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)

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 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) 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.

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