Thursday, January 19, 2017

Using Storyboards to Analyze Shakespeare

Creating a storyboard can be a good way to organize a story and plan a video project. As Rebecca Ray shares in the slides below, creating storyboards can also be a good way to deconstruct and analyze a story.

Share my-lesson-webinar-on-shakespeare from Richard Byrne

The recording of Rebecca Ray's presentation is embedded below.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

Would You Rather? - Quick Math Challenges

Would You Rather? is a website maintained by John Stevens for the purpose of sharing quick and fun math challenges for students.  Would You Rather? presents a picture with a mathematics problem that asks "would you rather?" Most of the questions have a financial aspect to them. One of my favorite examples is this challenge that asks "would you rather go on a 5 minute shopping spree in the store of your choice or get a $2,000 gift card to the store of your choice?"

Would You Rather? offers a simple worksheet that your students can use to analyze the choices presented to them in the challenges.

Applications for Education
In my email to Jamie I mentioned that Would You Rather? is a resource that I could see myself using in an Intro to Personal Finances course. Would You Rather? provides a great context for math lessons that students can relate to.

If You Missed a Wednesday Webinar...

Six Practical Ed Tech Wednesday Webinars were offered in December and January. Many people have asked about accessing the recordings. All of the recordings and corresponding handouts are now available on-demand on A brief description of each of the webinars is included below.

Search Strategies Students Need to Know
In Search Strategies Students Need to Know you will learn why informational searches are the hardest types of Internet searches for students to conduct. You will learn how to help students break-down complex search topics into manageable pieces then put the whole picture together. You’ll learn how to help your students save students tons of time by thinking before searching. And you’ll how to develop instructional search challenge activities to use with students of any age.

Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners
In this webinar you will everything you need to know to get started using Google Forms and Google Sheets to streamline your workflow in grading quizzes, emailing parents and students, and keeping track of classroom materials. You will also learn how to build self-guided video review activities for your students. Google Forms and Sheets can complete all kinds of tasks for you, if you know how to use them. Once you’ve learned the basics of Google Forms and Google Sheets you will be amazed at how these powerful tools can streamline processes for you. Those streamlined processes can free up lots of time for you to spend on the fun aspects of teaching.

Winning Blog Strategies
If you have ever started a blog only to see it slide out of view, this webinar is for you. Based on ten years of blogging professionally and personally, in this interactive webinar we will look at the reasons why so many blogs don’t last long and what you can do to make yours work. Whether blogging is a classroom activity that you do with students or a personal activity that you’re doing to enhance your professional life, you’ll learn strategies to make your blog a winner.

Fun Formative Assessments
As good teachers know, gauging your students’ understanding of the topics you teach is a process that involves discussion, a bit of intuition, and some formative assessment activities. In this webinar you will learn how to use free tech tools to create and conduct fun, engaging, and informative formative assessments. Whether you teach elementary school, middle school, or high school, you will come away from this webinar with fun formative assessment activities that you can do tomorrow. Fun Formative Assessments addresses the needs of teachers who don’t have computers or tablets for every student. And teachers who do have laptops, Chromebooks, or tablets for every student will learn some new ways to have students use those too.

Quick & Powerful Video Projects
When students create projects that are only shared in the classroom, they’ll settle for good enough. As my friend Rushton Hurley often says, “when students create videos that are shared with a global audience, they’ll only settle for the best.” In this webinar you will learn how to design a video project for your students. You will learn how to use the tools you will need to conduct video creation projects in your classroom. Examples from real students and teachers are shared during the webinar.

YouTube, It’s Not Just Cats & Khan Academy
There is a lot more to YouTube than meets the eye. Sure, you can search for educational videos to share with your students. But did you know that you can have students search and share their findings with you? Or that you and your favorite colleagues can collaborate to create a master playlist of educational videos for your students? YouTube has a slew of frequently overlooked video creation and editing tools built into it. Those tools make YouTube a better educational tool than meets the eye. You can use these tools to protect students’ privacy, to create choose-your-own-adventure videos, to make slow motion videos, or to just make your videos look a little bit better. All of those things and more will be covered in this webinar.

Click here to get the webinar recordings.

Richard, why do you charge for the webinars? 
I explain the answer in this video

Mentimeter Adds a New Way for Audiences to Respond to Your Slides

Mentimeter is a audience response tool that I've been using off and on for a few years now. Mentimeter's core product lets you create polls and quizzes for your audience to respond to during your presentations. Your audience members can respond from their phones, tablets, or laptops.

The latest feature added to Mentimeter is called Quick Slides. Quick Slides lets you quickly create slides within Mentimeter. The slides have audience response options built into them. All you have to do is click on the response options you want your audience to see. Your audience can use thumbs-up/down icons, heart icons, or question mark icons to respond to your slides. The nice thing about Quick Slides is that you can use it on one part of a presentation but turn it off for another part of the same presentation.

Applications for Education
In addition to the Quick Slides response options mentioned above, you can also create poll and quiz questions to add to your presentations in Mentimeter. All of these response mechanisms can be used by you as a simple form of formative assessment.

Check out my webinar, Fun Formative Assessments to learn about other tools and strategies for conducting formative assessments. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

PrepFactory Offers a New Option for Helping Students Prepare for the SAT

The next SAT testing date is a just a few days away. PrepFactory has free tools that can help you help your students review test-taking strategies. PrepFactory provides students with strategy tips before each section of review exercises. The strategy tips are available to students in video and text formats. Then throughout the review exercises students are given a rotating variety of question formats so that they aren't just trying to plow through a string a multiple choice questions. Each set of PrepFactory review exercises includes a mix of multiple choice, sorting, and fill-in-the-blank activities.

The latest update to PrepFactory gives teachers tools to keep track of the progress that their students are making. Teachers can create classrooms within their free PrepFactory accounts. Within their PrepFactory classrooms teachers can see where each of their students are in the progression of review activities. For example, a teacher can log-in to see how many students have completed a strategy session and which students have completed practice question sets.

Another recent update to PrepFactory provides students with a road map to improving their SAT and ACT test-taking skills. Now when students first sign into their accounts they are prompted to complete a short diagnostic exercise. The results of that diagnostic exercise will provide students with a road map of the next steps that they should take to improve their knowledge and test-taking skills.

Disclosure: PrepFactory is an advertiser on

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