Saturday, May 5, 2018

Certificates, Quests, and Comics - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining, my lawn is turning green, and we're all going to play outside today. I have a couple of things to do before the kids wake up including finishing this blog post.

This week I spent a lot of time dealing with a change in my hosting provider for That site outgrew its hosting service and so it was time to switch. One thing that I learned in that process was that you should not attempt to publish new content or add new users in the middle of a migration. I did that and then had to recreate a bunch of things including the on-demand access for 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons. But now that its all working again, I can spend the weekend enjoying playing outside with my kids and dogs. I hope that you have an equally nice weekend.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. How to Automatically Issue Certificates When Students Pass a Quiz in Google Forms
2. TodaysMeet Is Shutting Down - Six Alternatives to Try
3. Create Your Own Geography Game With Mission Map Quest
4. MOOO - Museum of Obsolete Objects
5. TED-Ed Lessons About Every Element on the Periodic Table
6. 300+ Printable Comic Templates
7. 17 Audacity Tutorials for Beginners

New Online PD Opportunity!
On Monday I'm launching a self-paced course about classroom video projects. The course will take you through five video projects in step-by-step detail. This new course is in addition to all of the other on-demand webinars and self-paced courses currently available on

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, May 4, 2018

GeoGebra for PowerPoint - Access and Insert GeoGebra Within PowerPoint

GeoGebra is a favorite ed tech resource of math teachers all over the globe. PowerPoint is the default presentation tool on millions of computers in schools. You can use the two together through the GeoGebra PowerPoint Add-in.

The GeoGebra PowerPoint Add-in lets you access GeoGebra materials directly from your PowerPoint slides. You can also use the Add-in to create graphs, shapes, and spreadsheets within your slides.

The GeoGebra PowerPoint Add-in works in the desktop and online versions of PowerPoint.

Sourcera for Google Slides - Historical Images to Use In Your Slides

Sourcera is an Add-on for Google Slides that lets you search for historical images and insert them directly into your slides. Sourcera pulls images from eleven sources including Flickr's Commons, the British Library, and the Digital Public Library of America.

To find an image through Sourcera you need to highlight a word on a slide and then select "search" from the Sourcera menu. When you find an image that you like just click "insert" to add it to your slide. The image source information will be automatically added to the slide too.

Sourcera isn't a perfect tool, but it is adequate for finding historical images that are either in the public domain or licensed for re-use. There are a couple of quirks in Sourcera. First, it only lets you search through one source at a time. Second, you have to type a word on your slide then highlight it in order to conduct your search. It would be easier to use if Sourcera let you type a search directly into its search box.

Applications for Education
Sourcera is a little quirky to use, but it could be a good resource for high school students who are creating presentations for history courses.

Learn more about Google Slides in my online course, G Suite for Teachers

Three Free Webinars About Assistive Technology

At the beginning of this year I made a decision to spend more time and effort getting to know all of the free tools that Microsoft provides to teachers and students. I am glad that I made that choice because I have been impressed by many of the programs that Microsoft offers in the area of assistive technology. Some of those include Immersive Reader (a part of the Learning Tools suite), dictation options in Office products, and presentation translator. All of those tools will be featured in three free webinars that Microsoft is hosting on May 9th, 14th, and 15th.

On May 9th Mike Tholfsen will be giving a presentation about Microsoft's Learning Tools which includes Immersive Reader. Register here.

On May 14th Jiaxin Zheng will give a presentation about Windows 10 access settings including Narrator, Magnifier, Color Filters, Eye Control, Read Aloud and Dictation. Register here.

On May 15th join Malavika Rewari for a presentation that will include how to add automatic live captions using the Microsoft Garage Presentation Translator add-in, embeding audio/video with closed captions in PowerPoint and Sway, and adding alternative text descriptions to visual objects in Office 365. Register here.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Docs Teach Adds New Primary Sources About WWI

Docs Teach is a fantastic resource for US History teachers that I have shared many times over the years. I like it so much that I include it in my Teaching History With Technology course.  Docs Teach provides teachers with access tools for creating online lessons based on collections of primary source documents.

Docs Teach recently announced the addition of some new collections of primary source documents. Headlining those additions is a collection of letters written by men serving in the Lone Star Division, the 36th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I.

Applications for Education
Docs Teach is free for teachers to use to create and distribute digital lessons based on primary source documents. Docs Teach provides twelve templates that you can follow to create your own online activities. Most of the the activity templates are intended to help students analyze and compare sources.

While not exactly how-to videos, Docs Teach does have six recorded webinars available for viewing on the National Archives YouTube channel.