Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Six Timeline Creation Tools for Students Compared In an Updated Chart

Last August I published a chart in which I compared the core features of six online timeline creation tools. Since then one of the tools, Dipity, seems to have gone offline. In its place I now feature History In Motion which allows students to create timelines that are synchronized with placemarks on a map. My complete chart of timeline creation tools for students is embedded below. You can also get the Google Docs version here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Join Me This Summer for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps

All winter people have been asking if I will be hosting the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp again this year. I’m excited to announce that not only will I be hosting the Practical Tech Summer Camp this year, I’ll be doing it twice!

This summer I will host the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp on July 11-12, 2016 and the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp on July 18-19, 2016.

The Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp is for people who work in schools that have BYOD programs and 1:1 laptop programs (Mac or Windows), iPads, Android tablets, Windows tablets, or who have shared computers in a classroom or lab setting. Click here to register or to read more information. Registration is limited to 25 people.

The Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp is for people who work in schools that have 1:1 Chromebook programs or are interested in learning more about Chromebooks in education. This two day event is very similar to the BYOD event but is tailored to address the unique aspects of teaching with Chromebooks. As you might expect, there will be quite a bit of attention given to using Google Apps in the classroom. Click here to register or to read more information.

Subscriber discount! People who are subscribed to the newsletter can receive an additional $25 discount on early registrations completed online. Send me an email richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers(dot)com for details on how to get that discount.

The 2016 Google Science Fair is Now Open

The 2016 Google Science Fair is now open. This annual event asks thirteen to eighteen year old students to carry out a test or experiment on a topic that they are passionate about and then submit their projects online. The theme of this year's Google Science Fair is on improving a process, solving a global problem, or generally making change through science. To that end the 2016 Google Science has a slogan of "#howcanwe make things better with science?"

To help students develop project ideas the Google Science Fair website offers a Make Better Generator. The Make Better Generator site asks students to complete the phrases "I love," "I'm good at," and "I will make better." From the students' responses to these questions the Make Better Generator site generates a collection of videos and websites that could spark project ideas in their minds.
Entries into the 2016 Google Science Fair are due by May 18th.

Applications for Education
The Google Science Fair website includes a section for teachers in which you will find lesson plans addressing the topics of how science changes the world and what good science looks like. These lesson plans are designed to guide students in the processes of inquiry and experiment design.

Organize Research While Creating Slides on Buncee

For years I've used the slideshow creation process as a means of organizing my thoughts. I teach the same idea to students. The process of sequencing slides and elements within slides can help students organize the ideas that they will later write about in a research paper or persuasive article. Buncee is one of the tools that students can use in that process.

Last month I wrote a post in which I featured Buncee's integrated image search. The integrated image search within Buncee makes it easy for students to find appropriate images and animations to use within their multimedia slide presentations. Organizing slides within Buncee is a simple drag-and-drop process. Using the drag-and-drop process can be a good way for students to organize their thoughts and their research.

To get started organizing ideas in Buncee students can search for images, videos, animations, and audio files related to their chosen keywords. Once they have found media assets that they like students can drag and drop them into place on their slides. The drawing tools within Buncee slides can be used by students to draw connections between items in their slides. If students create slides out of order or later decide that there is a better sequence, they can simply drag and drop slides into a new order.

Disclosure: Buncee is a client of MindRocket Media Group. I am a partner in MindRocket Media Group.

Tagboard Offers New Features for Following Hashtags Across Multiple Networks

Tagboard is a tool that allows you follow a hashtag and see all of the Tweets, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ posts about it in one place. Last year I created a tutorial video about Tagboard in which I demonstrated its primary features. Today, Tagboard added some new features that teachers will probably appreciate.

Tagboard now offers some post moderation tools. You can now block or remove posts and users within a saved Tagboard. Within a saved Tagboards you can now filter by keyword, post type, and or social network.

Applications for Education
Tagboard can be a good tool for tracking trending news stories with your students. The new moderation features will be helpful if you are planning to display a Tagboard in your classroom. Before displaying the Tagboard go through and remove any content that you don't want to share with your students.

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