Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp Starts in Two Weeks

The Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp starts two weeks from tomorrow. There is still time to register and join us in Portland, Maine for two days of hands-on learning about all things Chromebook and G Suite. The time isn't limited to just "how-to" activities. We'll spend lots of time on making media on Chromebooks and developing interactive learning experiences for our students.

Discounts are still available for groups of four or more teachers registering together.



And if you're a teacher in a Maine school, email me for information about a special rate just for you.

How to Use ClassTag to Streamline Communication With Parents

ClassTag is a free service that lets you send email, push, and SMS/text announcements to parents. Additionally, ClassTag offers free tools for scheduling conferences, events, and for coordinating parent volunteers. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use ClassTag.

How to Use Unio to Deliver Lessons to Students' Screens

Unio is a free platform for creating lessons and delivering them directly to your students' laptop screens. It's designed to let you project a lesson and quizzes onto your students' screens and have them follow along with you. You can include quiz questions at various points throughout your lessons. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use Unio with students.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fun DIY Projects To Complete With Your Kids

DIY.org is a neat website on which kids can find dozens of DIY projects that they can do on their own or with their parents. DIY.org provides videos and instructions on how to do the projects. After going through the directions kids then try to complete the project. When they've completed the project they can take a picture and upload it to their DIY.org portfolios. Kids can share examples of their projects through DIY.org.

Kids cannot register on DIY.org without a parent's permission. Parents have their own DIY.org dashboards that they can use to track the activities of their children. Children registered on DIY.org have aliases and cartoon avatar pictures.

Applications for Education
DIY.org could be a great source of project ideas for parents and their children to work on together. Through the project challenges students can learn about biology, electricity, music, computer science, physics, geography, and more.

Have a Teenager Still Looking for a Summer Job? - Take a Look at These Options

One of the talks that I give from time to time is titled Preparing Students to Work and Learn Independently. The focus of the talk is to help people understand the learning and employment opportunities that exist today that didn't exist 10-15 years ago. One part of the talk includes examples of the kinds of self-employment opportunities that are available to students today that didn't exist 10-15 years ago. Here are five of those opportunities.

1. Tee-shirt design and sales. There are plenty of online services that let students design and sell tee-shirts without any start-up costs. SunFrog is a service that I have personally used for that purpose.

2. Drone piloting. Students who have drones might offer their skills for sale to real estate agents. I know one realtor in my area who has hired students to fly drones to photograph the properties they are listing for sale.

3. YouTube publishing. YouTube allows you to monetize your videos through the use of their ad network, AdSense. Students could publish tutorial videos for their favorite games, demonstrate DIY projects, or publish videos about any other topic that strikes their fancy. It takes a lot of video views to make significant money this way, but it's  not unrealistic for a teenager to make $50-100/month.

4. Design and sell 3D printed objects. I've seen students create cell phone cases and speakers with 3D printers. A simple e-junkie or eBay store is a fine platform for resale of those items.

5. Virtual tech help. This has been an in-person option for years, but free tools like Skype, Zoom, and Google+ Hangouts make it possible for students to offer tech help remotely.

Disclaimer: Most online stores and advertising programs require people to be 18 or older. Therefore, students will need to have their parents register and let their teens manage the materials sold. Depending upon how much students earn, there may be tax implications to consider.