Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from the FreeTech4Teachers.com world headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. Spring has finally arrived here though some signs of winter still remain. I was able to ride my bike outside a few times this week. On each ride I passed ponds, like the one in the picture to the left, that still had lots of ice covering them. Fortunately, all that ice and last bits of snow will soon be gone and students here can enjoy school vacation week. Spring school vacation week started here today. If you're on vacation this week, I hope that you enjoy it to its fullest.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Tools for Creating Animations in Your Browser or On Your Tablet
2. Parapara Animation - Create Stopmotion Animations in Your Browser
3. Analyze My Writing - Way More Than Word Clouds
4. Inspire Young Writers With Write About
5. Stay Focusd - A Chrome Extension That Helps You Eliminate Distractions
6. Ten Resources for Helping Students Learn to Code and Program
7. 5 Videos on Making Flipped Video Lessons

The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp being held on July 13 &14. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is a two day, hands-on learning experience for teachers. This year's event is being held in downtown Portland, Maine just a few blocks from the ocean, great dining, and iconic lighthouses.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
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 host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.

Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Create a Short Flipped Lesson With Vialogues

Vialogues is a free service that allows you to build online discussions around videos hosted online and videos that you have saved on your computer. Registered users can upload videos to Vialogues or use YouTube videos as the centerpieces of their conversations. In the video embedded below I provide a short overview of how Vialogues works.


Applications for Education
Vialogues could be a great tool to use to publish questions for your students to answer while they are watching a video that you have created or found online. You could also use the comments in Vialogues to simply call attention to a specific point made in a video. I'm thinking that I would write comments like, "make sure you know this when you write your essay."

Classmill - Create Online Courses

Classmill is a new service for creating self-paced online courses. David Kapuler wrote a short blurb about Classmill earlier this week and I finally got around to trying it out this morning.

On Classmill you can create public or private (invitation-only) courses. Courses are built as a series of modules. In each module you can include videos, text, images, links, and file attachments. You can also embed games and interactive simulations into each module. A discussion forum is automatically added to each module in your course. If you make your course private you will have to email invitations to your students.

Applications for Education
Classmill could be a good platform through which you build self-paced professional development courses. It could also be a good platform for building summer enrichment courses for middle school and high school students.

Spring & Summer PD Opportunities With Me

Spring is here and before too long we'll be breaking out our flip-flops and shorts for summer. If part of your summer plan calls for professional development, I have some opportunities for you.

On July 13th and 14th I am hosting the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp in Portland, Maine. This event is a hands-on exploration of how to use free technology tools in your classroom. This two day workshop is based on my framework for using technology to help students discover new information, discuss their ideas, and demonstrate their knowledge. Only eight seats are left. Click here to learn more.

This spring and summer I'm hosting three sections of my popular online course Getting Going With GAFE (Google Apps for Edu). Each course meets live online once per week for five weeks. Three graduate credits are available for completing the course. The next section starts on April 28th. The first summer section begins on June 2nd and the second summer section begins on July 2nd. Click here to learn more about these courses.

On July 6th I'll be starting the summer section of my online course Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders. Three graduate credits are available for this course. Click here for more information.

If you would like your entire department or school to participate in an online professional development activity, I am happy to work with you to create a custom webinar series for you. I host all trainings through GoToTraining which provides HD broadcasting and recording of all sessions.

Of course, I love to visit schools in person. Send me an email (richardbyrne at freetech4teachers.com) or click here to learn more about in-person presentations.

How to Download KML Data from Google Maps

Last summer Google transitioned maps made with Classic Google Maps and Google Maps Engine Lite to their new My Maps platform. This morning I received an email from the Google Maps team announcing that you need to export the KML files of your original maps or lose them on June 1st when all maps will be forced into the new My Maps formatting. If you're happy with the way that the new version of your maps looks, there is nothing that you need to do. If you want to store the original KML file then you will need to export that file. I created the video embedded below to demonstrate how to export KML files from Google Maps.