Showing posts with label practical ed tech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label practical ed tech. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Two Ways to Make Timelines Based on Books

On Sunday evening a reader of my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter replied with a question about creating timelines. She was looking for suggestions for a timeline tool that her tenth grade students can use to create a timeline based on books they've read. This is something that I've done in the past with some of my own students so I had a couple of suggestions at the ready. 

Timeline JS is my first choice for making a timeline based on a book. I've been using Timeline JS for nearly a decade to make timelines that include text, images, videos, and links. Timelines created with Timeline JS can have events separated by as little as a minute because you can specify the date and time of each event in the timeline. Watch this video for a short demonstration of how to use Timeline JS. 



Using one of Canva's timeline templates is my second choice for making a timeline based on a book. While it doesn't support as many media types as Timeline JS, you could argue that the aesthetics of Canva timelines is much better than those of Timeline JS. Here's my demo of how to create a timeline in Canva.


By the way, the image in this post is a picture of the cover of a fun read titled Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure. The book retraces Harry Truman's steps as he drove from his home in Missouri to New York and back during the summer of 1953. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Webinar This Thursday - Search Strategies Students Need to Know

This Thursday at 4pm ET I'm hosting the new version of my most popular Practical Ed Tech webinar, Search Strategies Students Need to Know

The updated version of this webinar includes new handouts for you and your students. These include templates for formulating lessons to teach search strategies and templates for students to follow when conducting online research. 

Other highlights of the webinar include alternatives to Google search (and why students should try them), how to build your own school-safe search engine (great for K-5 teachers), and tools and tips for helping students organize their research findings. 

This is a live webinar and there will be time for Q&A. The webinar will be recorded for those who register in advance but cannot attend the live session. Register here!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Coming This Sunday Evening

Last Sunday evening the subscribers to my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter got copies of the 2021-22 version of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook before anyone else. This Sunday I have two more resources that will only be available through my newsletter. Those resources are colorful poster-style PDFs of email etiquette reminders for students. 

If you're not subscribed my newsletter, you can do so right here

But if you don't want to subscribe to my newsletter, that's okay. I do have the following videos to share with you on the topic of email etiquette. 

The video below was made by a teacher for the purpose of sharing email etiquette tips with students. 



Watch Clear Email Communication by Common Craft to learn how to get a recipient's attention and how to get a response from that recipient.



Disclosure: I have a long-standing, in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

The 2021-22 Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Earlier this week subscribers to my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter received their free copies of the 2021-22 edition of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook. It's a 75 page PDF that features my favorite tools, tips, and strategies for using a wide variety of educational technology tools in your classroom. If you're not subscribed to my newsletter, you can now get your copy of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook right here

Table of contents for the 2021-22 version of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook:
1. Communication with students and parents – page 5
2. Creating Blogs & Websites – page 9
3. Web search strategies – page 16
4. Digital citizenship – page 27
5. Video creation and flipped lessons – page 30
6. Audio recording and publishing – page 42
7. Backchannels and formative assessment – page 44
8. Digital portfolios – page 48
9. Augmented and Virtual Reality – page 50
10. Intro to Programming and Makerspaces – page 54
11. Accessibility Tools – page 59
12. Ten Time-saving ways for teachers to use tech – page 65
13. Remote Instruction Tools and Strategies – page 67
14. DIY Game Creation – page 72

Get your copy of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook right here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

What to Try When a Web App Isn't Working

Two weeks ago in my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I outlined six things to try when a website or web app isn't working as you expected it to. Based on click-through, that was my most popular newsletter of the year! For those who haven't seen it, the handout from that edition of the newsletter is included below. Feel free to share it with your friends. (Click on the image to view it in full size).


These are the six things to try:

1. Is it you or is it the website? An easy way to find out is to visit downforeveryoneorjustme.com then enter the URL of the website you’re trying to use. If you’re familiar with the Windows command terminal you can also try pinging the address of the site you’re trying to use. Here’s a short video about both of those things.

2. Is your browser updated? This isn’t as common as it used to be, but in some instances of a site not working properly the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of a web browser. If you’re using an older version of a browser, not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats.

3. Do you have cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to offer you the best possible experience.

4. Are you using a pop-up blocker? It is not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account log-ins. If the pop-up is blocked, you won’t be able to log-in.

