Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Three Free PD Webinars Today!

The Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference starts this afternoon at 3pm ET. There is still time to register here. Today's presentations and times are listed below.


Easy Ways to Make Your Own Apps
3pm ET – Richard Byrne
Not that long ago creating a mobile app required extensive coding skills and knowledge of programming. Today, there are many tools that make it possible for educators and students to develop their own functioning apps without any prior programming experience. Come to this presentation to learn how you and your students can develop simple apps to use on your phones or tablets.

3D Printing Solutions to World Issues
4pm ET – Jeremy Rinkel
With an emphasis and focus on the UN Sustainability Goals, students were challenged to create prototypes or products that would be beneficial in assisting communities and countries in reaching the UN Sustainability Goals. Our first year of 3D printing has brought challenges, but we are learning a lot through problem solving and design. I’ll discuss our journey into 3D printing, the excitement of students in learning about “real-world” challenges and how 3D printing could play a role in solving these issues. Take ideas from our experience, make them your own and help save our world one 3D print at a time.

Coding + Drones= 100% Engagement
5pm ET – Karin Knapik-Cloutier
Create multidisciplinary projects that teach students coding as well as the 4 C’s of critical-thinking,creativity, collaboration and communication. Using TELLO drones and free apps that run on IOS, Android and as a Chrome extension you can teach coding to students in elementary through high school.

Yes, the presentations will be recorded. The recordings will be available on my YouTube channel by the end of the week.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Add Interactive Annotations to Images With a New Classtools Tool

Russel Tarr at Classtools has come up with another great little tool for teachers and students. The new Image Hotspot Generator on Classtools makes it easy to add interactive annotations to any picture that you upload to the site. The annotations that you add to your pictures can include text and links. Your annotated images can be shared by embedding them into a blog post or web page as I've done with one below. Your annotated images can also be shared by simply distributing the URL that is assigned to it.

Using the Image Hotspot Generator is easy. You don't need to register in order to use the tool. Just go to classtools.net/hotspot/ then click the upload button at the bottom of the page then upload the image that you want to annotate. Once your image is uploaded simply click on it wherever you want an annotation to appear. Click the save button when you are finished adding all of your annotations. When you click save you'll be prompted to pick a password for your project, remember that password if you want to be able to go back and edit your annotations later. Click the embed button to get an embed code, a QR code, and a URL for your annotated image.


Applications for Education
The Image Hotspot Generator could be a great tool for students to use to annotate all kinds of images, diagrams, and maps. As it doesn't require an email address or any student information, it can be used at any grade level. I can see the Image Hotspot Generator being used in a geography lesson to have students create annotated maps. In a biology lesson students could use the Image Hotspot Generator to make interactive diagrams of cells. In an art lesson students might use the Image Hotspot Generator to identify and label techniques or important aspects of a work of art.

A Few Tips for Getting the Most Out of Webinars

The first webinars of the free Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference will be broadcast tomorrow. These are going to be live presentations with time for Q&A. More than 500 people have registered to attend. If you're one of them, here are a few tips for getting the most out of attending webinars. These are tips I've shared in the past, but they're worth repeating.

1. Participate in live webinars, don't just watch them.
Every webinar platform has some kind of chat or Q&A feature. Use it! Use it to ask the presenter questions. An experienced webinar presenter will be able to handle questions in realtime. Don't be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Even when I'm attending webinars about things with which I'm already familiar, I make an effort to think of questions to ask. This forces me to tune-in and listen with more focus than if I was just listening in the hopes that something said by the presenter will jump out at me.

2. Close Facebook and take notes.
If I cannot attend the live version of a webinar, I still find great value in recorded webinars. When I watch recorded webinar I focus on it the same way I would during a live session. That means closing Facebook and taking notes in my notebook. In that notebook I write the questions that I want to send to the presenter via email.

3. Act on webinar ideas quickly.
When I participate in a webinar my participation isn’t over until I actually act on what I was just taught. Just like in a traditional classroom setting, it’s important to try for yourself what was just demonstrated for you. Do this as quickly as you can.

Here's a video that I made a couple of years ago about these tips.

Lesson Plan, Meal Plan, and Fitness Plan Templates

Last week Canva announced a handful of new features including a video editor and a desktop application. A new education-specific version of Canva was also announced. Those new features don't appear to have been rolled-out quite yet. But I did notice that there seems to be an expansion in the number of templates intended for educational settings. That includes a big set of lesson plan templates.

