Saturday, November 24, 2018

Backchannels, Sounds, and Thanksgiving - The Week in Review

Good morning from snowy Maine. I hope that all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this week had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Based on the number of "out of office" emails I received this week, a fair number of you were off all week.

Earlier this week I hosted the first night of the winter session of Teaching History With Technology. If you're looking for other professional development opportunities I'm holding a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sale on my six most popular webinars of 2018.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Change Coming to Your Google Account's Sign-in Screen
2. Fiction vs. Non-fiction - A Canva Infographic
3. An Interactive Timeline of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
4. 5 Free Thanksgiving Lesson Plans You Can Use This Week
5. How to Create a Backchannel on Padlet
6. Bensound - Free Music for Video Projects
7. How to Make a QR Code for Just About Anything

I'll Come to Your School in 2019!
My 2019 schedule is quickly filling up. If you're interested in having me lead a professional development day at your school, please send me a note at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com or click here to learn more about my PD 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. Click here to learn more or 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.
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.
Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Did You Get the Text? - Google Calendar to Stop Sending Texts

From the department of "no one uses that feature anymore," Google has announced via text message and on the G Suite Update blog that as of January 7th you'll no longer be able to receive text (SMS) notifications about Google Calendar events.

Until I read the notification this week, I did not realize that getting SMS notifications was even still an option. I thought it had been phased out years ago with the launches of the Google Calendar Android and iOS apps that provide push notifications to remind you of Calendar events. You can also get event reminder notifications on your desktop and via email.

You can learn more about Google Calendar in my recorded webinar, Getting Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep which is a part of my Black Friday bundle of PD webinars

How to Access and Use the Blurring Tools in YouTube's Video Editor

This is the time of year for winter concerts and plays at schools. If the ones at your are anything like the one I attended last week, there will be plenty of parents recording the performances. And I'd guess that you or someone from your school will record it too. Before you or a colleague publishes that video on YouTube, consider the students whose parents don't want them to appear in an online video. If you have students whose parents don't want their likenesses appearing in online videos, consider using YouTube's built-in blurring tools.

YouTube recently introduced a new (still in beta) version of Creator Studio. Doing so moved the location of some features of the YouTube video editor. In the following video I demonstrate how to access the blurring effects through the new beta version of Creator Studio.


If your YouTube account doesn't have the new beta version of Creator Studio, watch this video to learn how to apply blurring effects to your videos.

How Frost Appears on Plants - A Science Lesson

Here in Maine we're way past worrying about frost in the morning. That's because we've already had a few snow storms. But some of you may have frost on plants in the morning. SciShow Kids has a new video all about what causes frost to appear on plants in the fall.

By watching It's Time for Frost! students can learn how the right combination of cold temperatures and moisture can make frost appear on plants. Students can also learn why sometimes frost seems to just disappear while other times you can clearly see frost melting.


A convenient thing that SciShow Kids has started doing for teachers is posting the Next Generation Science Standards used in their videos. The standards addressed in this video are:

K-PS3-1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface.
K-ESS2-1. Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

What If You Stopped Sleeping? - Video Lesson

As the parent of a two year old and a one year old I know a thing or two about operating on little sleep. There are times when I wonder if I'll ever get a full night's sleep again. Which begs the question, "what if I stopped sleeping?" That question is the focus of an ASAP Science video. What If You Stopped Sleeping? explains the effects of sleep deprivation as well as the effects of sleeping too much.


ASAP Science includes links to the references used in the production of the videos. Those links are included below: