Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good afternoon from Maine where all the leaves have turned brown and the air has turned cold. We had our first snowfall of the year this week and the local ski mountain opened this morning. Winter isn't far away. Staying indoors all day just because it's cold is a recipe disaster in our house so we all bundled up and played outside this morning. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you get time to play outside this weekend too.

This week I hosted a webinar about formative assessment methods. If you missed it, you can get the recorded version of it here.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. My Updated Five Favorite Google Slides Add-ons
2. Plagiarism Explained by Common Craft - Updated
3. Three Tools for Recording The Great Thanksgiving Listen
4. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is Back!
5. Get Instant Feedback on Your Presentations With Presenter Coach
6. Create Random Story Starters With This Flippity Template
7. How to Randomly Shuffle Google Slides Presentations

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 richardbyrne (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. 
  • 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 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 Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode #18

This morning I published the eighteenth episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In this episode I shared a handful of new resources for teachers and students including a great tool that can help students improve their presentations and a great resource for introducing primary sources to elementary school students. As always, in the podcast I answered a handful of questions from readers and listeners. Those questions are included below the recording that is embedded below. Get the complete show notes here.

Listen to episode 18 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here, as embedded below, or on your favorite podcast network.

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

Questions from readers answered in the podcast:

Are there any free or inexpensive sites where I can have a webinar with my class and use a whiteboard? 
Really liked your video on Google Drive Any way one can change the DIRECTORY view columns or (for that matter) widen 'File" column (or change the point size of lettering - to see more of the file name) or remove columns "Owner" & "Modified."

I’m aware of all the online sites which can randomly select a name after you upload a list of student names But... I’m looking for a way to upload photos of my students so I can randomly have the site select a photo. (The students are learning how to use adjectives to describe themselves and I would like to project a face onto the screen randomly) I can’t seem to find a site or a method that makes it easy to accomplish this feat... Any ideas? 
I love the automatic grading in Google Forms. My question is, is there way to set a time limit on the quiz but still be able to let kids who are absent take the quiz when they come back to school?  
Our students are about to begin a project creating videos through still images and perhaps some recorded video chunks on their phones. I would like to have them be able to do voice overs, but am unsure of a good web based video editor that I can use that 9th graders can navigate and store their information. Do you have any suggestions for me? 

A Classic Geography Tool - Overlap Maps

As I mentioned on the latest episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast, last week I was reminded of a great little geography site called Overlap Maps. I hadn't used it in a long time so I went to see if it was still functioning as it did when I was regularly using it seven years ago. I was pleased to find that Overlap Maps still works as well as it did when I first started using it in 2012.

Overlap Maps can be used to quickly create visual comparisons of the size of countries, states, provinces, and some bodies of water. To create a comparison of two countries select one country from the "overlap this" menu and select one country from the "onto this" menu. The comparisons you make are displayed on a map. You can make comparisons from different categories. For example, you can overlap Lake Ontario onto the state of Rhode Island. Or, as is pictured in my screenshot, you can compare the size of a state in one country to that of a province in another. 

Applications for Education
Overlap Maps is a handy little tool to help students gain perspective of the relative size of places that they study in their geography lessons.

Thanksgiving Chemistry

The Thanksgiving Turkey Compilation from the Reactions YouTube channel explains two concepts related to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. First, it explains how the deep-frying process works and how it helps to make a turkey more flavorful. Second, the video explains why turkey isn't the primary culprit in making you drowsy after devouring your Thanksgiving meal.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good introduction to a science lesson or a culinary arts lesson (I'm looking at you Erik & Norma). Of course, if you're worried that your students might not pay attention all the way through the video, you could use a tool like EDpuzzle to build questions into the video. In the following video I demonstrate how to use EDpuzzle for that purpose.

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