Saturday, April 2, 2016

Try the Google Newspaper Archive to Locate Old Articles and Images

Earlier this week I shared the U.S. News Map which is a database of newspapers that displays search results on a map of the United States. The U.S. News Map is limited to the years of 1836 to 1925 and is limited to U.S. newspapers. The Google News Newspaper archive offers a larger selection of newspapers both in terms of years and geography. In the Google News Newspaper archive you can search for a specific newspaper, search for article titles, or as demonstrated below you can search for a topic.

XtraMath Helps Teachers Help Students Learn Math in ASL

XtraMath is a free service designed to help teachers and parents help their students learn basic mathematics skills. The service provides an online environment in which students complete practice activities that are recorded and shared with their teachers and parents. The lessons provided by XtraMath come in video format. Recently, XtraMath added support for ASL. This is in addition to the six other languages previously supported by XtraMath.

Learn more about XtraMath in the videos below.


XtraMath Overview from XtraMath on Vimeo.



XtraMath in the Classroom from XtraMath on Vimeo.


Applications for Education 
XtraMath does not remove the need for students to learn directly from teachers and parents. It's not trying to be like Khan Academy. The purpose of XtraMath is to help teachers and parents monitor the progress that their students are making and prepare lessons that meet students where they are.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Storyboard That Offers Earth Day Lesson Plans

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Earth Day 2016 is three weeks away. If you're trying to develop a lesson plan to correspond with Earth Day, take a look at what Storyboard That is offering this month. Storyboard That's Earth Day Activities page offers eleven lesson plan ideas appropriate for elementary school and middle school classrooms. Some of the featured plans on Storyboard That's Earth Day Activity page include creating "cool Earth facts" storyboards, creating comics about how to help the Earth, and creating public service announcements about pollution and pollution prevention.

Applications for Education
Storyboard That's Earth Day activities are short enough to be completed in 30-60 minutes. The activities are also written in such a way that they can easily be modified to fit the specific needs of your curriculum.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Month in Review - #Masonshome

Good evening from Maine where the sun is setting on the month of March. The highlight of the month for me was bringing home a new family member. Three weeks ago I adopted Mason from Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. He's a nine year old German Shepherd and Golden Retriever mix and he is an awesome marshmallow of a dog.

In other news, this month the first registrations for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps came in. One month is left to grab your seat at the discounted rate. As you think about your summer PD plans, please take a look at the in-person and online workshops I'm hosting throughout the spring and summer.

Here are the most popular posts of March, 2016:
1. Click to Spin - A Fun and Free Random Name Picker
2. Three Helpful Google Docs Updates Released This Week
3. Travel the Iditarod Race in Google Street View
4. My Favorite Internet Search Tips for Teachers & Students
5. More Than 40 Alternatives to YouTube
6. 3 Tips for Using YouTube Videos In Your Classroom
7. 5 Things We Can do to Prepare Students to Work Independently
8. Six Tools for Creating Videos on Chromebooks
9. Five Tools for Sharing Portions of Videos
10. Three Tools Students Can Use to Add Annotations to Videos

Professional Development Opportunities!
There will be two Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps this year. There will be one tailored to schools that have 1:1 Chromebook programs and one for everyone else. Both Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps will be held in July. You can learn more about them here. Discounted early registration is available now. The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp has sold out every year for the last three years.

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. 
Cloudschool is a great online LMS and course creation tool. 
Google Forms in the Classroom is a good book on all things Google Forms. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
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.

OpenDNS Family Shield - A Good Option for Home Network Monitoring

Family Shield, powered by OpenDNS, is a service that can be used to filter the content accessed by anyone on your home network. Family Shield is designed to filter adult websites, proxy and anonymizer websites, and phishing websites. Step-by-step directions are provided for setting-up Family Shield on your home computer(s) and router(s).

Applications for Education
While I generally prefer to emphasize education about the Internet over blocking access to the Internet  I also understand that a lot of parents would still prefer to have a way to restrict the content their children can access from home. If you're asked by a parent for advice on Internet filtering at home, consider referring that person to Family Shield.