Showing posts with label summer pd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer pd. Show all posts

Monday, February 3, 2020

The 2020 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp Registration is Open

Every summer except one since 2013 I've hosted the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp here in Maine. Last year I moved it to a new location within the state and it was the best location yet! That’s why I’m excited to announce that this year we’re going to be back at the Bethel Inn Resort for two days of hands-on learning on July 13th and 14th.

New Topics and Events for 2020!
This year some new things will be added to the agenda. This year will include a section about programming simple electronics using Arduino. To that end, every participant will get an Arduino starter kit this year. And in response to many suggestions, I’m adding more time to explore podcasting this year. Of course, as in the past, the pace of the two days will reflect the needs and interests of those in attendance.

Evening Social!
One of the things that I’ve always wanted to do is to host a social gathering in the evening for those who want to continue the conversations that started during the day or just get to know other passionate educators. This year there will be an optional evening social ($25) at Steam Mill Brewing just walking distance from the resort. Tickets will be available for this optional activity in a couple of weeks.

Register Early and Save $75!
Just like in the past, registration will be capped at 25. There is a limited number of super-early registration tickets. Register online by February 14th and you’ll get the lowest price I’ve ever offered for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp (registration must be completed online to get the super-early discount price).


Group Discounts, POs, and other FAQs
I do offer a group discount for three or more people coming from the same school district. The discount can’t be applied to the super-early ticket pricing but can be applied to the other registration tickets. Send an email to richard(at)byrne.media for details.

Need to use a purchase order? No problem. Just send me an email to get that process started.

Have more questions? This page covers everything you need to know about traveling to Bethel, Maine, things for kids and spouses to do in the area, and more.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Only Six Seats Left!

The snow is gone here in western Maine! It won't be long now until we're breaking out the shorts, tee shirts, and flip flops. As the summer gets closer the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is filling up. As of this morning there are only six seats remaining for this hands-on learning experience. If you have been thinking about registering, now is the time.

In the following video I answer a bunch of FAQs about the 2019 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.



Check out this list of things to learn and do at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Register Early and Save $75 on Two Great Summer PD Events

This summer I will once again be hosting professional development events in Maine. This summer I will host the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp on July 11-12, 2016 and the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp on July 18-19, 2016.

Both events are hands-on explorations of how to use free technology tools in your classroom. These two day workshops are based on my framework for using technology to help students discover new information, discuss their ideas, and demonstrate their knowledge. Registration in each event is limited to 25 participants to ensure that every participant gets the attention he or she deserves. A healthy breakfast and lunch is included on both days.

The Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp on July 11th and 12th is for people who work in schools that have BYOD programs and 1:1 laptop programs (Mac or Windows), iPads, Android tablets, Windows tablets, or who have shared computers in a classroom or lab setting. Click here for registration information.

The Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp on July 18th and 19th is for people who work in schools that have 1:1 Chromebook programs or are interested in learning more about Chromebooks in education. This two day event is very similar to the BYOD event but is tailored to address the unique aspects of teaching with Chromebooks. As you might expect, there will be quite a bit of attention given to using Google Apps in the classroom. Click here for registration information.

Register early and save!
Register for either event by April 30th and you will save $50 compared to standard registration. If you are subscribed to the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter you can take an additional $25 discount when you register online by using the discount code "subscriber."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Join Me for a Morning and Afternoon of Free Webinars

On July 22nd Simple K12 is hosting a morning and afternoon of free webinars about Google tools for teachers. The webinars will start at 10:00am Eastern Time and run until 1:30pm Eastern Time.

There will be four webinars on July 22nd. I will be presenting sessions on YouTube tools, Blogger, and Google Drive Add-ons.

These free webinars are designed for folks who are new to using Google tools.  Teachers who would like to pick up some tips for teaching others how to take advantage of the great things that Google has to offer will also enjoy the content of these webinars. Click here to register.

FAQs About Simple K12 Webinars:
1.) Is this free?
a. Yes!

2.) Can I have the recordings after?
a. We will make the recordings available for 2 weeks following the event.

3.) How do I access the recordings? Do I need a SimpleK12 membership?
a. No, SimpleK12 will share the links with Richard Byrne / FreeTech4Teachers.com and all of the registrants following the event so you can view for 2 weeks following the event. But be sure to register so you will be notified.

