Monday, April 10, 2017

Keeping Track With Google Keep and Calendar - PD Webinar Tomorrow

From keeping track of the websites you bookmark to keeping track of your to-do list to scheduling appointments, Google Keep and Google Calendar have you covered. In Keeping Track With Google Keep and Calendar you will learn how to use these powerful tools to bring order to the task lists in your professional and personal life. This webinar will also teach you how to use Google Keep to organize your online research and use that organization in your writing. Finally, you’ll see how Google Keep and Google Calendar can help you reach goals that you set for yourself personally and professionally.

This webinar will be held live at tomorrow at 4pm Eastern Time. Register here. Your registration fee of $20 includes the live webinar, unlimited access to the recording, a PD certificate, and the good feeling you get when you help keep this blog running.

Five Things You Can Learn in This Webinar:
1. How to use Google Keep to organize bookmarks.
2. Creating appointment slots in Google Calendars.
3. Creating and sharing task lists through Google Keep.
4. How to manage multiple calendars without losing your mind.
5. Methods for using Google Keep & Calendar to help you reach your goals.

The webinar will be held live at 4pm Eastern Time on April 11th.

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

A Student With Autism Explains Autism

This is a guest post from Rushton Hurley. Rushton is the founder of Next Vista for Learning and the author of Making Your School Something Special. This particular post features a video that I have featured many times in my own video workshops

April is National Autism Awareness Month in the USA. Several years ago, a young man named Michael with some help from his teacher John Lozano ( made one of the most powerful videos on, telling the story of how he sees the world.

I hope this video is one that will help your students better understand their classmates with autism. I think it's appeared on the FreeTech4Teachers blog before, but it's a beautifully courageous story, I'm still moved by what he has to say, and am happy to put it in front of you again!

My Name is Michael

Peaks and Valleys - An Interactive Story Map

Peaks and Valleys is an interactive story map produced on the ESRI platform. As you scroll through the story map the highest peaks and lowest valleys on each continent are revealed in 3D renderings. As you scroll through the 3D imagery a sidebar pops-up. That sidebar contains a photograph of the peak or valley and a fact or two about the peak or valley you're seeing. You can zoom and pan on the 3D imagery to see the peaks and valleys in greater detail.

Applications for Education
Peaks and Valleys could be a handy resource for an introductory lesson on mountain and valley formation. It's also a model that students might follow as they attempt to create their own story maps. To bring the focus closer to home, have students create story maps about the peaks and valleys in their state or province. Storymap JS is one of many good tools that students can use to create story maps.

H/T to Maps Mania for the Peaks and Valleys link. 

An Interactive Mural of Birds

This afternoon while walking my dog, Max, I saw the first ducks of spring paddling around a small opening in the ice on a local pond. This reminded me of a neat resource from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The Wall of Birds is an interactive mural of bird drawings. Clicking on a drawing will reveal a side panel that contains information about that bird, audio of that bird's call, and a map of that bird's natural range. Watch my video below to see the mural in action.

Applications for Education
As the weather warms in the Northern Hemisphere a fun outdoor learning activity is to take students on nature walks during which they try to identify as many different birds as possible. They could do this by sight and sound with the help of some of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's resources.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from gray and rainy Maine. It appears that we're into the "April showers" portion of the "April showers bring May flowers" adage. On the upside, this crummy weather has made it feel a little easier to stay inside and work. I have some new projects in the works that I think you're going to like. The folks in my Thursday evening class have already had a preview of one of those projects.

While summer might feel far away, it's not too early to think about your summer professional development needs. I'm hosting two Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps this year. Additionally, I'll be offering online courses in May, June, July, and August. Registration for those courses will open on Monday.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 7 Google Product Updates You Might Have Missed in March
2. 33 Lessons on Critical Thinking
3. 7 Blogging Tools for Teachers Compared and Ranked - Updated for 2017
4. Jeopardy Rocks Now As Factile - Jeopardy & Flashcards
5. Downloads On A Chromebook and 4 Other Tips for New Users
6. 12 Tools for Creating Videos on Chromebooks - A PDF Handout
7. If I Was Starting Free Technology for Teachers Today...

Are you looking for a keynote presenter or workshop leader? Click here to learn how to bring me to your school or conference. 

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.

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