Showing posts with label Free Technology for Teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free Technology for Teachers. Show all posts

Monday, February 13, 2023

Concise Explanations of DNS & IP

One of the things that quickly became clear when I started teaching an introduction to computer science course for high school freshmen was that while they are happy to use the Internet, they don't really understand how the Internet works. I suppose the same can be said for lots of adults too. The Domain Name Systems is the most important or at least most frequently used part of how people use the Internet today. PowerCert Videos, has a good video that explains how a DNS server works. I used this video in my classroom. offers a video on the same topic.'s video gets into a bit more of the history of the development of the Internet. I also showed this video to my students, but I didn't find it nearly as effective as the PowerCert video.

Applications for Education
If you have never built a website from scratch without the use of a service like Weebly or Google Sites, you may not have ever thought about the role of IP addresses and the domain name system in getting a website online. These videos can help students understand how that process happens and how DNS makes it easy to navigate the web today.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Cold, Chrome, and Games - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it is a crisp -7F as I write this. Fortunately, some warm weather is on the way. Today will probably be a day for a lot of games of Memory being played and some LEGO creations being made today. Tomorrow it will be up to 10F when we head out to ski. We'll drink some hot chocolate as during our ski day. I hope that you have some fun things planned for your weekend as well. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Read Aloud in Chrome
2. The Science of Winter Olympics Sports
3. About Primary Sources
4. Read Aloud in Edge and Other Immersive Reader Uses
5. ReadWriteThink Interactives Now Work Without Flash!
6. A New Smithsonian Learning Lab Tool for History and Art Teachers
7. How to Create Your Own Educational Games With TinyTap - Getting Started

Thank you for your support!
Your registrations in Practical Ed Tech courses (listed below) and purchases of my ebook help me keep Free Technology for Teachers going.

On-demand Professional DevelopmentOther 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 39,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fourteen years. 
  • 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 Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Good Source of Last-minute Halloween Games

I mentioned this in the list of Halloween-themed resources that I shared a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be worth reminding you that Kahoot has a huge gallery of Halloween-themed games. You can find those games by clicking the "Discover" tab in your Kahoot dashboard and then entering the search term "Halloween" or "Halloween Trivia." You can then preview the games before you play them with your students. The games can also be duplicated and edited in your Kahoot account. I'll often find a game in Kahoot and then remove a few questions and add my own. 

On my Practical Ed Tech Instagram account I shared this short video demonstration of how to find Halloween games in Kahoot. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Five Good Tools for Making Your Own Educational Games and Practice Activities

Making online educational games used to be the domain of those with specialized coding and programming skills. Today, there are free tools that anyone can use to create their own educational games for students. Likewise, there are now some excellent free tools for creating online skills practice and knowledge recall activities to share with your students.

Educandy is a neat service for creating simple vocabulary games and multiple choice trivia games. A convenient aspect of the service is that once you've created a list of vocabulary words it will automatically be applied to multiple game formats for you. In other words, write one word list and you'll get three games that your students can play. Your students can play the games without needing to create an account on the Educandy site. Watch this short video to learn how you can create your own educational games with Educandy.

Flippity is a free service that provides nearly two dozen Google Sheets templates that can be used to create a variety of online games including spelling games, vocabulary games, problem-solving games, and trivia games. The board game template is one of the most popular templates that Flippity provides. That template can be used to create an online board game that is similar in nature to Candy Land or Shoots & Ladders. Watch the video here to learn how to create an online board game with Flippity’s free board game template. has long been one of my favorite places to find free educational games and templates for creating educational games. On ClassTools you'll find templates for creating map-based games, word sorting games, matching games, and many more common game formats. Use the search function on ClassTools to find the game template that is best for you and your students. You can see a video demonstration of ClassTools right here.

TinyTap is a free iPad app and Android app that enables you to create educational games for your students to play on their iPads or Android tablets. Through TinyTap you can create games in which students identify objects and respond by typing, tapping, or speaking. You can create games in which students complete sentences or even complete a diagram by dragging and dropping puzzle pieces.

TeacherMade is a service on which you can upload a PDF then add to it fillable text boxes, lines for matching activities, multiple choice questions, and interactive hotspots to highlight specific points in the PDF. You can also use TeacherMade to add audio to an uploaded PDF. Depending upon the type of questions that you select, TeacherMade will automatically score assignments for you. Canva offers nearly two thousand worksheet templates for teachers to copy and modify. All of the templates can be downloaded as PDFs. You can combine the use of Canva and TeacherMade to create online activities for your students to complete. Depending upon the TeacherMade settings that you choose, your students can get immediate feedback. The process of combining TeacherMade and Canva is demonstrated in the video here.