5. Have you allowed camera and or microphone access? If you’re trying to use a web-based video or audio editing tool, you’ll need to make sure your camera and microphone are accessible.

6. If none of the steps above have resolved the problem, restarting your computer just might be the thing that fixes your problem. In fact, you might be surprised how often that works. It’s the reason IT help desks ask you to do that when they answer the phone.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Summer, Icons, and Animations - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we've just woken up from our first backyard camping adventure! Overall, it went about as well as could be hoped for with a three-year-old and a four-year-old in a tent. I think my three-year-old now wants to live in the tent with her stuffed animals and books. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads reading my blog this weekend. I hope that it's a great day for you. 

This week I wrapped-up my school year. I took yesterday off and next week I'll host the first session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. The first webinar is at 10am ET on Monday. You can still register this weekend to join us

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Three Good Options for Annotating PDFs
2. Four Important Padlet Updates to Note
3. Five Sources of Summer Math Activities for Elementary School Students
4. Sharing vs. Publishing Google Documents
5. Icons8 - Easily Add Icons to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets
6. Wick Editor - A Nice Tool for Creating Animations
7. Expeditions Pro - A Replacement for Google's VR Tour Creator


On-demand Professional Development
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 36,000 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. 
  • And if you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. 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, May 27, 2021

Three Days Left!

The first session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp is just a month away. If you haven't registered for the session of your choice, you can do so up until the day before it starts. However, there are just three days left to complete the early-bird registration

There is a June session, a July session, and an August session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. In all three sessions we'll cover ten key topics over the course of ten live webinars (recordings will also be available). 

These are the topics to be covered:
  • Teaching Search Strategies & Digital Citizenship
  • Video Projects for Every Classroom
  • Classroom Podcasting 101
  • Building Digital Portfolios
  • Fun Formative Assessment Methods
  • Using AR & VR in Your Classroom
  • Making Virtual Tours
  • Easy Ways to Make Your Own Apps
  • Simple and Fun Makerspaces Projects
  • Blending Technology Into Outdoor Lessons

Register online by May 31st to save $50 on registration for the session of your choice. 


Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a group discount?
Yes, there is a group discount available. You can save $50/person if you have five or more people registering from your school district. Email me for a discount code to apply to online group registrations or to initiate a PO registration.

Can I register with a purchase order or check?
Yes, you can certainly register with a purchase order. Send me an email or have your business office send me an email to initiate that process. Because of the additional paperwork and delay in receiving funds, the early registration discount doesn't apply to purchase order registrations.

Can I get CEUs/ contact hours?
You will receive a certificate from me indicating that you participated in ten hours of professional development time. Whether or not your school, state, or province will accept it for license/ certificate renewal is a determination that you will have to make. The rules about CEUs vary widely from state-to-state and I can't possibly keep track of them all.

What platform are you using for the webinars?
All of the webinars will be conducted through the GoToWebinar platform. I've tried many other webinar services, but I keep coming back to GoToWebinar because of it's reliability. I've used it for almost a decade for hundreds of webinars. You can access GoToWebinar on any computer or tablet.

Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes, all of the live webinars will be recorded. If you have to miss a session, you'll be able to watch the recording. That said, I find that people get the most out of webinars when they can attend live broadcasts and ask questions in real-time. Therefore, I encourage you to pick the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp session that works best with your schedule.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp FAQs

Last week I announced the dates for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. A bunch of people have already registered. Many more people have sent me questions about registration and about the format of this virtual professional development event. In no particular order, here are the answers to the FAQs.

Is there a group discount?
Yes, there is a group discount available. You can save $50/person if you have five or more people registering from your school district. Email me for a discount code to apply to online group registrations or to initiate a PO registration.

Can I register with a purchase order or check?
Yes, you can certainly register with a purchase order. Send me an email or have your business office send me an email to initiate that process. Because of the additional paperwork and delay in receiving funds, the early registration discount doesn't apply to purchase order registrations.

Can I get CEUs/ contact hours?
You will receive a certificate from me indicating that you participated in ten hours of professional development time. Whether or not your school, state, or province will accept it for license/ certificate renewal is a determination that you will have to make. The rules about CEUs vary widely from state-to-state and I can't possibly keep track of them all.

