Saturday, June 23, 2018

Use Scheduling to Blog Consistently

Earlier this week I hosted a webinar about creating and maintaining classroom blogs. One of the topics that I addressed during the webinar was the importance of publishing blog posts on a consistent schedule. Publishing consistently helps your students and their parents know when they should expect to see new entries appearing on your blog.

You might not always have time to write on the same day(s) every week, but you can publish on the same day(s) if you use blog scheduling. When you have the time to write more than one blog entry, don't post them at the same time. Instead schedule one to appear at a later time so that you can maintain your consistent publishing schedule.

In the following video I demonstrate how you can schedule blog posts in Blogger, Edublogs, and WordPress blogs.

By the way, this post appears thanks to the scheduling tool. I wrote it on Tuesday night and it's appearing now on Saturday morning. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Two Lessons on Cloud Types and Their Names

Meteorology is a science topic that affects all of us whether you like it or not. Look up at the clouds and you're making a science observation. But what exactly are you looking at when you look at the clouds? And what kind of clouds are you seeing? Those questions are answered in a National Weather Service video titled Weather 101: A Tutorial on Cloud Types.

The NWS video above mentions the Latin origins of the cloud type names. A better video about the naming of clouds is found in this TED-Ed lesson titled How Did Clouds Get Their Names?

Applications for Education
As a follow-up to having students watch the videos about clouds, take them outside to try to identify the clouds that they see above them. It's a breezy and sunny summer day as I write this blog entry. In other words, it's perfect for laying in the grass and watching the clouds go by. So take your kids outside and do the same.

Where You Can Follow My Work

If you're reading this, the numbers say that you found my blog through one of the following methods:
  1. Facebook referral - Here's the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page.
  2. Email referral - Join the daily email list.
  3. Organic search 
  4. Twitter referral - Follow me on Twitter.
  5. Pinterest referral - Follow my primary board
There are other places that I publish online and other ways to to keep up with what I'm doing. 
  1. The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week is the email that send out on Sunday evening. That email contains my favorite tip of the week and a rundown of the most popular posts of the week on Free Technology for Teachers. You can join that mailing list here.
  2. I publish a new tutorial or two every week on my YouTube channel.
  3. If you're interested in what's going on my life beyond ed tech, you're welcome to follow me on Instagram (it's mostly pictures of my babies, my dogs, and whatever outdoor sport is in season). 

Vynchronize - Watch Videos and Discuss Them in the Same Window

Vynchronize is a new video discussion platform that I learned about through Larry Ferlazzo's recent This Week in Web 2.0 post. Vynchronize lets you create an online room in which you can watch a video while chatting about it with other viewers at the same time.

To use Vynchronize just go to the site, enter your name, and pick a name for your chat room. As soon as you do that your chat room will be launched and you can invite others to join by giving them the URL assigned to your room. Within your room you can play videos from YouTube and Vimeo. To play a video just copy its URL from YouTube or Vimeo and then paste it into the video queue. Chat about the video happens in a side panel on the same page. You can pause, rewind, and fast-forward the video just like you can on YouTube or Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Vynchronize isn't going to replace full flipped video lesson tools like EDpuzzle but it could be a convenient tool to use for informal discussion about an educational video.

A Soccer Physics Lesson

If you watch the World Cup or any other professional soccer game you're bound to see some incredible kicks that make the ball curve through the air. Football Physics: The "Impossible" Free Kick is a TED-Ed lesson that illustrates and explains how soccer players make the ball curve when they kick it on a free kick or a corner kick. The video also explains how the forces that make a soccer ball curve can also make a thrown baseball curve. The video also answers the question of whether or not it would be possible to make a ball boomerang back to you. The video is embedded below. The full lesson can be seen here.

And if you need some help understanding the game of soccer or how the World Cup works, check out the free soccer guide that Common Craft offers.