Monday, August 27, 2018

ClassDojo Releases Three New Features for the New School Year

If you're a ClassDojo user, you should have recently received an email about three new features that have been added for the 2018-19 school year. One of those features is significant and two are just convenient.

The significant update is found in ClassDojo's new Student Portfolios service. This free service was announced at the end of the last school year will soon be available to all users. ClassDojo Portfolios are student-led portfolios. Students can choose the items that they want to include in their portfolios. They can include pictures, documents, videos, notes, and drawings in their portfolios. Just like in the current Student Stories teachers will have to approve all submissions before they are shared. Parents are able to see only the work of their children and not of other children in the class. The best of ClassDojo Student Portfolios is that the portfolios can stay with a student from year-to-year even when they change teachers.

Class Stories is the ClassDojo feature that teachers can use to distribute pictures, videos, and written updates about their classes for parents to see. Student Stories is updated for the new school year with an option to share multiple pictures in a story. This feature is kind of like including multiple pictures in one Instagram post.

Finally, ClassDojo now gives you the option to display all points, only positive points, or no points when sharing updates with parents.

Get Your Copy of the 2018-19 Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Last night subscribers to the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter were sent copies of the 2018-19 Practical Ed Tech Handbook. This annual publication is a free, 36 page PDF that highlights my favorite educational technology sites and apps.

The Practical Ed Tech Handbook is organized into nine sections. Those sections are:

  • Communication tools and strategies. 
  • Search strategies. 
  • Digital citizenship.
  • Video creation and flipped lessons. 
  • Audio recording and publishing. 
  • Backchannels and informal assessments. 
  • Digital portfolios. 
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality. 
  • Programming.
You can download a copy of the Practical Ed Tech Handbook here, view it as a Google Doc, or view it as embedded below. 

(If your school blocks, you won't be able to download the PDF through the links above. If that's the case for you, send me a note at richardbyrne (at) to request a copy). 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Use This Chrome Setting to Save Your Laptop's Battery

Even though it has improved in the last year, Google Chrome is still notorious for draining laptop batteries. This is particularly true when you have many extensions installed. You can preserve some of your battery's life by opening the advanced settings menu in Chrome and choosing to disable the option to "continue running background apps when Chrome is closed." Watch the following video to learn how to enable this setting.

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.