Sunday, November 27, 2016

Get More Room to Work In Google Docs With Just One Click

One of the complaints that I often hear from teachers and some students about Chromebooks is that the screen is too small. I agree. There are times when even on my full-size laptop I wish that I had a bit more room to work. That's why when I am writing in Google Docs I often collapse the top menu bar until I need it.

When you're using Google Documents and you want a little more room to view your pages, you can make that space appear with just one click. In the upper, right corner of your screen you will now see an option for "compact mode" in each of your Google Documents. Click the compact mode arrows to collapse the formatting menu and receive about an inch of more space to work in your documents. Below you will see my screenshots showing you where to find the compact mode arrows. (Click the images to view in full size).

Wednesday Webinars - A New Professional Development Series

I teased this earlier in the month, but now I'm ready to officially announce a new series of Practical Ed Tech webinars that I'm calling Wednesday Webinars.

Wednesday Webinars is a series of one-hour webinars designed to give you practical ideas that you can use in your classroom right away.

Each webinar will provide you with five concrete ideas that you can use as your own in your classroom. You will learn how to use the free ed tech tools necessary to conduct each activity by participating in each webinar. Unlike many webinars in which you just sit back and watch, in these webinars you will have an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities as if you were a student in my classroom.

All webinars take place at 4pm EST. If scheduling doesn’t allow you to participate live, don’t worry because every webinar is recorded and emailed to everyone who registers.

The cost for each Wednesday Webinar is $20. But if you register by Monday at 9pm you can save 50% by using the code "cybermonday" at checkout.

Wednesday Webinar topics and dates:

Quick & Powerful Video Projects – November 30, 2016
Winning Blog Strategies – December 14, 2016
YouTube, It’s Not Just Cats & Khan Academy – December 21, 2016

More Wednesday Webinars will be announced in early December.


About the costs and my decision to advertise these opportunities on my blog:
Sometimes when I advertise one of these webinars I get messages from people who are upset that I am advertising it here and or that I am charging for it. I understand why some people feel that way. I thought long and hard about how to offer these opportunities. The purpose of this blog and my goal for years has always been to help people use free technology in their classrooms. The tools and strategies featured in my webinars and at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp are free to use. However, my time for teaching isn't free. Further, I pay licensing fees to GoToTraining and to Wistia for hosting all of the media content of the courses.

Creative Commons Explained In Simple Terms

Whenever I give a presentation or run a workshop about student video projects, I spend time explaining what Creative Commons licensing is and its benefits for consumers and producers of media. Sometimes in my workshops I use Common Craft's explanation of Creative Commons licenses and what they mean for consumers and producers of media. I've embedded the video below.

 
Applications for Education
Copyright and Creative Commons Explained by Common Craft can be very useful in helping students understand why they cannot simply copy and paste whatever images they like that they find online.

For my Canadian friends the rules of copyright are different than they are for me in the United States. David Wees has a good presentation about Copyright for Canadian educators.

Common Craft videos can be viewed for free online but to download them or embed them you do have to be a subscriber to their service. In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft which means that I have received a subscription in exchange for advising Common Craft on some product offerings.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where an inch of fresh snow is coating the woods around my house. The fresh snow provides a great canvas on which various animals to leave their tracks behind. It's fun to find discover the various animals that come so close to my house. Over the years I've seen moose, deer, bear, coyote, and bobcat tracks as well as many smaller animals like squirrels and rabbits. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope you have time to enjoy your neighborhood too.


Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Six Tools for Creating Classroom Quiz Games - A Comparison Chart
2. How to Create Kahoot Games
3. 7 Tools for Creating Flowcharts, Mind Maps, and Diagrams
4. How to Create a Google Earth Tour
5. Print Posters With Almost Any Printer
6. A New Facebook Page for Practical Ed Tech Tips
7. Analyzing Word Choice in a Presidential Statement

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.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school 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 hosts workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

How to Use a Whiteboard in Google+ Hangouts

On Friday I shared three tools that you and your students can use to host online tutoring sessions. One of my suggestions was to try using Google+ Hangouts with a whiteboard app called Web Whiteboard. Web Whiteboard makes it easy to include a whiteboard in your Google+ Hangout. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how easy it is to use Web Whiteboard in a Google+ Hangout.