Saturday, December 9, 2017

Geography, eBooks, and Nature - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we're anticipating our first significant snowstorm of the year. As a skier, I cannot wait for the fresh snow. As a Dad, I'm excited to show my older daughter the joy of making snow angels. But as the owner of a long driveway, I'm not so excited about the snow.

This week the most popular posts of the week including two resources that are perfect for social studies classes, five resources for making ebooks with kids, and a site that lets you hear the sounds of nature around the world.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 51 World Geography Games for Kids
2. Free Wall Maps for Your Classroom
3. 5 Ways for Students to Create Multimedia eBooks
4. The Sounds of Nature Around the World
5. Zoho Notebook - Your Evernote and Google Keep Alternative
6. RWT Flip Book - Free Flip Book Creator for Kids
7. Promoting School Events Through Social Media

Professional development opportunities
This week ten people joined the Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group. I hope that you will join them in receiving 24+ hours of professional development in 2018. The cost is less than $10 per hour.

I am currently filling my calendar for workshop and keynote engagements. Click here to learn what I can do for you.

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.

An Inexpensive Source of Earbuds and Microphones

Yesterday afternoon I went live on the Practical Ed Tech Facebook page to share a couple of tips about sourcing cheap earbuds and microphones for your classroom. You can watch the video as embedded below.


If you can't see the video, here's the main point:
  • Check eBay for vendors who sell earbuds in bulk. Many have microphone capabilities built into them. eBay even has a search filter that lets you specify that you only want earbuds that have microphones built into them. I did this search and found a handful of vendors who were selling earbuds priced between $0.77 and $1.99. 
So it's not free, but it is cheap and thought that folks would appreciate the tip. Happy shopping. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

How to Quickly Create a Virtual Conference Room

Whether it is to host an online tutoring session or to connect with colleagues to plan a school event, from time to time we all can use a free and easy way to create online conference rooms. You could use Google Hangouts, but more times than not at least one person has trouble signing into the Hangout (BTW, the cause is usually found in having multiple Google Accounts open at the same time). Other virtual conference room platforms are expensive, you should see my bill for GoToWebinar as the first example of that. This fall I found a solution to both of those problems in WebRoom.

In the following video I demonstrate how quick and easy it is to create a virtual conference room on WebRoom.



My Favorite Resources In One Place

Last week during Practical Ed Tech Live I was asked if I had one place that people could go to see an organized collection of my favorite resources. I was happy to answer that I do have just such a collection. It's found in my Practical Ed Tech Handbook. You can find it on my Practical Ed Tech website or you can see it as embedded below through Box.com.


If your school blocks access to Box.com, you won't be able to access this document. Please send me an email to request a PDF copy.

Smithsonian Learning Lab Announces Most Popular Resources of 2017

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a great tool for organizing collections of resources available through the Smithsonian. Through the Learning Lab you can search for and then gather together documents, images, videos, interactive animations, and lesson plans. This playlist of videos will show you everything that you need to know in order to use the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

This week the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access released a list of the twelve most popular resources of the year. This list was based on the number of times a resource was favorited by users. Within the list you will find the Apollo 11 Buzz Aldrin Mobility Experiment and the Wright Brothers First Flight at Kitty Hawk.