Monday, July 10, 2017

TagCrowd Offers Three Ways to Create Word Clouds

TagCrowd offers three ways to create word clouds. You can create a word cloud by copying and pasting text into TagCrowd, you can upload a plain text file, or you can copy and paste a web address into TagCrowd. After using one of those three methods you can specify how many words you want to display, you can select to show the word count in your word cloud, and you specify words to exclude (common words like "the" are automatically ignored). TagCrowd supports fifteen languages.

Applications for Education
TagCrowd, like other word cloud generators, can be useful in helping students identify the words that are emphasized in a written article or a speech. After creating their word clouds ask your students to think about why the author or speaker used some words so frequently.

Word clouds can also be used to help students see which words that they have frequently used in their own works. Have your students create word clouds of their work during the revision process of writing a story or essay. The word cloud will quickly show students which words they have used a lot. Then ask them to think about synonyms for the words that they have used most often in their writings. 

Join Me Tomorrow Night for a Practical Ed Tech Jumpstart

The landscape of educational technology is constantly changing and it's easy to feel like you don't know where to start. That's why I created the Practical Ed Tech Jumpstart for you. This three week online course will walk you through a simple yet powerful framework for using technology in your classroom. You'll come away from this course with a playbook of activities that you can adapt to use in almost any classroom setting from elementary school through high school.

In the first week we'll take a look at a handful of tools and strategies for helping students conduct better online research. Then we'll look at methods and tools for improving communication between you, your students, and your students' parents.

The second week of the course has us looking at methods for conducting fun and powerful formative assessments through the use of laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, and mobile phones. We'll then dive into ways that students can help each other learn through the use of technology. The second week wraps up with a look at some simple podcasting activities that you can do with your students.

Finally, in week three we'll help students show what they know through videos that they create. Those videos will ultimately become a part of the digital portfolios that we will learn how to create before the course ends.

July 11, 18, and 25 at 7pm EDT - Register Here

All live webinars are recorded so that you can go back and watch them at your leisure if you have to miss a meeting.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Guide to Creating Explanatory Animated GIFs

In yesterday's episode of Practical Ed Tech Live I answered this question:

Is there anything that pieces the snapshots back together in a single frame? So you see the same object in one picture at different positions?

My suggestion was to create an animated GIF by following the guide that Common Craft published a couple of years ago. In Common Craft's How to Create ExplainerGIFs you will learn how to create animated GIFs using software that you probably have already. Through the guide you'll learn how to publish and share your explanatory GIFs. If you need images to use in your GIFs, How to Create ExplainerGIFs has a section devoted to finding images appropriate for crafting explanations.

Applications for Education
Having students create an animated GIF to explain a concept could be a good way to get them to think about how the individual parts of a concept come together to form one cohesive process.

The examples section of How to Create ExplainerGIFs are a good source of ideas for using animated GIFs in school. In the examples you will see animated GIFs used to bring graphs to life, a GIF used to explain how a sewing machine works, and a GIF to illustrate a soccer rule.

The Week In Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and I'm ready for a bike ride with some old friends that I haven't seen in about twelve years. Even if I wasn't riding with friends, it would still be a great day to get outside for fun exercise. In my life there is an amazing correlation between the amount of time I spend exercising and my mood and general productivity. In short, when I exercise I feel better and I teach better.

Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you get some time to do something fun outside too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. A Calendar of G Suite Updates
2. A Good Tool for Quickly Creating Comics
3. An Interactive Display of the Declaration of Independence
4. How to Use Unio to Deliver Lessons to Students' Screens
5. A Random Name Picker for Your Classroom
6. How to Add Images to Google Slides
7. How to Find Google Docs Published by Others

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!

Two online courses starting next week:
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.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Practical Ed Tech Live - Episode #11

This afternoon my daughter and I recorded the eleventh episode of my almost weekly series, Practical Ed Tech Live. In every episode I answer a handful of the questions that I've received from readers. The recording of the episode is embedded below.

The list of questions and my recommended resources can be found in this Google Document.

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