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my time presenting these webinars. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

FAQs About the 2015 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

Last month I announced that I will be hosting the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp again this year. The two day event will be held in Portland, Maine at the Holiday Inn By the Bay. The dates are July 13th and 14th, 2015. Discounted early registration is still available. In the last couple of weeks I have received quite a few questions about the summer camp. Those common questions and their answers are provided below.

1. Are CEUs/ certificates/ graduate credits available?
The past two years I've given certificates for 16 hours of professional development. Some schools accept these for re-certification/ continuing education points and some do not. If it helps you or your administrator decide if the hours will help you qualify for re-certification, a general outline of topics for the two days is available here. There is not a university arrangement for graduate credit at this time.

2. Can I register with a purchase order / check from my school?
Yes, you can. To register with a purchase order or a check from your school email me or have your business administrator email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com and I will register you on receipt of the purchase order.

3. My school is transitioning to Google Apps for Education, will this help me?
In short, yes. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will include the use of Google tools in each day. We will share methods for incorporating Google tools into much of what we do. That said, this is not focused only on Google tools. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is based on my framework of Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration. The first day is focused helping students use technology to discover and discuss. Day two is focused on demonstrating knowledge by creating new digital content including podcasts, videos, and other multimedia productions.

4. I want to bring my principal, will she/he benefit from attending?
Absolutely! As I've heard my friend Scott McLeod say, "the leaders must get it." This is a great opportunity for your principal to gain a great understanding of what you and your colleagues want to do when school starts again in the fall. Equally importantly, they'll learn why you want to do it.

5. My school is going 1:1 with iPads, will this help me?
Yes. We will be looking at a bunch of apps and their applications for classrooms.

6. We would love to attend but the dates don't work for us, will you be offering this at another time?
At this time I don't have plans to offer the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp on other dates. I am more than happy to come to your school district to offer a workshop. Please click here for information about my on-location professional development services.

7. Will you be streaming this online?
No. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is designed to be hands-on and a livestream wouldn't capture much.

8. How do I get to Portland, Maine? What can I do once I'm there? How do I get around in Portland?
Portland has an international airport serviced by US Airways/ American, United, Delta, SouthWest, and Jet Blue. Boston/ Logan Airport is about two hours away. The hotel is about a ten minute cab ride from the airport. Uber is available in Portland. We’re done for the day you can walk to dozens of restaurants along the Old Port’s cobblestone streets, walk to the ocean, or even hop a boat and take a sunset cruise to see the islands in Casco Bay. Beaches are just a few minutes drive from the hotel.

9. Why isn't this event free?
There are two reasons why it isn't free. First, I incur a lot of expenses in organizing and hosting the event. Second, while all of the sites and apps we will use are free, my time for teaching about them isn't free.

10. I want to sign up, where do I do that?
Click here to register online. Contact me via email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to register with a purchase order or school check.

If the answer to your question wasn't provided above, please feel free to contact me directly at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spend Four Weeks in Washington D.C. As A C-SPAN Fellow

As in past summers, in 2015 C-SPAN will bring a select group of middle school and high school social studies teachers to Washington, D.C. as C-SPAN Fellows. The C-SPAN Teacher Fellowship Program brings together teachers and media specialists for four weeks in Washington, D.C. every summer. During the four week program teachers work together to develop new teaching materials. Teachers selected for the program will receive an award valued at $7,000 (including lodging and travel costs). You can learn more and find the application here. Applications are due by February 20, 2015.

To be eligible for selection participants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • a member of C-SPAN Classroom 
  • a state certified middle or high school teacher of U.S. History, Civics, or Government, or related curriculum; 
  • or, a state certified middle or high school Media Specialist or Technology Coordinator 
  • highly knowledgeable about C-SPAN’s programming 
  • experienced with successfully integrating C-SPAN’s programming and resources into social studies curriculum

Thursday, June 5, 2014

PD Opportunities With Me This Summer

Clouds in the valley in
western Maine.
Summer weather has arrived here in the northern hemisphere and with that we start to think about summer activities. For many of us that means professional development activities mixed in with vacation activities. I am fortunate to be asked by many people about professional development opportunities with me.

Here are the PD opportunities that I am hosting this summer:

  • The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is the two day workshop that I host at the Sunday River Resort. Due to some cancellations, five four seats are available. July 14-15
  • Getting Ready for GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to be ready to integrate Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice in the new school year. I'm offering the course in June, July, and August. 
  • Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a three week webinar series that I am offering in June. Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. 