A quick browse through Canva's lesson plan templates gallery will reveal dozens of templates that you can easily copy and modify in your free Canva account. In the gallery you'll find templates for daily lesson plans as well as templates for planning a week's worth of lessons. Like all Canva templates, you can modify them with your own text choices, color schemes, and decorative elements. Completed templates can be saved as PDFs.

Scroll down through Canva's lesson plan templates gallery and eventually you'll come to templates for meal planning and workout planning.

Applications for Education
Canva's lesson plan templates could be great for those who like to print out their lesson plans in a visually appealing format. The meal plan templates could be helpful to those who are in charge of publishing your school's lunch calendar.

Once Canva for Education is up and running you'll be able to share and collaborate on lesson plans using the lesson plan templates.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode 22 - Fitness, Code, and Q&A

Last night I published the 22nd episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In this week's podcast I talked about how I improved my fitness in 2019, shared some resources for Hour of Code, and answered some questions from readers, listeners, and viewers like you. One of my favorite questions this week was about what to do with energetic middle school students in the last week before winter vacation. In the podcast I also shared my highlight of the week from my classroom.

You can listen to episode 22 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast network.

Get the complete show notes here.



Listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks:

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from snowy Maine where it is going to be a great weekend for playing outside. When the sun comes up I plan to do some sledding with my kids. Later, we might do a little skiing too. But first I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week.

Before reading the list of the most popular posts of the week, take a look at this picture in this post. That's a Compaq LTE Lite 4/25 laptop from 1994. One of my students found it in the back of a cabinet in the back of the storage closet in my classroom. We plugged it in and it works! For those who are curious, here's a PDF of the original spec sheet for the Compaq LTE Lite line of computers.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Three Google Sites Updates to Note
2. Google Sites as Digital Portfolios
3. Tools to Improve the Accessibility of Websites, Videos, and Slides
4. Two Neat Polling Tools That I Recently Recommended
5. How to Find Historical Comics and Create Lessons With Them
6. Watch the Evolution of Campaign Commercials on The Living Room Candidate
7. A New Version of Easy Accents for Google Docs

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
2020 will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more about how we can work together.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
  • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 16,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • The Practical Ed Tech Podcast is where I answer questions from readers, share news and notes, and occasionally talk to interesting people in education. 
  • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

A Great Update to Google Sites - Review Changes Before Publishing

Earlier this week I wrote about how I'm having my students use Google Sites as digital portfolios. Right after that I published that post Google announced a few helpful updates to Google Sites. Then yesterday there was another update announced. The latest update might be the best one yet for those who use Google Sites in a collaborative environment.

Google Sites users will soon have the option to review all changes to a site before the changes are published. You'll be able to review the original view of the site and the updated view of the site side-by-side and then choose whether or not to publish the updated view. You'll be able to see who updated the site, what's been added or deleted, what's been moved, and any layout changes before publishing the new look of your site.

This new Google Sites feature is available now to some users and will be widely available in January. Learn more about how to use the Google Sites review feature in this help article.

Applications for Education
The option to review changes before publishing a new version of a Google Site could be a fantastic option to use when students are collaborating on the creation of a website. This could give you and or your students to review changes to make sure that nothing incorrect or inappropriate is published on a classroom website.

Another use of the review changes option in Google Sites could be to apply it to an editing protocol in which a few students will have to review and approve changes before publishing an update to collaboratively managed website.

Firefox Accessibility Options

After yesterday's post about tools for improving the accessibility of websites, slides, and videos I got some feedback from readers who noted that I didn't mention anything about Firefox. That wasn't intentional, it was a complete oversight on my part because I personally don't use Firefox that often and none of my students do either. To remedy that, here's a short run-down of accessibility options that are available in Firefox.

The Firefox users can customize default font sizes, spacing, and colors. These options are available by opening the options menu listed under the “Tools” drop-down menu in Firefox. Alternatively, the options menu can be accessed by typing “about:preferences” (without quotation marks) into the address bar in Firefox.

