Thursday, January 5, 2023

More Than 25,000 Teachers Get Their Ed Tech Tips This Way

Last month I wrote about going back to basics with email and RSS. The main point of that article being that email and RSS are good ways to follow your favorite websites without having to rely on the vagaries of social media algorithms. Since that post went live I've had a few folks reach out to ask about the RSS feed for this blog and the email options for following it. 

There is a daily email that is generated from Free Technology for Teachers. You can subscribe to the daily email here. That email is simply the content of the blog posts that I publish during the day.

Weekly Newsletter

Every Sunday evening/ Monday morning I publish my weekly newsletter called the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week. That newsletter features my favorite tip of the week, a list of the most popular posts of the week from Free Technology for Teachers, and usually a personal note or fun reference like "were Ross and Rachel really on a break?" The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter is also where I usually publish handouts like my guide to finding classroom-friendly media before I publish it anywhere else. 

Click here to subscribe to the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week

RSS Feed

Finally, if you want to add the Free Technology for Teachers RSS feed to your favorite feed reader, here's the link you need

How to Spell "No One" and Other Fun Lessons from Drawings Of...

Lillie Marshall is an English teacher, writer, and artist whose work I've seen on social media for many years. So when she reached out to me last week to tell me about her new project called Drawings Of... I was more than happy to take a look at it.

Drawings Of... is a website full of Lillie Marshall's cartoons that were drawn for the purpose of teaching English lessons. Throughout the site you will find cartoons and written lessons about a variety of topics that are commonly taught in English classes. Take a look at this list of homophone cartoons or this list of figurative language examples to get a better sense of what Drawings Of... is all about. 

Lillie Marshall also has a YouTube channel that includes a playlist of Drawings Of... videos. In those videos you can see how she creates her cartoons. Many of the videos provide helpful English lessons on their own. It was in the Drawings Of... playlist that I found this helpful video about the spelling of "no one."



Applications for Education
Drawings Of... is exactly the kind of site that can help students get a better understanding of some tricky concepts in the English language. There's also a section the site that has a set of drawing and writing prompts that can could be helpful when a student says, "I don't know what to write about."

How to Use Custom Backgrounds in Animate from Audio Videos

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I featured a fun tool from Adobe called Animate from Audio. Based on the responses that I received to the newsletter, Animate from Audio is going to be used in a lot of classrooms over the next couple of weeks. A couple of the responses that I got were questions about using custom avatars and backgrounds in the videos. 

Unfortunately, you can't upload your own avatar to the Animate from Audio editor. But you can upload your own background images to use in your videos. That process and the whole process of making a video with Animate from Audio is demonstrated in the video that is embedded below. 

Video - How to Use Custom Backgrounds in Animate from Audio



Applications for Education
Like I did in the video above, by using custom backgrounds students can create short videos to explain the highlights of a famous (or not-so-famous) place.