Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good Saturday morning/ day/ evening to you wherever you are. By the time most of you read this I will be spending the day participating in a mountain biking, kayaking, and running adventure race. I hope that you are doing something fun this weekend too.

This week I had the opportunity to speak to 1,000 employees of the Iowa City School District as their "back to school" keynote speaker. After my keynote I had the opportunity to tour part of the district. I must say that I was impressed by their plans for truly making technology a seamless part of their students' daily learning. I've been fortunate to speak to many groups this summer and I have some more speaking engagements coming up this fall. If you're interested in having me speak at your school or conference please feel free to use the contact form here or email me directly at richardbyrne (at ) freetech4teachers (dot) com.

As I do every week I have rounded up the most popular posts of the week and here they are:

1. 43 New Tips for New Teachers - 174 Total Tips
2. 5 Video Projects to Try with Your Students
3. Hands-on Science Activities for K-12
4. Wallwisher & Google Docs as Online KWL Charts
5. Illustrative Mathematics
6. Daisy the Dinosaur - A Visual Intro to Programming
7. Discover Your World - An Activity Book from NOAA

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
LearnBoost provides a free online gradebook service 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.
The College of St. Scholastica offers M. Ed courses. Currently offering $100 offer per credit.
Academic Pub is a service for creating custom etextbooks.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments. 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.
Ed Tech Teacher offers professional development services for schools.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Mobento - Search for Spoken Words in Videos

There are lots of places to find educational videos on the web. Mobento is one of those places. What makes Mobento different from most educational video hosts is that you can search for spoken words within a video. Mobento not only tells you which videos have specific words spoken in them, it will also show you a timeline of where in the video your specified words are spoken.

Applications for Education
Mobento's collection of videos isn't terribly large right now, but it has potential to be a great service for finding educational video clips that address the specific terms you're searching for.

Forensic Firsts - The Science of Solving Crime

Forensic Firsts is a Smithsonian Channel television show. The show examines (in sometimes gruesome detail) how science can be used to solve crime mysteries. The Forensic Firsts game asks players to try to catch a serial murderer on the loose. The murderer can be caught by generating leads, correctly following up on leads, and correctly analyzing evidence.

Applications for Education
Forensic Firsts could be a good activity for high school students studying criminal justice. That said, Forensic Firsts is definitely not something I would use with students younger than high school age. I say that not because the game is particularly gruesome in detail (it's not) but because some of the video clips that are on the rest of the site could be unsuitable for students younger than high school.

Popchrom Could Completely Change Your Approach to Email

Yesterday, I saw Mark Wagner demonstrate a Chrome extension that could completely change my attitude toward email. Popchrom is a Chrome extension that allows you to create keyboard shortcuts for inserting large chunks of text into an email. So instead of retyping a message you can simply hit your keyboard shortcut and insert a big chunk of text.

Here's how Popchrom works; after you install the extension you can type out your chunks of text in the Popchrom settings and assign a keyboard shortcut for those chunks.

Applications for Education
If you often type the same type of message to parents, students, or others, Popchrom could save you tons of time.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Offer Tech Help via Chrome Remote Desktop

Today, I spent some time in a Chromebook lab. That experience reminded me of a potentially helpful Chrome app called Chrome Remote Desktop. Using the Chrome Remote Desktop App (still in beta) you can grant access to your computer to another person who also has the Chrome Remote Desktop App installed.

If you want to share your desktop just click "share now" and Chrome Remote Desktop will generate an access code to give to the person who will access your computer.

To access and control another person's computer you just need to enter the access code that they provide to you.

Applications for Education
The Chrome Remote Desktop app could be very helpful in aiding teachers and students when they get stuck trying to accomplish a task on their computers.