Saturday, January 7, 2023

Contests, Maps, and Drawings - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where normal winter weather has returned. It's cold and clear as I get ready to head out to our local ski area. Last weekend it was warm enough that my family went skiing one day and rode our bikes outside the next. This weekend we'll be sticking to the snow sports. I hope that you have something equally fun planned for your weekend. 

This week a bunch of people registered for my new course on creating and selling digital products. If you're interested in joining the course, there is still time to register

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. StudentCam 2023 - Only Three Weeks Left
2. A Cool Tool for Uncluttering and Saving Online Articles
3. How to Include Google Maps in Your Google Documents and Canva Documents
4. How to Sort Google Sheets and Forms Entries in Reverse Chronological Order
5. How to Create Map Overlays
6. Two Ways to Create Short Audio Recordings to Share via QR Code
7. How to Spell "No One" and Other Fun Lessons from Drawings Of...

Workshops and eBooks
If you'd like to have me speak at your school or conference, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) or fill out the form on this page. Book me for this school year and I'll include copies of my eBook for all of the teachers in your school. 

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!
50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integration specialists, and media specialists in mind. In it you'll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions. Get a copy today!

Other Places to Follow Me:
  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.
  • My YouTube channel has more than 44,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • I update my LinkedIn profile a time or two every week.
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • If you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Strava.
This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Create Your Podcast This Year

If you've been thinking about creating a podcast, this is the time to do it. If you've been thinking about having your students create podcasts like Tony Vincent's students did way back before podcasting was trendy, this is the year to do it. Creating a podcast has never been easier. In fact, you can record, edit, and publish a podcast on your phone

Good and Free Tools for Creating Podcasts

Today, Anchor is my go-to recommendation for creating podcasts. It lets you do all of your recording and editing in your web browser and or in their free mobile apps. Equally important, Anchor lets you publish to all major podcast distribution networks with just one click. Here's a tutorial on using Anchor in your web browser. Here's a tutorial on using it on your Android device. 

GarageBand for Mac or Audacity for Windows will give you and your students the most options for editing every possible aspect of a podcast. It will also take the longest to master. Pat Flynn offers good tutorials on using both of these tools for podcasting. Here’s the one about GarageBand and here’s the tutorial on using Audacity.

Podcast Ideas for Students
I published this list around the same time last year. I think it is still a good one.
  • Summarize the week’s lessons in their own words.
  • Explain tween/teen culture to parents/ grandparents.
  • Weather reports/ forecasts (shout-out to my friend Mal for that idea).
  • News and sports shows.
  • “This Day in History.”
  • “Math is Hard” – fun examples of bad math in the real world, like when my local McDonald’s advertised apple pies at 2 for $1 or 1 for $0.49.
  • Book critiques/ reviews.
  • Video game reviews and tips.
  • “Know Your Classmates” podcast. One student interviews another to share fun facts like favorite hobbies, pets, or music.
  • Short story podcast. Students write and then narrate short fiction stories. Check out Story Spectacular for some inspiration.

Why I Keep Making Videos That Nobody Watches

If you've been following my blog for a while, you've probably noticed that I make a lot of videos. On average I publish about 25 videos per month. Some of my videos have gotten hundreds of thousands of views. But those videos are the outliers on my YouTube channel. The vast majority of my videos don't receive more than about a few hundred views. So why do I keep making them? I made a video to explain the answer. 

Watch! - Why I Keep Making Videos That Nobody Watches

Didn't watch the video? That's okay. Here are the main points:
  • It's part of trying to help as many teachers as possible.
  • I like doing it. 
  • It's part of a larger strategy that helps me sell my digital products like this one and this one

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