Monday, August 3, 2015

Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed in July

Every month Google pushes out updates to the Google Apps suite. Some of those updates are significant to all users (and some are minor things that only the most hardcore Google Apps users will notice. I try to cover a lot of the updates here on but I don't mention all of them. Fortunately, Google provides a monthly summary of all updates in one convenient PDF.

Some Google Apps updates highlights from July include a Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office, creating maps in Google Drive, new Classroom notifications, and apps launcher customizations. Find the whole list of updates and explanations here.

Chemical Reactions in a Safe, Online Environment

BBC Brit's Biggest Bangs is a series of interactive videos that demonstrate how chemicals react with each other. The videos are YouTube videos that take advantage of YouTube's annotations feature.

BBC Brit's Biggest Bangs series starts with an introductory video in which you can choose one of eight chemicals to see how it reacts with another of the eight on the list. The chemicals featured are hydrogen, sodium, sulfur, nitrogen, chlorine, oxygen, iodine, and aluminum. After making chemical selections students are directed to a video that shows what happens when their chosen chemicals are combined. After each reaction video students have the option to return to the start and choose different chemicals.

Applications for Education
While not nearly as engaging as making these reactions in a school lab, BBC Brit's Biggest Bangs is a heck of a lot safer and cheaper way for students to see how chemicals interact with each other. For more virtual chemistry lessons, take a look at these free apps and sites.

H/T to Danny Nicholson for sharing this last week. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

12 Good Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship - A PDF Handout

As we head into the new school year and think about all of the new apps and sites we want to use with students, it's a good time to think about teaching digital citizenship. Whether our students are in Kindergarten or high school before we send them out on the web we should be teaching them digital citizenship. The PDF embedded below, click here if you cannot see it, features my favorite digital citizenship resources for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

How to Save Time When Replying to Email

If you're like me, at the beginning of a new semester or school year you probably find yourself frequently replying to the same type of questions in your email. Try Auto Text Expander for Google Chrome to efficiently reply to those emails. In the video embedded below I provide a short overview of how this helpful Chrome extension works.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Woodstock, Maine where my assistants, Max and Morrison, are patiently waiting to go for a walk in the woods. I'm not sure that there is anything in the world that Max loves more than walking to our favorite pond in the woods to go for a swim and play fetch in the water. Wherever you are in the world today, I hope that you also have fun and relaxing things planned for the weekend.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Great Google Drive Add-ons for Teachers - A PDF Handout
2. Six Styles of Classroom Video Projects - A Handout
3. More Than 500,000 Historical Video Clips
4. Create Short Stories and More on Make Beliefs Comix
5. 7 Good Options for Building Digital Portfolios - A PDF Handout
6. Now Take Notes on Drive Videos with
7. EduSync's TeacherCal Helps You Plan and Organize Lessons

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.