Other accessibility options for Firefox include using a keyboard to navigate webpages, zooming to enlarge pages, and installing screen reader add-ons. You can enable keyboard navigation from the options menu under general settings. To zoom in to enlarge pages simply hold down the ctrl key then press the “+” key. To reverse that process hold ctrl and press the “-” key. A couple of screen reader add-ons for Firefox can be found at http://bit.ly/accsettings and complete list of Firefox accessibility settings is available at https://mzl.la/2DSxHhy

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tools to Improve the Accessibility of Websites, Videos, and Slides

We all have different needs and preferences when it comes to consuming the media in our lives. Our students are the same. Some need webpages read aloud, some need different color schemes or fonts, and others need captions enabled on videos. Those are just a few of the things that can be done to improve the accessibility of slides, videos, and websites used in our classrooms.

Improving the accessibility of slides, videos, and websites used to be a lot more difficult than it is today. Here are some tools that you and your students can use to improve the accessibility of media used in your classroom.

Tools to Improve the Accessibility of Websites

Microsoft Edge
If you have access to Microsoft Edge (the default for Windows computers) then should familiarize yourself with Microsoft’s Immersive Reader tool. Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge can be used to have pages read aloud, to alter the font size and spacing, and to alter the color scheme of articles read on websites.

Microsoft Edge is also available to use on Android and iOS phones and tablets. A read-aloud function is available in the iOS and Android versions of Microsoft Edge.

Mac users aren’t left out of using Microsoft Edge and Immersive Reader. Microsoft Edge is currently (November, 2019) available as a beta product to install on Mac OS. It contains the Immersive Reader functions that are available in the Windows version of Edge. You can find the Mac OS version of Edge right here.

Safari
Safari has a “reader view” option that you can find to the left of the URL in the address bar. The reader view menu appears as four horizontal lines. Click the menu to enter reader view. The reader view will lets users change the font style and size as well as the overall page color scheme.

Safari’s reader view is in addition to all of the other accessibility options that are built into the Mac operating system. A comprehensive list of Mac accessibility options is available at https://www.apple.com/accessibility/mac/

Chrome
The Chrome web browser can be customized to each user’s preferences regarding font size, font style, and spacing. Those setting choices can be made by typing chrome://settings/fonts into the address bar in Chrome. The choices will apply as the default wherever you go in with Chrome.

You can zoom-in or zoom-out on individual pages in Chrome by simply holding the control key then tapping the “+” key on a Windows or Chromebook keyboard or by holding the command key then tapping the “+” key on a Mac keyboard.

There are Chrome extensions that offer read-aloud capabilities. Read & Write for Chrome is one of the most popular ones for use in school settings. Other accessibility extensions can be found at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/ext/22-accessibility

Improve the Accessibility of Your Slideshows

Automatic Subtitles for Your Live Presentations
Both PowerPoint and Google Slides offer automatic subtitling tools that you can use when presenting to an audience.

In Google Slides the subtitles appear at the bottom of your screen when you are in full-screen presentation mode. You can enable subtitles by entering presentation mode then hovering your cursor over the lower-left corner of your slides to make the subtitles option appear. This short video provides a demonstration of how to enable subtitles in Google Slides.

PowerPoint gives you the choice of having subtitles appear at the top or bottom of the screen when you are using the full-screen presentation mode. The process of enabling subtitles is slightly different depending upon whether you’re using the web browser version or desktop version of PowerPoint. In both versions the subtitles options are found by choosing the “slideshow” menu. This video demonstrates subtitles in the browser version of PowerPoint and this video demonstrates subtitles in the desktop version of PowerPoint.

Add Alt Text to Your Slides
Alt text, short for alternative text, is text that you can add to images and videos to describe what they are and or what they contain. Adding alt text can make your slideshows accessible to people who use screen readers. The alt text describes what is in a picture, chart, or video that is included in a slide. PowerPoint, Keynote, and Google Slides all provide options for adding alt text to your presentations.

To add alt text to images or videos in Google Slides simply right-click on the image or slide to which you need to add alt text. The menu that appears when you right-click on the image or video will include an alt text option where you can then write a title and description for the image or video. This video provides a demonstration of how to add alt text to Google Slides.

You can add alt text to PowerPoint slides by right-clicking on an image in your slides. One of the options that appears when you right-click on an image in PowerPoint is “edit alt text.” Select that option then write your description of the image.

Keynote users can add alt text to images by selecting an image on a slide which then opens a panel on the right-hand side of the slide. In that panel select the image tab then add your alt text in the description box that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Improve YouTube Video Accessibility

YouTube can be a great source of educational videos to either display in your classroom or have students watch on their own. Fortunately, YouTube offers some easy ways to improve the accessibility of the videos that you use in your instruction.

