Sunday, July 31, 2016

How to Move from Zaption to EDpuzzle In Three Steps (Zaption is closing)

A couple of weeks ago when I shared the news that Zaption is closing I also shared some suggestions for alternatives to using Zaption. One of those suggestions was to try EDpuzzle. The folks at EDpuzzle saw that post and created a video for followers of this blog who would like to switch from Zaption to EDpuzzle. In the video embedded below you can learn how to quickly import your Zaption tours into EDpuzzle.

Evernote's Free Plan Is Almost Worthless - Here Are Two Good Alternatives

At the end of June Evernote announced some significant changes to their subscription plans including the free service that they had offered for years. Last night I received a reminder email from Evernote prodding me to buy up to one of their premium plans. I deleted the email because I switched away from Evernote and started using Google Keep for all of my bookmarking and note-taking needs.

Google Keep can be used on any device on which I sign into my Google Account. As you can see in the video embedded below, you can add labels to your Google Keep notes. Those labels can also be applied to bookmarks. All Google Keep notes and bookmarks can be shared with others.


Microsoft's OneNote is another alternative to Evernote that you might consider. It works on Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android devices. I don't use it simply because I have been a Google Apps user for so long. Jeff Bradbury offers a bunch of resources that can help you learn how to use OneNote. Microsoft has published an official tutorial on how to move your information from Evernote to OneNote.

To clarify, Evernote's free plan still exists but you're now limited to using it on just two devices. For folks who use multiple computers, tablets, and phones throughout the course of a normal school week, Evernote's free plan will be inadequate.

Owl Eyes Offers a Good Way to Guide Students Through Classic Literature

Owl Eyes is a relatively new tool that provides teachers with a good way to provide students with guidance while they are reading classic literature. Owl Eyes provides teachers with tools to insert annotations and questions into classic literature. Students can see the annotations and questions that their teachers add to the digital text. Teachers have the option to create online classrooms through which they can monitor their students' progress through a text and view their students' annotations and answers to questions. The texts available through Owl Eyes are mostly classic works that are in the public domain.

The short videos embedded below will help you get started with Owl Eyes. I highly recommend watching them in order to save yourself from some frustrating clicking without results.



Applications for Education
Owl Eyes could be a good tool for guiding students through some difficult classic literature. I would like to see its library expanded to include more texts that are accessible to younger students.

I couldn't find an option to upload my own texts on Owl Eyes. Until then, I will probably continue to use Google Docs to help students as they read difficult primary source documents. That process is outlined here.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Maine where I'm relaxing after a fun day of bicycle riding followed by a nice little concert in Freeport. This week I wrapped up my online course Teaching History With Technology. As always I enjoyed teaching the course and I learned a few things that I'll be implementing when I teach the course again this fall. Speaking of fall, the new school year isn't too far away. To help you get ready for the new school year, next week I'll be releasing an updated version of my Practical Ed Tech Handbook. In the last year it has been downloaded nearly 40,000 times.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. ScratchMath - Great Ideas for Using Scratch in Elementary Math
2. Handy, Overlooked YouTube Features
3. Vizia - Create Interactive Video Quizzes
4. A New Lesson Plan Tool for Google Docs
5. 5 Tips for New Chromebook Users
6. Create Animated Videos & More With Animatron
7. My SimpleShow Offers a Good Way to Create Explanatory Videos

I Will Come To 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. 
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.

Stacked Ball Drop - A Physics Lesson

The Physics Girl is a great YouTube channel that recently appeared as a suggestion while I was browsing the ASAP Science channel. The Physics Girl is Dianna Cowern who produces short physics lessons for students of all ages. Stacked Ball Drop is one of the videos that caught my attention while I was browsing her channel.

In the Stacked Ball Drop Dianna shows viewers that when one ball is placed on top of another and then dropped the ball on top bounces higher than it would if it was dropped alone. Dianna then goes on to explain the physics that is involved in a single ball bouncing as well the physics of two or more balls stacked on top of each other being dropped and bounced. That explanation transitions to how the concepts in the stacked ball dropped are analogous to the formation of super novas.


Applications for Education
This video demonstrates an excellent science lesson for students. After watching the video or a portion of the video you could have students write predictions for what they think will happen if they stack more balls and or use balls of different sizes and densities. Then let them go out and conduct the experiment and record their results.

To create a flipped lesson based on this video try using Vizia, VideoNot.es, or EDPuzzle.