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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Three Lessons About Why Leaves Change Color

Every autumn people tour Maine just to see the leaves changing color. Seeing the leaves change is one of my favorite things about the fall too. Here are three good videos that explain why leaves change color in the fall.


Untamed Science offers a good, partially animated, explanation of why leaves change colors, what produces the colors, and why bright and sunny days are best for viewing red leaves. The video is embedded below.



Reactions, a great YouTube channel from the American Chemical Society, offers a nice video about the chemistry involved in the process of leaves changing color. The videos explains how chlorophyll and the glucose stored inside trees help reveal the reds, yellows and, browns of fall foliage.



SciShow Kids offers the following video about the science of changing leaves.

Facebook, Backchannels, and Math - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it feels like fall. Starting on Monday week I'll be working with the Sigsbee Charter School in Key West, Florida for most of the next few weeks which means that I'll miss a good chunk of my favorite season here in Maine. That's why today I plan to soak up the fall weather by playing outside with my daughters and my dogs. As always, I hope that wherever you are you get to spend some time enjoying the weekend too.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. If You Manage a School Facebook Page, Watch Out for This Scam
2. Why We Say "OK" - And Other Lessons on the Origins of Words
3. How to Create a Progress Tracker With Google Forms and Sheets
4. Seven Ways to Create Screencasts on Chromebooks
5. Math Playground - Hundreds of Math Games & Instructional Videos
6. Use Flippity to Make a Multimedia Timeline
7. 7 Reasons to Try Using Backchannels in Your Classroom

I'll Come to Your School This Year!
If you would like to have me lead a professional development day at your school during this school year, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com - or click here for more information about my professional development services.

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, September 21, 2018

Math in Real Life - Why Airlines Overbook Flights

I'm currently flying home the ESC-20 Library Resource Roundup in San Antonio, Texas. Before I boarded the flight the gate agent was looking for volunteers to take an alternate flight due to overbooking. This seems like a good time to share the TED-Ed lesson Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets?

In Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets? students can learn about the mathematics that airlines use to maximize the revenue that they can generate from each flight. That math includes calculating the probability that everyone who holds a ticket for a flight will actually show up for the flight. The way that probability is calculated is explained in the video. Finally, the lesson asks students to consider the ethics of overbooking flights. Watch the video below or go here to see the entire lesson.

Fall Time-lapse - A Video Project

The fall is my favorite season of the year. I love waking up to cold, crisp mornings then enjoying mild days outside. In fact, that's what I'm planning to do tomorrow morning. This time of year always reminds me of one of my favorite uses for time-lapse video creation tools. The outline of my time-lapse of autumn project is included below.

The idea is to take one picture every day to document the changes in the foliage as we progress through autumn from the first few orange leaves to full-blown autumn foliage colors to the drab brown we see after in the winter.

Here's how your students could create their own autumn foliage time-lapse videos.

1. Take one picture per day of the same view or of one singular tree. 
Using a cell phone is probably the best tool for this because students rarely go anywhere without one.

2. Upload the pictures to a Google Drive folder. 
It only takes one tap to move photos from a phone phone to a Google Drive folder labeled "Fall foliage." If This Then That has a recipe for doing this automatically from Android phones and from iPhones.

3. After four to six weeks, upload photos to JellyCam or Stop Motion Animator and create your timelapse. 
JellyCam is a free video editing program for Windows and Mac users. You can easily adjust the duration of each frame and easily add a soundtrack to your video. Click here for a video about using JellyCam. Stop Motion Animator is a free tool for creating stop motion movies on Chromebooks.

Slides from ESC-20 Library Resource Roundup

Today I had the pleasure of giving four short presentations at the Texas ESC-20 Library Resource Roundup. It was a great day! Thank you to everyone who came to my presentations. And a special thank you to those who came for multiple presentations. As I always say, the best compliment that I can get is when you have seen me present and you come back for more. Here are the slides from the presentations that I gave today.

Quick & Powerful Video Projects

Technology to Take You & Your Students Beyond Library Walls

Worlds Are Colliding - Intro to AR & VR

Best of the Web 2018