Here are the places at which I will be speaking this summer:

I will be speaking at a handful of conferences in the fall. A list of those events will be published later this summer. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders - A Practical Ed Tech Webinar Series

This summer I am offering a series of webinars about blogs and social media for teachers and school leaders. If you have been thinking about blogging, thinking about joining Twitter or another social network, then this course is for you. If you have tried blogging and social media in the past, but just didn't get into it, then this course is for you too.

Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. After learning about how each of the tools works we'll dive into developing strategies for implementation.
Blogging isn’t new and it isn’t as flashy as say iPads in the classroom, but it is a very valuable activity for students, teachers, and school leaders. In fact, I think that too often it is under-utilized by teachers and school leaders. One cause that under-utilization is due in part to not having a clear strategy for implementation. Another reason for under-utilization of blogs is a lack of understanding of just how many ways blogs can be used by students, teachers, and school leaders. I developed this course to address all of those issues and help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media to improve communication between school and home. 
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a three week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned.  After establishing blogs we'll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities.
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders will meet at 7pm Eastern Time on June 16, 23, and 30. All sessions are recorded for participants to watch as many times as they like.

 Click here to register today!

Who is this webinar series for?
Teachers, school administrators, media specialists, and teacher-librarians who:
  • Have never created blogs... or…
  • Have have tried blogging but didn’t get the results they hoped for...or…
  • Have wondered what all the fuss is about Twitter and Google+...or...
  • Are planning to lead PD sessions about blogs and social media and want to learn how to structure their trainings as well as access hand-outs they can use in their own training sessions.
Cost:
  • This webinar series costs $97 per seat. (There is a $15 processing fee for registering with a purchase order. That fee is waived for those who register and pay online).
  • Click here to register today!
Participants receive:
  • Three hours of live instruction with Q&A opportunities.
  • Access to recordings of each session (recordings can be downloaded for unlimited personal use).
  • Digital hand-outs to download and re-use for personal use as well as re-use within their school districts.
  • A dedicated discussion forum to access throughout the three week course.
  • Certificate of completion.
Course Dates:
The live webinar sessions will be held at 7pm Eastern Time on June 16, 23, 30

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Getting Ready for GAFE - A Practical EdTech Webinar Series

This summer through PracticalEdTech.com I am offering a series of webinars about Google Apps for Education. These webinar courses cost less and provide more focused instruction than what you will find in most conferences that you might attend or consider sending teachers to attend.

Is your school moving to Google Apps for Education in the fall? If so, this summer is a great time to get ready for the transition. This summer I’m offering a new Practical Ed Tech webinar designed for teachers and administrators who are preparing to go Google in the 2014/2015 school year. Getting Ready for GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to be ready to integrate Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice in the new school year.

Course highlights:

  • Get to know Google Drive.
    • What makes Google Docs better than your old word processor.
      • Tips & tricks for getting the most out of Google Docs
    • The ins and outs of Google Slides.
      • Customizations you didn’t know about.
    • Using Google Drive to store and share all of your digital creations (even those old files you made years ago in Word).
  • Take control of your schedule with Google Calendar.
    • Using calendars to keep your students, their parents, and your colleagues informed about happenings in your classroom.
    • Using Google Calendar as a reservation system for parent-teacher conferences.
  • Google Sites As Your Online Hub
    • Create a website that students and their parents will want to visit.
    • Using Google Sites as a blog.
    • Designing and developing digital portfolios in Google Sites.
    • Using Google Sites for wiki projects.

Click here to register today!

What’s included? What does it cost?

  • Registration for Getting Ready for GAFE is $147.
    • Register by June 1st and use promo code PETGAFE to save $15! (Discount only applies to registrations completed and paid online)
  • All live sessions are recorded. The recordings are made available to all participants to stream and or download.
    • Participants will receive digital handouts with directions for everything demonstrated in the webinars.
    • Participants have access to a dedicated discussion forum to use throughout the course.

When is it?

  • Three sections of this course are being offered this summer.
  • The June section of Getting Ready for GAFE will meet at 7pm Eastern Time on June 5, 12, 19, 26, and July 3rd
  • The July section of Getting Ready for GAFE will meet at 11am Eastern Time on July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30.
  • The August section of Getting Ready for GAFE will meet at 7pm Eastern Time on July 30, August 7, 14, 21, and 28.

This sounds great! How do I register? What will I need to participate?

