Sunday, April 24, 2016

An Informal Chat About Ed Tech Blogging - Recording

Earlier this evening I hosted a Google+ Hangout On Air for people who had questions related to blogging for professional purposes. It was an informal half hour in which I answered a bunch of the questions that I frequently receive in my email on that topic. A few new questions were added into the chat too. If you weren't able to make it, you can now watch the recording on my YouTube channel. (you may want to fast-forward through the first two minutes in which I was just setting things up).

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from sunny Woodstock, Maine where I am about to head out on group bicycle ride. Winter ended early this year so we're taking advantage of the nice weather by going biking.

This week more registrations arrived for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps. Both of them are now more than 50% full. I was down at the host hotel this week and it got me excited about once again leading these hands-on workshops. Early bird registration is available for seven more days.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 16 Educational Resources for Earth Day 2016
2. Scrible Edu Helps Students Organize Research
3. 100 Google Apps Tutorial Videos
4. Three Good Ways to Use All Those Pictures Students Take
5. CaptureCast - Record Screencasts on Your Chromebook
6. GeoGebra Exam Mode Lets You Choose Which Tools Your Students Can Use During Tests
7. Geopedia - A Map & Wikipedia Mashup

Spring and Summer PD Opportunities With Me
  • Discounted early registration for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps is available through the end of the month. 
  • 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. 
FreshGrade is a great online digital portfolio tool. 
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.
FrontRow offers adaptive online ELA and Math practice activities.  
Teach n Go is a comprehensive platform for teaching online courses.
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 22, 2016

Join Me for a Hangout On Air About Ed Tech Blogging

 Every week I get lots of questions from people who want to know how I started FreeTech4Teachers.com, how I maintain it, and, of course, how it helps me make a living. I'll answer those questions and any others that you have during a Google Hangout On Air on Sunday at 7pm EST.

This is informal. There won't be slides or handouts, but it will be posted on my YouTube Channel.

Join me! at 7pm EST on Sunday. You might even get to see my loyal assistants on air.

Aurasma Studio - Create Augmented Reality In Your Web Browser

Earlier this morning I received an email from someone who is coming to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp for the third time. She was looking for ideas on creating augmented reality layers without using an iPad. My first thought went to Aurasma Studio.

Aurasma Studio is developed by the same people that launched the very popular Aurasma iPad app three or four years ago. Aurasma Studio lets you create augmented reality layers of information within your web browser. Within Aurasma Studio you can upload trigger images that will result in an animation or video being displayed when someone views that image in the Aurasma apps. In the Aurasma Studio you specify which animations or videos will be displayed by the trigger image. You can upload your own animations and videos. To make your augmented reality trigger images more accurate, Aurasma Studio lets you set location parameters.

The video below provides an overview of Aurasma Studio.


I've been playing with Aurasma Studio for a little while. One of the things that you should note is that it can take a long time for your videos and or animations to upload and process. In fact, the last one that I made took almost 30 minutes to fully process. So if you're going to use this in your classroom, plan your time accordingly.

How to Create Bookmarks & Reminders With the New Google Keep Extension

Google Keep is a handy tool to taking notes in your web browser, on your Android phone, or on your iPhone. I've previously featured ten ways that students can use Google Keep. This week Google announced some updates to Keep.

The latest version of the Google Keep Chrome extension and the Google Keep Android app enables you to create bookmarks and notes while browsing any webpage. One of the neat things about the extension is that in addition to applying labels and notes to your bookmarks you can also set reminders to share your bookmarks with someone else at a later time.

In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Google Keep to create bookmarks, notes, labels, and reminders within the Chrome web browser.


Applications for Education
As I demonstrated in the video above, creating a reminder to go along with a bookmark could be a good way to time when you share resources with your friends and colleagues. Rather than sharing as soon as you make a bookmark you can time when you want share by using the reminders feature in Google Keep notes. For example, rather than sharing this article on a Friday afternoon when many of my colleagues aren't going to pay much attention to a new bookmark that I've shared (I can't blame them for that), I'll create a reminder to share it on Monday morning when it is more likely to be seen by them.