What platform are you using for the webinars?
All of the webinars will be conducted through the GoToWebinar platform. I've tried many other webinar services, but I keep coming back to GoToWebinar because of it's reliability. I've used it for almost a decade for hundreds of webinars. You can access GoToWebinar on any computer or tablet.

Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes, all of the live webinars will be recorded. If you have to miss a session, you'll be able to watch the recording. That said, I find that people get the most out of webinars when they can attend live broadcasts and ask questions in real-time. Therefore, I encourage you to pick the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp session that works best with your schedule.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Join Me for the 2021 Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp

For many years teachers from all over the world came to Maine join me for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. While I was hoping to return to an in-person format, this summer I’m going to host the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp as a virtual event.

Just like last year's Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp this year there will be three sessions available. Each session will consist of ten live webinars hosted over the course of five days. You can register for the June, July, or August session.

Live and on-demand!
I realize that the schedule is not perfect for everyone. That's why every live session is also recorded. Everyone who registers has access to the recordings for a year!

You Should Attend!
Anyone who has an interest in learning new ideas for using technology in education is welcome to join and learn. In the past I’ve had teachers of all subjects and grade levels participate. Some have returned for multiple years. Teacher-librarians, instructional coaches, principals, and professors have all participated in past editions of the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

You don’t need to be a “techy” person to participate and learn. All you need is a willingness to learn and a connection to the Internet.

Discounts and More!

You can learn more about the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp right here.

Register through the ticketing page by May 1st and use the discount code "April21" to get an extra $25 off the early registration price.

Group discounts are available to schools/ districts registering five or more people at the same time. Email me at richard (at) byrne.media for more information.



Monday, April 12, 2021

Ten Topics Covered in Teaching History With Technology

The next session of my popular Teaching History With Technology course begins tomorrow. There is still time to register right here

There are ten big topics that will be covered in the course. All of the lessons in the course can be applied to elementary, middle, and high school settings.

These are the ten big topics in the course:

  • Search Strategies & Organization
  • Video Projects & Video Lessons
  • Making History Podcasts
  • Google Earth & Maps
  • Multimedia Timelines
  • Digital Portfolios
  • AR & VR in History Lessons
  • Making Virtual Tours
  • Making History Apps
  • Tips for Remote Teaching


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Search, Meetings, and Hiccups - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it is going to be another great weekend for playing in the snow. One of my dogs is doing that as I write this. He's happiest when it's cold and snowy. Just take a look at the picture in this post, that's one happy dog! I hope that wherever you are this weekend that you have time for something fun that makes you as happy as my dog is when he's rolling in snow. 

This week I hosted or co-hosted a couple of webinars. If you missed the Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions webinar that I do with Rushton Hurley, you can watch it here. The content of the webinar about Google Earth that I hosted on Tuesday is now available as a self-paced course right here

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Annotations, Games, and Audio - The Month in Review
2. Two Search Refinement Tips That Helped My Students Today
3. How to Make Sure Students Aren't Unsupervised in Google Meet Video Calls
4. How to Use Google Calendar to Book Zoom Meetings
5. Daddy, What Are Hiccups?
6. How to Make a Copy of a Google Doc That Isn't Directly Shared With You
7. Why My Dogs Have Email Addresses and Your Dog or Cat Should Too

Thank you for your support! 
  • Registrations for my Practical Ed Tech webinars is one of the primary ways that I am able to keep this blog and my email newsletters going. More than 300 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech course last year. I couldn't do it without you!
  • BoomWriter is hosting a unique creative writing contest for kids. Check it out!
  • Spaces takes a new approach to digital portfolios. Give it a try!
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 34,000 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. 
  • And if you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

20,000 Teachers Get Their Ed Tech Tips This Way

About seven years ago I noticed that "too many updates" was the most common reason for people unsubscribing from the emails from this blog. To remedy that I created the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week Newsletter. What started out small now has more than 20,000 weekly subscribers. 

The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter features my favorite tip of the week along with a summary of the most popular blog posts from my blogs FreeTech4Teachers.com, PracticalEdTech.com, and EdTechFitness.com. The newsletter is emailed on Sunday evening/ Monday morning (depending on your time zone). Some of the newsletters include Google Docs and PDFs that aren't published elsewhere. 

