Monday, December 12, 2022

Get Your Free Copy of The 2022-23 Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Near the start of every school year I publish an updated version of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook. This year it took me a bit longer than usual to get it done and I didn't send it out until mid-September. Since then I made a few minor edits to it (mostly to correct grammatical mistakes that I missed earlier). If you didn't get your copy earlier this school year, The Practical Ed Tech Handbook is now available for free to anyone who is subscribed to The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter or who registers for it here

This year’s edition of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook has 58 pages divided into thirteen sections.

1. Communication with students and parents – page 5
2. Creating Blogs & Websites – page 9
3. Web search strategies – page 15
4. Digital citizenship – page 17
5. Video creation and flipped lessons – page 22
6. Audio recording and publishing – page 31
7. Backchannels and formative assessment – page 32
8. Digital portfolios – page 36
9. Augmented and Virtual Reality – page 38
10. Intro to Programming and Makerspaces – page 43
11. Accessibility Tools – page 48
12. DIY Game Creation – page 54
13. Helpful things that don’t fit into one category – page 56

You can get your free copy of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook when you subscribe to The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter right here.

Ten Canva Features for Students - An Experiment

Canva is a graphic design platform that offers a wide range of features for creating professional-looking documents. Some of the key features that may be useful for students include the following:

1. Templates: Canva offers a variety of customizable templates for different types of documents, including posters, presentations, reports, and infographics. This can make it easy for students to create professional-looking documents without having to start from scratch.

2. Drag-and-drop editor: Canva's user-friendly interface allows users to easily create and edit their documents using a drag-and-drop editor. This makes it easy for students to quickly arrange and format their content, even if they don't have advanced design skills.

3. Stock images and graphics: Canva offers a library of over a million stock images and graphics that users can easily incorporate into their documents. This can help students add visual interest to their documents and make them more engaging for readers.

4. Collaboration tools: Canva allows multiple users to collaborate on a single document in real time, making it easy for students to work together on group projects.

5. Cloud-based platform: Canva is a cloud-based platform, which means that documents can be accessed and edited from any device with an internet connection. This makes it easy for students to work on their documents from anywhere, at any time.

6. Download and share options: Canva allows users to download their documents in a variety of formats, including PDF, JPEG, and PNG. Users can also share their documents via email, social media, or other platforms.

7. Text formatting tools: Canva offers a range of text formatting options, including font styles, sizes, and colors, as well as text alignment and spacing. This can help students create documents that are easy to read and visually appealing.

8. Image editing tools: Canva offers basic image editing tools, such as cropping, resizing, and adjusting the contrast, brightness, and saturation of images. This can help students enhance the visual appeal of their documents.

9. Visual design elements: Canva offers a variety of visual design elements, such as shapes, lines, and icons, that users can easily incorporate into their documents. This can help students create documents that are visually appealing and professional-looking.

10. Easy integration with other tools: Canva integrates with a variety of other tools and platforms, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, making it easy for students to access and edit their documents from a variety of devices and platforms.

This Was an Experiment!
The opening paragraph and the list of ten items was written entirely by ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence tool that will generate lists and entire articles based on a few inputs from you. There are a lot of potential ramifications, both good and bad, of using this kind of technology in education. I'll be publishing an article about that later this week. That article will be written without the use of AI. 

51 Canva Tutorials for Teachers and Students
Without the use of AI I've created 51 tutorials on how to use Canva's features in classroom settings. The playlist of those tutorials is embedded below and can be seen here on my YouTube channel

"Dad, It's Still Autumn" - Corrections from My Daughters

Those of you who have been following my blog with regularity over the last couple of years have probably seen my informal series of posts titled Questions from My Daughters. Those posts have been about answering the questions that my daughters (now ages five and six) ask me. Questions like "what do worms eat?" and "what are freckles?" have been answered in those posts. Well now it's time to start a new series that I'm going to call Corrections from My Daughters

Over the weekend it became apparent that my daughters have reached the phase of childhood in which they like to be very precise with their words and want their parents to do the same. This was revealed when I was lamenting the lack of snow that we've had here in Maine so far this winter. As soon as the words were out of my mouth my oldest daughter said, "well Dad, it's still autumn." Her younger sister quickly confirmed that I was wrong to say that it was winter because winter doesn't start until December 21st (as she learned at school last week). 

All of the above is to introduce my short collection of resources for teaching and learning about winter. 

Why do we have seasons? What causes the changes in weather patterns throughout the seasons? The answers to those questions and more are found in the following SciShow Kids video and Crash Course Kids video.

Why the Full Moon Is Better In Winter is a good companion resource to go with those videos featured above.

PBS Learning Media's Classroom Posters collection contains more than a dozen colorful PDFs featuring the letters of the alphabet with representative icons, numbers, shapes, and short words. In the posters collection you'll also find seasons of the year, months of the year, and weather. Finally, the collection also includes posters about emotions and classroom routines. 

21 Activities and Lessons That Have a Winter Theme includes a bunch of indoor and outdoor learning activities for a K-8 audience. 

We're Counting Birds is a winter activity that my family enjoyed doing last year and will be doing again this year.  

OPEN Phys Ed has a new collection of winter-themed physical education lesson plans for K-8. The lesson plans are free to download as PDFs and or as Word documents. 

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