  • The easiest and cheapest way to register is by completing the registration online with a credit card or PayPal. (Register online by June 1st with the promo code PETGAFE to save $15)
  • You can register with a purchase order or check from your school. This process is a bit cumbersome, but it can be done. There is a $15 processing fee for registrations paid with purchase orders or school checks. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com for directions on registering with a purchase order or check.
  • The courses will be hosted through GoToTraining. To participate in the course you will need a laptop or desktop computer with an updated browser.
  • Register today and save $15 by using discount code PETGAFE

Have ten or more people in your school that you want to register?

That’s great! If you have ten or more people that you want to register we can arrange a special offering of Getting Ready for GAFE that is just for you. In a section dedicated just to you we can address the issues that are unique to your implementation of Google Apps for Education.
About the costs and my decision to advertise these opportunities on my blog:
Sometimes when I advertise one of these webinars I get messages from people who are upset that I am advertising it here and or that I am charging for it. I understand why some people feel that way. I thought long and hard about how to offer these opportunities. In fact, I thought about it and talked about it with trusted advisors for a year before offering the first webinar series last year. The purpose of this blog and my goal for years has always been to help people use free technology in their classrooms. The tools and strategies featured in my webinars and at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp are free to use. However, my time for teaching isn't free. Further, I pay licensing fees to GoToTraining and to Wistia for hosting all of the media content of the courses.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Come Relax and Learn at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

Last summer I hosted the first Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp at Sunday River Resort and Conference Center in beautiful Newry, Maine. The response was great and many people have emailed me this winter asking if I was going to host it again. I am happy to announce that I will be hosting the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp on July 14th and 15th, 2014. Super Early Camper registration is now on sale.

Come to the beautiful Sunday River resort in Maine to spend two days learning with me, Richard Byrne. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp on July 14-15, 2014 is a hands-on exploration of how to use free technology tools in your classroom. This two day workshop is based on my framework for using technology to help students discover new information, discuss their ideas, and demonstrate their knowledge. Registration is limited to 25 participants to ensure that every participant gets the attention he or she deserves. Register today or read on for more information.

Highlights of the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp
  • Practical ideas for using technology in your classroom. 
  • A small, collaborative, hands-on learning environment. Bring your laptop because you'll be doing, not listening.
  • Twelve+ hours of learning in a relaxed and picturesque setting.
  • Develop a repertoire of new tools and ideas to effectively integrate technology into your lessons.
Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 10.57.43 AM

This is an educational retreat!
Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is held at the Sunday River resort so that teachers can get away, relax, and learn in a comfortable environment that you won't find at typical summer conferences. Healthy breakfasts and hearty lunches will fuel your brain for learning and are included in your registration. And when we're done for the day you can relax in the pool, soak in a hot tub,  play the world-class Sunday River golf course, go on a sunset Moose tour, cast a line into the blue-ribbon Androscoggin fishery, or browse through the shops in historic downtown Bethel, Maine.

Want to turn your trip to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp into a family vacation? Sunday River has extended special room rates for two room suites that are good for your whole stay even if you come early or stay late. So bring your family and go on a zipline through the mountains, paddle down the river, go geocaching, or hike a stretch of the world-renowned Appalachian Trail. Click here for more information about activities in the area.

What you will learn.
The two day workshop is based on my framework of Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration. The first day is focused helping students use technology to discover and discuss. Day two is focused on demonstrating knowledge by creating new digital content including podcasts, videos, and other multimedia productions. Abbreviated outlines of each day are posted below. Day One:
  • Breakfast 7:30-8:30.
  • Teaching students how to search effectively.
  • Going beyond Google.
  • Collaborative research.
  • The role of social networks in education.
  • Backchannels and informal assessment tools.
  • Lunch 12:00-1:00
  • Collaborative writing and publishing with Google Drive and other collaborative tools.
  • Building blogs and websites.
  • Teaching digital citizenship.
Day Two:
  • Breakfast 7:30-8:30
  • Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use
  • Podcasting and audio editing.
  • Video production with free web tools.
  • Lunch 12:00-1:00
  • Creating multimedia ebooks.
  • Maps as stories.
  • Sharing your work.

Register today!

Who should come to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp?
K-12 teachers and curriculum directors who want to discover the best tools and strategies for teaching with technology in the new school year. You do not have to have any prior technology skills in order to learn a lot during the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Just bring your laptop and you're ready to go. If you are a more experienced user of educational technology, there will be plenty of new tools and ideas for you too. Here's what some people have said about my previous workshops:
  • FYI...I learned several things tonight. Really looking forward to this series. When I go to teacher led classes at conferences I usually know more than they do. Tonight was not that way :)
  • @rmbyrne Thank you, Richard - truly inspiring - lots of fantastic information and tips! Can't wait to explore some more! Have a great day!
  • Great presentation from @rmbyrne New ideas to apply augmented reality w students with Autism & independence.
  • Thanks to @rmbyrne, I know how to make a choose your own adventure story using google forms. #edchat #edtech
  • And just to give you a little sense of my personality, here's a Tweet from one of my former students. It's always a fun history class when you're trying to roll your tongue with your teacher. #swag @rmbyrne

Register Today!

