Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week in Review - The Part Where I Become a Professional Athlete

Good morning from the Toronto International Airport. I'm currently on my way home from another great visit to the Grande Prairie, Alberta School Division. I've been to Alberta at least a half dozen times in the last year, but this trip was special because a Canadian customs agent flagged me for extra screening. While that was not what I wanted to go through at 1am after flying with a head cold, I did come out of the experience learning that I could be admitted under the same "performer" exemption used for musicians, professional athletes, and "internationally recognized experts." This is the closest that I'll ever come to being confused for a professional athlete.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Free iPad Apps for Science Lessons
2. 5 Free Apps and Sites for Creating Animations
3. PBS Math Club - Short Interactive Math Videos
4. How to Create a Linked Series of YouTube Videos
5. How to Create Audio Slideshows in YouTube
6. 5 Online Tools That Help You Align Lessons to Common Core Standards
7. A Search Engine for SMART Notebook Files

Would you like to have me visit your school this year?
Click here to learn more 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.
Remind 101 offers a free tool for sending text message reminders to students.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
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.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is organizing two iPad summits this school year.
Metta is a great tool for creating multimedia presentations and quizzes.

How to Subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers
Join more than 58,000 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, October 25, 2013

Figure This - Math Challenges for Families

Figure This is a website produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The site presents viewers with a series of math problems designed to spark discussion and collaboration between parents and their children. The problems are based around objects and situations with which most students will be familiar. For example, there are questions about how movies make money, how far a paper airplane can fly, and when to buy block ice instead of crushed ice.

Applications for Education
Figure This could be a good resource for mathematics problems that you can send home with your elementary school students to discuss with their parents. Some of the challenges include a physical element that could be used in a fun classroom lesson.

Create and Reserve Appointment Slots in Google Calendar

One of the advantages of using Google Apps for Education rather than a generic, commercial Google account is that GAFE users have access to some settings and features that others cannot access. One example of this is found in Google Calendar. In Google Calendar, Google Apps for Education users can create appointment slots. The appointment slots can be used to show people when you are available and allow them to sign-up to meet with you. The Google Guru video below provides an overview of the process.


Applications for Education
This is the time of year when a lot of schools start to schedule parent-teacher conferences. If you're using Google Calendar inside GAFE, the appointment slots option could be a great way to have parents register for meetings. Another use case is showing parents when there is a need for a "room parent" volunteer.

Add Voice Comments to Google Documents With Kaizena

Back in May I shared a handy tool for adding voice comments to Google Documents. That tool was called 121 Writing. Over the summer 121 Writing was renamed as Kaizena. Whatever you call it, it's a good tool for giving audio feedback to your students.

To use Kaizena you do have to authorize it to access your Google Account. With the authorization step completed you can open any document, highlight a selection of text, and record your comments for students to listen to. John Hardison offers a good overview of the process in the video below.


Applications for Education
I showed Kaizena to a group of teachers today. The conclusion that a few of us came to is that Kaizena may not save you time in giving feedback to students. However, for students who need audio support Kaizena could be an excellent way to provide that support to students while giving them feedback on their written work.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Notegraphy - Write, Style, and Share Text

Notegraphy is a new service that was described on Lifehacker as "the Instagram of words." Notegraphy is a free service for stylizing small pieces of text and sharing them with your friends (or keeping the private if you wish). The service can be used in your web browser or as an iOS app. The video below offers a short overview of the service.


Applications for Education
At first I didn't think much of Notegraphy. Then I tried it out and realized that it could be a neat tool for students to use to highlight their favorite parts of poem or a short story they've read for your class.