Monday, April 21, 2014

How Not to Cite an Image

This morning one of my Facebook friends posted one of those "ten signs you're from..." Buzzfeed-like articles that sucked me in. As I looked through the article I noticed something strange about the image credits. In fact, they really were not image credits at all. The caption below the images simply reads, "Source: Google Images." Besides not naming the owner of the image, the author of the article didn't link to the source nor indicated that it was used by permission. I took a screenshot and added a comment to it. You can see my screenshot below. 
Click the screenshot to view it in full screen.

(Yes, you can use this screenshot if you want to share it with your students). 

Applications for Education
Between great public domain image sources like Pixabay (click here for other options) and Creative Commons image search tools there are few occasions when students should have to resort to claiming fair use to use a copyrighted image. If they do end up at that step, they should at least give proper credit to the owner of the image.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Multilingual Lessons for Pre-K through Second Grade Students

The Early Childhood Education Network's Literacy Center provides young students with online learning activities in four languages. The Literacy Center provides tutorials and games in English, Spanish, German, and French. The tutorials and games are designed to teach students the alphabet, writing the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, phonics, and basic spelling.

Each section begins with a tutorial before moving on to ask students to apply their new knowledge to an activity. For example, in the alphabet section students first hear and see each letter before being asked to form the letters. See the screen captures below for a demonstration of the sequence.

Alphabet activity 1.


















Alphabet activity 2 - Student constructs letter.

















Applications for Education
In addition to the online learning activities for students, The Early Childhood Education Network's Literacy Center in collaboration with Read Today offers hundreds of free printable resources for teaching early literacy skills.

Dozens of Virtual Tours and Webcams On One Google Map

Angela Hamblen is a high school school Social Studies teacher in Kentucky that I've had the pleasure of meeting at ISTE conferences and presenting with at EdTechTeacher.org events. Through her blog Angela has shared some great ideas and resources for teaching history, civics, and geography. One of the neat resources that Angela shared a few years ago that I still revisit from time to time is a Google Map containing placemarks for dozens of webcams and virtual tours. Click any placemark on the map to find a link to a virtual tour or webcam for that location. The map is embedded below.


View Virtual Tours & Webcams in a larger map

Applications for Education
When I saw this map I immediately thought that it would be a great resource for teachers of geography, history, and world studies. The map of virtual tours and webcams could also be useful for literature teachers to give their students a real-life look at places mentioned in the books they read.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Portland, Maine where I'm waiting for a plane to take me to see my grandfather for Easter. Before I board the plane, I'd like to share a quick update about Free Technology for Teachers. Writing this blog for the past seven years has given me opportunities that I never imagined. Speaking at conferences and leading workshops in schools is an absolute joy for which I am very grateful. Organizing my own professional development events is something that I never thought I would do, but now I am doing it. None of this would be possible without all of you who have supported Free Technology for Teachers over the years by sharing posts with your colleagues, emailing me, calling me to help at your schools, and enrolling in my professional development workshops. Thank you!

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Tools That Help Students Organize Research and Create Bibliographies
2. Poetica - Edit Documents Online as if You Were Writing on Paper
3. How to Find and Use Report Card Templates in Google Drive
4. Booktrack - Create and Listen to Soundtracks for Books
5. 14 Educational Resources for Earth Day 2014
6. Doctopus Is Now Easier to Use Than Ever Before - Automate Workflow in Google Drive
7. Five Visual Dictionaries and Thesauri for Students

Would you like to come learn with me this summer?
Click here to learn more about the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Class Charts provides a great way to record and analyze student behavior information.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
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 offers professional development workshops in Boston and Chicago.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
Fresno Pacific University offers a wide variety of technology courses for teachers.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

An Updated Practical Ed Tech Webinar Course - How To Use Google Drive In School

Over the last few months Google has rolled-out new features in Google Drive. Accordingly, I've revamped much of material in my Practical Ed Tech webinar series How to Use Google Drive In School. The next offering of the course will begin on April 28th.  If your school is transitioning to Google Apps for Education over the summer, consider taking this course as it will help you smoothly make that transition.

How To Use Google Drive In School is a three hour interactive course for educators who want to learn how to use Google Drive (Google Docs, Presentations, Forms, Spreadsheets) in their classrooms. This course covers everything from the basics of document creation to using scripts to automate workflow in Google Drive.

Registration is limited to 25 people per course. For only $97 all participants receive digital how-to guides, access to three hours of live webinar training, access to all webinar recordings, and access to a dedicated course discussion forum. The cost of this course is $97.00 USD. The next section is scheduled to meet on April 28th, May 5th, and May 12th at 7pm Eastern Time. Registration is limited to 25 people.

Click here to register today!

Course Highlights
*Creating and sharing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
*Using Google Documents and Presentations for collaborative writing and reading exercises.
*Using Google Forms and Spreadsheets for collecting and analyzing data. 
*Using Google Documents as a publishing platform.
*Managing the flow of files in your Google Drive. Registration is limited to 25 students per course.

Participants receive:
*Three hours of live instruction with Q&A opportunities.
*Access to recordings of each session (recordings can be downloaded for unlimited personal use).
*Digital hand-outs to download and re-use for personal use as well as re-use within their school districts.
*A dedicated discussion forum to access throughout the three week course.
*Certificate of completion.

This course is designed for educators who: 
*Are new to using Google Drive/ Documents/ Sheets/ Drawings/ Slides.
*Have previously used Google Drive/ Documents but would like a refresher course.
*Would like to learn how Google Drive/ Documents can be used to help their students meet ELA Common Core Standards.

Nice Things People Have Said About This Webinar:
Very good Webinar yesterday. One of the few I've heard that was so well organized!
Your workshop was so informative and got me going as well. A big "thank you"!!

Click here to register today!

Register by April 24th and use the discount code "Drive" to save $10. 

About the cost and my decision to advertise it on my blog:
Sometimes when I advertise one of these webinars I get messages from people who are upset that I am advertising it here and or that I am charging for it. I understand why some people feel that way. I thought long and hard about how to offer this series. In fact, I thought about it and talked about it with trusted advisors for a year before offering the first webinar series last year. The purpose of this blog and my goal for years has always been to help people use free technology in their classrooms. The tools and strategies featured in my webinars are free to use. However, my time for teaching isn't free. Further, I pay licensing fees to GoToTraining and to Wistia for hosting all of the media content of the courses.