Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School - 81 Page Free PDF

Since 2006 I have used Blogger for many blogging projects including this blog and many classroom blogs. Over the years I've introduced many teachers to blogging through Blogger. Blogger is easy to use and flexible enough to support you when you're ready to start using some advanced blogging strategies. I've covered the basics of Blogger and blogging in various blog posts over the years. This week I finally put all of those posts together with a series of annotated screenshots in one cohesive package, A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School.

A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School covers everything from blogging terminology to blogging activities to the nuts and bolts of using Blogger. You'll learn where to find media to use in blog posts, how to use media in blog posts, and get ideas for media-based blog posts. You'll also learn how to set-up your blog for multiple authors and how to manage comments.

A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School is embedded below. (The file is hosted on, if you cannot see the document embedded below make sure that your filter isn't blocking You may also need to be using Chrome or a recent version of Firefox, Safari, or IE as outdated browsers may not support the Box viewer).

I'm going to allow downloading the guide for the rest of the month. Downloads should be for personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute it, including for workshops / faculty training, without my permission. I've used to host the file (81 page pdf). Box does not put advertising on the page while still allowing me to track downloads.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Introduce EduClipper to Teachers and Students

Since eduClipper launched back in May I have shared it in many of my workshops and presentations. I know that some people will be introducing it to their colleagues and students for the new school year too. If you plan to introduce eduClipper to your students or colleagues, Adam Bellow (founder of eduClipper) has put together a helpful set of slides for you to use. The slidedeck includes step-by-step directions for using eduClipper. The presentation also includes a slide to help you transition from "showing" to "coaching."

Thanks to Lee Kolbert for sharing this on Facebook.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Active Textbook - Turn PDFs Into Multimedia Documents

Active Textbook is an interesting service that you can use to turn your PDFs into multimedia documents. The basic idea behind the service is that you can upload PDFs and add pictures, links, and videos that are displayed when students read your PDF through the Active Textbook viewer. While reading your PDF through Active Textbook students can highlight, draw, and add comments to the document.

The downside to Active Textbook is that you have to create your PDF outside of Active Textbook. You have to have the layout of your PDF set before uploading it because you can't actually change the content of the PDF, you're simply adding links to it through the Active Textbook service.

Applications for Education
Active Textbook could provide a good way to create your own short multimedia texts for students. The most compelling feature is the option for students to highlight and take notes on the document while they're reading it through Active Textbook. Active Textbook also adds a dictionary tool to your document which could be handy for some students. Active Textbook is free to use for up to 500 pages of material.

Unsplash - Another Good Source of Free Images

Earlier this month I shared five good places to find public domain images. Today, I found another good source of free images. Unsplash is a Tumblr-hosted site that adds ten new, free, high-resolution images every ten days. I scrolled through the site for quite a while today and found a lot of nice images. The downside to Unsplash is that the site does not have a search function.
A free image found on Unsplash.

Applications for Education
Whenever I lead a workshop on video production in the classroom I recommend that students use their own images whenever possible. When using their own images is not an option then I recommend using public domain images. Unsplash could be one of the places that you and your students use to locate high-resolution free images.

Submrge - Ideas for Teaching With Games

Submrge is a new site created for the purpose of promoting the use of games in education. On Submrge you will find short reviews of a wide variety of games including games designed specifically for education and popular commercial games. Along with the description of the games you will find links to examples of how teachers have used the games in their classrooms.

Applications for Education
Teachers who have wondered about how to use popular video games in their classrooms could find Submrge to be a good place to find engaging lesson ideas. Some of the games that are included in Submrge are games that your students are probably already familiar with. That could be a good hook to engage students who otherwise don't get excited about school.