Google
 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Free Math Lesson Plans from NASA

Space Math is a NASA website containing space-themed math lessons for students in elementary school through high school. You can search for lessons according to grade level or mathematics topic. The bulk of the materials seem to be PDFs of directions for carrying out the lesson plans. The exception to that pattern being the middle school (grades 6-8) resources which include the use of some of NASA eClips videos.

The featured lesson plans on the Space Math homepage today are designed to have students use some free apps on their smartphones to record data and learn about sound, light, radiation, and magnetism.

Applications for Education
Each of the Space Math lessons align to different NASA missions. The NASA missions provide the context for the math lessons. That alignment makes Space Math lessons a good option for an integrated science and mathematics lesson.

How to Handle Stage Fright

The winter concert season is upon us in many schools. For some students the experience of being on stage is truly frightening. For others it isn't so scary. This is a good time to bring up this TED-Ed lesson that explains why people get stage fright and how to deal with it.


Applications for Education
Understanding why something happens and accepting it are the first steps to changing it. This TED-Ed lesson could be a great little lesson to share with students in the weeks before they give presentations in your classroom.

Start 2019 With a Practical Ed Tech PD Course

As you may know, one of the ways that I keep Free Technology for Teachers running is with the revenue generated through my other site, Practical Ed Tech. On Practical Ed Tech I offer online professional development courses. In January I am hosting three professional development courses on PracticalEdTech.com. Enrollment is limited to 25 people in each course.

Teaching History With Technology
Teaching History With Technology is a series of five live webinars starting on January 8th. Each interactive webinar features practical ideas for using technology to create new, engaging lessons or to update some of your existing “go-to” history lessons. Detailed handouts are provided with every webinar. And if you miss a meeting or you just want to see something again, a recording of the webinars will be available to you too. Register by December 31st to save $15.

Video Projects for Every Classroom
Start the year with this five week webinar series in which you will learn how to create and complete five video projects that can be used in almost any classroom. Whether your students use Chromebooks, iPads, Android, Windows, or Mac, you can do these projects. Making videos gets students excited about polishing their work for others to see. From Kindergarten through high school students can make videos to showcase their skills, knowledge, and creativity. Click here to register and learn more. Register by December 31st to save $15.

Getting Going With G Suite in 2019
Every year this is my most popular online course. It has been updated for 2019 to include all of the latest features of G Suite for Education. This course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that G Suite offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With G Suite is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate all aspects of G Suite for Education including Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. Click here to learn more and to register. Register by December 31st to save $15.

FAQs

  • Each of these courses is five weeks long. They all start the week of January 7th. 
  • Each course meeting is scheduled for one hour of instruction plus time for Q&A. 
  • You can receive a PD certificate for five hours. 
  • All of the live sessions are recorded so that you can go back and watch them whenever you like. 

Speakd - Listen to Your Google Docs

Speakd is a free Google Docs add-on that will read your documents aloud. When you have Speakd installed in Google Docs you can open the add-on and press play at any time to hear your document read aloud. Unlike some other text-to-speech tools, Speakd doesn't require you to copy and paste text to hear it read aloud.

Applications for Education
Voice that Speakd uses is very robotic. That said, Speakd could be a good tool for students to use to hear their documents read aloud as part of the editing process before turning in a final submission.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

PBS Kids ScratchJr - Scratch With a PBS Twist

PBS Kids ScratchJr is a PBS Kids-themed version of the popular ScratchJr app. PBS Kids ScratchJr is available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app. The app is designed to help five to eight year old students learn basic programming concepts through a drag-and-drop interface.

Just like the ScratchJr app, on PBS Kids ScratchJr students program a story or game by selecting background settings and characters for each frame of the story. Then in each frame students select the actions that they want their characters to take. Students snap programming pieces together to make characters move and talk in their stories and games.

The difference between PBS Kids ScratchJr and the regular ScratchJr app is found in the character and background choices. In the PBS Kids version students can select backgrounds and characters from some of their favorite PBS Kids programs including Nature Cat, World Girl, and Arthur.

Applications for Education
PBS Kids ScratchJr provides a fun platform through which students can learn programming concepts while animating stories based on some of their favorite PBS Kids characters. Visit the PBS Kids ScratchJr landing page to find resources for teachers getting started with the app or planning how to use it in a K-3 classroom.

