Friday, April 10, 2015

How to Print a Google Form and or Save it as a PDF

Using Google Forms can be a good way to create a quiz for your students to take. Unfortunately, if not all of your students have access to the web then you might need to print copies of the quiz. I was recently asked how to do this so I shot the following video to demonstrate how to print a Google Form.

Learn a New Language With the Help of Friends on HelloTalk

Disclosure: HelloTalk is running an ad campaign this month.

HelloTalk is a service designed to help students learn a new language. The service operates through free Android and iOS apps. On the HelloTalk apps you can find flashcards, text to speech tools to help you understand how words should be pronounced, speech to text tools to practice your pronunciations, and translation tools are included in the app. HelloTalk currently supports seventeen languages.

A few months ago Nik Peachey, whose work I have long respected, featured HelloTalk in a webinar. The webinar recording has expired but the slides are still available here.

HelloTalk provides a social network component that allows users to connect with native speakers of the languages that they are trying to learn. The connection with native speakers is intended to help learners develop an understanding of a new language in a conversational setting. I was concerned about students under 18 being contacted by adults through the HelloTalk network so I asked the developer about measures taken to prevent this. Here's what he said,
  • "anyone above 18 can't search anyone below 18 (you can verify this by looking at HelloTalk account Settings/Who Can Find Me or Custom Search. Users under 18 can only search for users up to age 22. We deliberately set these rule to protect teenagers."

Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Heat Maps and Lesson Plans

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization is a series of heat maps developed by Georgetown University Professor Adam Rothman and an undergraduate computer science student, Matthew Burdumy.

The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization depicts three patterns. Those patterns are the cumulative frequency of slave voyage port of departure, the cumulative frequency of principal port of slave purchase, and the cumulative frequency of principal port of slave sale. When you press the "animate" button on the maps you will see the increasing frequency of each pattern represented by expanding and darkening color blotches on the maps.

Applications for Education
The data used in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization came from the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database. On the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database you can find a series of lesson plans in which students have to draw conclusions from data about the Trans Atlantic slave trade. This first lesson plan in the series, The 1808 Slave Trade Abolition Deadline is a good match for the third map in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Visualization series. That map is a heat map of the cumulative frequency of principal port of slave sale.

H/T to Maps Mania.

More eEtiquette - 101 Guidelines for the Digital World

Yesterday, I shared a video featuring five email etiquette tips for students. A good follow-up to that video can be found on the website eEtiquette. eEtiquette is a simple site that features digital etiquette tips for all of us. The tips cover everything from email etiquette to social network etiquette to cell phone etiquette. Although the subtitle of the site says there are 101 guidelines there are actually more than 101 guidelines on the site. Some of the best etiquette guidelines are available on a free poster that you can download from eEtiquette

Applications for Education
After reviewing the digital etiquette tips on the site, students can test their knowledge in the free eEtiquette iOS game

One word of caution about eEtiquette. The comments section of the site doesn't appear to be closely moderated so you may run into some spam comments in it. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

FAQs About the 2015 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

Last month I announced that I will be hosting the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp again this year. The two day event will be held in Portland, Maine at the Holiday Inn By the Bay. The dates are July 13th and 14th, 2015. Discounted early registration is still available. In the last couple of weeks I have received quite a few questions about the summer camp. Those common questions and their answers are provided below.

1. Are CEUs/ certificates/ graduate credits available?
The past two years I've given certificates for 16 hours of professional development. Some schools accept these for re-certification/ continuing education points and some do not. If it helps you or your administrator decide if the hours will help you qualify for re-certification, a general outline of topics for the two days is available here. There is not a university arrangement for graduate credit at this time.

2. Can I register with a purchase order / check from my school?
Yes, you can. To register with a purchase order or a check from your school email me or have your business administrator email at richardbyrne (at) and I will register you on receipt of the purchase order.

3. My school is transitioning to Google Apps for Education, will this help me?
In short, yes. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp will include the use of Google tools in each day. We will share methods for incorporating Google tools into much of what we do. That said, this is not focused only on Google tools. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is based on my framework of Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration. The first day is focused helping students use technology to discover and discuss. Day two is focused on demonstrating knowledge by creating new digital content including podcasts, videos, and other multimedia productions.

4. I want to bring my principal, will she/he benefit from attending?
Absolutely! As I've heard my friend Scott McLeod say, "the leaders must get it." This is a great opportunity for your principal to gain a great understanding of what you and your colleagues want to do when school starts again in the fall. Equally importantly, they'll learn why you want to do it.

5. My school is going 1:1 with iPads, will this help me?
Yes. We will be looking at a bunch of apps and their applications for classrooms.

6. We would love to attend but the dates don't work for us, will you be offering this at another time?
At this time I don't have plans to offer the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp on other dates. I am more than happy to come to your school district to offer a workshop. Please click here for information about my on-location professional development services.

7. Will you be streaming this online?
No. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is designed to be hands-on and a livestream wouldn't capture much.

8. How do I get to Portland, Maine? What can I do once I'm there? How do I get around in Portland?
Portland has an international airport serviced by US Airways/ American, United, Delta, SouthWest, and Jet Blue. Boston/ Logan Airport is about two hours away. The hotel is about a ten minute cab ride from the airport. Uber is available in Portland. We’re done for the day you can walk to dozens of restaurants along the Old Port’s cobblestone streets, walk to the ocean, or even hop a boat and take a sunset cruise to see the islands in Casco Bay. Beaches are just a few minutes drive from the hotel.

9. Why isn't this event free?
There are two reasons why it isn't free. First, I incur a lot of expenses in organizing and hosting the event. Second, while all of the sites and apps we will use are free, my time for teaching about them isn't free.

10. I want to sign up, where do I do that?
Click here to register online. Contact me via email at richardbyrne (at) to register with a purchase order or school check.

If the answer to your question wasn't provided above, please feel free to contact me directly at richardbyrne (at)