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Saturday, November 17, 2018

17 Lessons in Teaching History With Technology

This coming Monday evening (7pm ET) I am hosting Teaching History With Technology on PracticalEdTech.com. This course meets five times (once per week). There are seventeen concepts that are covered in the course. Each concept can be applied to the creation of technology-infused history lessons. The concepts covered in the course are listed below.

  • Using technology to help students analyze historical/ primary source documents.

  • Making artifacts interactive.

  • Hosting online history discussions

  • The importance of structure and expectations.

  • Using audio in history lessons

  • Recording history with students

  • Hearing history

  • Creating multimedia timelines with students.

  • Simple to complex options for every grade level.

  • Creating multimedia maps

  • Search Strategies for History Students

  • Saving and sharing search results.

  • Google Maps and Earth are not your only options.

  • Creating videos and teaching with video.

  • Making and using virtual tours.

  • Virtual Reality tours.

  • Augmented Reality tours.
Click here to register for Teaching History With Technology. 

Guests, Snow, and Feedback - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we've had two small snowstorms this week. They haven't been big snowfalls, but they have produced enough snow that all the leaves I didn't rake won't be discovered again until spring. On the upside, ski season is here and I'm looking forward to getting my oldest daughter on skis this winter.

This week I hosted a dozen guest bloggers. I hope you enjoyed their posts as much as I did.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Edji - A Great Tool for Literacy and Critical Thinking
2. Is Your Feedback Really Effective? - This Google Docs Add-on Will Tell You
3. CoRubrics - An Add-on to Facilitate Assessment Among Students
4. Build a Body - An Interactive Biology Lesson
5. 7 Tips for Moving from Decorating to Designing Classrooms
6. A Digital Differentiation Model
7. Apps Day - A Great Way to Learn About Apps

Teaching History With Technology
Teaching History With Technology is a Practical Ed Tech online course starting on Monday evening. This course meets for five Mondays in a row. Some of the things you'll learn in the course include using virtual reality and augmented reality in your classroom, multimedia storytelling, and search strategies for history students. Click here to register.

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.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Book Creator is a great tool for creating multimedia books.
Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

How to Create a QR Code for a Voice Recording

Just a few minutes ago I answered an email from a reader named Chris who wanted a recommendation on how to have students create voice recordings that play back when a QR code is scanned. My recommendation was to try Vocaroo. Vocaroo lets you record for free (no registration required) then have a QR code automatically generated for your recording. In the following video I demonstrate how to record with Vocaroo then generate a QR code.


The only drawback to this method is that Vocaroo won't host recordings indefinitely. See the following note from their FAQ page.

How to Create Show Your Work Questions on GoFormative.com

Last week at the EdTech Teacher Summit in Boston I gave a presentation about formative assessment (you can see the slides here). GoFormative.com was one of the tools that I featured in my presentation. One of the key features of GoFormative is the "show your work" question type that allows students to draw responses to questions. In the following video I demonstrate how to create "show your work" questions on GoFormative.

Three Tools for Creating Custom Maps Without a Google Account

Google's My Maps is a great tool for designing custom maps. The problem with it is that students can only save their work if they have Google accounts. If your school uses G Suite for Education that's probably not a problem, but it is a problem for students who don't have G Suite accounts. If that's the case for your students, then try one of the following tools for making custom digital maps.

GmapGIS is a free digital mapping tool that lets you draw and type on top of base layer maps. You can select satellite, street, relief, or a hybrid map as your base layer. Once you've made that selection you can use freehand drawing tools, line tools, and shape drawing tools to mark-up the map. Right-clicking on any of the lines or shapes you draw will open a menu of labeling options. You can also add placemarking pins to your map. When you are finished drawing labeling you can share your map by sending the link that is automatically generated for your map. You can also save a KML file for your map and view it in Google Earth.

National Geographic's Mapmaker Interactive can be a good alternative to using Google Maps in your classroom. Mapmaker Interactive offers a number of features that students and teachers can utilize without the need to enter an email address or register to use the Mapmaker tools. Those tools include measuring distances, adding placemarks, layering information, and switching between base map layers. In the following video I provide an overview of the features in National Geographic's Mapmaker Interactive.


Scribble Maps is a free tool for creating custom, multimedia maps online. Since 2009 this has been my go-to alternative to Google's MyMaps and Maps Engine Lite tools. Scribble Maps provides a variety of base layer maps on which you can draw freehand, add placemarks, add image overlays, and type across the map. Compared to creating a custom map on Google Maps, Scribble Maps is much easier for students to learn how to use. Scribble Maps also provides far more default placemark icons than Google's My Maps tool. Scribble Maps will work in the web browser on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or Android tablet. In the following video I provide an overview of how to use Scribble Maps.