Saturday, September 27, 2014

Freeplay Music - Another Good Place to Find Music for Multimedia Projects

Earlier this week I shared a list of good places to find free music and sound effects for your students to use in their multimedia projects. The next morning Kinshasa Msola emailed me to with the suggestion of adding Freeplay Music to that list. I'm glad that she did because Freeplay Music was a great suggestion.

Freeplay Music hosts more than 15,000 music files that your students can download to use in their multimedia projects. The Freeplay Music education license allows students and teachers to use the music for free within the confines of the school. Publishing those projects on YouTube requires a slightly different though still free license. You can find the details of the licenses here.

The Week In Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine. By the time most of you read this I will be fly fishing on my favorite lake in the state. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have fun things planned too. If part of your weekend includes getting caught up on ed tech news, take a look at this week's most popular posts on Free Technology for Teachers. On a related note, my Practical Ed Tech tip of the week email contains this list and is sent on Sunday evenings only. You can join that email list here.

The most popular posts of the week:
1. Frequently Overlooked Google Search Tools and Strategies
2. How to Create Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional People, Places, and Events
3. How to Share Materials By Using Files and Folders on Google Sites
4. Comics in the Classroom - Webinar Recording
5. CK-12 Introduces Dozens of Interactive Physics Simulations
6. Resources for Teaching About the Sights and Sounds of Autumn
7. ContextU - A Good Digital Textbook on the American Revolution

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.
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, 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.
GoSocialStudiesGo is an online textbook for social studies students.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Disconnect 3rd Party Apps from Google Drive

I recently received an email from a reader who was wondering how to disconnect the 3rd party apps that she had connected to her Google Drive account. This is a fairly common question so I decided to make a quick screencast of the process of disconnecting apps from Google Drive. In the video below I demonstrate the process in the old and new Google Drive interfaces.

Common Core Quest Expands to Cover All Common Core Math & Language Arts Standards

A couple of weeks ago I review OpenEd.io's new iPad and Android app Common Core Quest. At that time the app did not offer practice quizzes and review materials for all math and language arts standards. This morning I received the news that it now covers all of those standards.

The free Common Core Quest app gives students access to hundreds of practice quizzes aligned to Common Core standards in math and language arts. Before and after taking a quiz students can watch short video lessons that address the skills needed to master the standards contained in the quizzes.

To use Common Core Quest a student selects his or her grade then selects the math or language arts standards he or she is working toward mastering. (Teachers will probably have to provide directions to students and their parents as to which standards they should be working toward). The student will earn digital badges when he or she shows mastery of a standard through quiz scores.

Click here for the iPad version. Click here for the Android version.

5 Ideas for Using Padlet In School - Suggestions Welcome

Padlet is a great tool that I frequently use in my workshops. One of the reasons that I like it so much is that it is easy to use. I also like it because it can be used for a bunch of purposes. Here are five ways that I like to use it. At the bottom of this post I have included a Padlet wall that I encourage you to use to add your ideas about using Padlet in the classroom.

Padlet as a simple blogging platform:
Padlet walls can be arranged in free-form, grid, or stream layouts. Creating a Padlet page in the stream format could be a good way to create a simple, collaborative blog for students. You could create the page, select "stream" format, and make the page accessible for students to write short posts on. Their posts could include images and videos. If you want to, you can password protect your Padlet pages and moderate messages before they appear on your Padlet page.

Padlet Mini as a bookmarking tool:
Padlet Mini is a Chrome extension that you can use to bookmark websites. When you click the Padlet Mini extension in your browser you will be presented with the option to save to one of your existing walls or create a new Padlet wall. Click here for a video on using Padlet Mini.

Padlet as a KWL chart:
Padlet can be used to create a KWL chart that students can contribute to anonymously (or not anonymously if you want them to sign-in). Create a wall, make it public, and ask students to share what they know and what they want to know about a topic. If you allow anonymous posting you might get contributions from shy students who might not otherwise speak-up in class. Of course, if you allow anonymous commenting you should have a conversation with your students about what an appropriate comment looks like. (You could also turn on moderation and approve all notes before they appear). Padlet works well when projected on an interactive whiteboard.

Padlet for group research and discussion:
A few years ago I showed my special education students a short (18 minutes) video about cultural changes that took place in the US during the 1920's. After the video we discussed what they saw. Then I had students search online for other examples of cultural change in the 1920's. When they found examples they put them onto a Wallwisher wall that I projected onto a wall in my classroom. The wall started with just text being added to the wall and quickly progressed to YouTube videos being added to the wall. Once every student had added a video to the wall we stopped, watched the videos, and discussed them.

Padlet as a showcase of your students’ work:
If your students are creating digital portfolios, creating slideshows, or producing videos you could use Padlet to display all of your students’ best work on one page. Create the wall, call it something like “my best work this year,” and have your students post links to their works.