  • Super Early Camper registration (available through March 15) is $397/person.
  • Early Camper Registration (available through May 15)  is $447/person.
  • Standard Registration (after May 15) is $497/person.
Your registration includes breakfast and lunch both days. You are responsible for making your own room reservations through Sunday River. Mention "FreeTech4Teachers.com" to get special room rates. Standard rooms are $101/night, suites with kitchenettes are available for $141/night. Two ways to register.
  1. The easiest way to register is through the EventBrite form below.
  2. The other way to register is with a check or purchase order from your school. Contact me at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to pay with a check or purchase order.
To ensure that everyone gets the attention they need, the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is limited to 25 participants. Register today!
What to bring to camp
  • This is a hands-on learning environment. Bring a laptop. Everything on the agenda can be done on a laptop, but not everything can be done on an iPad or Android tablet. You're welcome to bring your iPad or Android tablet, but make sure you also bring a laptop.
  • A smile and a willingness to learn.
Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 10.57.43 AM

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Last-minute Tickets Available for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

Due to two last-minute cancellations (due to school budget cuts) two seats have opened for the previously sold-out Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is a two-day hands-on event that I am hosting at the beautiful Sunday River Resort in Maine on July 22nd and 23rd. Click here for all of the details and to register. 

Here's a little Animoto video that I made from pictures that I took around the site of where the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will be held.


Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tips for Leading Google Apps Trainings - Part 2

As the school year winds-down many of us are planning summer PD sessions. If you're going to be leading a PD session about Google Apps this summer, here are some of my tips for leading a successful session. These tips are based on my experiences gained from leading dozens of Google Apps trainings over the last few years.

Device Choice
Unless your training session is specifically about using iPads or Android tablets, the best way to introduce new users to all of the Google Documents features is to have them use a browser (again Chrome is preferable) on their laptops. You can certainly have people bring their iPads and or Android tablets to your training session, but make sure that they know that not all of the features available in a desktop browser are also available in the iOS and Android apps.

When I have participants bringing iPads or Android tablets to one of my workshops, my preference is to have people try all of the features of Google Documents in their browsers before moving to their tablets. This way they have exposure to all of the functions of Google Docs. Then when they move to their tablets they can clearly see the differences between the browser experience and the tablet app experience.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Save $50 on Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp Registration

The warm and sunny weather here in Maine over the last week has me thinking about summer more and more. I'm looking forward to a lot of things this summer, but the thing that I am most looking forward to is the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp at the beautiful Sunday River resort. Ten seats are still available at the early bird registration price of $379. Your registration includes two days of hands-on learning and exploring with me, breakfast and lunch both days, and one of the most picturesque locations you will ever find for a educational PD event. You can learn more and see the schedule here. Or just email me directly richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com with any questions that you have about the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I love a good keynote...but...

I love to listen to a good keynote presentation. Dan Meyer's Math Class Needs a Makeover is still one of the best I've seen in terms of challenging status quo in education. I also love to give a keynote when I'm offered the opportunity. But given the choice of attending a keynote-style presentation or a hands-on workshop, I'll take the workshop nine times out of ten (there are some keynote speakers that are really, really good and some - Rushton Hurley is one educator I'd pay good money to see give a keynote). Likewise, while I enjoy giving keynotes I love even more the opportunity to spend hours working with teachers in hands-on workshops because at the end of the day I know for sure that those teachers are walking away with something new that they can use. This is why I'm so excited to lead the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp in July. I spent two years thinking about doing something like this and talking with trusted colleagues about offering it and now that it's going to happen I can't wait for July to get here. If you would like to join us eleven seats are currently available.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Week in Review - Thinking About Summer In the Snow

Good morning from Greenwood, Maine. It has been a week like no other here in New England. In a matter of minutes on Monday I went from celebrating a Red Sox win to worry and sadness for my friends in Boston. Like everyone else, I was very happy to hear that the second suspect was arrested last night.

