Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Economics of Seinfeld - Lessons Based on Seinfeld Clips

The Economics of Seinfeld is a neat concept for teaching economics lessons developed by economics professors from Eastern Illinois University and Baker University. The Economics of Seinfeld is a catalog of clips (sometimes entire episodes) from the hit sitcom Seinfeld that demonstrate various economics concepts. There are seven pages of clips that you can browse through. Alternatively, and more practically, you can search for clips by entering an economics term like "demand," "supply," and "substitute goods."

If you plan to use The Economics of Seinfeld, you should know that it doesn't host all of the video clips. In some cases you're just directed you to episodes and time-frames within episodes to find clips. You'll have to find the episodes on Hulu or acquire a copy of Seinfeld on DVD to use the clips in your classroom.

300+ Printable Comic Templates

Make Beliefs Comix is a great multilingual comic strip creation service that I've featured many times in the past. One of the features of Make Beliefs Comix that I like is the collection of printable comic strip templates. These printable templates are in addition to the online Make Beliefs Comix creation tool. The templates are divided into dozens of thematic categories including history, holidays, and civil rights. There is even a category of templates titled Emotions which is designed to help students express how they are feeling through comic characters.

Applications for Education
The printable templates from Make Beliefs Comix could be excellent resources to use as creative writing prompts. You could have students start a simple story by using the templates then expand the story into a longer narrative.

Only Five Openings Left

Over the years I have been fortunate to visit hundreds of schools to help teachers use technology to create better learning experiences for their students. Sometimes that means helping people get up to speed on G Suite for Education. But I also do a lot of work with teachers on topics related to coding, media production, and digital portfolios. I'll be doing all of those things at many schools and conferences over the next few months. I'd love to put your school or conference on my summer calendar too.

As of this morning I have five openings left in my summer calendar. I have one opening in late June and two each in July and August. Booking me is an easy process. Just send me an email at richardbyrne (at) to get the process rolling. Or fill out the form on this page also contains a list of some of my popular workshop topics.

As always, a huge thank you to all of you who have helped to support me and Free Technology for Teachers. Whether you've brought me to your school for a week of workshops or just shared a post with your friends, you've helped keep this blog rolling. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

17 Audacity Tutorials for Beginners

Audacity is a free, open-source program for recording and editing audio. It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. For classroom podcasting projects or other classroom audio recording projects, it is hard to beat Audacity. The only trouble is that it can feel a bit overwhelming the first time that you open it up on your desktop. Fortunately, there is no shortage of YouTube videos that will show you everything you need to know and then some.

One of the better sources of Audacity tutorials for beginners is Mike Russell's YouTube channel. Mike is a professional voice-over artist who uses his YouTube channel to teach others how to make their spoken audio sound better. On his channel you can find this playlist of seventeen Audacity tutorials for beginners. The playlist covers everything from downloading and installing Audacity to isolating vocals to removing background noise from your tracks. I've embedded his How to Record In Audacity tutorial below.

Create Your Own Geography Game With Mission Map Quest

Mission Map Quest is a free tool for creating geography games. The concept is simple, you create a series of clues that your students need to follow to identify places around the world. You can add as few or as many clues to your Map Quest as you like. When you're ready to have students try your Quest just give them the web address of the challenge or have them scan the QR code assigned to your Quest. Watch my video below to see how to make your own Mission Map Quest game.

Applications for Education
Mission Map Quest could be a great tool for creating your own geography and history review activities. Your clues could be based on political events or geographic features. For example, you could create a clue that asks students to identify where the American Civil War began. You could also include a clue like "the longest river in Africa empties into this body of water." Of course, you don't have to be the only one making the Map Quests. Have your students create Map Quests that they share with each other.

Mission Map Quest is one of many excellent game templates that you can access for free on