Those of you who read FreeTech4Teachers.com via email will be pleased to know that the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week email is published manually which means that unlike the FreeTech4Teachers.com daily emails, you can read the entire article in your inbox.

Sign up for the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter right here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Three PD Opportunities With Me Starting Tomorrow!

Every week Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I host a free webinar called Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. It's a fun 30-ish minute webinar in which we have fun answering all kinds of interesting questions about educational technology and share some interesting things that we've found around the web in the last week or so. The next episode will be hosted tomorrow at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT and you can join us by registering for free right here!

One of the ways that I've been able to keep Free Technology for Teachers going for the last thirteen years is through the support of people like you who register for my Practical Ed Tech webinars, courses, and workshops. Right now I'm offering an on-demand course called A Crash Course in Making and Teaching With Video. That course consists of six self-paced modules designed to give you the knowledge and skill to create video lessons for your students. A favorite module in that course shows you how you can make sure your students actually watch your instructional videos.

Next Tuesday at 4pm ET I'm hosting an encore presentation of Formative Assessment for Virtual and Hybrid Classrooms. Getting students to interact with you and each other is a challenge for many of us who have recently transitioned to virtual and or hybrid classrooms. Without that interaction it can be tough to get a sense of whether or not students are “getting it.” In this one-hour webinar I’ll share five formative assessment methods that work in virtual and hybrid classrooms. Learn more and register here

Friday, October 23, 2020

Take a Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video This Weekend

How to make instructional videos is far and way the topic that I have received the most questions about over the last six months. That's why I put together a self-paced Practical Ed Tech course on how to make and teach with video

A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video gives you everything you need to know to create instructional videos and nothing that you don't need to know. It's short enough for you to complete in a weekend and be ready to roll-out your first video on Monday morning. 

Whether you have a Windows computer, a Mac, or a Chromebook you can do everything that is taught in this course. Teachers of elementary school, middle school, and high school students will find this course prepares them to make videos for their students. And as a bonus, you'll get ideas for video projects your students can do.

In A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video you'll learn:

  • Best practices for creating instructional videos.
  • Five easy methods for making instructional videos.
  • How to responsibly share video lessons with your students.
  • The equipment you do and don’t need.
  • How to avoid copyright problems.
  • How to make sure your students actually watch your video lessons!

I announce the Practical Ed Tech webinars and courses on this blog because the registrations from them goes to keeping the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. And while all the tools featured in the webinars and courses are available for free, my time for teaching isn't free.

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Self-paced Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video

Last week I hosted a live Practical Ed Tech webinar titled A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video. By popular request, I've turned that webinar into a self-paced course that is available now. If you find yourself needing to make instructional videos, but you’re not sure how best to do it, A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video is for you! 

In this course you will learn:
  • Best practices for creating instructional videos.
  • Five easy methods for making instructional videos.
  • How to responsibly share video lessons with your students.
  • The equipment you do and don’t need.
  • How to avoid copyright problems.
  • How to make sure your students actually watch your video lessons!

Course structure
  • Six self-paced modules.
  • Q&A is available in each module.
  • A PD certificate is available at the completion of the course.

FAQs
  • This course is designed for teachers who will use Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computers to create video lessons. 
  • When you register you will have immediate access to all of the course modules for one year. You can go back through the modules as many times as you’d like during the year. 
  • The cost for this course is $25. 

Register here and get started today!

About the cost:
I announce the Practical Ed Tech webinars and courses on this blog because the registrations from them goes to keeping the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. And while all the tools featured in the webinars and courses are available for free, my time for teaching isn't free. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video

About a month ago I hosted a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled A Crash Course in Making and Teaching With Video. In the weeks since I hosted that webinar I've had a bunch of requests to host it again. So that's what I'm going to do next Tuesday (September 29th) at 4pm ET. 

This school year has going to have many of us teaching students in our classrooms as well as students online. For many of us that means we’re making instructional videos to address the needs of in-person and online students. If you find yourself needing to make instructional videos, but you’re not sure how best to do it, this webinar is for you! 

