Monday, August 31, 2020

The Month in Review - Back to School

Greetings from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Maine.

It's a sunny day here in Maine and great afternoon to soak up the last rays of summer sunshine. Leaves are starting to change color on some of the trees around here. The first red leaves of the year provide a small sense of normalcy as we start a new school year in a way that is definitely not normal.  I hope that all of you can also find some small sense of normalcy as your new school year begins too.

One of the normal things that I do every month is create a list of most popular posts of the month. Here's that list:

1. New Google Classroom and Google Meet Updates to Note
2. Use Whiteboards in Google Meet Without Screensharing
3. How to Use Grid View in Google Meet - No Chrome Extensions Required!
4. How to Make a Whiteboard Video in Flipgrid
5. What You Need to Know About the Latest Version of Flipgrid
6. All About Zoom Breakout Rooms
7. Seven Zoom Tutorials to Watch Before School Starts
8. Five Tips for Live Online Instruction
9. How to Direct Students to Videos Based on Answer Choices in Google Forms
10. Five Current Google Meet Features to Note

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 28,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 400 Google tools tutorials.  
  • Facebook - The Facebook page has more than 460,000 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.

How to Use Google Drive to Comment on Videos

One of the great "hidden" features of Google Drive that is often overlooked is that you can comment on almost any file that you upload to your Google Drive. This includes videos that you upload to Google Drive. That's exactly what I demonstrate in this new video.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video above, using uploading videos and sharing them in Google Drive can be a good way for you to give students private feedback on videos that they make. You could also use commenting on videos to have students ask you questions about instructional videos you share with them.

Every U.S. Presidential Election Through 2012 Explained

Last week I featured a couple of videos about the Electoral College that Keith Hughes produced. Keith has many other excellent videos for U.S. Government and U.S. History students. One set of those videos is Presidential Elections Explained. In that set of videos Keith explains the outcomes and significance of every U.S. Presidential Election through 2012. I've embedded a few of those videos below.

The First Presidential Election

The Election of 1860

The Election of 1904

The Election of 2008