Saturday, April 1, 2017

33 Lessons on Critical Thinking

From analyzing a persuasive essay to dissecting research findings to determining the cause of an outcome in a science lab, having sharp critical thinking skills serves students well. Wireless Philosophy has a series of 33 video lessons about critical thinking. The most recent lesson explains the difference between causation and correlation.


Take a look at these 7 great tools for creating flipped lessons with these videos.

PD Webinar - Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners

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.

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. Finally, we’ll tackle any questions that you have about Google Forms and Google Sheets.

This webinar will be held live at 4pm Eastern Time on April 4th. Register here. A recording of the webinar will be available to those who cannot attend the live session.

In this webinar you will learn:
1. Two ways to create self-grading quizzes.
2. How to create self-paced guided video review activities.
3. Simple methods to streamline emailing personalized updates to parents and students.
4. How to easily keep track of classroom materials through the use of Forms and Sheets.
5. Methods for creating and managing activity registration forms.

This webinar will be held live on April 4th at 4pm EST. 

Please check here other live webinars.

Richard, why isn't this webinar free? I explained the answer in this video

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Month in Review - Spring Is Here (Kind of)

The calendar tells me that it is spring here in Maine, but the weather tells me otherwise. We're expecting ten more inches of snow to fall overnight tonight. But that hasn't kept me from enjoying the outdoors as I did on Wednesday when I took a walk around Portland Head Light.

Portland Head Light is just one of the many lighthouses near the site of this year's Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps. Almost half of the seats have been already been reserved for the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp. Discounted early registration is available.

As I do at this time every month, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the previous 30 days.

Here are this month's most popular posts:
1. 22 Videos That Can Help Students Improve Their Writing
2. Zero Noise Classroom - A Timer and Noise Meter in One
3. 5 Ways to Show YouTube Videos Without Related Content
4. Google Team Drives Now Available
5. 12 Ways to Create Videos On Chromebooks
6. 7 Great Tools for Creating Flipped Lessons from Existing Videos
7. How to Use Zero Noise Classroom
8. Formatically Helps Students Properly Format Essays
9. Create Screencast Videos on Chromebooks - Three Good Options
10. How to Add Spoken Audio to Google Slides

Join me on Tuesday afternoons in April for a series of professional development webinars

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.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
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.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

How to Use SoundCloud to Record and Comment

During Thursday's Practical Ed Tech Live session I answered a question about recording and sharing audio. The person asking was looking for a way for students to record conversations in French and then share those recordings with their teachers. One of my recommendations was to try SoundCloud for recording and commenting on the recordings. In the following video I demonstrate how to record on SoundCloud and how to comment on the recordings that you listen to on SoundCloud.

5 Good Resources for National Poetry Month

April is Poetry Month. Whether you're trying to help students understand and interpret the meaning of poems or you're trying to help them write their own poems, the following five resources are worth exploring. (By the way, I always wonder who gets to declare the something is "national X month?" That might be a good, short research activity).

To start the month, you might consider using a relatively new TED-Ed lesson titled What Makes a Poem?


ReadWorks has a selection of famous poems available on their website. The selection is organized by grade level. As with every passage on ReadWorks, each poem is accompanied by a set of guided reading questions.

The Poetry Foundation offers some helpful resources for teachers and students. One of the resources that immediately jumped out at me when I visited the Poetry Foundation's Learning Lab was the glossary of poetry terms. Students can search the glossary alphabetically, by form & type of poem, by rhyme & meter, by schools & projects, by technique, and by theory or criticism. The Poetry Foundation offers a free mobile app for iOS and Android. The app allows users to search for poems, save poems, and share favorite poems with their friends. You can search for poems by poet, by title, or by entering a line or two of a favorite poem.

Word Mover is a free iPad app and web app from Read Write Think. The app is designed to help students develop poems and short stories. When students open the Word Mover app they are shown a selection of words that they can drag onto a canvas to construct a poem or story. Word Mover provides students with eight canvas backgrounds on which they can construct their poems. If the word bank provided by Word Mover doesn’t offer enough words they can add their own words to the word bank.

Scholastic has assembled a big list of lesson resources for teaching poetry this month. One of the resources that I really like is the Poetry Idea Engine. The Poetry Idea Engine is a simple, interactive tool that helps students create four types of poems; haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. To create poem on Poetry Idea Engine students select one of the four formats. If they pick one of the first three format students will be given a short explanation of the pattern before completing the template to create their poems.