Wednesday, May 18, 2016

More Than 100 Sets of Primary Source Documents for Students

A few years ago I wrote a post about searching through the Digital Public Library of America to locate primary source documents to use with students. At that point the DPLA had relatively few, loosely organized collections. Yesterday, I received an email from DPLA informing me that they now have more than 100 primary source document sets for students.

The DPLA's primary source document sets are organized by subject and time period in United States history. Depending upon the time period the DPLA primary source sets include documents, drawings, maps, photographs, and film clips. A list of points to consider accompanies each artifact in each set. Teachers should scroll to the bottom of the page on each artifact to find a teaching guide related to the primary source set.

Applications for Education
The DPLA's primary source sets provide teachers and students with a convenient way to find primary source documents. For teachers it can be a good way to locate resources to use in a lesson plan. For students the sets can provide a good start to a research project.

On the topic of primary sources, this video provides students with a great explanation of the differences between primary and secondary sources.

Last month I outlined five good activities for teaching with primary sources. My favorite on that list is layering old maps on top of current maps in Google Earth.

Places We Can Connect

Over the weekend I received an email from a reader who requested more pictures of my dogs. The email simply read, "more dog pictures, please! Are you on Instagram?" Yes, I am on Instagram. My Instagram profile is public so that everyone can enjoy pictures of my dogs, scenery around western Maine, and any other random things that I photograph.

Other places that you can find me online:
Twitter - I Tweet my blog posts, links to the blog posts of others, and answer questions as best as I can. Occasionally, I'll share a picture or two on Twitter.

Facebook - The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page has about 428,000 likes right now. I have a personal Facebook page that I use only for friends and family. My rule of thumb on accepting friend requests on my personal Facebook page is that we have to have shared some kind of meaningful in-person experience like working together, eating together, playing sports together, or being from the same gene pool.

YouTube - My YouTube channel now has more than 300 tutorial videos that I've created.

LinkedIn - I'm on it, but I'm rarely on it more than once a week.

Pinterest - I have some Pinterest boards. Admittedly, I stopped using it for a while and now I'm back on it.

Email - you can always email me at richardbyrne (at) I do my best to respond quickly. I do appreciate being addressed by name in an email instead of just "hey" or "hi" (pro tip for PR people, using an spelling my name correctly drastically increases your odds of me opening and reading your email).

Let's connect offline:
In June I'll be at a bunch of events, please say hello if you see me. Or Tweet me to meet up with you. This is where I'll be in June in this order:
Glendale, AZ
Abilene, TX
Amarillo, TX
Topeka, KS
Flagstaff, AZ
St. Joseph, MO
Nashville, TN
Denver, CO - ISTE Conference

How to Download Your Remind Message History

This morning I received an email from Remind (formerly Remind 101) that reminded that I can download my message history. The history option lets me choose a range of dates in which messages were sent and then save those messages in PDF format. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how easy it is to download a history of Remind messages.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video above, downloading a message history can be a good way to keep a physical record of messages sent and received. For teachers and or student teachers who are trying to demonstrate their efforts to communicate with parents, a copy of Remind message history could be useful in that endeavor.

This video is one of more than 200 practical ed tech tips and tutorials that you can find on my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Create an Interactive Video Summary of the School Year

As the end of the school year approaches you might find yourself looking for a way to create an audio slideshow of highlights of the school year. YouTube's photo slideshow tool, Stupeflix, and Animoto all offer easy ways to create audio slideshow videos. Wideo does that too and also allows you to add interactive elements to your video. On Wideo you can insert interactive buttons into each frame of your video. The buttons can be hyperlinked to any webpage that you like. When people are watching your video they can click the buttons to be taken to the webpage you want them to land on. My video embedded below shows you how to create interactive videos on Wideo.

Applications for Education
With Wideo you could create a video to showcase highlights of the school year that include links to examples of students' work, links to information about places visited on a school field trip, or a link from a closing slide to information about summer learning programs for students.

How to Make a Good Explanatory Video - Research, Planning, Editing

MinuteEarth is a popular YouTube channel whose videos I've featured a handful of times on this blog. Their short videos provide explanations of interesting science topics like why rivers curve and why it is hot underground. Last week MinuteEarth published a video about the process their team uses to produce their videos.

Applications for Education
This video could be helpful in showing students the process of creating a good, concise explanatory video. In particular, it is notable that the visual components are the last things added to the video.

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