Friday, November 1, 2019

Slide Tricks, Candy, and Maps - The Month in Review

October has come and gone. As I do at the end of every month I have looked through my Google Analytics account to find the most read posts of the last month. The most popular posts in October centered around Google Slides tricks and tips, making educational games, and a source of historical maps. Take a look at the list and see if there is something interesting that you missed in the last month.

These were the most popular posts in October:
1. 5 Handy Google Slides Features You Might Be Overlooking
2. Slido - Create and Run Polls Within Your Google Slides
3. Educandy - Quickly Create Educational Games from Word Lists
4. Math & Science Halloween Lessons
5. Actively Learn - Find & Create Engaging Reading Assignments and More
6. How to Find and Edit Thousands of Halloween Games for Your Classroom
7. topoView - View and Download Thousands of Historical Maps
8. Kami - Annotate PDFs in Google Drive
9. How to Create Vocabulary Games on Educandy
10. Using Google Slides to Design a Mobile App

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
I'm already booking my 2020 workshop and conference schedule. This will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Send me an email at richard (at) to learn more.

On-demand PD
On I have seven professional development webinars available to view whenever you like.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides 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
  • 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. 
  • Facebook - The Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. 

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is Back!

For the fifth year in a row StoryCorps is hosting The Great Thanksgiving Listen. This annual event is an effort to get families to talk and record their stories around the Thanksgiving table. The project was originally developed to get high school students to record the stories of their parents, grandparents, and other older family members. It has expanded over the years to be open to anyone who wants to participate. You can contribute your stories to a national collection or keep them private for just your family to enjoy.

StoryCorps provides materials to help students and teachers get involved in The Great Thanksgiving Listen. The resources for teachers include lesson plans, handouts, and even letters and a permission slip that you can send home to help explain the project to parents. To record interviews students can use the StoryCorps mobile apps (iOS version, Android version) or any other recording tool that you feel is appropriate for your students.

Applications for Education
I love Thanksgiving and I love oral histories. If I was still teaching social studies (I teach computer science now) I would have my students participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen as a way to have them gather local history stories in the context of personal stories. Before The Great Thanksgiving Listen came along I did this kind of project with a social studies class by having them record their parents' and grandparents' stories about going to our local county fair.

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode #17 - Ninjas, Gladiators, and Copyright

It's Friday afternoon and I've just finished recording the seventeenth episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In this episode I address some questions around a Tweet I made last Saturday, discuss my infuriating experience of defending my copyright rights, and share my thoughts about talking with students about topics that can be a bit polarizing. As usual, the podcast begins with some news and notes from the world of ed tech. The episode ends with my answers to a handful of questions from readers, listeners, and viewers like you.

You can listen to episode 17 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your podcast network. The show notes are available in this Google Doc.

You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks:

Last Call for Creativity Conference Proposals

In about six weeks from now I'll be hosting the Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference. It is a free online event. The list of conference presentations will be finalized in the next couple of weeks. If you would like to give a presentation, the proposal form is open until midnight (Eastern Time) tonight.

If you have an idea that you would like to present, please complete this short presentation proposal form. If you've never presented in a webinar format before, I'll give you some training in advance.

Register to Attend
  • It's Free! Register here and you’ll be registered for all live sessions (it will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live broadcasts).
    • December 10th at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm ET.
    • December 11th at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm ET.
    • December 12th at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm ET.

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