Thursday, June 28, 2018

Why Sheep Don't Shrink in the Rain

It's a rainy day here in Maine and after a little trail run with my dogs, my feet were soaked! My Smartwool socks keep my feet relatively warm, but do nothing to keep them dry. This scenario always makes we wonder about two things. First, why don't my Smartwool socks shrink when I wash and dry them? Second, why don't sheep shrink in the rain? The answer to the first question is that the socks aren't 100% wool. The answer to the second question is found in a clever MinuteEarth video titled Why Don't Sheep Shrink in the Rain?

How to Create, Use, and Embed Lino Boards Into Blog Posts

This morning on the Practical Ed Tech Facebook page I had a question from a reader who was looking for an alternative to Padlet. My recommendation was to take a look at Lino. On Lino you can create digital boards to which you can add sticky notes that contain text, images, videos, or document attachments. Notes containing video links will play the video within your Lino wall. Images can be uploaded to your notes. And you can attach document files to your notes for other people to view. In the following video I demonstrate how to get started using Lino and how to embed Lino board into a blog post.

Photo Roulette - A Library of Congress Game

Photo Roulette is a fun little game from Library of Congress. The game shows you a randomly selected pictures from the LOC's digital collections and you have to guess the year in which the picture was taken. You have ten guesses before you're out of luck. After the submission of each guess you're given a hint as to which way to make your next guess. For example, if you're first guess is off by being ten years too early, Photo Roulette will give you a clue like "turn the calendar." When you do make a correct guess, you'll be able to see the image source and read more about the context of when the image was taken.

Applications for Education
Photo Roulette could be a fun activity to use in a history class. Encourage students to use some context clues and their knowledge of history to make educated guesses.

If you have the technical chops, you can use the code for the LOC's Photo Roulette to make your own version of the game.

5 PD Webinars in One Package

Throughout the year I offer many professional development webinars on The sales of those webinars help to keep this blog running. This week I've been running a sale on webinars and many people have taken advantage of it. The sale runs for two more days. In this summer sales pack of webinars I have included my most popular webinars of the last six months. You can watch these webinars whenever you like and as often as you like. Purchased individually these five webinars would cost $100. But during this sale you’ll get them all for just $25!

Five on-demand professional development webinars:

  • 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom
  • Intro to Using Augmented and Virtual Reality in Your Classroom
  • 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lesson
  • Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners
  • Ten Search Strategies Students Need to Know

Purchase here

5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom
Learn how to create and complete five video projects that can be done in almost any classroom. You’ll learn how your students can make animated videos, make documentary-style videos, and instructional videos. Examples from real students and teachers are shared in the webinar.

Intro to Using Augmented and Virtual Reality in Your Classroom
Take a look at any ed tech blog or magazine today and you’re bound to see an article about virtual reality or augmented reality. You might think that these are new technologies but they’ve actually been used in education for more than two decades. But today it is easier and cheaper than ever to bring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into your classroom. In this webinar you will learn how you can use these powerful technologies in your classroom.

5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons
In this recorded webinar you’ll learn five ways that you can incorporate technology into outdoor lessons. These strategies can be used in elementary school, middle school, or high school settings. You’ll learn about augmented reality, digital mapping, geocaching, activity tracking, observing and collecting scientific data.

Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners
From creating and scoring meaningful formative assessments to organizing school events, Google Forms and Google Sheets are powerful tools to help you get things done. But you need to know where to start. That’s why I created this webinar. If you’ve ever read about or seen a neat use of Google Forms or Google Sheets and thought, “I want to do that,” this webinar is for you.

Ten Search Strategies Students Need to Know
Too often our students don’t get beyond the first few pages of search results before declaring, “Google has nothing about this!” Why? Because the average time spent on a search is just 1 minute! And the average search term only has three words! We can help our students do better than that. In this recorded webinar you will learn why informational searches are the hardest types of Internet searches for students to conduct. You will learn how to help students break-down complex search topics into manageable pieces and then put the whole picture together. You’ll learn how to help your students save students tons of time by thinking before searching. And you’ll learn how to develop instructional search challenge activities to use with students of any age.

Sale Ends June 30th!

Purchase here

What is a Storyboard? - History and Use Cases

Over the years I've written many blog posts about using storyboards in a variety of classroom settings. I've even hosted webinars on the topic. But until today I never wondered about the origins of storyboards. That changed when I read Aaron Sherman's What is a Storyboard?

In What is a Storyboard? Aaron Sherman, founder of Storyboard That, explains the origins of storyboards and provides examples of how they're using in film production, in business, and in classrooms. Did you know that Gone With the Wind was the first live-action movie to be completely drawn out on storyboards before filming? That must have been a lot of storyboards!

Read What is a Storyboard? to find examples of using storyboards to help students understand new vocabulary, to analyze literature, and to create a narrative.

And for a complete overview of how you can use storyboards in your classroom, watch the recording of this webinar that I hosted last fall.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on

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