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) 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) 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.