Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Good Tool for Quickly Creating Comics

ToonyTool is a free website for quickly creating single frame comics. To get started with ToonyTool simply go to site and either upload a background picture or choose one of their background picture options. Then you can choose comic characters to appear in your comic. Once your characters are chosen, select speech bubbles and add some text. When you're satisfied with your comic you can download it, print it, and or share it on social networks.


Applications for Education
ToonyTool does not require an email address or any kind of site registration in order to create comics. In that regard it is a good option for students who don't have or don't want to share their email addresses with yet another service.

In a free webinar this Thursday afternoon I will share more tools and ideas for using comics in your classroom. I hope you will join me.

How to Add Images to Google Slides

On Friday I received an email from a reader who was asking about how to add images to Google Slides. I made the following video to provide an overview of the methods that you can use to add images to Google Slides.

Unio - A Free Virtual Whiteboard for Broadcasting Lessons

Unio by Harness is a free virtual whiteboard system that you can use to broadcast illustrations and demonstrations to your students' laptops. I learned about Unio from Danny Nicholson and had to give it a try myself.

To get started with Unio you first create a subject heading then create a lesson. The lesson creation tool is basically a simple slidedeck editor. You can draw, type, insert images, and add videos to each slide in your lesson. Lesson slides can also include quizzes that you build within the Unio platform. It's important to note that you have to create the quiz before you broadcast your lesson to your students. When I tried to add a quiz question while broadcasting, the option to add a quiz was disabled.

Once your lesson is created you then broadcast it to your students. Students receive the lesson on their laptops when they go to uniostudent.com and enter the pin number assigned to your lesson. Unfortunately, every lesson's pin is different so you won't be able to get kids in the habit of using the same pin for every activity as you can do in Socrative. With your lesson appearing on your students' screens you can have them annotate what they see and answer your quiz questions. Students can work at their own pace. You can select a student's screen to see what he or she has done and then give them some quick feedback in the form of an emoji.

Applications for Education
Unio could be useful in a setting in which you want to share a lesson for the day have students follow along on their laptops. It's not yet ready to be a remote instructional tool because there isn't a voice broadcasting option. The other shortcoming is that it's not optimized for use on mobile phones. If Unio adds those two features, it could become a great remote instructional tool.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine. Happy Canada Day to all of my friends north of the border. I've had many great days working with teachers in Canada and I hope that I get to visit again soon.

This week I was at the ISTE conference for a few days. It was a busy, fun, and informative conference. My recap of the conference is included in episode #10 of Practical Ed Tech Live.

 As I look forward to the rest of the summer I am getting excited about the Upstate Technology Conference in South Carolina. I will be giving the keynote at the conference ten days from now. I hope to meet many of you there.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. New Grading Options in Google Forms
2. Track Progress Toward Goals With This Google Sheets Template
3. SeeSaw Unveils New Features at ISTE 17
4. Kahoot Unveils a New Mobile App
5. The ISTE Presentation Almost Everyone Missed - And Shouldn't Have
6. 7 Places to Find Free Music and Sound Effects
7. Ten Ways to Use Google Earth In Your Classroom

Individual and group registration is still open for the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp and the BYOD Camp. Register with a group and get a great discount!

Four online courses starting in tomorrow:
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.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
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.

Free Webinar - Comics In the Classroom

Having your students create comics can be great way to help them get to know each other and for you to get to know them. The process of creating a comic is an excellent way for students to practice developing plot lines. You can learn more about these ideas and others in my free webinar Comics In the Classroom.

Comics In the Classroom is a free webinar that I hosting next week on Thursday at 3pm Eastern Time. The webinar will feature five ways to use comics in your classroom and a handful of tools for creating comics. You'll even get to contribute to the creation of a comic during the webinar.

Comics In the Classroom will last for about an hour. Those who register will receive a special discount code to use on my upcoming back-to-school series of professional development webinars.

Comics In the Classroom will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live session. You don't need to email me to get the recording. It will be sent to you if you register for the webinar. Register here.