Saturday, June 2, 2018

Forms, Augmented Reality, and Games - The Week in Review

Good morning from hot and humid South Paris, Maine. The warmth and rain have made our flowers bloom which is a nice sight to see to after a long winter. My toddling daughter is certainly happy about this weather as it she loves to play outside and sniff the flowers. And that's what we're going to do right after breakfast. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have time for fun in the sun too.

Before my kids start stirring I have this week's list of the most popular posts to share with you. By the way, you can get this list emailed to you on Sunday as part of my Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Using Google Forms to Track Professional Development
2. Five Options for Creating Animated Videos on Your Chromebook
3. Three Google Sheets Add-ons That Can Help You Get Things Done
4. Google Expeditions Updated With New Augmented Reality Content
5. Purpose Games - Create and Play Educational Games
6. Try These Google Forms Options to Organize Responses
7. Play Code Fred to Learn About Circulation and Respiration

Bring Me to Your School
I have three openings left in my summer schedule for on-site professional development workshops. I can provide professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, and many other topicsClick here to learn more or send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to book me today.

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. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com 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.
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.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Now You Can Duplicate Your Sites in New Google Sites

The "new" version of Google Sites (it has been out for two years now) has seen a steady increase in features over the last six months. Many of those features are things that existed in the old version of Google Sites and are now available in the new version. The latest feature it make it over from the old Google Sites to the new version is the option to duplicate a site.

Duplicating a Google Site will let you make an exact copy of an existing site and have it reside at a new URL. To do this just open the "more" menu (the little menu just to the left of the publish button) and click "duplicate." You can then change the name of the duplicated site. Your duplicated site won't be live on the web until you click the publish button on it.

Applications for Education
Duplicating a site could be a convenient option to use at the beginning of a school year. If you spent the previous school year maintaining a site and you're happy with the look and content, you could re-use it by duplicating it and then just updating parts of it through the year.

Duplicate sites could also be helpful for testing a new design or new feature without impacting your primary site. In other words, you can use the duplicate as a test site.

Three Good Resources for Learning About the Science of Baseball

Watching a Red Sox game or listening to one on the radio is one of my favorite things to do on a warm summer night like we're having tonight in Maine. During the pregame show this evening the broadcasters were talking about the launch angle of some of the homeruns hit by Red Sox players this year. That discussion of launch angle triggered my memory of some resources that I've shared over the years regarding the math and science of baseball.

Anatomy of a Pitch
ESPN's Sport Science has a handful of little resources about the science of baseball. Currently featured on ESPN's homepage is a Anatomy of a Pitch. In Anatomy of a Pitch seven pitchers from the Arizona Diamondbacks explain how they throw their signature pitches. Each explanation includes slow motion footage and the pitchers explaining the release points, finger positioning, leg uses, and rotations involved in each their pitches.

Science of Baseball
Exploratorium has a little feature called the Science of Baseball. The Science of Baseball is a bit dated in its looks, but it still has some nice resources that can help students understand how a bit of science and mathematics is involved in the game. The Science of Baseball includes video and audio clips of baseball players and scientists explaining how the weather affects the flight of the ball, the physics of various pitches, and reaction times to thrown and batted baseballs.

Physics of Baseball
This resource from PBS Learning Media is a lesson for students in high school. The lesson uses the context of baseball to teach about aerodynamics, energy transfer, and vibration.

Turning Milk Into Cheese - A Science Lesson

Reactions is a fantastic YouTube channel that science teachers should bookmark. Reactions is produced by PBS Digital Studios and the American Chemical Society. The purpose of the channel is to teach viewers about the role of chemistry in the things they may see in everyday life. For example, earlier this year they produced a video about the chemistry of gluten and a couple of weeks ago they published a video that explains how milk becomes cheese.


Try one of these tools to make a flipped lesson based on this video.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Why Do We Itch? - A Science Lesson

Summer here in northern New England brings long and sunny days that make us forget about the short and frigid days of winter. Those sunny days come with a catch. That catch is blooming poison ivy and biting insects that make us itch. But what really makes us itch? Is there any way to avoid itching? And how can you make those itchy feelings go away? Those questions and more are answered in the video Why Do We Itch? recently released by It's Okay To Be Smart.


Applications for Education
We've all heard of various home remedies for itchy skin and your students probably have too. Before watching this video have students share some of those home remedies. Then have them watch the video and see if the science matches what their home remedies are supposed to do.