Friday, April 28, 2017

The History of the Zamboni

The Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing. And even though the Bruins are now eliminated and my childhood team, the Whalers, abandoned me like a bad prom date long ago one thing remains the same, the Zamboni cheers for no one. The Zamboni company produced a poster on the evolution of the Zamboni and some images and a video about how it works.

Applications for Education
If you have students that are passionate hockey fans, you could grab their attention with a short science lesson about refrigeration and ice.

And if you're looking to make your own Zamboni, Red Green has a tutorial for you.

Practical Ed Tech Live - Recording and Questions

This morning I recorded a new episode of Practical Ed Tech Live. This episode was a little short because I was recording with a special guest who was a little antsy. The questions that I did answer are listed below. As always, please send me your questions and I'll answer them in the next episode.

Question 1:
I am looking for some speech to text apps / software that is FREE.

Question 2:
How do I get you to stop posting on my Facebook?

Question 3:
Volume Envelopes as per did not work for me. Any ideas why?

Question 4:
I watched your video about Google Calendar appointments, thank you for that. My question is about sharing the calendar. Can I share the calendar with another teacher and have her see the appointments too?

Question 5:
I tried the GE Teach Tour maker that you recommended. Is there a way to add audio to the tour? I’d like to have my students explain each site in their own words. We are a Chromebook school.

Create Your Own Google Classroom - G Suite Not Required

Last month Google began allowing anyone who has a Gmail address to join Google Classroom classrooms. This week that option was extended to allow anyone who has a Gmail address to create his or her own Google Classroom online classroom.

Teachers who are already using Google Classroom within a G Suite for Education account already know how to create a new classroom. For people who have been waiting to try it, here's what you need to do:

1. Sign-in with your personal Gmail account at
2. Click "+" in the upper, right corner of the screen and choose "create a class."
3. Complete the required basic information about your class (title, section, topic).
4. Invite people to join your classroom. To do this select "students" while viewing your classroom. In the "students" section you will find a classroom invitation code that you can distribute. Alternatively, you can invite people to join by sending emails directly from your Google Classroom account.

Applications for Education
There are plenty of online course tools that are more robust than Google Classroom. However, the really good ones are not free. That said, Google Classroom is adequate for many online courses and as a supplement to in-person classes. Now that Google Classroom is open to the world, we could see all kinds of new courses popping-up on the web. We could see high school students creating courses to teach others about hobbies. We might see teachers using it to create professional development courses.

How to effectively use Google Classroom and all elements of G Suite will be covered in my online course Getting Going With G Suite. The course starts next week. Graduate credit is available. Learn more here and register here

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Penguins and 3D Printers

We went to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas today and saw endangered African penguins. Seeing the penguins immediately reminded me of the story of Purps the Penguin.

Purps is a penguin at the Mystic Aquarium who was helped by middle school students who designed and printed a walking boot for Purps when she was injured. With the help of their school's library media specialist, Sue Prince, the students in a Mystic, Connecticut middle school created the boot for Purps. The whole story can be found in the video embedded below.

To me, this story is another great example of students putting their heads together to solve a problem with the help of their teacher and the help of technology.

How to Subscribe to a YouTube Channel

I have a few YouTube channels that I enjoy and look forward to their next uploads. I subscribe to those channels so that I'm notified when new videos are uploaded and whenever those channels host live streams. A few of the channels I'm subscribed to are SciShow Kids, Tom Richey, and Minute Earth. If you're a high school history teacher, I'd recommend subscribing to Tom Richey's channel and sharing it with your students. In the following video I demonstrate how to subscribe to a YouTube channel.

The first part of the video shows you how to search within a YouTube channel. This is a great way to search within a trusted source for additional content.

Tomorrow at 9:30am EDT I'm hosting a YouTube Live session in which I'll answer your ed tech questions. You'll find that Q&A on my YouTube channel.

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