Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Week in Review - Might as Well Eat Cake

Good morning from Maine where the sun is soon to be shining and the snow is gone. At this time last week we were still recovering from the effects of a big spring snowstorm. In the middle of last week's power outage my friend and colleague Dr. Wendy Robichaud and her husband sent us a cake. The cake came with a nice reminder that we can all use from time-to-time. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you can enjoy some cake or something equally fun too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. How to Quickly Create a Narrated Video from PowerPoint or Google Slides
2. How to Quickly Incorporate Google Meet Into Google Classroom
3. An Option for Making Sure Students Know They Have Google Classroom Assignments
4. How to Use Google Hangouts Meet in Google Classroom
5. How to Share Your Videos in Google Classroom - With and Without YouTube
6. Screencastify Submit Looks Promising - Easy Way for Students to Make Videos
7. Ten Fun and Challenging Geography Games for Students of All Ages

Online PD With Me!
I've been hosting professional development webinars for a decade.

  • My most popular webinars are available on-demand right here
  • If you prefer live webinars, I am planning to host some more later this month and in May so stay tuned for more information about those soon. 
  • I'm always available to schedule custom, online PD for your school.

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 it includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 20,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 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 more than 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last thirteen years at
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. - A Convenient Way to Take Attendance for Large Classes is a new service that could be helpful whenever we return to having classes in-person instead of virtually. is a system that lets students check themselves in for your class.

With the system you simply project a QR code and your students scan it with their phones to check themselves in. Students who don't have a smartphone can check in by using a corresponding check-in code that is displayed next to the QR code. The QR code and check-in codes are dynamic which means they change from class to class so that students have to be there in class to get the correct code.

Applications for Education
I tested and found it to be a easy to use. I can see it being helpful to those who teach large classes.

There are some issues that will keep me from using it with my classes. First, I know all of my students by name and face so I can take attendance in less time than it would take to project the QR code and get students to scan it. Second, even if students use use the numeric check-in code they still have to verify their phone numbers. For those two reasons I don't see it being a tool that K-12 teachers will use, but it could be a solution for taking attendance in university classes and for conducting check-ins for large conferences.

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