Getting Started with G Suite - Mysteries Solved with This New eBook

This is a guest post from Avra Robinson (@AvraRachel), Director of Online Learning for EdTechTeacher.

When teachers or students begin to explore new digital environments, they often become confused and frustrated because they lack the basic building blocks needed to feel comfortable and proficient - whether it is the vocabulary of the app, toolbars that seem to randomly appear and disappear, or workflow that seemingly defies the laws of organization. However, there are some simple concepts and lessons that can help increase success with technology.

Sometimes when we’ve been teaching concepts for a long time or using tools for what seems like forever, it’s hard to remember what it feels like to just get started. In other words, we have to work really hard to see a lesson through the eyes of a beginner. As a professional development instructor, participants often tell me that they wish someone could just break down some of these basic skills and concepts, not only for them but also for their students.

With that in mind, I decided to create this eBook - 3 Mysteries of Utilizing G Suite with Newbies - to introduce many of the concepts and skills necessary to ease the transition into G Suite for Education. Whether you are a teacher working with students, a technology coach working with teachers, or someone new to Google tools, I hope that exploring the ideas within this book will help you build a strong foundation for future success!

A Fun App for Learning About Money

Money Math Duel is an iPad app and Android app designed to help students learn to count currency. The app is unique in that it allows two students to use it at the same time. Students place the iPad between them and each has his or her own end of the screen to use. Students "compete" head-to-head to count money quickly and accurately. The app gives students different amounts to count so that they can't copy each other's work. The app also lets students adjust individual settings to change colors and default currency denominations. As David Kapuler wrote in his blog post about it, this makes it "fair" for students of different abilities to play the same game.


Applications for Education
Money Math Duel could be a good app to use in an elementary school math lesson on addition and subtraction of money.

The iPad version of Money Math Duel is currently free to download. The Android version is not free. I've used other apps from this developer in which the pricing was reversed and the iPad version was paid and the Android version was free. Perhaps in the future we'll see that switch again. In the meantime, grab the free iPad app Money Math Duel.

Thanks again to David Kapuler for sharing this app. Check out his blog for other good app recommendations. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Gradebooks, Flipgrid, and Voicepods - The Week in Review

Good morning from chilly Paris Hill, Maine where it's a crisp 7F as write this. In the category of "things I never did before having kids" today we're going to look at a big Christmas tree display and to see Santa. It should be fun even if it takes thirty minutes to get the kids into snowsuits to go outside. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you can get outside to do something fun too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. A New Gradebook for Google Classroom!
2. Turn Text to Speech With the Voicepods Chrome Extension
3. Free Environment Data Fact Sheets and Posters from the UN
4. How to Add Videos to Google Slides Without Using YouTube
5. Ten Resources for Teaching and Learning About Pearl Harbor
6. 120 Free Winter-themed Reading Lesson Plans
7. How to Upload Videos to Reply to Flipgrid Topics

Three Online PD Courses Starting in January
I'm offering three professional development courses to start 2019. Discounted early registration is now open for:


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.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

How to Download Google Docs

It is not a secret that I'm a devoted Google Docs user. Since the first time that I tried it, I've done nearly all of my writing in Google Documents. Even when I was writing for a magazine that required all submissions to be in Word format, I wrote in Google Documents. I was able to do that because Google makes it easy to download your Google Docs in Word, PDF, TXT, HTML, and EPUB format. To download a Google Document in one of those formats simply open the File drop-down menu in Google Docs then select "Download as..." This short video that I made demonstrates how to download Google Documents.


Applications for Education
If you ever find yourself needing to send a document to someone who refuses to use Google Documents, downloading that document as a PDF or Word file is a simple solution. I often use the "Download as PDF" option for easier printing and distribution of handouts.

Learn more about Google Docs in my upcoming course, Getting Going With G Suite in 2019.

This TED-Ed Lesson Explains What Causes Heartburn - No, It's Not Your Kids

At one time or another we've all suffered from a bout of heartburn. It usually happens to me if I drink soda pop (sometime the allure of a cold can of Coke on a hot day is too strong to resist). What else can cause heartburn? And what is actually happening in your body when you experience heartburn? Those are the questions that are answered the TED-Ed lesson What Causes Heartburn? The lesson includes excellent drawings that illustrate how stomach acid gets back up into your esophagus. The lesson also covers the lifestyle habits and diets that contribute to heartburn.