The last seven days have been busy. Last Saturday morning I announced the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp while I was waiting for a flight in snowy Fargo, North Dakota. More than one-third of the seats have already been sold for that event. I also spent quite a bit of time this week creating new materials for a new webinar series that I'm going to officially announce next week. It's going to be all about blogging. And to wrap-up my week I've put together the list of the most frequently read posts of the week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 10 Good Video Sources for Math Students and Teachers
2. Updated Again - Best of the Web 2013
3. Slides and Outlines from my Presentations at TAIS
4. Come Relax and Learn With Me This Summer
5. 5 Free Timers to Help You Time Classroom Activities and Breaks
6. Visuals for Foreign Language Instruction Offers Hundreds of Visuals
7. 5 Good Places to Learn to Write HTML

Would you like to have me to visit your school this year? 
Click here for information about my professional development services.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Fresno Pacific University offers online courses for teachers.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher.org is hosting workshops in Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston this summer.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Spring and Summer PD Schedule

As the school year winds down a lot of teachers, teacher-librarians, and school administrators turn their attention to summer professional development opportunities. I've been fortunate to have been invited to quite a few schools and conferences for the spring and summer. And since I'm often asked where I'll be I thought this would be a good time to share my spring and summer schedule as it stands right now. If you're interested in having me speak at your school or conference please click here or email me at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com

In addition to the events listed below I plan to offer a couple of webinars in July. One webinar will be about blogging and one will be about Google Drive. I'll be announcing the schedules for those webinars next week.

April 23 - TIE South Dakota
April 25 - Texas Library Association
May 15 - Bridgton Academy, Maine
June 5,6 - Carondelet High School, California
June 12 - East Noble, Indiana
June 13,14 - Wellman, Iowa
June 17,18,19 - Storm Lake, Iowa
June 20 - Kettering, Ohio
June 23, 24, 25 - Fort Kent, ME
June 26 - AAFCS Conference, Houston
July 16,17 - Discovery DEN Conference
July 22, 23 - Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp
July 30 - Bullitt County, Kentucky
August 1, 2 - Tilton, NH Google Apps Academy
August 8 - Gaston County, NC
August 26 - Yavneh Academy, NJ
August 28,29 - Grand Prairie, Alberta

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Come Relax and Learn With Me This Summer

Come to the beautiful Sunday River resort in Maine to spend two days learning with me, Richard Byrne. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp on July 22-23 is a hands-on exploration of how to use free technology tools in your classroom. This two day workshop is based on my framework for using technology to help students discover new information, discuss their ideas, and demonstrate their knowledge. Registration is limited to 25 participants to ensure that every participant gets the attention he or she deserves. Register today AND read on for more information.


Highlights of the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp
  • Practical ideas for using technology in your classroom. 
  • A small, collaborative, hands-on learning environment. Bring your laptop because you'll be doing, not listening.
  • Twelve hours of learning in a relaxed and picturesque setting.
  • Develop a repertoire of new tools and ideas to effectively integrate technology into your lessons.
This is an educational retreat!
Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is held at the Sunday River resort so that teachers can get away, relax, and learn in a comfortable environment that you won't find at typical summer conferences. Healthy breakfasts and hearty lunches will fuel your brain for learning and are included in your registration. And when we're done for the day you can relax in the pool, soak in a hot tub,  play the world-class Sunday River golf course, go on a sunset Moose tour, cast a line into the blue-ribbon Androscoggin fishery, or browse through the shops in historic downtown Bethel, Maine. Want to turn your trip to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp into a family vacation? Sunday River has extended special room rates for two room suites that are good for your whole stay even if you come early or stay late. So bring your family and go on a zipline through the mountains, paddle down the river, go geocaching, or hike a stretch of the world-renowned Appalachian Trail. Click here for all of the activities in the area.

What you will learn.
The two day workshop is based on my framework of Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration. The first day is focused helping students use technology to discover and discuss. Day two is focused on demonstrating knowledge by creating new digital content including podcasts, videos, and other multimedia productions. Abbreviated outlines of each day are posted below.

Day One:
  • Breakfast 7:30-8:30.
  • Teaching students how to search effectively.
  • Going beyond Google.
  • Collaborative research.
  • Lunch 12:00-1:00
  • Collaborative writing and publishing with Google Drive and other collaborative tools.
  • Building blogs and websites.
  • Teaching digital citizenship.
Day Two:
  • Breakfast 7:30-8:30
  • Copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use
  • Podcasting and audio editing.
  • Video production with free web tools.
  • Lunch 12:00-1:00
  • Creating multimedia ebooks.
  • Maps as stories.
  • Sharing your work.

