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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.