Monday, February 25, 2019

How to Use ClassHook's New Pause Prompts Feature

ClassHook recently added a great feature to their educational video service. That feature is called Pause Prompts. Pause Prompts are short questions or discussion prompts that you build into the video clips that you plan to display in your classroom. When you play a video in your classroom the video will automatically pause and display your discussion prompt or question to your students. Watch my short video to see ClassHook's Pause Prompts in action.

Applications for Education
Besides using Pause Prompts for displaying questions, you could use Pause Prompts to give students an opportunity to ask questions about what they have seen. Pause Prompts could simply be used to give students a moment to jot down a few notes about what they have seen in a video that you show to them in your classroom.

Join Me on Wednesday for a Live Q&A

I get a lot of emails from readers who ask all kinds of questions related to educational technology. I try to answer as many of them as I can. This Wednesday, I'm going to attempt to clear out the backlog of questions by hosting a live Q&A session. The live session will be broadcast on my YouTube channel and on my Practical Ed Tech Facebook page at 4pm Eastern Time. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and or like my Facebook page to get an alert when the live broadcast begins.

If you have a question that you would like me to answer, you can submit it during the live broadcast or submit it in advance through this Google Form

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

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 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).

Get a Weekly Summary Sent to You
Five years ago I started the Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. More than 16,500 people now subscribe to it. It's an email that I send on Sunday evenings. The newsletter contains my tip of the week and a summary of the most popular posts of the week on Free Technology for Teachers. Subscribe here.

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.

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