Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Drag and Drop Pictures into Blogger Blog Posts

Earlier this week I noticed a feature in Blogger that I hadn't seen before. That feature is the option to drag images from your desktop directly into your blog posts. It doesn't present a huge change to the way that I write blog posts, but it is a nice convenience. In the video below I demonstrate how it works. In the video I also give a tip about resizing images in Blogger.


My free guide to using Blogger in the classroom has now been downloaded more than 20,000 times. You can get a copy here.

Create Your Own Virtual Reality Imagery With Cardboard Camera

Earlier this morning I exclaimed on Twitter that Google's new Cardboard Camera app is my favorite Android app of 2015. Cardboard Camera was released yesterday and I immediately installed it on my Motorola X Pure Edition phone (this phone is completely unlocked from carrier restrictions).

Cardboard Camera is a free Android app that enables you to create your own virtual reality imagery to use in Google's Cardboard Viewer.

With the Cardboard Camera app installed on your Android phone or tablet you can capture 360 degree panoramic imagery. If you choose to keep your phone's microphone turned on, you can capture sound with your imagery. To capture imagery simply open the app, tap the camera icon, then start recording. Slowly move your phone from left to right and turn 360 degrees to completely capture the images around you. Cardboard Camera will tell you if you are moving too quickly or too slowly. Once you've captured your imagery you can view it through the Cardboard Viewer. Unfortunately, the Cardboard Viewer is not free but it is inexpensive. Schools that are selected for the Expeditions Pioneer Program will get viewers for free.
Screenshot of VR imagery captured at my house.
Applications for Education
The Cardboard Camera app could be a great app for students to use to on field trips to capture and relive their favorite sights and sounds.

The R&R Show - Answers to Your Ed Tech Questions and More

Last month the R&R Show featuring me and Dr. Rod Berger finally got on a consistent production schedule. We're now releasing one new episode every week. In each episode we answer some ed tech questions from readers of Free Technology for Teachers and discuss an education policy or practice issue. Six episodes are now available. You can find all of the episodes on Vimeo and on the EdCircuit Facebook page. As you can see in the episode embedded below, we have fun recording these shows.


R&Repisode6 from MindRocket Media Group on Vimeo.


If you have a question that you would like to have me answer please feel free to submit it on Twitter with the hashtag #askrichardbyrne, through the EdCircuit Facebook page, or by sending me an email richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

And for commentary on education policy issues and the business of ed tech, check out EdCircuit.com

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to Refine a Google Search By Domain

One of the overlooked search strategies that I often share with students and their teachers is refining their search results by domain. Doing this is rather easy, but it's a strategy that is often overlooked by students and teachers. In the video below I provide a demonstration of how to refine Google search results according to domain.

Science Snacks - Fun, Hands-on Science Lessons

Science Snacks from Exploratorium is a great collection of hands-on science lessons for middle school and high school students. Science Snacks features activities that can be conducted with inexpensive and readily available materials. Each Science Snack comes with a materials list and step-by-step directions. Science Snacks are also accompanied by a written explanation of the science at work in the activity. Many Science Snacks, like Penny Battery, include video demonstrations and explanations.

You can search for Science Snacks alphabetically or you can search by subject. The subject search is the best way to search if you are looking for an activity to match a lesson plan or curriculum standard that you already have in mind.

Applications for Education
While originally designed for middle school and high school students, many of the Science Snacks could be altered to fit in an elementary school setting.

Many of the Science Snacks activities could be conducted by middle school and high school students at home with the help/ supervision of parents. Using the Science Snacks in that way could be a good alternative to typical homework assignments. Have students do one of the activities for homework and report their observations in Google Documents or as comments in Google Classroom.