Applications for Education
This lesson could be a good fit for a health class in which students are learning about the effects of diet and nutrition. The lesson could also be a good fit in a science class in which students are studying anatomy and physiology.

Friday, December 7, 2018

An Easy Way to Convert PDFs Into Word Documents

From time to time we all need to convert a document from one format to another. There are lots of online tools that will do that for you. Perhaps the simplest one that I've tried is a service called Easy PDF. To use Easy PDF you do not need to register on the site, there is not any advertising on the site, and Easy PDF does not watermark your converted documents. Watch my video to see how easy it is to convert a PDF into a Word document with Easy PDF.


Applications for Education
If you work in a school or school district in capacity that has you filling out lots of forms from various agencies, you've probably found yourself dealing with files in multiple formats. A tool like Easy PDF can be a good one to keep bookmarked and handy for those times when you need to quickly convert something into Word format.

Nominate Your Favorite Ed Tech Tools for a Readers' Choice Award

As the end of 2018 approaches I thought it would be fun to see what you think are the best educational technology apps, sites, and services. For the next week I'll leave this Google Form open for you to nominate your favorite educational technology app, site, or service. You can make nominations in one category or all of the categories. Please make only one nomination per category. At this time next week I'll tally all of the nominations and open up voting on the finalists (the top five in each category).

If you are a representative of a company (including compensated brand ambassadors) please do not nominate your company. I would like for this nomination process to be as genuine as possible.

Four Podcasting Tutorials - From Basic to Robust

Earlier this morning I shared news about NPR's Student Podcast Challenge that starts in January. While NPR does provide some good guides for students and teachers to use to plan podcasts, those guides don't include tutorials on specific podcast recording and editing tools. If you're thinking about having students create podcasts either for NPR's contest or for any other purpose, take a look at the podcasting tools tutorial videos that I have embedded below.

Two Simple Podcasting Tools
If you're new to podcasting and want to get started as quickly as possible, I recommend trying either Anchor.fm or GoSynth. Both are very easy to use and you could be recording in less than five minutes from the time that you register on their respective sites.

GoSynth Tutorial



Anchor.fm Tutorial



Two Robust Podcasting Tools
If you use Anchor or GoSynth for a while, you'll eventually want more editing features to make your podcasts sound a bit more polished. Or perhaps you're not afraid a little steeper learning curve at the start. In either case you can't go wrong with GarageBand or Audacity.

Audacity Tutorial


GarageBand Tips


Microphones for Podcasting
You could use the internal microphone on your computer, tablet, or phone. You'll get a better sound quality if you record with an external microphone. There are two microphones that I use and recommend. The first is the Snowball ICE Microphone from Blue Designs. For a much cheaper option I use and recommend this three pack of lapel microphones for $7.

NPR is Hosting a Student Podcast Challenge

Thanks to Ms. Meade on Twitter, last night I learned about NPR's Student Podcast Challenge. The challenge is open to students in fifth through twelfth grade. To enter the challenge students have to create a podcast that is three to twelve minutes long. Their podcasts can't include music so it really is a contest about spoken words and conversations. NPR does have a short list of prompts to get students started, but students aren't limited to the list of prompts.

NPR's Student Podcast Challenge will open for submissions in January and stay open until March 31st. The winning submissions will be played on the popular NPR broadcasts All Things Considered and Morning Edition.  Submissions to the contest have to be made by teachers on behalf of students. Submissions have to be uploaded to SoundCloud. Submissions have to be original work created specifically for the contest. All of the contest rules are available here.

Applications for Education
For this contest NPR has published two extensive podcasting guides. The guide for students walks them through the planning and recording processes. Although they don't provide tutorials on specific tools, they do offer this video about training your voice to sound more natural on a microphone.


NPR's guide for teachers includes detailed lesson plans on what makes a good podcast, how to plan an interview, how to brainstorm podcast topics, and how to practice recording a podcast.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Free Environment Data Fact Sheets and Posters from the UN

The United Nations Environment Program offers a series of free posters based on data from the UNEP's Geo Data Portal. These posters use charts, graphs, and maps to display information about environmental data. Some of the topics covered in these posters include electricity production and consumption, CO2 emissions, ecosystems management, and hazardous materials. Each fact sheet, poster, and infographic is available as a PDF that you can download and print.

