Thursday, August 21, 2014

Videos to Help You Get Started Sending Text Message Reminders Through Remind (101)

Remind, formerly Remind 101, is a great tool for sending important reminders to students and their parents. Through Remind students and their parents can sign-up to received text messages on their mobile devices. You send the messages from your computer or mobile device without students or parents seeing your personal cell phone number. Last week I introduced Remind to a bunch of teachers in Delta, Colorado and they loved it. If you would like to give Remind a try this year, the following five videos will show you what you need to know to get started.






Remind's full collection of tutorial videos is available here.

How to Use Box.com to Display PDFs in Blog Posts

From time to time I create PDFs to use in blog posts. Sometimes I do that because a PDF provides a better view of the content I'm sharing (see this post containing a chart for an example) and other times I display PDFs to make it easier for folks to print my information as I did with this post about ed tech tools that were updated this summer. I use Box.com to display PDFs in blog posts. Watch the video below to learn how to embed PDFs into your blog posts (I use Blogger in the demo, but the process is essentially the same for Kidblog users too).


There are three reasons why I choose Box over Google Drive or Scribd. First, the Box.com document viewer looks and functions much better than Google Drive does when it comes to PDFs. In fact, if you have a large file like my A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School Google Drive won't display a preview of it, it just displays a download link. The second reason that I chose to use Box is that Box will email me a weekly update about the usage of my shared files. I can also log-in whenever I want to see the current usage statistics about my shared files. Finally, I have learned that many schools block Scribd.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Use Google Drive to Share Videos Privately

Google Drive is full of options that often go overlooked. One of those options is privately sharing videos. To share videos through Google Drive upload them to your Google Drive account, preview them, then share by using the sharing options at the top of the preview screen. The sharing options allow you specify who can access the video. The screenshots below outline the process. (Click the images to view them in full size).

Step 1: Upload your video to Google Drive.

Step 2: Select you uploaded video.

Step 3: Click the share button.

Step 4: Choose your sharing options.

The Public Domain Review - A Good Place to Find Public Domain Media

The Public Domain Review is a website that features collections of images, books, essays, audio recordings, and films that are in the public domain. Choose any of the collections to search for materials according to date, style, genre, and rights. Directions for downloading and saving media is included along with each collection of media.

As you might guess, nearly all of what I found in the collections on The Public Domain Review is content of a historical nature. The collections include short descriptions that explain the significance of the media you're accessing.

Applications for Education
The Public Domain Review could be a great place to find historical media to use in history lessons, literature lessons, and art history lessons. If you're looking for colorful imagery to use as filler or backgrounds in slide presentations, the collections on The Public Domain Review are probably not your best bet. In that case, I would look to Pixabay for images that are in the public domain.

Explore Iceland in Google Street View

Getting ready for skiing at midnight
in Iceland. 
Iceland is of my favorite places in the world for vacation. I've been there twice (from where I live it's easier and cheaper to get to Iceland than it is to go to California). Iceland full of natural beauty that I've been fortunate to explore on mountain bike, skis, and sailboat. Now everyone can explore the natural beauty of Iceland through Google Maps Street View.

The latest update to Google Maps Street View includes imagery captured by driving on Iceland's Golden Road and imagery captured by people walking through Iceland's natural wonders like ├×ingvellir where I once pretended to hold Europe back from North America. Read the history and look at the Street View imagery and you'll see how I did that.

Iceland is known for its geothermal activity and waterfalls. You can see plenty of both in the new Street View imagery.


View Larger Map

Applications for Education
The new Google Street View Imagery of Iceland could be useful in starting conversations with students about how geothermal activities and shifting tectonic plates influence the landscape of a place.