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Saturday, October 20, 2018

VR, Certificates, and Google Earth - The Week in Review

Moose Tracks
Good evening from Maine where it was a beautiful fall day. It was a perfect day for playing outside which is what we did to celebrate our youngest daughter's first birthday. I hope that you had a great Saturday too!

Tomorrow I will be speaking at the CECA/CASL conference in Connecticut. I will also be there on Monday. If you're attending too, please say hello.

And if you're wondering about the picture, it's a moose track that my dogs found on a walk this week. It's one of the biggest tracks I've seen in all of my twenty years exploring the Maine woods.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 250 Google Tools Tutorials for Teachers
2. Virtual Reality Book Tours
3. How to Send Personalized Certificates via Google Forms or Google Sheets
4. How to Design a Custom Certificate in Google Slides
5. How I Found a Google Earth File of 550+ Ancient Greek Places
6. A New Vertical Ruler and New Margin Settings in Google Docs
7. How to Set Start and End Times for Videos in Google Slides

Now Booking 2019 School Visits
If you would like to have me work with your school this year, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com or click here for more information.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Book Creator is a great tool for creating multimedia books.
Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

TED-Ed Explains Why Students Should Read Classics

A few weeks ago TED-Ed published a lesson titled Why Should You Read Edgar Allan Poe? It now appears that lesson was the first in a series of lessons designed to explain and encourage students to read some classics. Since the Poe lesson was published TED-Ed has published similar lessons about Don Quixote, Waiting for Godot, and The Canterbury Tales. All of those video lessons plus the Poe lesson are embedded below.

Why Should You Read "Waiting for Godot?"


Why Should You Read "Don Quixote?"


Everything You Need to Know to Read "The Canterbury Tales."


Why Should You Read Edgar Allan Poe?


Friday, October 19, 2018

Three Ways to Make Social Media Profiles for Historical and Literary Characters

Earlier this week I received an email from a reader who was looking for a way that her students could create fake Facebook and other social media profiles based on historical and literary characters. The tool that I used to recommend for creating that kind of fake Facebook profile hasn't been reliable in recent years. The other problem with the old Fakebook is that kids now see Facebook as something their parents use. Using the old Fakebook is not as engaging an activity as it once was. My recommendation today is to either create your own template for fake social media profiles or have students make them. There are three tools that make that process relatively easy.

Storyboard That
Storyboard That has many wireframe elements that you can use to design a simulation of a phone or computer screen. Once you've made a screen you can then start adding icons and characters to design a fake social media profile based on a historical or literary character. Storyboard That has a gallery of more than 40,000 unique drawings that you can use in designing frames.

Canva
Canva, like Storyboard That, has lots of wireframe elements that can be used to create a simulation of a screen. Then within that simulation you can add pictures and text. You can set custom dimensions for your frames in Canva which is something you cannot do in Storyboard That.

Google Drawings
If your students are already using G Suite for Education, then Google Drawings can be a good option for designing a fake profile. The downside to using Google Drawings is that the selection of pre-made design elements is limited compared to Storyboard That and Canva.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog. 

How to Create Storyboard Templates in Google Slides or PowerPoint

Creating a storyboard is an excellent way for students to plan video projects. Storyboards provide a frame-by-frame outline of the plot of a video. Even if your students are going to use tools like Adobe Spark or Powtoon that have frame-by-frame video editing, it is still helpful to have students plan their videos before jumping into those tools. Making simple, printable storyboard templates is easy to do in Google Slides and in PowerPoint. Watch the following videos to learn how to use those common presentation tools to make storyboard templates.

How to create a storyboard template in PowerPoint.


How to create a storyboard template in Google Slides.

How to Set Start and End Times for Videos in Google Slides

This morning I answered an email from a reader who had a question about ytCropper. The link ytCropper link for her cropped video wasn't working in Google Slides. My solution was to not use ytCropper and instead just use the built-in formatting tools in Google Slides. The video formatting tools in Google Slides includes the option to specify specific start and end times for the videos that you include in your slides. Watch my video to see how to set start and end times for videos in Google Slides.