Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October's Most Popular Posts on Free Technology for Teachers

Good evening from Maine where we just finished giving out candy to more than 500 trick o' treaters. Halloween marks the end of October and as I do at the end of every month, I have compiled a list of the most popular posts of the month. Take a look and see if there are any helpful resources that you missed during the month.

Here are October's most popular posts:
1. How to Prevent Plagiarism in Online Learning: Unicheck and Google Classroom
2. Typing Games to Improve Keyboarding Skills
3. Enhance Your Google Classroom Experience
4. Hyperdocs: Create Interactive Google Docs
5. Five Great Add-ons for Google Forms
6. Using NoRedInk to Spice Up Grammar Lessons
7. Virtual and Interactive Resources for Science Teachers
8. Five Gmail Extensions to Increase Productivity
9. Molecularium: Molecule Building Game
10. Grants for Teachers

Tomorrow, my Teaching History With Technology course will be available on-demand. This is an eight part course that you can complete at your own pace. Learn more and register here.

Four weeks from now Keith Hughes, Tom Richey, and I will be hosted a three night titled How to Teach With Video. Tom and Keith produce educational videos that garner tens of thousands of views from students. Learn more and register here for How to Teach With Video. 

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.
SeeSaw is my favorite digital portfolio tool.
Metaverse enables anyone to create amazing things.
Kids Discover provides fantastic tools for helping kids discover new information. 
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.

Sutori Updates Allow for Additional Embedding

Sutori is a great tool that allows you to create multimedia timelines. The product was just updated to include some features that make it better than ever.

Users are now able to embed nearly anything into a Sutori including Flipgrids, Padlets, Quizlets, Thinglinks, Instagrams,  Buncees, History Channel videos, Prezi, and Tweets, as well as Google Docs, Forms, Slides, Presentations, and Maps. More option will be added in the near future.

The other update is single sign-on for teachers and students using Microsoft Office 365.

Check out this video to learn more about Sutori.

Five More Gmail Extensions to Increase Productivity

Recently, I shared five extensions for Gmail that are designed to help boost productivity. There were too many to pack into one post, so here are five additional extensions to use with Gmail.

  • Right Inbox for Gmail- Schedule emails to be sent later and add reminders to follow up on emails. You can also schedule recurring emails and add private notes to emails. 
  • Mailtrack- Let's you know if the emails you have sent have been read or not. See how long ago they were read and how many times they were opened.
  • Snooze Email- Not ready to deal with a particular message? Set a custom time for it to reappear in your email.
  • Email Game- Checking email can be very boring and time consuming. This extension turns this mundane task into a fun game.
  • Newsletter Creator- Create visually appealing newsletters from inside of Gmail using templates. Drag and drop content until your newsletter is just the way you want it. 

Silly and Fun Halloween Tricks

Happy Halloween! This day is dedicated to tricks and treats. You probably have the treats covered, but what about the tricks? Today is a great opportunity to have some harmless fun with your students. These goofy tricks will have your students in stitches and they will appreciate your effort to have a little fun.
  • Mozilla X-Ray Goggles- Allows you to see the code on any website and alter text and pictures. The altered version can only be seen by you and this does not require any special skills. For Halloween you could alter a headline in your local paper to read something like "Local Teacher Kidnapped by Zombies" or something along those lines. This could lead to a discussion about digital citizenship and how tools like this should never be used to harm people.
  • Googlifier- This extension adds googley eyes to all photos on different websites. This works best on larger pictures and it takes a few seconds to load.
  • Catblock- Instead of blocking ads, it turns all of them into cat pictures.
  • OmNomNomify- This is too much fun! When you install the bookmarklet, you can turn images and videos on different websites into gifs that feature Cookie Monster. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Getting Going With G Suite for Education

Last summer more than 100 people participated in my online course Getting Going With G Suite. Throughout the Fall I've fielded requests from folks who missed out on the summer course and would like to get into the next offering. I'm happy to announce that I have scheduled another offering of Getting Going With G Suite for Education. The next course will begin on November 30th at 7pm ET.

This course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that G Suite for Education offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With G Suite is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using G Suite for Education. This is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice.

Course highlights:

  • Streamline your workflow with Google Classroom.
  • Get control of your inbox with Gmail hacks.
  • Create self-paced, self-grading assessments in Google Forms.
  • Develop an classroom website with Google Sites.
  • Organize meetings with Google Calendar.
  • Keep track of bookmarks and notes with Google Keep.
  • Make beautiful presentations in Google Slides.
  • Create guided reading activities in Google Docs.
  • A Google Classroom for Q&A during the course.

Getting Going With G Suite costs $147. (Subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter receive a discount code to save $15).

Can't make to all of the live webinars? Don't worry, every live session is recorded and emailed to you the next day. And you can still participate in Q&A through the discussion forum.

A note about fees for webinars:
Whenever I advertise a Practical Ed Tech webinar I am asked why they aren't free. There are two reasons. One, hosting professional development events is one of the ways that I am able to keep the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. Two, while all of the tools featured in my webinars are free to use, my time for teaching about them is not free.