Thursday, February 26, 2015

Webinar Recording - Storyboards in the Classroom

Last night I hosted a webinar with Aaron Sherman from Storyboard That. During the webinar we took a look at the new features of Storyboard That and how those features can be used in the classroom. Some of the new features include captioning storyboard frames, new graphic organizer layouts, and a slew of new teacher guides. The slides from the webinar are available here. The recording of the webinar is embedded below.

Storyboard That is an advertiser on

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to Send Invitations to Events from Your Google Calendar Account

One of my favorite features of Google Calendar is the option to send email invitations to my events directly from my calendar. For example, when I schedule a meeting with three colleagues I simply put the meeting into my calendar then send invitations to those colleagues from my calendar event. My colleagues will receive email notifications of the event time, place, and any other details that I've added to the event's description. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to send email invitations to Google Calendar events.

I'll cover topics like this one and many more in my upcoming online course Getting Going With GAFE. Three graduate credits are available for completing the course.

60 Second Lessons on the Presidents of the United States

Grover Cleveland 
Thanks to Ken Halla's US History Teachers Blog I recently learned about PBS Learning Media's new series of short videos about all of the Presidents of the United States. In the series there is one short (60-90 seconds) video about each president for a total of 44 videos. The playlist is embedded below.

Applications for Education
If YouTube is blocked in your school you can view and download all of the videos through PBS Learning Media. In the same section of PBS Learning Media you can find 15 lesson plans about past Presidents and First Ladies.

Public domain image courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs online collection

Google Classroom Now Lets You Customize Your Classroom Themes

Google has just announced the addition of some nice new features to Google Classroom. In your Google Classroom account you can now upload your own images to use as background themes. If you teach multiple courses, you can apply different custom themes to each of those courses. An image cropping tool is included in Classroom to help you customize your themes.
Image courtesy of the Google Apps for Edu team
In other news, students can now use the Google Classroom iPad app to attach images and videos to their Classroom assignments even if those images and files were made using apps outside of the Google suite of services. Both the Android and iPad Google Classroom apps now let students view their courses' About pages to quickly access course materials.

How to Create a Contact Group in Gmail and Use It to Share Google Drive Files

This morning I received an email from a reader who is not using Google Classroom, but is using Google Drive to create and share files with her students. She wanted to know if there is an easier way than entering individual email addresses to share files privately. The answer is yes. If you create a contact group in Gmail you can use that group's name when to quickly share a Google Drive file with everyone in the group. I demonstrate this process in the video embedded below.