Monday, October 24, 2016

Great Google Drive Add-ons for Teachers - An Updated Handout

Last year I published a free PDF handout that highlights great Add-ons for Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets. The handout also included a few of my favorite Chrome extensions. A year passed and it was time to update that handout for the 2016-17 school year. The updated version of that handout is now available to download here or view as embedded below.

The handout highlights my favorite Chrome extensions as well as my favorite Add-ons for Google Docs, Forms, and Sheets. Please feel free to email it or print it and share it with your colleagues.

Please note that the file is hosted on If your school blocks you won't be able to see the document on your school's network.

Padlet for Halloween and Thanksgiving

Earlier today Jennifer Casa-Todd asked me if I had a video tutorial on how to use the new version of Padlet. I do have a tutorial about the new version of Padlet. You can see it on my YouTube channel or as embedded lower in this post.

Coincidentally, I received an email from Padlet today. In that email I was reminded of the idea to use Padlet to have students share thoughts about holidays. Halloween is just one week away. You could use Padlet to have students share trick o' treating safety tips.

Thanksgiving (the American version) is just a month away. You could use Padlet to have students share what they are thankful for or to share their favorite Thanksgiving traditions and recipes.

Learn how to use Padlet by watching the video embedded below.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Good Place to Find Free Sound Effects for Multimedia Projects

Whether it is for a podcast, a video, a slide presentation, or some other multimedia project, there will be times when your students need to download sound effects. SoundBible is a good place for students to find all kinds of free sound effects recordings. Students can download files as MP3 or WAV files. And best of all, students don't need to register on the site in order to download the files. But they do need to remember to cite the source of the sound effects as most are labeled with a Creative Commons license. Learn more about SoundBible in my short video embedded below.

Two Helpful Tips for Navigating PDFs

One of the search tips that I often remind students about is, "search within your search results." In other words, open up a webpage, a PDF, or a Word file and search within it before dismissing it as not relevant to your search. There are two simple ways that students can quickly search and navigate through PDFs. I demonstrate both of those methods in the video embedded below.

For more search tips, download this free hand-out that I made last year.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the rain we didn't have all summer has arrived in force today.

I have to start this week's week-in-review on a somber note as this afternoon I am going to the memorial service for my friend and former colleague, Steve Ray. Steve and I team taught a couple of courses in the last two years before he retired. Steve was a master of the Socratic method and he truly seemed to enjoy reading and editing students' writing. Which is why when I introduced blogging to our class, he liked the concept despite the fact that he didn't personally want to use a classroom computer for much more than entering grades into our schools' LMS. We were a good match. He was a great man. Many in our community will miss his thoughtful leadership.

On a cheerier note, Isla, my daughter, is now two months old and growing like a weed. She's happy to bounce around in her carrier on hikes. If the weather improves, we'll get outside for a hike this weekend.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Create Flashcards from a Google Spreadsheet
2. Math Playground - Hundreds of Math Games & Instructional Videos
3. Upload Files As Responses To Google Forms - Coming Soon
4. Name Picker Ninja - A Random Name Picker for Your Classroom
5. 10 Ideas for Using Comics In Your Classroom
6. ToonyTool - Quickly Create Single Frame Comics
7. A Good Site for Free ACT Prep

Need a keynote for your conference? 
Click here to learn about my keynotes and workshops.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Pixton provides a great way to create comics. 
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
SeeSaw is the best platform for creating digital portfolios with K-8 students. 
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
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.
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.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.