Saturday, February 10, 2018

Free Webinar - Inquiry-based Learning and the Fire Lab

Join on Monday at 3pm EST for a free webinar about inquiry-based learning. The webinar, sponsored by Xplorlabs by Underwriters Laboratories, will feature strategies for using inquiry-based learning, the role of the teacher in inquiry-based learning, and research on the benefits of inquiry-based learning. We'll take a look at how Xplorlabs's Fire Forensics: Claims and Evidence online learning experience can be used in an inquiry-based learning setting.

Click here to register for this free webinar. 

Yes, it will be recorded! The recording will be posted here on Free Technology for Teachers the next day. You don't need to email me to get the recording.

Olympics, STEM, and Quizzes - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where I'm sitting inside my newly heated barn which is becoming office space, slowly. Getting the heat working was the most important step in the process because now I can finish mudding, taping, and painting the walls. I'll be spending the day working on that project. It's not exactly fun, but there is a feeling of satisfaction that comes with finishing a job like this. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you're doing something fun too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 16 Videos About the Science of Winter Olympics Sports
2. Free Hands-on STEM Lesson Plans and Projects
3. A Large Collection of Virtual Chemistry Labs and Lessons
4. 5 Observations Students Can Record With Google's Science Journal App
5. 7 Ways to Create Screencasts on Chromebooks - Updated for 2018
6. These Google Docs Add-ons Make It Easy to Find Public Domain Images
7. How to Create a Multimedia Quiz With Microsoft Forms

New Online Learning Opportunities
This week on Practical Ed Tech I announced the relaunch of my online course titled From Blog to Job. This is a course for anyone who has ever wanted to learn how to earn an income from blogging. 

The Ed Tech Starter Kit contains my most popular professional development webinars in one package. You'll get access to these webinars at 50% off the cost of purchasing them individually. 

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
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.
QuickKey provides an efficient way to conduct online and in-person formative assessments.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Newspaper Templates for Google Docs & Word

This morning I answered an email from a reader who was looking for suggestions on tools that his students can use to collaboratively create a newspaper. My first suggestion was to try LucidPress. My second thought was to try using some Google Docs templates.

I didn't have any Google Docs templates of my own so I did a quick Google search for "newspaper templates Google Docs" and I found this collection put together by students at Westlake Girls High School in Auckland, New Zealand. There are ten newspaper templates in the collection. You can make your own copy of the templates by opening them and then selecting, "file" and "make a copy" in Google Docs.

If you're a Microsoft Word user, you can try these templates to create newsletters and newspapers. Word Online is free and supports collaborative writing too.

Applications for Education
The person who emailed me this morning was going to use the newspaper templates in a history class to have students write articles as news reports about historical events. I thought that was a great idea. Of course, you could use these templates for almost any purpose including creating a school newspaper.

Use Google Sheets to Create Online Bingo Boards With Pictures

Flippity is one of my favorite Google Sheets Add-ons because it gives you direct access to sixteen templates that you can use to create games, progress trackers, and random name selectors. One of Flippity's most popular templates, the Bingo template, was recently updated to allow you to include pictures in your Bingo games.

Flippity's Bingo template is easy to follow. Just the complete the steps listed here and you're ready to publish your game. You can print game cards to distribute to your students or you can have them play online.

It is important to note that in order to use images in the Flippity Bingo template the images must be hosted online and publicly accessible. A host like Flickr is ideal for this purpose. Google Drive doesn't work for this purpose. Likewise, any site that blocks hotlinking will not work for this purpose.

Create Valentine's Day Cards on Canva

Valentine's Day is five days away. In elementary school it can be fun to make and distribute innocuous little greeting cards. (Middle and high school turns into a day of drama). Last week I shared directions for creating Valentine's Day cards on Storyboard That. Another option is to use the free card templates that are available on Canva.

Canva offers design templates for almost every card-giving occasion. That includes offering Valentine's Day card designs. In the video below I demonstrate how to use Canva to design cards.

If you're wondering if you can use Canva with students under the age of 13, please read this statement from Canva's CEO Cliff Obrecht.