Saturday, August 16, 2014

How to Embed Your Remind (101) Text Messages Into Your Blogger Blog

Remind (formerly known as Remind 101) is a great tool to use to reach students and their parents via text messages. But not all parents and not all students will want to opt-in to receive messages on their phones. If you embed your Remind text messages into your blog, those parents and students who choose not to receive messages on their phones can still see the information that you're sending through Remind. In your Remind account you can grab a widget to embed into your blog. Remind offers widgets for use in WordPress, Google Sites, and other blog and website platforms including Blogger. The screenshots below outline the process for embedding Remind messages into your Blogger blog.

(click the images to view them in full size)

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The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Montrose, Colorado where I spent the day exploring some rivers in the area after yesterday's workshop in Delta, Colorado. Earlier this week I spoke at the New Teacher Academy at Boston College. A big thank you to all of the folks at both events. It was great to see so many teachers interested in trying new tech tools and strategies in their classrooms this fall.

Thank you to all of you who make it possible for me speak at schools and conferences. All of your Tweets, Pins, and other sharing of the posts here mean a lot to me.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Two Good Random Name Selection Tools
2. Seven Web-based Tools for Delivering Flipped Lessons
3. Great Google Search Strategies Every Student Can Use - Infographic
4. PDF - A Round-up of Summer Updates to Google Apps, Drive, Maps, and G+
5. How to Have Students Practice Presentation Skills While Teaching You About Technology
6. Persuasion Map Helps Students Formulate Persuasive Essays
7. PDF - Ten Popular Ed Tech Tools That Were Updated This Summer

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

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.
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. 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, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Good Random Name Selection Tools

At one point or another every teacher has asked for volunteers and not had any hands raised. In that situation using a random name selection tool is an easy way to choose students to call on. And for those times when all of your students raise their hands for something fun like being the line leaders, the a random name selector is a convenient tool to have at your disposal too. Here are two good random name selection tools.

Random Name Picker is a free tool from Russel Tarr at The Random Name Picker lets you input names and spin a virtual wheel to have a name randomly selected from the list. After a name is selected you can remove it from the wheel so that it is not selected again. Random Name Picker is free to use and does not require a registration on You can save your lists by assigning passwords to them. You can re-use your saved lists. The Random Name Picker wheel can be embedded into your blog or website. The Random Name Picker was written in HTML5 so that it will run in the browser of your iPad.

The Random Name Selector from Primary Technology is a simple tool for picking names from a list you've created. To use the selector just type in or copy a list of names then hit "go." Once a name is selected you have the option of launching a two minute or seven minute countdown timer. You also have the option to remove a name from the list after it has been selected. Watch the video below to learn a little more and see the Random Name Selector in use.

How to Import Blogger and Other Blog Feeds Into Google Sites

During a workshop today in Delta, Colorado a teacher asked me if he could import his Blogger blog into Google Sites. Yes, you can import Blogger blog feeds into Google Sites. You can also import the RSS feeds of other blogs into your Google Site. To do this you will open the "insert menu" while editing a page in your Google Site, select "more gadgets," choose "RSS Feed," then enter the address of the blog that you want displayed in your Google Site. I've outlined this process in the screenshots below. Click the images to view them in full size.

1. Find the address of the RSS feed. If you're using Blogger for your blog, use the process below.






A Collection of Examples of Classroom Blogs

As the new school year starts many teachers will be trying to develop classroom blogs for the first time or revamping old blogs for the new year. The slides below contain examples of classroom blogs. You may find a new-to-you idea in these examples. The slides were created last fall with the help of many readers of Free Technology for Teachers.

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