In this 75 minute webinar you’ll learn: 
  • How to plan an instructional video. 
  • Three simple and quick ways to make instructional videos. 
  • How to share your videos with your students with and without using YouTube. 
  • How to make sure your students actually watch your videos. 
  • Tips for improving your videos regardless of the equipment you use. 
Your Registration includes: 
  • Live webinar with Q&A. 
  • Access to the recording of the webinar. 
  • Handouts. 
  • PD Certificate
Cost:

About the cost:
I announce the Practical Ed Tech webinars on this blog because the registrations from the webinars go to keeping the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. I use GoToWebinar to for hosting the webinars and recordings. GoToWebinar is not cheap, but it is the best webinar platform out there (I've tried them all over the years). And while all the tools featured in the webinars are available for free, my time for teaching isn't free. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

13 Big Topics in the 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Earlier this week subscribers to my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter received notice that the 2020-21 version of my Practical Ed Tech Handbook is now available to download for free. This year's version of this annual publication contains 64 pages of information on a wide range of educational technology tools. The table of contents for the 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook is copied below. To get your copy, head to this page on PracticalEdTech.com.


1. Communication with students and parents - page 5

2. Creating Blogs & Websites - page 9

3. Web search strategies - page 17

4. Digital citizenship - page 24

5. Video creation and flipped lessons - page 26

6. Audio recording and publishing - page 37

7. Backchannels and informal assessment - page 39

8. Digital portfolios - page 42

9. Augmented and Virtual Reality - page 44

10. Intro to Programming and Makerspaces - page 47

11. Accessibility Tools - page 51

12. Ten Time-saving ways for teachers to use tech - page 57

13. Remote Instruction Tools and Strategies - page 59

Thursday, June 25, 2020

July PD Opportunities With Me

Last week I hosted the first Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. I realize that the middle of June isn't the ideal time for everyone to join online professional development. That's why I'm offering the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp two more times in July. The first July session runs July 6th-10th and the second session runs July 20th-24th. Only seven spots are left for the July 6th-10th session.

The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp consists of ten live webinars spread across five days. There is a webinar at 10am ET and 1pm ET each day of the week. Recordings of the sessions will be available to those who register but cannot attend every live meeting. Topics covered in the webinars includes making virtual tours, creating instructional videos, fun formative assessment, classroom podcasting 101, and building your own apps (that one was a lot of fun last week). The complete list of topics can be seen here. FAQs are answered here.

Teaching History With Technology is the other live, online course that I'm hosting in July. This course will run July 13th-17th. Teaching History With Technology is a series of five live webinars. Each interactive webinar features practical ideas for using technology to create new, engaging lessons or to update some of your existing “go-to” history lessons. Detailed handouts are provided with every webinar. And if you miss a meeting or you just want to see something again, a recording of the webinars will be available to you too. Register here.

People sometimes ask why I advertise these courses here, the short answer is that registrations from these courses help to keep the lights on for Free Technology for Teachers. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Ten Topics in Teaching History With Technology

This summer I'm hosting two sections of my popular Teaching History With Technology course. The first section meets every Monday afternoon in June. The second section will be conducted on five consecutive days in July. Both sections will cover the same material. There are ten big topics that will be covered in the course. All of the lessons in the course can be applied to elementary, middle, and high school settings.

These are the ten big topics in the course:
  • Search Strategies & Organization
  • Video Projects & Video Lessons
  • Making History Podcasts
  • Google Earth & Maps
  • Multimedia Timelines
  • Digital Portfolios
  • AR & VR in History Lessons
  • Making Virtual Tours
  • Making History Apps
  • Tips for Remote Teaching
Register by June 1st and use the code THWT2020 to save up to $30 on registration. 




Register Here

Saturday, April 11, 2020

If You're Inclined To Do So...

This little blog of mine that I started back in 2007 has seen a resurgence in traffic lately. In fact, visits are up nearly 300% over the last month. I'm also getting more help requests and answering more help requests than ever before.

A few people have suggested to me after I helped them via email that I should have a donate button on my site. While I appreciate the sentiment, I'm not inclined to add a donate button. That said, if you're so inclined I do have a little Tee Spring store where you can buy a coffee mug (I might add other stuff in the future). I also have a series of on-demand professional development webinars available on Practical Ed Tech.

As always, there's no obligation and you're welcome to read this blog and my newsletters for free for as long as you like.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me over the years by participating in my Practical Ed Tech webinars, inviting me to speak at your conferences, or hiring me to lead workshops at your school.