Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Walk With Elephants in Google Street View

The latest update to Google's Street View imagery takes us to Kenya where we can virtually walk along with elephants. The new imagery features Street View (Street View seems like the wrong name for walking in nature) of Samburu National Reserve, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. In the new imagery you can see elephants, zebras, lions, leopards, and more.

Applications for Education
The imagery of elephants, lions, and other animals get the headlines, but don't overlook the beauty of the plants, watering holes, and other landscape features. Ask students to look closely at the imagery and think about how the natural landscape plays a role in the lives of the animals they're seeing in the new Street View imagery.

Gmail Events Automatically Added to Google Calendar

Here's a neat feature of Google Calendar that I just discovered a few minutes ago. Dates that you have included in email messages in your Gmail (or other mail running through Google Apps) can now be automatically added to your Google Calendar. This doesn't mean that every date in your Gmail will be added to a calendar, only dates that are associated with things that Google's algorithm thinks is an event. For example, I made a hotel reservation today and when I received the confirmation email from Marriott the reservation was automatically added as an event to my Google Calendar.  This feature can be disabled if you don't want to use it. Click here for directions on disabling the Gmail to Calendar feature.

Applications for Education
Automatic scheduling of events could prove to be convenient when you're organizing meetings with parents or colleagues through email messages. Students could use this feature to keep track of assignment due dates. If you're already sending emails to them with a list of due dates, those dates should automatically appear on their calendars.

Protecting Your Passwords and Creating Strong Passwords

Creating a strong password is a good first step to protecting your email and social media accounts from being hacked. But that's just the first step. To really protect your account there are some additional steps you should take like using two-factor authentication. In their most recent video Common Craft explains how to protect your online accounts. Click here to watch the video or you can view it embedded below.

Applications for Education
The tips in the video may be a old news to some of us, but to a lot of students and teachers those tips are new. It also never hurts to remind people of these tips.

For help in creating a strong password consider using a tool like Wolffram Alpha's password generator or Password Bird.

Common Craft videos can be reviewed online for evaluation purposes. To use embed them into a blog as I've done requires a membership (which are very reasonably priced).

Disclosure: I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Marketing Your Teaching Materials - A Free Webinar Next Monday Night

Marketing Your Teaching Materials is a free one hour webinar all about strategies for using blogs, social media, and email to promote the resources that you can sell through the TES Marketplace. The TES Marketplace is open to any educator who wants to offers free and or premium resources to other educators. Educators who sell their resources through the TES Marketplace receive 100% for resources purchased in the U.S. There's no limit to how much you can earn.

In this free webinar on September 21st  at 7:30pm EDT I (Richard Byrne) will share my best strategies for promoting the materials that offer in the TES Marketplace. You'll learn new ways of using social media, blogs, and email to promote your offerings without feeling like you're turning yourself into a sales person. A TES representative will be on the webinar show you the unique features of the TES Marketplace.

Click here to register today!

Attendees will also receive a document that I created to outline the process I use for promoting resources through social media and email. 

A Glossary of Ed Tech Terms

A few years ago I created a glossary of blogging terminology and included it in my guide to using Blogger in schools. I distribute that glossary when I lead workshops on blogging. Distributing the glossary provides everyone in the workshop with a common vocabulary to use. Using that common vocabulary gives people a higher level of comfort in asking questions and more precision in articulating what they need from me.

Chalkup recently published a glossary of ed tech terminology that could be helpful to anyone who is planning to lead an ed tech professional development event. The glossary covers things like 1:1 technology, blended learning, MOOC, and OER. The glossary includes definitions as well as links to additional materials to learn more about a chosen term.

We give students vocabulary lists and glossaries in our classrooms. We should do the same in professional development settings.