Friday, March 17, 2017

Piracy Online Explained by Common Craft

Piracy Online is the most recent addition to Common Craft's library of excellent explanatory videos. The video teaches viewers what online piracy is, how it violates copyright laws, and how online piracy impacts artists, software developers, and consumers.


Applications for Education
Understanding why using pirated music, videos, and software is illegal is part of helping students become responsible digital citizens. Piracy Online could help your students become aware of online piracy and why they should avoid using pirated materials.

Speaking of pirated materials, Common Craft videos can be viewed online for free for personal use. To embed them as I have done above or to show them in your classroom, you do need to have a subscription to the Common Craft library.

Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind business relationship with Common Craft. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Formatically Helps Students Properly Format Essays

Formatically is a free service that helps students properly format their papers in MLA style.

Students can use Formatically without creating an account on the site. To get started students simply need to fill in requested information on the Formatically MLA template. Once the template is completed students will have a new document that they can download.

At this point Formatically is still in beta. There are some features that are advertised, but are are not yet ready. Those features include importing citations from other services and uploading existing documents to a Formatically account.

Applications for Education
After spending hours writing a great essay the last thing that students want is to have the quirks of MLA formatting stress them out. That's why some college students created Formatically.

McCarthyism Explained In a New TED-Ed Video

Earlier this week TED-Ed published a new video lesson that explains McCarthyism. In What is McCarthyism? And How Did It Happen? students can learn the origins of McCarthyism and the actions of HUAC. Students can also learn how some people were ensnared in the actions of McCarthy and HUAC.


Take a look at this CommonLit McCarthyism guided reading document as a possible support for this TED-Ed lesson.

This Ed Tech Blogger's Dilemma

When I started this blog back in 2007 I didn't have the intention of it becoming anything more than a way to organize and share the neat Web 2.0 resources that I was trying. Somewhere along the way this blog morphed from a hobby into a full-time job. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me thanks to so many of you who follow and share my work. That has led to incredible invitations to your schools and conferences. Which leads me to the dilemma that I have found myself facing more and more frequently in the last couple of years.

I've become known for reviews of tools and for providing solutions to ed tech problems. That's the reason that hundreds of people show up for my Best of the Web presentation at NCTIES every spring. The dilemma I face is that I want to do more than just rattle off tech tips and tools, but not doing that leaves people disappointed because they've come to expect rattling off tech tips and tools. Likewise, I enjoy doing in-depth of reviews of emerging technologies, but the traffic statistics show that what people prefer is a "ten ways to X" list post. Similarly, in looking at conference programs and watching where people go at conferences, the pattern seems to continue. Scott McLeod made a similar observation a few years ago.

In short, I find myself trying to balance "giving the people what they want" or "doing what I'm known for" with trying to branch out. If you have any advice, I'd be happy to hear it. Tweet it to me or email me at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to Create a Webpage in Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark has received a lot of attention in the last year for the great video creation tool that it contains. But it also contains an excellent tool for creating simple webpages. Within Adobe Spark you can create webpages that contain images, text, and videos. Those pages can then be published as stand-alone sites or they can be embedded into a blog post as I have done below.

Watch the following short video to learn how to create a webpage in Adobe Spark.



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