Monday, March 31, 2014

Sports and Data Visualizations

The World Series champion Boston Red Sox begin a new season today. Baseball players and their fans are fanatical about statistics. The same is true for many other sports. Tableau Public is currently featuring a graphic listing dozens of places to find sports data online. The list includes data for baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis, horse racing, rugby, and cricket.

Applications for Education
Tableau Public offers free software (Windows only) for creating data visualizations. Students could use the software to create visual data comparisons as an exercise in developing their analysis skills. Creating the visualizations could also be used as part of an exercise in developing design skills. Randy Krum's book Cool Infographics outlines seven key concepts of good data visualizations. His key concepts are outlined here.

If you are not a Windows user, take a look at these ten options for creating data visualizations.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ten Seats Left 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. Early Camper registration is still available. 

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.
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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 "" 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) 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! (Please note that EventBrite doesn't account for seats sold offline, the ticket count shown below may not be an accurate reflection of actual seats available. If you have a large group, please contact me directly at richardbyrne at
Refund policy
  • 100% refunds will be given up to 60 days prior to the start of the event.
  • 50% refunds will be given up to 30 days prior to the start of the event. 
  • No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 30 days prior to the start of the event.
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.
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TwistedWave - Create Audio Recordings and Save Them in Google Drive

TwistedWave is a new audio recording and editing tool that is now included in Next Vista's list of recommended tools. Through TwistedWave you can create and edit spoken audio recordings from scratch. Your completed tracks can be exported to Google Drive and SoundCloud.

If you have existing audio tracks in your SoundCloud or Google Drive account you can also import it into TwistedWave to edit those audio tracks.

TwistedWave's audio editing tools include options for fade-in, fade-out, looping, sound normalization, and pitch adjustments. The editor also includes the typical track clipping tools that you would expect to see in an audio editing tool.

You will have to create a free TwistedWave account in order to create and or edit a track of more than thirty seconds in length.

Applications for Education
TwistedWave could be a good audio track creation and editing tool for students and teachers that are using Chromebooks. The integration with Google Drive makes it easy for students to save their works and share their recordings with their teachers.

Haiku Deck to PowerPoint & PowerPoint to Haiku Deck

Haiku Deck is a fantastic tool for designing slideshow presentations. The best aspect of Haiku Deck is the built-in Creative Commons image search tool. That tool makes it easy to find high resolution images to match the message of each slide in your presentation. Over the last year I've had a handful of occasions on which used Haiku Deck to find images and design slides before dropping them into Keynote. On the same track, Haiku Deck recently published directions for exporting Haiku Deck to PowerPoint. That option is available in both the iPad and web app versions of Haiku Deck.

And if you want to import PPT or Keynote slides into Haiku Deck, you can find those directions here.

Four Sources of Print-on-demand Graph Paper

Every mathematics teacher I know needs graph paper. If you're a mathematics teacher and find yourself running short on graph paper or you need a graph paper that is different from what your school purchases, try one of these four places for printing graph paper.

Incompetech offers more than forty different graph and lined paper templates. The offerings from Incompetech even includes sheet music ledger.

Print Free Graph Paper offers eight graph paper formats. Print Free Graph Paper allows you to customize the size of the graph before printing.

Math Drills hosts fourteen templates for printing your own graph paper. The templates are in metric and imperial measurements.

Gridzzly is a free tool for designing lined, grid, and graph paper. Simply open the site, select the format for your paper (dots, lines, squares, or hexagons) then choose the spacing for the paper and print it. A ruler at the top of the page indicates the spacing of the dots, lines, squares, or hexagons on your page.

H/T to Lifehacker for Griddzly.