Register today!

Who should come to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp?
K-12 teachers and curriculum directors who want to discover the best tools and strategies for teaching with technology in the new school year. You do not have to have any prior technology skills in order to learn a lot during the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Just bring your laptop and you're ready to go. If you are a more experienced user of educational technology, there will be plenty of new tools and ideas for you too. Here's what some people have said about my previous workshops:
  • FYI...I learned several things tonight. Really looking forward to this series. When I go to teacher led classes at conferences I usually know more than they do. Tonight was not that way :)
  • @rmbyrne Thank you, Richard - truly inspiring - lots of fantastic information and tips! Can't wait to explore some more! Have a great day!
  • Great presentation from @rmbyrne New ideas to apply augmented reality w students with Autism & independence.
  • Thanks to @rmbyrne, I know how to make a choose your own adventure story using google forms. #edchat #edtech
  • And just to give you a little sense of my personality, here's a Tweet from one of my former students. It's always a fun history class when you're trying to roll your tongue with your teacher. #swag @rmbyrne

Register Today!

  • Early Bird registration (available until May 15) is $379/person.
  • Registration after June 1 is $429/person.
Your registration includes breakfast and lunch both days. You are responsible for making your own room reservations through Sunday River. Mention "Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp" to get special room rates. Standard rooms are $99/night, suites with kitchenettes are available for $139/night. Two ways to register.
  1. The easiest way to register is through the EventBrite form below.
  2. The other way to register is with a check or purchase order from your school. Contact me at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to pay with a check or purchase order.
To ensure that everyone gets the attention they need, the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is limited to 25 participants. Register today!


What to bring to camp
  • This is a hands-on learning environment. Bring a laptop. Everything on the agenda can be done on a laptop, but not everything can be done on an iPad or Android tablet. You're welcome to bring your iPad or Android tablet, but make sure you also bring a laptop.
  • A smile and a willingness to learn.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

10 Things You Can Do To Make Yourself an Ed Tech Star This Summer

Credit: Sunset from Longniddry Bents
Richard Webb
As I watch Twitter at this time of year I see a mix of sadness, relief, and excitement that the school year is ending for many teachers. The summer is a great time to tackle some of that personal learning that got pushed to the back burner during the school year. If one of your goals for the summer is to improve your knowledge and skills in educational technology, here are ten things that you can do to work toward that goal.

1. Create a framework for your use of educational technology. Use that framework for evaluating technology and how it will help you reach your instructional goals. My framework is discovery, discussion, and demonstration. Feel free to work from mine or start from scratch building a framework that works for you. On Twitter Paul Kelba suggested looking at the ISTE NETS Standards.Without a framework for thinking about using technology in education, you're just playing with geeky things.

2. Start a blog or revive a dormant blog. Create a schedule for writing and stick to it. If you only have time to write for an hour a week, that's fine but do it consistently. Writing will force you to think and reflect. Publish your writing even if you don't think it's perfect. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. You can always write an addendum to the original post.

3. Teach yourself yourself some new HTML or CSS writing skills. These skills can be very handy when you want to customize a blog template or build a webpage from scratch. Plus, it's a great feeling when you realize that you can type out functions that become beautiful (or at least serviceable) webpages. Codecademy has some good lessons for the first-time coder. The New Boston is a great YouTube channel for learning to code too.

4. Break things and try to put them back together again. That's how I learned to fix my old oil burner (in hindsight not the best strategy), put a rocking chair back together (mom never knew it was broken until now), and resize elements on my blog template. Test your new coding skills by setting up a dummy blog on Blogger or WordPress and mess around with things.

5. Learn how to self-host a WordPress blog or a Drupal site. Unless your school gives you server space to mess around on, you will have to shell-out some cash to do this ($5-20/month depending upon your hosting plan). In the last year since I started to do this for Android4Schools.com and some other projects that I'm working on, I have learned a ton about servers and domain management. Most hosting companies provide directions that will help you get started. The two companies that I have the most experience with are Bluehost ($130/yr) and MediaTemple ($200/yr). Of the two, I prefer MediaTemple because I have had a better customer service experience with them.

6. Get familiar with an OS that you don't normally use. If you use a Mac all the time try spending a week in the world of Windows (borrow a Windows computer for the week or use Windows Parallels). If you're a Blackberry addict try out an Android or iOS device for a bit. By doing this you will gain a better understanding of the devices that your students and colleagues may be using at home or have used before coming to your school.