Applications for Education 
Teachers of environmental science may want to print these posters for display in their classrooms. You could have students study the environmental problems represented in the posters and then develop potential responses to those problems.

Schedule a Professional Development Day With Me

Over the last ten years I've had the privilege to visit hundreds of schools and conferences to lead professional development workshops. During that time the topics of my workshops have evolved in response to the continuously evolving field of educational technology. What hasn't changed is that the goal of my workshops is to provide you with ideas and tools that you can use in your classroom right away.

Structure of a PD Day With Me
I'll work within the schedule that your school usually follows for PD days. Meaning that if teachers have to be at school from 7:45 to 3:15, that's the time constraint that we'll work in. And if you need to have time for administrative items at the beginning or end, we'll make sure that's scheduled too. Aside from those two constraints here's the structure I usually follow:

  • Opening talk to introduce big concepts and goals for the day (20-30 minutes)
  • Three or four blocks of time for hands-on learning activities. Each block has a focus and "product" that teachers will create. 
    • The length of these work blocks is variable depending on the group, topic, and available time. 
  • Sharing and debriefing. 
Beginner G Suite workshops have a slightly different structure to provide time to try all of the core aspects of G Suite for Education. 

Professional Development Workshop Topics
Below you'll see a list of my ten most popular workshop topics of the last year. Some schools will choose to have me go in-depth on one of these topics for the whole day while others will choose to spend time on three or four of these topics in one day. That's a decision that we can make together based on your faculty's needs. 
  • Teaching History With Technology
  • Getting Going With G Suite for Education
  • Introduction to AR & VR in Education
  • Video Projects for Every Classroom
  • Fast & Formative Assessment
  • DIY App Creation
  • Search Strategies Students Need to Know
  • Building Digital Portfolios
  • Google Maps & Earth, It's More Than Social Studies
  • Blending Technology Into Outdoor Lessons
How to Book Me
The easiest way to book a professional development day with me is to send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com or fill out the form that is embedded below. If you have a date or dates in mind, please include those in your note. I'll get back to you ASAP with my availability. 



What does it cost?
That's the big question that everyone has. In short, I strive to make it cost-effective for everyone. I'd rather help more teachers than haggle over fees. That said, the cost depends on two things. First, your location relative to my home in Maine. Second, length of engagement and topic (some workshops require the purchase of physical materials for participants). Send me a note at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to get a quote.

Finally, one of the best compliments that I ever got from a school after my time with them came in the form of this video

How to Edit the Captions on Your YouTube Videos

This morning on Twitter I was asked about the possibility of editing the captions that are automatically generated by the Google Slides captioning tool. The question was raised by Michelle Joyce in response to my blog post about using the Google Slides captions and Screencast-o-matic to create flipped video lessons. While you can't edit the captions that Google Slides generates, as Tammy Aiello pointed out, you can edit captions in YouTube. That inspired me to create a video to demonstrate how to edit the captions that are automatically generated for your YouTube videos.

How to Use Adobe Spark to Create Videos

Since the first day that it launched two and a half years ago, I knew that Adobe Spark would be a great tool for students to use to create videos. Like any good product it has evolved over the last couple of years by adding more features without eliminating the core features. Some of the outstanding features of Adobe Spark include an integrated image search, a simple voiceover capability, and the option to insert and edit existing videos for inclusion in a bigger project.

This morning I made an updated version of my Adobe Spark video tutorial to replace the popular one that I published a couple of years ago. My new Adobe Spark video tutorial is embedded below. You can also watch it on my YouTube channel.




Learn more about classroom video projects in my upcoming Practical Ed Tech course, Video Projects for Every Classroom.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How to Add Videos to Google Slides Without Using YouTube

This morning I received an email from a reader who wanted to know if it was possible for his students to add their personal videos to Google Slides presentations without having to use YouTube. His plan is for students to collaborate to create a Google Slides presentation about a 4-H event and he wants students to include some personal video clips from it. But while his school allows the use of YouTube, he'd prefer to avoid having to make students use it. My suggestion was to have students save their videos in their Google Drive and then insert them directly into their slides. That's what I demonstrate in the following video that I recorded this morning.


