Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Week in Review - A Walk in the Woods

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Woodstock, Maine. It's a beautiful early spring morning for walking in the woods with two loyal dogs. As the sun is rising earlier now so too are my dogs rising earlier in the morning. We've already had one short walk this morning and we'll soon head out for a longer adventure. Before we do that I have this week's list of the most popular posts to share with you.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. New Polling Feature Added to Google Classroom
2. Click to Spin - A Fun and Free Random Name Picker
3. A Short Overview of 12 Tools for Creating Flipped Classroom Lessons
4. Capture Student Ideas with & Google Classroom
5. 11 Backchannel & Informal Assessment Tools Compared in One Chart
6. Try the Google Newspaper Archive to Locate Old Articles and Images
7. Mozilla Releases an Interactive Web Literacy Map

Spring and Summer PD Opportunities With Me
More registrations for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps arrived this week. One month is left to grab your seat at the discounted rate. If coming to Maine isn't an option for you, take a look at the online workshops I'm hosting throughout the spring and summer.

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.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Another Great Resource for Learning About Mount Everest

On Wednesday I shared my list of resources for teaching and learning about Mount Everest. This afternoon, thanks to Larry Ferlazzo, I learned about another good resource for learning about Mount Everest.

Why is Mount Everest so Tall? is a new TED-Ed lesson in which students learn why the peak of Everest is so high, why other mountains are longer from base to summit, and how mountains in general are formed. Through the lesson students can also learn why the heights of mountains change and why Everest may not be the tallest mountain forever.

If you're looking for tools for creating flipped lessons with this video or any others, take a look at this overview of flipped video creation tools

Mozilla Releases an Interactive Web Literacy Map

I was recently contacted by the Mozilla Foundation with news about their recently released interactive guide to teaching web literacy. Mozilla's interactive web literacy map is based on three main components of web literacy; reading, writing, and participating. Each of those elements is linked to smaller, supporting components. Clicking on any component of Mozilla's interactive web literacy map will lead you to a definition for that component.

Mozilla's web literacy map is a handy guide to basic definitions of web literacy and the map does a nice job of showing how all of the components are connected. The real value of the web literacy map is found when you click into Mozilla's web literacy teaching activities.

Mozilla's web literacy teaching activities page contains eighteen sections offering dozens of lesson on everything from basic web literacy like protecting privacy on the web to advanced topics like writing Javascript. There is even a section of lessons designed for teaching web literacy in classrooms in which not every student has access to a computer.

Applications for Education
Mozilla's web literacy teaching activities page offers lessons suitable for use with students of all ages. Should find that the lessons are too difficult or too easy for your students go ahead and modify it to fit your needs. Mozilla offers some tools that you can use in building and sharing your own web literacy learning activities.

Additional web literacy resources that I have reviewed for elementary school settings.  
Additional resources for teaching web literacy to middle school and high school students. 

Snapchat Explained by Students to Teachers

Jenn Scheffer and her students at Burlington Public High School run a great tech help desk blog for teachers and students. This week they tackled an app that is still a mystery to many educators, Snapchat. I encourage any teacher, administrator, librarian, or parent who doesn't understand Snapchat to take some time to read the BPHS Help Desk blog post about Snapchat and watch the video overview of how it works.

Search Strategies for Students - Webinar Recording

Yesterday afternoon I hosted a free webinar, sponsored by Choosito, all about search strategies that all students can employ. The webinar was recorded for people who couldn't attend live (I realize that 4pm Eastern Time isn't the most convenient time for teachers). The recording is now available for everyone to watch. The video is embedded below.

(If you're reading this in RSS or email, you may need to visit the hosting page to view the webinar recording).

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