Enable and Customize Captions Display
You can enable captions on any YouTube video by clicking on the little “CC” icon in the lower-right corner of any video that you’re viewing. This will turn on the automatically generated captions for any spoken words in the video you’re viewing. The default size, style, and color of the automatic captions on a YouTube video may not work for every viewer. If that’s the case for you or your students, you can adjust how the captions are displayed. To adjust the captions display click on the small “gear” icon in the lower-right corner of the video that you’re viewing. Once you click that icon you’ll be able to select “subtitles/CC.” Within that menu there is an “options” menu that you can click on to select the size, style, and color of the captions display. This video will walk you through the process of customizing the display of the captions on YouTube videos.

Edit the Captions on Your Videos
If you’re making original videos for your students to watch, when you upload those videos to YouTube they will be automatically captioned. However, the automatic captions are not always accurate. For example, my last name is always captioned as “Bern” instead of it’s proper spelling of Byrne. You can edit the automatic captions. I’ve outlined the caption editing process in this video.

This post was an excerpt from an update that I'm writing for The Practical Ed Tech Handbook.

How to Find Historical Comics and Create Lessons With Them

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Docs Teach that featured the idea of creating history lessons that incorporate historical comics. That email sent me to Docs Teach where there is a small collection of historical comics. Since Docs Teach is a project of the U.S. National Archives all of the comics have a record locator that can be clicked to take you into the National Archives' online catalog. It was there that I started to dig into browsing through hundreds of records containing comics and comic books. In the following video I demonstrate how to use the National Archives' online catalog to locate historical comics.


Any document that you find in the National Archives, including comics, can be uploaded to Docs Teach where you can then build online activities for your students to complete online. In this video that I published a few months ago I demonstrate how to create activities on Docs Teach.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Two Neat Polling Tools That I Recently Recommended

I get a lot of questions from readers. I try to answer all of them. Those that I think have a broad appeal I turn into blog posts and or include in my podcast. Earlier this week I received a question from a reader who was looking for suggestions for polling tools that her students can use on mobile devices. I could have recommended Google Forms which does work on mobile devices, but my hunch was that she was looking for something a little different than that. So I suggested trying Acquainted and Sli.do.

Acquainted is different from your typical multiple choice polling tools. Acquainted is a conversational polling tool. What that means is people who take your poll can get an instant response from you based on their poll choices. Your responses are written into Acquainted and programmed to appear to poll respondents as they make answer choices. Watch my demo below then read on for how I think it could be a great tool for self-paced review activities.


Sli.do is a polling tool that I featured as the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week in early November. Slido offers a Google Slides add-on that works in conjunction with a Chrome extension of the same name. When combined these tools let you add survey and multiple choice questions to your existing Google Slides presentations. Students respond to the survey questions by entering a Slido code on their phones or laptops. Watch my video below to see how Slido works.

A New Version of Easy Accents for Google Docs

Easy Accents is a Google Docs and Google Slides add-on that I've been using and recommending for years. This morning I went to use the add-on in Google Docs and noticed that there was a little message informing users to install a new version of Easy Accents. The new version works the same way as the old one. According the message from the developer, the reason for the change was a project hosting migration.

Easy Accents for Google Docs and Google Slides provides users with a virtual keyboard that makes it easy to write letters with accent marks in their documents and slides. Rather than having to remember a set of keyboard combinations to create accent marks, you can just pick from a list on a virtual keyboard within Docs or Slides. Easy Accents supports twenty-six languages and offers math symbols. Watch the following video to see how easy it is to use Easy Accents. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Three Google Sites Updates to Note

Right after I finished writing a blog post about how my students are using Google Sites as digital portfolios I jumped into Feedly and found three announcements from Google regarding Google Sites. One of the updates my students will like, one I'll like, and the third is one that someone will like although I'm not sure who. (Note, theses all apply to the current version of Google Sites and not the classic version). 

More Customization Options
Over the next week or so Google Sites users will start to see options to add captions to images in their embedded image carousels, will see more options for buttons on their sites, and will have new table of contents design options. My students will like these updates because it will give them more creative control over their sites. Read more about these updates here

Version History 
The old version of Google Sites included a version history function that could be used to see changes to sites over time much like version history in Google Docs. That function is finally going to be added to the current version of Google Sites in 2020. This will be great for seeing changes over time to site. This feature won't be available until March at the earliest. Read more about it here.

