Monday, November 26, 2018

How to Create Custom Greeting Cards on Storyboard That

A few years ago Storyboard That introduced a great little feature for making greeting cards. Initially, it was only available for a few holidays, but now is available for all of the major greeting card holidays. This is a feature that anyone can use on Storyboard That. In the following video I demonstrate how to design and print a greeting card through Storyboard That.


Applications for Education
Design, printing, writing, and sending greeting cards can be a good way to engage elementary school students in writing correspondence.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog. 

How to Use Guest Mode in Flipgrid

A few weeks ago Flipgrid added a new feature called Guest Mode. Guest Mode allows you to give parents access to view a specific topic within a Flipgrid grid. Guest Mode also provides the option for parents to record a video to be added to a specific topic within a Flipgrid grid. Watch my following video to learn how to access Guest Mode in Flipgrid.


Applications for Education
Flipgrid's Guest Mode only grants access to specific topics within a grid, not all topics. As demonstrated in my video, you can revoke guest access at any time. And you can moderate guest submissions.

Guest Mode could be great for getting parents involved in a classroom discussion. I can envision guest mode being great for asking parents to share short local history stories. It could also be a great way for parents to share encouraging messages with the class before a big test, game, or concert.

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.