Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Week in Review - The Lilacs Have Arrived

Good morning from the temporary Byrne Instructional Media, LLC office in Connecticut. I'm working in Connecticut this morning because I'm down here to see the hooding ceremony for my friend of 20+ years who has just completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

Meanwhile back in Maine the lilacs in my meager garden have started to bloom. Hopefully, we don't get any more snow to cover them as we did briefly on Monday morning.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Create an Interactive Video Summary of the School Year
2. Great Tools for Creating Screencasts - A PDF Handout
3. More Than 100 Sets of Primary Source Documents for Students
4. How to Create a Biking or Walking Route Map in Google Maps
5. How to Create a Google Spaces Community
6. Geopedia - A Map & Wikipedia Mashup
7. How to Create an Interactive Series of Videos

Spring and Summer PD Opportunities With Me
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.
Buncee offers a great tool for creating visual stories. 

FreshGrade Helps You Quickly Create Video Slideshows of Your Students' Best Work

While I was preparing my handout on digital portfolios I noticed a cool feature in FreshGrade that is perfect for the end of the school year. In your FreshGrade account you can quickly create video slideshows highlighting your students' best work. To do this simply sign into your FreshGrade account then under the reporting tab select create learning slideshow. Then to create the learning slideshow choose a student's name, choose up to ten images, and then the video slideshow is created for you much like the way that an Animoto video slideshow is created.

Applications for Education
FreshGrade's learning slideshows can be shared directly with your students' parents. This could be a great way to send home a positive note to parents at the end of the school year.

Disclosure: FreshGrade is currently running an advertising campaign on FreeTech4Teachers.com

10 Good Options for Creating Digital Portfolios - A PDF Handout

For the majority of readers of this blog the end of the school year is already here or will be here within a month. This is the time of year that I get a lot of requests for suggestions on digital portfolio tools. If you find yourself looking for a digital portfolio tool and or have colleagues asking for suggestions, take a look at the ten options featured in my PDF handout embedded below or grab the Google Docs copy.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Interview With Colleague 2 Colleague

In August I am keynoting the Colleague 2 Colleague conference in Missouri. As a promotion for the conference, yesterday I was interviewed by the conference chair, Brent Zweifel. The video of the interview is embedded below.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

theLearnia Offers a Good Way to Create Video Lessons

theLearnia is a free service that I reviewed about four years ago when it was primarily a social network built around video lessons. This week I took another look at theLearnia and learned that the site is now focused on helping teachers create video-based lessons.

On theLearnia you can create video lessons up to fifteen minutes in length. Your video lessons can be simple whiteboard style instructional videos or they can be videos based on slides that you either create on theLearnia or upload as PowerPoint files. I gave the service a try this afternoon. I simply uploaded a set of PowerPoint slides then hit the record button to narrate what was shown on my slides. theLearnia also provides tools for drawing on top of your slides and or writing additional text. Videos created on theLearnia are hosted for free and you can share your videos through typical social media channels and or by embedding your video into your blog or website. You can see my test video here.

Applications for Education
theLearnia could be a good way for teachers who already have a bunch of PowerPoint slides to turn those slides into flipped video lessons.