Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Woodstock, Maine where the fireworks are popping all over town. Even though my dogs aren't happy about the fireworks I'm happy to be home with them after a busy week at the ISTE conference. The conference was a great opportunity to meet new people and re-connect with old friends. I'm already looking forward to next year's conference.

Part of the ISTE news is that I have joined the leadershop team of MindRocket Media Group. I'll be doing work with MRMG as a product analyst. Don't worry, I'll be keeping the same posting schedule here on

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Create Stop Motion Animations with KomaKoma
2. My Maps - Create and Edit Maps in Google Drive
3. Actively Learn - Create, Distribute, Assess Reading Activities
4. SeeSaw - Easily Create Digital Portfolios on iPads, Chromebooks, and Android Tablets
5. The Open Library - Borrow and Read Thousands of Ebooks
6. Google Classroom Gets a Share Button and More New Features
7. Ten Great Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures - A PDF Handout

Summer PD Opportunities With Me.
Teaching History With Technology begins in July.
Getting Going With GAFE is offered in June and July.
Blogs & Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is offered in July.

Would you like to have me visit your school? Click here to learn about my PD services.

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.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
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.

The Science of Fireworks

Fireworks are popping around my little town this evening. Of course, my dogs are not happy about that. The upside of hearing the amateur fireworks displays is that it reminded me of a couple of videos about the science of fireworks.

If you or your children are wondering how the fireworks actually work, take a look at the following videos from National Geographic and Discovery News.

Both of these videos could be the basis of a flipped science lesson. In this post I provided an overview of how to use five services to create flipped video lessons.

5 Videos About Classroom Backchannel Tools

Earlier today I shared a video about using 81Dash as a moderated backchannel tool. In the past I've published videos about using TodaysMeet and Tozzl for the same purposes. All of those videos are included in the playlist embedded below (there are two videos about TodaysMeet).

Back in April I hosted a free webinar about using backchannels in the classroom. The recording of that webinar is embedded below.

How to Create a Moderated Classroom Backchannel

Earlier this week I shared some news about updates to 81Dash. 81Dash is a free service for creating moderated classroom backchannels as well as shared task lists. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use the features of 81Dash.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Few Educational Resources Related to the Tour de France

My local bike club jersey.
The Tour de France begins on Saturday. Check out this animated video to learn all about the tactics of the race, the logistics of the race, the physiology of riding in the race, and many other interesting facts about the world's most famous bicycle race.

If watching the race (broadcast on NBC Sports in the US) inspires you to get outside and ride a bike, don't forget your helmet. The Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky offers some good resources about brain injury prevention. One of those resources is a short animated video designed to teach students about the need for wearing a helmet and how to wear helmets when biking or skateboarding. In the video students learn how to pick a helmet and how to properly fit a helmet. Watch the two minute video below.

The Science Behind the Bike is a four part video series from The Open University. The series has a total running length of 33 minutes and is a complement to a larger Open Learn course called The Science Behind Wheeled Sports. The videos and the course are designed to help students understand the physics, the physiology,  and the technology that influence the outcome of cycling events.

Sticking with the science of bicycling, Global Cycling Network offers a video addressing the question of whether having a light bike or light body makes the bigger difference in speed on a bike. The video is a bit long, but worth watching for the process and outcome. Ask your students for predictions before jumping to the end.