Sunday, August 6, 2017

All About Cookies

Here's a good video from Explania that clearly explains a part of our daily computer uses that we often don't think about at all. In How Can Cookies Make Your Surfing Experience Convenient? we learn what browser cookies do for us. It's not the most comprehensive explanation you'll find, but it is a good primer on the topic.

How can cookies make your surfing experience convenient? - Explania

Applications for Education
One of the adult ed courses that I commonly see advertised in local newsletters is "introduction to computers" and or "introduction to the web." Videos like this one from Explania could be nice little primers on for topics in those introductory courses.

Free Solar Eclipse Glasses in Your Community

In 15 days a solar eclipse will cover a large portion of the United States. Star Net, a production of Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning, has partnered with American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the Afterschool Alliance to provide more than 2 million free eclipse glasses to public libraries across the country. You can use this Star Net interactive map to find a library near you that is hosting an eclipse viewing event and is offering free eclipse viewing glasses.

If you're looking for materials to teach about the solar eclipse before viewing it, take a look at the three solar eclipse video lessons that I featured last week.

And this video from Physics Girl explains the difference between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse.

Ten Things Students Can Do With Google Keep

Ever since Evernote gutted their free plan, Google Keep has been my go-to recommendation for bookmarking, note-taking, and task management. There is more to Google Keep than meets the eye. Here are ten ways that students can use Google Keep.

1. Draw notes.
2. Make to-do lists.
3. Type notes.
4. Color-code and sort notes.
5. Create reminders.
6. Share notes with other students.
7. Share task lists.
8. Record voice notes.
9. Take picture notes.
10. Send notes to Google Docs.

Learn more about Google Keep in my webinar Keeping Track With Google Keep, Calendar, and Classroom

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Week in Review - It's Only August

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining on nice August morning. It's only the first week of August, but I have already spotted a couple of leaves changing color. That's always my visual reminder that my favorite season is just around the corner. I'm not sure if it is because my birthday is in the fall or if it is the just the crisp fall air, but I've always enjoyed autumn. The start of the new school year always fills me with hope too.

Now I can hear some of you saying, "it's only August, Richard!" And you're right, so go outside and enjoy the rest of your summer before school starts.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Three Google Classroom Updates That You Will Appreciate
2. A New Google Forms Feedback Feature You and Your Students Will Like
3. Use a Screen Reader With Google Classroom
4. 6 New Google Classroom Features to Note
5. Learn Anything (Almost) Through These Interactive Mind Maps
6. A Game for Learning About International Trade
7. Two New Google Forms Features for Teachers

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? If so, learn how here

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Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
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SeeSaw is my favorite digital portfolio tool.  
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, August 4, 2017

Flip Anim - Quickly Create Animated GIFs

Flip Anim provides possibly the easiest way draw and create an animated GIF. Within minutes of learning about Flip Anim on Larry Ferlazzo's blog I had created a couple of animated GIFs illustrating basic addition problems. One of those is included below.

To create an animation on Flip Anim simply go to the site and start drawing on the notepad in the center of your screen. You can draw as much or as little as you like on each page of your notepad. You're essentially drawing a piece of each animation on each page of your notepad much like the way that old cartoons were created. When you're done drawing on all of your pages you can preview the animation by pressing the play button. To save your work you do have to upload it to Flip Anim (registration is not required) then you can download it as an animated GIF.

Applications for Education
Flip Anim could be a good little tool to use for creating animated GIFs like the one in this post that simply displays the steps of a simple math problem indefinitely. Students might also like to use Flip Anim to illustrate short pieces of dialogue from a book or to just create a simple comic to display their creative writing.