If you have questions about Google Slides or other G Suite products, please feel free to send me a note. And if you're new to using G Suite, consider joining my Practical Ed Tech course Getting Going With G Suite.

120 Free Winter-themed Reading Lesson Plans

ReadWorks is an excellent service that provides teachers with free reading lesson plans. ReadWorks offers lesson plans that can be used in classrooms from Kindergarten through 12th grade. All of the lessons are standards-aligned. And if you don't want to use ReadWorks' lesson plans, you can simply use any of their thousands of fiction and non-fiction articles to design your own lessons. You can search through ReadWorks according to topic and grade level. All articles in ReadWorks are listed with a lexile score and suggested grade level.

ReadWorks recently published a selection of articles and lesson plans that have a winter and or holiday theme. The winter/ holiday collection on ReadWorks contains 120 articles for K-12. In the collection there are articles that have connections to topics in science, social studies, and language arts. All articles are accompanied by lists of key vocabulary terms and suggested comprehension and or discussion questions.

Applications for Education
ReadWorks makes it easy to find interesting and engaging articles to use in reading lesson plans. You can use the articles on paper or take advantage of the ReadWorks digital platform to create class rosters and assign articles to your students to read online. For the 2018-19 school year ReadWorks added a Google Classroom integration for distributing articles and comprehension questions to your students.

Coming Soon to PowerPoint - Real-time Captions and Translations

Earlier this year Google added automatic captioning to Google Slides. This week, via The Verge, I learned that Microsoft is adding automatic captioning and translation to  PowerPoint starting in January. The automatic captioning will work when you are displaying your slides in presentation mode. You will have a choice of languages in which to display captions.


Applications for Education
One huge advantage of PowerPoint's automatic captioning service over Google Slide's automatic captions is that PowerPoint's support multiple languages and real-time translation display. This could be a fantastic resource for ELL/ESL classrooms. If you can't wait to give PowerPoint's automatic captioning a try, you can still use Microsoft Translator for Education.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ten Resources for Teaching and Learning About Pearl Harbor

This week is the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That wasn't the first military action of the Japanese during WWII. It's just the event that finally got the U.S. to join the war. If you're looking from some resources to use in lessons about Pearl Harbor, take a look at the following ten items.

DocsTeach offers a couple of primary source based activities about Pearl Harbor. In Analyzing Evidence of the Pearl Harbor Attack students analyze documents used in the Congressional investigation into the attack on Pearl Harbor. In Two Versions of FDR's Infamy Speech students read and compare the initial draft of Roosevelt's speech with the final draft that was broadcast.

The 1941 Project is an interactive map of Pearl Harbor. The map features the stories of survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Click on a person on the map to read his or her story and see accompanying photographs. You can customize the map to display the positions of ships on December 7, 1941. There is also an option to see the map as the Japanese had drawn it prior to the attack. The 1941 Project map does take a long time to load all of features. Remind your students to be patient while the map loads all available features.

Five Things You Don't Know About Pearl Harbor, produced by Military.com, offers five interesting facts about and related to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.



The National Parks Service offers lesson plans about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.

History Animated has a number of animations of military movements in the Pacific during WWII.

My Story: Pearl Harbor is an hour-by-hour account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The account is told from the perspective of Dale and Johnie Gano who were stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Remembering Pearl Harbor is a CBS Sunday Morning segment that features interviews with Pearl Harbor attack survivors.


The Smithsonian Channel offers audio of the only live news report from Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Images have been added to the audio to create the following video.


One of my favorite online history teachers, Keith Hughes, offers this seven minute lesson about Pearl Harbor.



Finally, it seems fitting this week to include President George H.W. Bush's speech at the Pearl Harbor memorial that he gave in 1991 on the 50th anniversary of the attack.

TED-Ed Adds More Videos to the "Why Should You Read..." Series

About six weeks ago I published a post about TED-Ed's series of videos that explain why students should read the classics. When I published that post there were five videos in the series. The series is now up to seven videos. Those videos are listed and embedded below.

Why Should You Read MacBeth?


Why Should You Read A Midsummer's Night Dream?


Why Should You Read Kurt Vonnegut?



Why Should You Read "Waiting for Godot?"



Why Should You Read "Don Quixote?"