7. Try a tablet-only weekend. I don't care if you choose an iPad or an Android tablet just pick one and try to use it as your only computer for a weekend or a week. Do this to get familiar with the apps you, your students, and colleagues will need in order to use tablets in lieu of laptops in a 1:1 environment. You'll also get familiar with the challenges of using a tablet as the only device. If your school isn't going to provide teachers and students with keyboards and other accessories, don't use them yourself during your tablet-only time.

8. Read some new-to-you books or ebooks about technology in education. I have some recommendations here.

9. Subscribe to some new-to-you blogs about technology and education. In no particular order these are some that I read TechCrunch, Read Write Web, David Warlick, Gary Stager, Scott McLeod, Lee Kolbert, Vicki Davis, all of the Google product blogs, Make Use Of, Larry Ferlazzo, Audrey Watters.

10. Follow and converse with some new people on Twitter. Not sure where to find new people to follow? I have three lists here, here, and here to get you started.

What would you add to this list? Please leave a suggestion in the comments. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Learning Opportunities

Summer time is learning time for many teachers. If you're looking for some learning opportunities to participate in this summer, here are some that I am involved in either directly as a presenter or indirectly as a publisher. These events are open to public registration. I am also presenting at a number of schools this summer. If you're interested in having me present at your school or conference this summer or in the fall, please click here.

This summer I will be presenting a series of workshops on the campus of Harvard with Tom Daccord's EdTech Teacher team. I'll be presenting during Teaching History with Technology on June 27-29 and July 30-August1. I will also be presenting Best Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers on July 16-18. Click here to learn more and to register for those workshops and others offered by EdTech Teacher. The video below highlights some of last year's EdTech Teacher workshops. 



New Hampshire educators interested in learning more about using Google Apps in their schools will be interested to learn about Google Apps Bootcamp NH. I will be presenting at each of these day long sessions on July 10-13 at four different locations in New Hampshire. Folks in the northeast, but outside of New Hampshire keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in the near future about some more Google Apps training opportunities that I am going to be a part of. 

In late July (22-28) I will be running a week of workshops on Google Apps at the Maine School of Science and Math in Limestone, Maine (yes, that is in far northern Maine). My workshops are part of their week-long STEM camp.

Lesley University has been a supporter of Free Technology for Teachers for long time. They offer some excellent online degree and certificate programs with a flexible schedule for busy educators. 

Fresno Pacific University is a new supporter of Free Technology for Teachers. FPU is offering two new courses for educators interested in learning more about cloud computing and social networking in education. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Come Work With Me This Summer


Over the last week or so I've been asked by a dozen or so people about where I will be presenting this summer. Here's the list and descriptions of events that I will be speaking at this summer that are open for registration right now. 

Once again this summer I will be working with Tom Daccord and the Ed Tech Teacher team to present a series of workshops on the campus of Harvard (yes, you can tell your students that you went to Harvard this summer). The first workshop is Teaching History With Technology on June 27 through June 29. You can register for that session here. July 16-18 Tom and I will again present best Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers. You can register for that session here. July 30 - August 1 I will again be part of the team presenting Teaching History With Technology. You can register here for that session. Both of these sessions were full last year. In fact, Teaching History With Technology was so popular that a second session was added. 

New Hampshire Educators, whether you have never used Google Apps in your classroom or you're looking to step-up your game to become a Google Apps guru, you'll want to consider coming to the Google Workshops for Educators that I will be presenting at July 10-13 in New Hampshire. These full-day workshops are coordinated by Dr. Mark Wagner. I will be one of four presenters along with Mark, Kern Kelley, and Alice Barr. You do have to complete an application to participate in these workshops. Please click here for all of the details about these Google Workshops for Educators. 

In late July (22-28) I will be running a week of workshops on Google Apps at the Maine School of Science and Math in Limestone, Maine (yes, that is in far northern Maine). My workshops are part of their week-long STEM camp.

Finally, I am developing a four part webinar series with Angela Maiers and Chris Dawson. The series is for educators who want to learn how to build their personal brands with an eye toward earning an income through speaking, writing, and consulting. I have had lots of people ask me over the last year how I have managed to earn money through my blog. In this series I'll share how I've done it and all of the good and bad lessons I've learned along the wear. Angela and Chris will be doing the same. More details and registration for the webinar will be available very soon. 

I will also be presenting at a handful of schools this summer. If you're interested in having me present at your school this summer, I still have some openings in my schedule. Please click here to learn more about my school PD offerings.