Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Resources to Learn About Outer Space

Outer space is one of the most fascinating topics for students of all ages. Whether your students are learning about the moon or exploring a distant solar system, these resources are sure to pique their interest.

  • Planets- This website from NASA has beautiful imagery and diagrams of each of the planets, information about different missions, and resources for kids and teachers.
  • Black Holes- Find out anything you have ever wanted to know about black holes.
  • NASA Black Holes- The information in this article is written for students in grades 5-8 and it answers different questions about black holes.
  • National Museum of Air and Space- This site has resources for online activities for students, online exhibits, and information about different projects that involve space and flight.
  • Outer Space View by Google- Explore the ISS using Google Street view and read articles about the impact that living in space has on the human body.
  • Tour the Solar System- Explore the solar system through an interactive model. There are also links that take you to articles where you can learn more about outer space.
  • KidsAstronomy- Resources are geared toward younger students who are interested in learning more about outer space.
  • American Museum of Natural History- The Digital Universe collection contains downloadable software that allows you to fly from the sun to the edge of the observable universe.
  • Space Weather- Learn about weather in space and how it impacts us here on our planet. 

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. 

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