Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and I'm looking forward to a day of walking in the woods around my home (with orange clothing on because it is hunting season). Snow is in the forecast for later this weekend. As a skier I love the snow even though I have to shovel it from my driveway. Before any outdoor fun can happen, I have to share this week's list of the most popular posts of the week.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Handy Chrome Extensions for Teachers
2. How to Create a Word Cloud in Google Documents
3. 5 Fun Geography Games for Geography Awareness Week
4. Three Ways That Students Can Create Talking Pictures
5. Four Tools for Making Audio Recordings on Chromebooks
6. G Suite for Education Has a New Templates Option
7. My Three Favorite Video Creation iPad Apps for Elementary School

Getting Going With G Suite begins on Monday. There is still time to register. In the five week course you can learn how to effectively integrate G Suite into your practice. Learn more here.

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Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
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WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
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PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
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My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

How to Enable Commenting on Padlet Notes

On Thursday Padlet unveiled a new feature that lets you comment on the notes that your students write on Padlet walls. Commenting on your students' notes could be a great way to ask them clarifying questions or to just let them know that you are reading what they share. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Padlet's commenting feature.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Brief History of Timezones

When I signed into Facebook this morning I was greeted by a notice that on this day in 1883 the railroad industry in North America began using the four timezones that are still in use today. Upon reading that notice I immediately remembered a TED-Ed lesson on the topic. Where did timezones come from? What is "standard time?" The answers to those questions and more can be found in the short TED-Ed lesson How Did Trains Standardize Timezones in the United States? Watch the video below.

How to Collaboratively Create YouTube Playlists - Updated

Last year I published a video about how to collaboratively create YouTube playlists. Since then the steps for doing that have changed a little bit. Also this week I had someone ask if I could make a video about making YouTube playlists. To address both items I created the new tutorial video, How to Collaboratively Create YouTube Playlists, that you should see embedded below.

Applications for Education
There is a lot of great educational content on YouTube. The challenge that many teachers and students have is finding and keeping track of it all. Turn on the collaboration feature when you start making a playlist and then work with your colleagues to develop lists of educational videos for your students. Or have students collaborate to create a playlist of helpful videos.

Padlet Now Offers Commenting on Notes

Padlet is one of my favorite all purpose ed tech tools. With Padlet you can create a place to collect digital exit tickets, a place for collaborative brainstorming, a place to create digital KWL charts, a place for collaborative bookmarking, and even a place to create a simple classroom blog. My YouTube channel contains a playlist of tutorials on using Padlet in a variety of ways.

This week Padlet rolled out a new feature that I think you'll like. You can now allow students to comment on individual notes added to a Padlet wall. The new comments feature can be turned on or turned off by the creator of a Padlet wall (use the modification settings to do that). Comments can be made anonymously or you can require users to sign-in to comment. As the creator of a Padlet wall you can delete any comments written by others.

Applications for Education
If you use Padlet as a tool for group brainstorming sessions the comment feature offers a great way for classmates to ask clarifying questions. If you use Padlet to host a simple classroom blog you can use the commenting feature to give your students feedback on their posts.

Learn how to use Padlet by watching the videos in my playlist embedded below.