Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Good Facebook Group for AP US History Teachers

Ken Hall, author of the US History Teachers Blog, sent me an email last night about a Facebook group that one of his colleagues has created for AP US History teachers. The group currently has more than 1,700 people sharing resources with each other. You do have to request access to join the group.

As I said to Ken last night, this AP US History Teachers Group another great example of teachers connecting online to help each other help their students. Anyone teaching AP US History should ask to join and explore the resources being shared in the group.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Dan Ryder kicking-off
EdCamp Western Maine.
Good morning from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Maine where EdCamp Western Maine is about to get started. EdCamps provide a fun and informal way for teachers to get together and share ideas. At this point there have been EdCamps hosted in hundreds of cities around the world. If you haven't been to an EdCamp, I recommend finding one in your area to attend. And if you want to organize your own EdCamp, you can find directions on how to do it on the EdCamp Foundation's website.


Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. CK-12 Launches a New Collection of Elementary School Math Resources
2. Ideas for Productively Using Cell Phones in Your Classroom
3. How to Create Online Collaborative Whiteboards
4. 60 Videos of Practical Ed Tech Tips
5. Google Earth Pro is Now Free for Everyone
6. 5 Ways to Create Mapped Stories
7. How to Create Flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference this year? Click here to learn more about professional development services.

Tomorrow I will be opening registration for spring and summer sections of my popular online courses Getting Going With GAFE and Blogs & Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders. Graduate credits will be available for the courses. People who are subscribed to the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter will receive a discount on registration.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Versal is a great tool for building interactive online course components.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
PresentationTube provides a good way to use PowerPoint to create flipped lessons.
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.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting iPad Summit San Diego in February.

Weekend Fun Thread - Share Your "Welcome to Teaching Moment"

Over the years I've written about and spoken about using Padlet as a collaborative blogging tool. To demonstrate how this could work, I've created a Padlet wall to share "welcome to teaching moments." I'm thinking about the fun, cute, or "whoa" moments that most of us had early in our careers that let us know that now were really teachers with our own classrooms. I've started the thread with my story. The wall is open now and I'll keep it open for the weekend. To post your story just double-click on the wall and start writing.




If you haven't used Padlet before, I have a video here that demonstrates how to get started with it. And for experienced Padlet users I have a video here about creating custom columns on Padlet.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Thematic - A Nice Tool for Creating Visual Stories

Thematic is a new service designed for building and sharing visual stories. Thematic allows you to display up to twenty pictures organized around a theme of your choosing. You can add one line of text to each image in your story. Your completed story is displayed in a vertically scrolling format with each of your images occupying all of the available space in your browser. Completed stories can be shared publicly or kept private. Each public story can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, email, or embedding into a webpage. I've embedded my sample story below.


Creating my Thematic story was rather easy. After creating an account I was able to import pictures from my desktop and from Dropbox. I recommend importing high resolution images as smaller images will become pixelated when enlarged to Thematic's full size. After importing your pictures you can add text and rearrange the sequence in which your images appear on your screen.

Applications for Education
Thematic, like the similar iPad app Storehouse, could be a good service to use to tell a story about the highlights of a field trip, a research assignment, or a school event.

H/T to The Next Web.

How to Email Reminders from a Google Spreadsheet

A few weeks ago I shared three methods for efficiently sending reminders to students and parents. Another method is to use a Google Sheets Add-on called Add Reminders. Add Reminders will set-up your spreadsheet so that you simply enter reminder messages and email addresses then specify a date on which you want your reminders sent. The Add Reminders Add-on allows you to send the same reminder to everyone in your email list or you can send individualized reminders to everyone in your email list.

In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use the Add Reminders Google Sheets Add-on.