Everything You Need to Know to Read "The Canterbury Tales."



Why Should You Read Edgar Allan Poe?

How to Use a Spreadsheet to Create Flipgrid IDs

Flipgrid is a great video response tool that can be used by students of almost any age including those under age 13 who often don't have email addresses. If your students don't have email addresses you can create student IDs for them to use on Flipgrid. You can manually create IDs for them within the Flipgrid website or you can import a spreadsheet of names to generate Flipgrid IDs for your students to use. Watch this video to learn how to use a spreadsheet to create Flipgrid roster IDs.

Monday, December 3, 2018

How to Upload Videos to Reply to Flipgrid Topics

I love Flipgrid for the ease with which students can record videos with their webcams to reply to prompts that you give them. But not every student likes to appear on camera. And not every Flipgrid topic has to be a free-form response. It is in those instances that your students can use the option to upload a video rather than record through Flipgrid.

In the following video I demonstrate how students can upload videos to reply to a Flipgrid topic.


Applications for Education
Using the upload reply option could be a good way to collect a bunch of students' whiteboard instructional videos in one place. For example, you could create a Flipgrid topic in which students have to share video lessons about how to solve a series of math problems. Students could then either use a separate app like Show Me to make a whiteboard video, save it, and upload to the Flipgrid topic. At the same time you might have some students who would prefer to be on camera to explain their lesson and they could record directly to the Flipgrid topic through their webcams.

How to Use Bensound to Download Free Music

A couple of weeks ago I posted a short review of a site called Bensound that hosts about 175 free instrumental music tracks that you can download for free. You can down the music for free and re-use it in classroom video projects provided that you follow the guidelines set by Bensound. Those guidelines include crediting Bensound for the music. In the following video I demonstrate how easy it is to find and download free music on Bensound.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A Gradebook, Art, and VR - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where this morning we're going to get a Christmas tree from a friend's tree farm. A few years ago this is not something that I would get excited about, but having kids has changed my perspective on so many things including Christmas trees. I hope that all of you also have something fun planned for the weekend.

This week I spent a couple of days speaking at the LACUE conference in New Orleans. That was my last conference for 2018. I have a bunch of conference presentations scheduled for the first half of 2019, but there are still a couple of openings in my schedule. If you'd like to have me speak at your conference, please click here or send me a note at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. A New Gradebook for Google Classroom!
2. Sign-up Now for Google Forms Locked Mode
3. Nearly 900 Free Art History Books - And an Art Lesson
4. 800+ Persuasive Maps - And a Tool for Making Your Own
5. Sites in VR - The VR App for Those Without VR Headsets
6. Dear Colleagues, Can We Please Stop Sharing These Things?
7. Need Blog Post Ideas? Edublogs Has You Covered

2019 Professional Development Webinars
On Sunday on PracticalEdTech.com I'll be announcing the schedule for four professional development webinars. If you're not subscribed to the newsletter, sign-up here to be notified when the 2019 PD course schedule is published.

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.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

How to Use Smart Replies in Gmail

Earlier this week I published a post about Gmail's Smart Reply feature. A few people emailed to ask if I had a video about how to use it. I didn't have one so last night I made one. In the following video you can see how to use Smart Reply in Gmail as well as how to disable it if you don't like it.



As I wrote earlier this week, I love the Smart Reply feature. It saves me time almost every time that I open my inbox.

Federal Land vs. State Land

As I write this What is Federal Land? is the #49 trending video on YouTube. It's nice to see an educational video trending that high on YouTube. The video was produced by CGP Grey who has produced some other fantastic educational videos over the years. Through What is Federal Land? viewers can learn how land in the United States became federal land, the agencies that manage that land, and why citizens of western states and citizens of eastern states may have different views about federal lands.


Applications for Education
It just so happens that the video addresses a topic that I used to teach in my civics course. That topic was the question of federal jurisdiction vs. state jurisdiction. I used to use a Peter Jennings documentary about the re-introduction of wolves in Idaho. In that documentary Jennings explained why ranchers in Idaho opposed the re-introduction of wolves but weren't able to prevent it because the wolves were re-introduced on federal lands within the state. What is Federal Land? like that old Peter Jennings documentary could be a great way to spark a classroom discussion about federal rights versus states' rights.