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.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Ed Tech Posts

Good morning from Fargo, North Dakota where I'm waiting for a flight home to Maine. This week I had the privilege of presenting at two conferences. On Thursday I spoke at the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools' technology conference and yesterday I spoke at the North Dakota Association of Technology Leaders' conference. It was great to connect with many long-time readers at both events. And if you're wondering about the picture, it's of a delicious treat called Chippers that I was given in Fargo. Chippers are potato chips covered in chocolate. I highly recommend trying Chippers if your cardiologist allows it.

Here are the most popular posts of the week:
1. 21 Reasons to Stop Saying "21st Century Teacher"
2. Use Shared Google Drive Folders to Distribute Assignments to Students
3. 10 Free Typing Practice Activities for Students
4. Mapping History - Historical Patterns Mapped
5. The Five Best Tools for Creating Videos Without Installing Software

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.

How to Subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers
Join more than 55,000 others who subscribe via these links.
Subscribe via RSSSubscribe via Email.
Like Free Technology for Teachers on  Facebook.
Find me on Twitter, on Google+, or on Pinterest.

Friday, April 12, 2013

10 Good Video Sources for Math Students and Teachers

Earlier this week I shared ten video sources for history students and ten video sources for science students. To wrap-up the week I have a list of ten video sources for math students. Like the other lists, I've intentionally left out Khan Academy because everyone knows about that option.

WowMath.org is developed by high school mathematics teacher Bradley Robb. His YouTube channel has more than six hundred videos covering topics in Algebra and Calculus. You can access the videos on a mobile version of WowMath too.

Numberphile is a neat YouTube channel about fun number facts. There are currently thirty-three videos in the Numberphile collection. The videos cover things like 998,001 and its Mysterious Recurring Decimals, Pi and Bouncing Balls, and 1 and Prime Numbers. I've embedded Pi and Bouncing Balls below.



Bright Storm is an online tutoring service. On their YouTube channel Bright Storm provides hundreds of videos for Algebra I, Algebra II, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Calculus. Bright Storm also offers some SAT and ACT prep videos.

Ten Marks is another online tutoring service that offers mathematics tutorial videos on their site as well as on their YouTube channel. Some of the lessons in their playlists include lessons on units of measurement, decimals, fractions, probability, area and perimeter, and factoring.

Math Class With Mr. V features seven playlists made by a mathematics teacher teaching lessons on basic mathematics, geometry, and algebra. In all there are more than 300 video lessons. Like most mathematics tutorials on YouTube, Math Class With Mr. V uses a whiteboard to demonstrate how to solve problems.

The Open University is one of my go-to YouTube channel for all things academic. A quick search on The Open University reveals seven playlists that include lessons in mathematics. The lessons that you will find in these playlists are more theoretical than they are "how to" lessons.

Yay Math! features an excited teacher teaching mathematics lessons to his students. The videos capture just the teacher and his whiteboard with some feedback from students. The videos cover topics in Algebra and Geometry. You can check out the Yay Math! companion website to learn more about Robert Ahdoot, the teacher featured in the videos.


Knowmia is a website and an iPad app for creating, sharing, and viewing video lessons. The website portion of Knowmia is a collection of videos made by teachers for students. There are roughly 10,000 videos in the Knowmia collection right now including lots of instructional math videos. Many of the videos are pulled from YouTube while others are hosted on Knowmia. The videos are arranged by subject and topic. Registered teachers can upload and tag their own videos.

Math Doctor Bob's YouTube channel was suggested by a reader using the Disqus ID Npisenti. Math Doctor Bob offers nearly 700 video lessons on statistics, algebra I and II, calculus, geometry, and much more. The lessons feature Doctor Bob giving the lesson in front of a whiteboard so you see him and don't just hear his lessons.

Patrick JMT Khan or Math Doctor Bob, but the videos are equally solid.

5 Good Places to Learn to Write HTML

This afternoon I received an email in which I was asked how to write a hyperlink without relying on the visual editor in Word, Google Docs, or your favorite blogging platform. While the visual editing tools will usually do everything you need, at some point you might want to beyond the limitations of WYSIWYG. It's then that you'll want know how to write and edit HTML yourself. These are three resources that you can use to teach yourself HTML. The instructions in these resources are clear enough that middle school students can use them on their own too.

A Beginner's Guide to HTML & CSS is a nice resource developed by Shay Howe whose resume reveals that he works on the user interface for Groupon among other projects. There are currently ten text-based lessons for beginners. Once you've mastered the beginner lessons you can try your hand at the advanced lessons.

Codecademy is a place where anyone can learn how to write code. Codecademy offers lessons in basic HTML and CSS. Codecademy's lessons in basic HTML start with the very basics of explaining what HTML is, what it does, and how to write the basics. There are seven progressively more difficult lessons that students can work through on their own.


Thimble is a free Mozilla product designed to help users learn how to write HTML and CSS. Thimble features a split screen on which you can write code and see how it works at the same time. On the left side of the screen you write your code and on the right side of the screen you instantly see what that code renders. The latest version of Thimble gives you the option to start from scratch or to modify sample projects. The sample projects include directions for writing code. If you write the code correctly, you will know right away. Likewise, if you don't write the code correctly, you will know right away. Some of the sample projects you can work with include webpages, games, and avatars.

w3Schools has long been my go-to place for quick directions when working in HTML. If I get stuck while working on a project, a quick visit to w3Schools usually reveals the help I need to get past a stumbling block. If you're brand new to writing HTML start with the introductory sections of w3Schools to learn the basics.

YouTube is another of my go-to places for tutorials on writing HTML and many other things. Whether you want an introduction to writing HTML or you just need a quick tutorial to get you past one little obstacle in your code, there's probably a video for you. Here's one very popular video for beginners.

Updated Again - Best of Web 2013

This afternoon in Fargo, ND I shared an updated version of Best of the Web 2013. I just gave this presentation last month so there isn't too much different in this version, but there are some new things including Wideo for video creation and the Classtools SMS Generator.