Saturday, August 25, 2018

Tips on What to Include in Digital Portfolios

During the course ​​of ​​the ​​school​ ​year ​​our​ ​students will ​​create ​​some ​​fantastic ​​digital artifacts.​​ Building ​​a ​​digital ​​portfolio ​​is ​​a ​​great​​way​​ for ​​students ​​to ​​organize those artifacts to share with you and to share with their parents. If you're considering having your students create digital portfolios this year, but you're not sure what to have them include in their portfolios, consider the advice that Carl Sjogreen shared with me in this interview last fall. Carl is one of the founders of the popular digital portfolio service, SeeSaw.

On a related note, SeeSaw has added new activities collections for the new school year. Watch this video to learn more about SeeSaw's activities library.

Emojis, Citations, and Tech Fails - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where a few more red leaves are appearing every day. As the summer winds down I've take a couple of afternoons off to go fly fishing and to spend more time with daughters before my schedule gets busy with fall commitments to schools and conferences all over the U.S. If you live in the northern hemisphere, I hope that you're still enjoying summer too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. What To Do When Your Classroom Technology Fails
2. New Artifact Collections Added to DocsTeach
3. Three Tools to Help Students Understand Classroom Noise
4. MyBib - A Free Citation Generator
5. 5 Back-to-School Tech Tips for Teachers
6. A Couple of Reminders About Email Etiquette
7. How to Add Emojis to Google Docs - And a Classroom Activity

I'll Come to Your School This Year!
If you would like to have me lead a professional development day at your school during this school year, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) - or click here for more information about my professional development services.

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) 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.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Book Creator is a great tool for creating multimedia books.
Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
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, August 24, 2018

Find Relevant YouTube Videos With These Search Tools

Last week I shared some tools for displaying YouTube videos in your classroom without showing all of the distracting comments and sidebar materials found on YouTube. Those tools are all predicated on already knowing which videos you want to show in your classroom. If you need some help finding videos that are timely and relevant, try using this search refinement tool. And if you want to find videos to view in VR headsets, try using this search refinement option.

For New Google Slides Users: Import Your PPT Slides

If you're making the switch from a Windows desktop/laptop environment to a Chromebook environment this year, don't abandon your old PPT and Word files. You can import those files into your G Suite account and have them automatically converted into Google Slides or Google Docs format. In the following video I demonstrate how to import PPT slides into Google Slides.

A Couple of Reminders About Email Etiquette

Two things prompted this post. First, this week I have received a dozen or more emails from teachers who didn't bother to write anything like, "Hi Richard" or any other greeting. Instead they just jumped right into a request. I like to help people, but I like to help polite people more. Second, as school starts it is a good time to remind our students about the proper way to send an email.

Emailing Your Teacher, With Captain Communicator is one of my favorite videos about email etiquette. The short video features two students demonstrating how to write an email to a teacher. It's cute and well worth 90 seconds of your time.

The following video was made by a teacher for the purpose of sharing email etiquette tips with students. It's a bit more serious that the Captain Communicator video.