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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Built to Last - A Look at What Works in Ed Tech

This morning I had the honor of giving the opening keynote at the SET-BC District Partner Conference in Vancouver. The title of my talk was Built to Last - What Works in Educational Technology. The purpose of the talk is to provide an overview of what makes some ed tech tools last for many years while others are just a flash in the pan. I was asked to give a ninety minute talk so there were a handful of "turn and talk" breaks during my presentation. The slides from my talk are included below and can be accessed here. The slides alone don't give the full context of the talk, but you can get a broad outline from it. Later this week or early next week I'll publish a longer post about some of the details of the presentation.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How to Find More Free Images to Use in Adobe Spark Videos

Adobe Spark is one of my favorite free tools for creating videos. It works well on Chromebooks and any other laptop that is using a modern web browser. One the excellent features of Adobe Spark Video is the integrated image search tool. When students use images found through the integrated search, the image is automatically added to a credits screen at the end of the video. While the default image library in Adobe Spark is good, it is possible to expand the size of the library in your Adobe Spark account settings. Watch my video to learn how to find more free images to use in your Adobe Spark video projects.


Monday, February 18, 2019

A Helpful Search Refinement Option for Students Studying Trending Topics

Earlier this month I published Ten Search Strategies Students Should Try. An eleventh strategy that students can try when they are researching current events, trending topics, or any rapidly changing topic is to refine results according to publication date. In the following video I demonstrate how students can refine search results according to publication date.

A Comparison of Blogging Services for Teachers and Students

The Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge kicks-off two weeks from now. You don't need to be an Edublogs user in order for your students to participate in the challenge. If you're new to blogging or new to having students blog, Edublogs is a solid choice for a blogging platform. Edublogs isn't the only option for student bloggers. In this updated chart I compare seven options for creating student blogs.

At the bottom of my blogging platforms comparison chart you will see my final ranking of the seven services. Spoiler Alert! I rank Edublogs and Blogger as 1a and 1b. But take a look at the chart and see which services have the features that you want and need.

My YouTube channel contains many short tutorials on the features of both of these blogging services.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

An Online Lab for Learning About Weather Patterns and Forecasts

The Smithsonian Science Education Center's Weather Lab is one of many online learning activities produced and hosted by the Smithsonian. The Weather Lab is designed to help elementary and middle school students learn about weather patterns.

In the Weather Lab students select an ocean current and an air mass then try to predict the weather pattern that will result from their choices. The Weather Lab provides an overview of the characteristics of each air mass and ocean current. Students should use that information in making their weather predictions.  After making their predictions the Weather Lab will tell students if they were correct or not. In the feedback given to students they will find links to videos for further learning about each weather pattern featured in the Weather Lab.

Applications for Education
The Smithsonian Science Center's Weather Lab isn't the most robust online activity that you'll find online. That said, it is a good starting place for lessons about weather. I would have students use the Weather Lab to learn a bit about weather patterns then transition them to using real-time meteorological data to make weather forecasts for where they live.