Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Newsletter Option - The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week

This weekend I finally set-up a newsletter option that many people have asked for over the years, a once-per-week email with a list of the most popular posts and a tip or two.

Beginning today you can sign up for my new newsletter, The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week. Along with an idea for making your technology integration experience better, the seven most popular posts of the week on Free Technology for Teachers will be included in the email. The email will go out on Sunday night/ Monday morning depending upon your timezone. If you prefer to see the posts directly rather than through email, they will be posted on PracticalEdTech.com.

This week I'm including the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week on Free Technology for Teachers, but in the future it may only appear on PracticalEdTech.com and in email to subscribers.

Here's this week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week:

error-63628_640One of the things that I've learned through introducing new web tools to thousands of students and teachers is that if something can go wrong, it probably will. So when I'm setting up a workshop or setting up a lesson for students, I try to eliminate as many opportunities for things to go wrong as possible. One of the ways that I do this is through unified browser use.

Not all browsers handle every website the same way. If it's at all possible, a day or two before your training session send an email to all participants asking them to install your preferred browser or update it to the latest version. If that's not possible, at the start of your workshop tell everyone which browser you are using and encourage them to use the same for the day. If getting all participants in your training session to use the same browser isn't possible, at the very least stress to them importance of having the latest version of their preferred browsers installed. Not only will doing that improve their experience with most web tools, it will lower browser security issues as older versions of browsers are more susceptible to security threats).

Initially, it might be uncomfortable for some people to use a new browser, but by the end of the day most people will be comfortable with a different browser. Having everyone use the same browser will make your day easier and in the long run make it a better day for everyone. When everyone uses the same browser if there are unexpected glitches or problems they will likely be the same for everyone in your training session. Solve the glitch once and you’ve solved it for the whole group for the day.

Here are the most popular posts of the week from Free Technology for Teachers. 
1. Seven Free Online Whiteboard Tools for Teachers and Students 
2. Free Ebook - Digital Storytelling With Comics 
3. Would You Rather - Quick and Fun Math Lessons 
4. TED Introduces TED-Ed Clubs to Get Kids Talking About Big Ideas 
5. Compare the Size of Countries and States With These Map Mash-ups 
6. Webinar Recording - Digital Storytelling With Comics 
7. Three Good Tools for Building Flipped Lessons That Include Assessment Tools 

Click here to subscribe to the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week.