Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Use Padlet - My Most Popular Tutorial Video

This evening I was doing a sorting of videos in my YouTube channel. I moved some older, sample videos from public to private. I also took a look at the viewing statistics for my Practical Ed Tech playlist and noticed that my tutorial on Padlet is by far the most viewed video I have ever made. There are now more than 79,000 views of it. I am thrilled that it has helped so many people. The video is embedded below. And if you want to use to in a resource page on your own site or blog, please feel free to do the same.

Halloween Writing Lessons from BoomWriter

Every month BoomWriter publishes a new set of vocabulary words to incorporate into writing lessons for elementary and middle school students. The vocabulary word sets are aligned to seasons and holidays. This month the vocabulary set has a Halloween theme.

The new Halloween-themed vocabulary lesson plans can be conducted through their free WordWriter service. WordWriter allows teachers to create vocabulary lists that they want students to incorporate into a writing assignment. The new Halloween-themed lesson plans include pre-made lists of Halloween-themed words for your students to use in the writing assignment that you distribute to them.

If you haven't tried BoomWriter or WordWriter before, check out my demonstration videos embedded below. The first video shows just the perspective of the teacher. The second video shows the perspective of a student receiving an assignment.

Disclosure: BoomWriter is an advertiser on

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from the world headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. The sun is shining and it's a crisp 41F this morning. In other words, it's a perfect morning for walking in the woods with my dog, Max. Before we put on our blaze orange and head into the woods, I have this week's list of the most popular posts to share with you.

And just a quick reminder, if you want to receive this list as a weekly email, the once-per-week Practical Ed Tech newsletter contains this list too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Zing! - Thousands of Free eBooks for Students
2. 5 Research Tools Students Often Overlook
3. Three Ways of Assessing Students' Understanding Through Mobile Phones
4. 5 Great Ways You Can Use Google Sites With Students
5. 5 Stories Your Students Can Tell Through Maps
6. ReadWorks Offers a New Selection of Social Studies Articles for All Grades
7. 5 Five Google Forms Add-ons I Frequently Recommend

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development 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.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
MasteryConnect offers a series of apps for identifying standards. 
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.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers.
PortfolioGen is a professional portfolio tool for teachers.  
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Zing! - Thousands of Free eBooks for Students

Zing is a new service offering thousands of free fiction and non-fiction ebooks to teachers and students. On Zing you can browse for books by topic, language, or reading level. You can read the books in your web browser on a laptop or tablet.

Zing is more than just a repository of free ebooks. In the Zing reader students will find a built-in dictionary and tools for taking notes while they read.

Applications for Education
If you create an accounts on Zing you will be able to create Zing classrooms. In those classrooms you can create and manage accounts for students. Through your Zing classroom portal you can check your students' reading logs.

I like the potential that Zing is showing. I did find the registration process and initial set-up of a classroom to be a bit time intensive. To really unlock the full potential of Zing you would need to spend some time exploring all of the nuances of the service.

65 Videos About Google Apps

Over the last year I've made a concerted effort to organize playlists of the tutorial videos that I create and publish on YouTube. The most popular of those playlists is my collection of Google Apps tutorial videos. 65 videos are now in the playlist. In the playlist you will find tutorials on Google Sites, Blogger, YouTube tricks, Google Calendar settings, Google My Maps, Google Docs, Slides, Spreadsheets, and many other Google products. The playlist can be viewed here or you can view it as embedded below.

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