Thursday, July 23, 2015

Frequently Overlooked Useful YouTube Features - A PDF Handout

One of the webinars that I did yesterday for Simple K12 was about useful YouTube features for teachers and students. If you couldn't attend the webinar you can still get the handout that I shared during the webinar. 8 Overlooked Useful YouTube Tools is embedded below as a PDF. You can also click here to grab it from

Collect Names on Image-based Riddle Quizzes

Riddle is a nice quiz creation service that launched back in May of this year. Since its launch the developers have steadily added new features. The latest update introduced the option to collect the names and email addresses of people who complete one of your Riddle quizzes.

Riddle quizzes and surveys can be image-based or simply text-based. You can add links to your Riddle quizzes and surveys. Those links could be to sources of information, to videos, or to an online audio recording like those you can find on SoundCloud. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use Riddle to create a quiz.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

50+ Google Tools Tutorial Videos

Earlier today I conducted three webinars about various Google tools for teachers. Each of those webinars was only thirty minutes long so there wasn't a lot of time for individual questions. Since the webinars ended I've had a bunch of emails from folks looking for more instruction. My playlist of Google tools tutorials currently has more than 50 videos covering topics like Google Sites, Blogger, YouTube tricks, Google Calendar settings, and Google Drive features. The playlist can be found here or you can view it as embedded below.

How to Organize Free Conference Calls

Whether it is to collaborate with colleagues or to talk with parents about their children, from time to time you could find yourself in need of a free conference call service. At MindRocket Media Group we've been using for our meetings and it has worked out well. makes it easy for anyone to quickly create a free and private conference call number. To create your account simply visit the site, enter your email address and choose a password. The service will then generate a phone number and an access code for you. Give that number and access code to your attendees and you're ready to start hosting conference calls. does offer some paid upgrades like custom greetings and hold music, but the core service is completely free.

Google Calendar users who want to organize conference calls can put their numbers and access codes into the invitations that they send out as Google Calendar events. Click here to learn how to create Google Calendar events and invite people to them.

Applications for Education
Skype and Google+ Hangouts can be great ways to host virtual meetings with parents. However, if the parents you're trying to invite to a virtual meeting don't have Skype or Google accounts, you have put up an obstacle to meeting. Dialing a phone number and entering an access code when prompted is a much easier way to get parents into a virtual meeting.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Use Your Google or Edmodo Account to Create HSTRY Timelines

Since the first time I tried it last fall I have been impressed with HSTRY. HSTRY is a great multimedia timeline creation tool. There are two features of HSTRY that make it stand-out from the crowd. First, as a teacher you can create an online classroom in which you can view all of your students' timelines. Second, as a teacher you can build questions into timelines that you share with your students. You can even insert explanations of the answers to your questions.

This week HSTRY added two new log-in options for teachers and students. You can now use your Google Account (consumer or Google Apps for Education) or your Edmodo account to use HSTRY. HSTRY now has apps in the Edmodo store and the Chrome store.

If you used HSTRY last year and you're planning to use it again this fall, you'll be happy to note that you can now archive your old HSTRY classrooms.

Check out the video embedded below to learn how to make a HSTRY timeline.

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