Sunday, February 24, 2019

Important Changes for Those Who Follow in RSS and Email

Those of you who follow this in an RSS reader like Feedly or Flipboard may have recently noticed a change in the way that the articles are displayed. Likewise, those who subscribe to the daily emails may have noticed a change in the content display this morning. The change is that from beginning yesterday afternoon my RSS feed will only display the first 150 characters in an article before you will be directed to click a link to read the full article or watch the full video here on FreeTech4Teachers.com.


The change is a direct result of rampant plagiarism!
The plagiarism and unauthorized republication of my work has gotten out of hand in the last couple of months. While I know how to DMCA notices it is a time-consuming process that takes away from writing new content on this blog and takes time away from helping my clients. When I was only dealing with one or two cases of plagiarism per month, I could handle it even though it was terribly annoying. In the last two months I've hand to file more than twenty DMCA takedown notices including twelve this weekend!

Scraping or republishing full RSS feeds is the easiest way to load up a website with lots of content and very little work. Despite knowing that, I've always published my full RSS feed for readers to consume in their RSS readers of choice. Doing that makes it easier to read your favorite blog without having to open multiple tabs. Unfortunately, too many people have taken advantage of me publishing my full RSS feed. From here on, you will only be able to see 150 characters of an article in RSS or email before being directed to click through to FreeTech4Teachers.com. I didn't want to make this change, but it's the only choice I have left. I can't continue to spend the time and energy to fight all the copyright infringements. (BTW, I can't wait to see this blog post pop-up on some spammy blog).

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

An Educational Game About Animal Habitats

Habitats is an educational game from the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The online game challenges elementary school to match animals to their habitats. In the Habitats game students are shown images representative of four habitats; desert, coral reef, jungle, and marsh. To play the games students have to drag pictures of animals from a list to their corresponding habitats. Students receive instant feedback on each move they make in the game. Once an animal has been placed in the correct habitat students can click on it to learn more about it. The additional information is sourced from the Encyclopedia of Life.

Applications for Education
Habitats could be a fun game for elementary school students to play as a review activity after studying one or all four of the habitats featured in the game.

Weather, Keynote, and Flying - The Week in Review

Good afternoon from Paris Hill, Maine where the sun is shining and my daughters are napping. Their naps should give me just enough time to write this week's week-in-review.

This week I had the privilege to give the opening keynote at the SET-BC District Partners conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference was excellent and totally worth the 14 hours I spent traveling to get there. The title of my keynote was Built to Last - What Works in Educational Technology. The slides I used are available here. I really enjoyed putting that presentation together. It was the first time that I gave that version of the presentation and I'm looking forward to editing it a bit more for my next conference keynote.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. An Online Lab for Learning About Weather Patterns and Forecasts
2. Ten Search Strategies Students Should Try
3. How to Find More Free Images to Use in Adobe Spark Videos
4. A Comparison of Blogging Services for Teachers and Students
5. eMammal Lite - Practice Identifying Animals and Learn Where They Live
6. Built to Last - A Look at What Works in Ed Tech
7. A Helpful Search Refinement Option for Students Studying Trending Topics

Now Booking Summer Workshops!
Summer might feel a long way away right now, but I'm already booking my summer workshop calendar. If you'd like to have me come to your school this spring (I have two May openings) or summer, please take a look at my speaking page and fill out the short form at the bottom of it.


The Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is happening on July 15th and 16th. I've secured a beautiful location for it that offers lots of activities for the whole family within walking distance. Register in February and you'll save $70! Registration is now open here.

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.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Wiggle & Stomp - A Fun App for Learning About Animals

Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp is an educational game produced by the Smithsonian. The purpose of the game is to help children recognize the movements of animals. In the game children move through a virtual zoo with a zoo keeper. As they go through the virtual zoo the zoo keeper will ask students to take pictures of animals who are demonstrating running, jumping, stomping, and other movements. Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be played online, as a free iPad app, and as a free Android app.

Applications for Education
Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be a fun little game for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The game reads the commands displayed on the screen to help students learn to read the words they're seeing. At the conclusion of the game students can print out coloring pages of animals they took pictures of during the game.

ClassHook's Pause Prompts Let You Add Questions to Existing Videos

ClassHook is a great service for finding video clips to use in your classroom. ClassHook clips come from well-known movies and television shows. You can search for those clips according to subject area and topic.

Earlier this month ClassHook introduced a new feature called Pause Prompts. Pause Prompts are questions that pop-up and pause a video in progress. The prompts are meant to be used for facilitating classroom conversations or to give students time to take notes at an important point in the video.

What makes ClassHook's Pause Prompts different from services like EDpuzzle is that Pause Prompts aren't intended to be homework assignments or individual assignments.

Applications for Education
Pause Prompts could be useful for giving students time to jot down some notes from a video. You could also use Pause Prompts to give students time to answer or ask questions in small groups.

ClassHook's search feature could save you time the next time that you're searching for a video clip to support a point in your lesson plan. It can also be helpful in finding a video to build a flipped lesson upon.