Cloud Search
Cloud Search is a feature that will let users add a new search tool to their sites. Rather than just having in-site search Google Sites will soon be able to have a search tool that can be placed anywhere on the site. Cloud Search will include search capabilities similar to what you'd find with a standard Google search. Read more about it here.

Google Sites as Digital Portfolios

The computer science courses that I'm teaching this year are almost entirely project-based courses. I'm having them do two things to keep track of their progress throughout their projects. One of those things is use Google Sheets to keep track of materials and keep track of their trials. The other thing that they're doing is publishing information about their projects on individual Google Sites.

My students are maintaining individual Google Sites on which they write about and post pictures about their projects. Some students are including unedited video clips as well. With my freshmen students I had them all organize their sites in the same format with pages for every month of the school year. I'm letting my sophomores (most of them), juniors, and seniors organize their sites a little more loosely because they have bigger, but less frequent projects than my freshmen.

Benefits of Digital Portfolios
The benefit of having my students create portfolios is that not only can I quickly see what they're working on, they have a resource they can refer to when they get stumped or need to refresh after a few days off like we just had for Thanksgiving break.

Why Google Sites?
The reason I chose Google Sites for my students' portfolios is that because they all use G Suite for Education they can quickly insert their Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides into their Sites as needed.

How to Make a Website With Google Sites
Watch the video below to learn how to make a website with Google Sites.



Convert Old Google Sites to New
If you still have a Google Site that is in the old "classic" format, you can update it to the new style. Watch the following video to learn how to do that.

Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference Schedule

The Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference is next week. It is a free event that anyone can attend online. Register here or through the form below and you'll be enrolled in all of these free webinar presentations. Here's the line-up of presentations.


  • Easy Ways to Make Your Own Apps
    • December 10 at 3pm ET – Richard Byrne
      Not that long ago creating a mobile app required extensive coding skills and knowledge of programming. Today, there are many tools that make it possible for educators and students to develop their own functioning apps without any prior programming experience. Come to this presentation to learn how you and your students can develop  simple apps to use on your phones or tablets.


  • 3D Printing Solutions to World Issues
    • December 10 at 4pm ET – Jeremy Rinkel
      With an emphasis and focus on the UN Sustainability Goals, students were challenged to create prototypes or products that would be beneficial in assisting communities and countries in reaching the UN Sustainability Goals. Our first year of 3D printing has brought challenges, but we are learning a lot through problem solving and design. I’ll discuss our journey into 3D printing, the excitement of students in learning about “real-world” challenges and how 3D printing could play a role in solving these issues. Take ideas from our experience, make them your own and help save our world one 3D print at a time.


  • Coding + Drones= 100% Engagement
    • December 11 at 4pm ET – Karin Knapik-Cloutier
      Create multidisciplinary projects that teach students coding as well as the 4 C’s of critical-thinking,creativity, collaboration and communication. Using TELLO drones and free apps that run on IOS, Android and as a Chrome extension you can teach coding to students in elementary through high school.


  • Simple Wearable Electronics
    • December 11 at 8pm ET – Denise Wright
      This presentation will show you how to create some simple wearable electronics. Wearable electronics can include pedometers, smartwatches, or even a jean jacket that can play music. Everyday people use some sort of wearable electronics. Check out this jacket made with ada flora. Microbits can even be used to create watches.


  • Taking Shape: Drawing Your Own Icons
    • December 12 at 2pm ET – Tony Vincent
      Icons are an extremely effective form of communication. They are simple pictures that are immediately recognizable and universally understood. Icons tend to be simple drawings and are typically one color, making them easy to design if you break them down into shapes. Sure, there are millions of icons you can download, but there are advantages to making them yourself. When you draw your own, you can fill it with any color. And, you can customize your icon—you can change it to exactly meet your needs. Plus, it feels good to be creative with your visuals!

      In this webinar, Tony Vincent will demonstrate techniques for constructing icons by combining shapes in Google Drawings. The techniques work in any graphic design app. After learning to make your own icons, see how you can put them to work. Get ideas for using icons in your newsletters, flyers, slide shows, bulletin boards, videos, 3D prints, and documents. Teachers will be excited to put students on the path to drawing their own icons as well—kids love the challenge of drawing with shapes and enjoy using their own creations in their projects.


