Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Join the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group

Throughout the year I host at least two professional development webinars every month. For 2018 I am making it easy for you to register for all of them in one fell swoop. Enroll in the the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group and you will be registered for 24 webinars plus an additional live Q&A session every month. That Q&A is only available to group members. Learn more about the live Q&A sessions in this video.

The 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group is for teachers, technology coaches, and teacher-librarians who desire to improve their knowledge of and skill in using educational technology.

This coaching group is designed to give you more than just webinars. Throughout the year you will be encouraged to try new things and to share your experiences with other group members. I’ll be here the whole time to answer your questions, give you feedback, and help you implement new ideas in your school.

As I always say, the tools featured in my webinars are free, but my time for teaching is not free (and I'm sure you like to get paid for teaching too). The membership fee for the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group is $247 if you register online by December 31st. There are also options for paying by purchase order, by check, or in quarterly installments. Click here for details on all registration options.

Another Neat Feature of Zoho Notebook

On Sunday I featured Zoho Notebook as an alternative to using Evernote or Google Keep. In that post I listed many of the features of Zoho Notebook including the options to draw notes and to record audio notes. One feature that I missed because I didn't discover it until today is the option to save entire PDFs into your Zoho Notebooks.

I discovered this feature today while doing some research on a mutual fund that I am thinking of adding to my IRA. When I opened the PDF in my web browser, Zoho Notebook automatically suggested saving it into one of my notebooks.

Applications for Education
Zoho Notebook's web clipper is an excellent tool for students to use to organize their findings into convenient notebooks. The option to add full PDFs into those notebooks could be used to students who need to reference whitepapers, journal articles, and other lengthy writings in their own research papers.

Cool Fellowships for Teachers

One of the coolest professional development opportunities that I know of is the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program. It is an annual program administered by National Geographic. This unique professional development program, open to teachers in the U.S. and Canada takes teachers on field work expeditions to interesting places all over the world. Some of the places teachers could go through the program include Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Norway.

Applications are now being accepted. Your complete application is due by January 5th. The application process is not one that you can complete at the last minute. You need reference letters and you need to make a video. So if you think that you are interested, get started on your application today.

Holiday Greeting Card Creators for Kids

It is the time of the year for sending greeting cards. This is a great opportunity to have students practice letter writing (yes, some people still like letters) and to practice design skills. Here are two good services that your students could use to design and print holiday greeting cards.

One of the "hidden" features of Storyboard That is a collection of templates for creating holiday greeting cards. In this video embedded below I demonstrate how to create greeting cards on Storyboard That.

Canva is a free graphic creation tool that I use to create a lot of the graphics that appear in my blog posts and Facebook posts. Canva makes it easy for anyone to create great looking graphics in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Canva offers free templates for creating holiday greetings. In this video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Canva to create greeting cards.

On a personal note, over the weekend we made some hilariously bad attempts at taking a photo for our Christmas card (you try getting a 16 month old, a 6 week old, and two dogs to cooperate). Eventually, we decided to embrace the chaos and just use the outtakes in a collage-style Christmas card.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

But I Gave You Credit... Lessons About Copyright

The blog post that I published yesterday in which I listed people and organizations who have recently stolen my work has elicited quite a few responses already. A couple of those responses have included, "you were given credit at the end." That comment shows a baseline misunderstanding of copyright.

Copying and pasting entire blog posts is a copyright violation even if you put a link to the original source at the end. That is akin to a student who copies and pastes an entire webpage then at the end give a link to the source at the end of it. You wouldn't accept that essay (at least I wouldn't and I have had students try it) and I won't accept it when someone tries that with my blog posts.

So that this blog post doesn't become just another "Richard rants about copyright" post, here are some resources that you can use to help educate yourself, your students, and your colleagues about copyright.

Six weeks Beth Holland and I hosted a free webinar in which we talked about copyright concerns that frequently appear in schools. As you can see the video of the webinar (embedded below) it was a casual conversation during which we shared some stories, fielded some questions, and shed some light on common misconceptions about copyright.

The following two videos from Common Craft provide excellent overviews of these topics.

For a more in-depth look at copyright for educators, watch Dr. Wesley Fryer's Slideshare on the topic. Eight years after he released it, it's still one of the best resources on the topic.

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright is a resource for kids produced by the Library of Congress. Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright is intended to help elementary school students understand the purposes and functions of copyright. There are four sections to Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright. The first section, Copyright Exposed, features a short cartoon that explains how copyright protects artists. Files on Record, the second section, chronicles important historical developments in copyright law. The third section, Reading the Fine Print, answers common questions and addresses common myths about copyright laws. The last section, Steps to Copyright, instructs students on registering their own works for copyright protection.

Disclosure: I have an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.

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