Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Presentation Design Guide from Visme

Visme is a design tool that allows everyone to create beautiful graphics that help tell a story and engage an audience. You can use Visme to create presentations, infographics, graphics, charts, and reports. The folks at Visme have compiled over two years of research into a free 125-page digital design guide that you can download for free. The guide is especially useful for non-designers! Check out the video below to learn more about how you can use Visme to create some awesome projects.

Improvements in Google Classroom

Google Classroom has released a few updates recently that are small, but make it a little easier to use. Let's take a look at three of them. Google incorporates suggestions from users on how to make the product better. Make sure you let the Google Classroom team know if you have any suggestions for changes or improvements.

Decimal Grades You are no longer restricted to using whole numbers when entering grades. This is very helpful when students earn partial credit for an answer.

Display Class Code It never fails. We read the class code loudly and clearly, but someone doesn't hear it or we write it on the board, but some students can't see it. Now we have the ability to display the class code in huge letters that are large enough to read from across the room. 

Rearrange Class Cards Prior to this change, we were stuck with the cards in the order in which they were created. Now we can create the classes then drag them into any order we want. Arrange them alphabetically? No problem! Arrange them in the order we teach them? Why not! 

Can't get enough Google Classroom? Read about how to enhance your Classroom experience

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.

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