  • Using Makey Makey to Create Assistive Technology
    • December 12 at 3pm ET – Art Spencer
      For the past 3 years I've had 4th, 5th, and 8th grade students design and build assistive technology devices using Makey Makey boards for students with special needs. My students learn the design process, then work in groups to create buttons using cardboard, aluminum foil, and conductive clay. Special needs students then have success using a computer despite any physical limitations. This session will give an overview of that project and give tips on how do so something similar in your school setting.


  • Using Video as a Reflective, Collaborative, and Data Collecting tool
    • December 12 at 4pm ET – Brian Heyward
      Video can be used to reflect on process/progress, collect data for informal/formal research, and to collaborate synchronously or asynchronously on the same tasks. Video tools and other considerations will also be presented.



Creativity Conference Registration

Register once to attend all sessions for free!
    By completing this form you'll be registered for all sessions. You will receive emails from GoToWebinar and Byrne.Media informing you of the session start times.
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    Monday, December 2, 2019

    Watch the Evolution of Campaign Commercials on The Living Room Candidate

    I did a lot of driving and sitting in traffic in snowy conditions today  so I had a lot of time to listen to podcasts. The first that I listened to was Joe Rogan's podcast with Tulsi Gabbard and Jocko Willink. The second was the Meat Eater Podcast with Steve Rinella. Both podcasts veered into talking about how political campaigns have changed over time. Rinella's podcast featured interesting stories about Davy Crockett as a politician. Listening to those podcasts reminded me of The Living Room Candidate website.

    The Living Room Candidate is part of a larger project called the Museum of the Moving Image. Visitors to The Living Room Candidate can view the commercials from each campaign from both parties. A written transcript is provided with each commercial. Provided along with each video is an overview of the political landscape of at the time of the campaigns. Visitors to the website can search for commercials by election year, type of commercial, or by campaign issue.

    The Living Room Candidate is a site that I've used since 2008. Unfortunately, while the collection of videos has been updated, the site still relies on Flash. Fortunately, most of the videos are available on two YouTube channels. The playlist from the Museum of the Moving Image contains eleven videos. There's also this playlist put together by Karen Zeller.


    Applications for Education
    The Living Room Candidate has a great tool for students called The Living Room Candidate Ad Maker. The Ad Maker can be used by students to remix old advertisements, sound bites, and images to create new campaign commercials. The teachers page on The Living Room Candidate offers nine lesson plans for teaching about the historical context of campaigns, analyzing campaign ads, and creating new campaign ads.

    Multi.link - A Convenient Way to Share All Your Profiles

    Multi.link is a new service that makes it easy to share all of your social media profiles, websites you own, videos you produce, and pictures on one simple page. To use Multi.link just head to the site, sign-up in a minute, then start adding links. You can link to just about anything that you want to. You can drag and drop to rearrange the order that things appear on your page. When you publish your page it will be available at multi.link/"yourusername." For example, my page is multi.link/richard

    Applications for Education
    Multi.link could be used as a quick and easy way to construct a simple digital portfolio. Students can add links to examples of their work or even include videos that they've made about their projects. Of course, Multi.link could also be an easy way to put a resume online outside of the usual channels link LinkedIn.

    Sunday, December 1, 2019

    The Ten Most Popular Posts Last Month

    We put up our Christmas tree this weekend (my toddlers "helped" decorate it). Putting up the tree is always a sign that December is here. November has come and gone. As I do at the end of every month I've put together a list of the ten most read posts of the last thirty days.

    These were the most popular posts in November:
    1. How to Add Audio to Google Slides - Updated
    2. My Updated Five Favorite Google Slides Add-ons
    3. 5 Google Product Updates for Teachers to Note This Weekend
    4. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is Back!
    5. Get Instant Feedback on Your Presentations With Presenter Coach
    6. Plagiarism Explained by Common Craft - Updated
    7. How to Create a Great Presentation With Canva
    8. More Than 30,000 Historical Maps for Student Projects
    9. Fling the Teacher! - A Fun Review Game from Classtools
    10. It's Official! Google Slides Will Have Native Audio Support by End of November

    Sale!
    Through Tuesday you can get eight of my Practical Ed Tech webinars in one bundle at more than 50% off. Or save 20% on any individual webinar.

    I'll come to your school in 2020! 
    2020 will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more about how we can work together.

    Thank You for Your Support!
    Other Places to Follow My Work
    Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
    • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com.
    • My YouTube Channel - More than 16,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
    • The Practical Ed Tech Podcast is where I answer questions from readers, share news and notes, and occasionally talk to interesting people in education. 
    • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
    • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
    • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.