Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Webinar Recording - Best of the Web 2019

This afternoon I hosted a free webinar in which I highlighted some of my favorite new and updated ed tech tools. During the webinar I gave brief demonstrations of Google's VR Tour Creator, Synth for podcasting, Bouncy Balls for monitoring noise, and programming augmented reality experiences through Metaverse. The webinar also included short demonstrations of Mozilla's Goggles tool, a Chrome extension to keep you from visiting Facebook too often, a tool for making animated GIFs, and how to virtually place yourself in front of any landmark.

If you missed today's Best of the Web webinar, you can now watch the recording on my YouTube channel or as embedded below.


The slides used in the webinar are embedded below.



Many of the tools featured in today's webinar will be featured in greater detail in the series of Practical Ed Tech webinars that I'm hosting in April

5 Tuesday Webinars in April

This year there are five Tuesdays in April. I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech professional development webinar on each of those Tuesdays. You can register for them individually or register for all five at once through the special offer at the bottom of this page. Read on to learn more about each webinar and how to register for them.

5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons
As the winter fades and spring begins to bloom here in New England, kids and adults are itching to get outside more often. This is a great time to take your students outside for some lessons. In this live webinar you’ll learn five ways that you can incorporate technology into outdoor lessons. These strategies can be used in elementary school, middle school, or high school settings.

This webinar will be at 4pm ET on April 2nd. Learn more or register here.

Intro to Using AR & VR in Your Classroom
Take a look at any ed tech blog or magazine today and you’re bound to see an article about virtual reality or augmented reality. You might think that these are new technologies but they’ve actually been used in education for more than two decades. But today it is easier and cheaper than ever to bring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into your classroom. In this webinar you will learn how you can use these powerful technologies in your classroom.

This webinar will be at 4pm ET on April 9th. Learn more or register here.

5 Ways to Use Google Earth & Maps in Your Classroom
Google Earth and Google Maps can be powerful tools in many subject areas, if you know how to use them. In this webinar you will learn how to use Google Earth and Google Maps in social studies, language arts, science, physical education, and mathematics (elementary level) lessons.

This webinar will be at 7pm ET on April 16th. Learn more or register here.

Search Strategies Students Need to Know
In this webinar you will learn why informational searches are the hardest types of Internet searches for students to conduct. You will learn how to help students break-down complex search topics into manageable pieces and then put the whole picture together. You’ll learn how to help your students save students tons of time by thinking before searching. And you’ll learn how to develop instructional search challenge activities to use with students of any age.

This webinar will be at 7pm ET on April 23rd. Learn more or register here.

5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom
In this one hour live webinar you will learn how to create and complete five video projects that can be done in almost any classroom. You’ll learn how your students can make animated videos, make documentary-style videos, and instructional videos. Whether your students use Chromebooks, iPads, Android, Windows, or Mac, you can do these projects.

This webinar will be at 4pm ET on April 30th. Learn more or register here.

Five Webinars for the Price of Three!
You can register for each webinar individually or register for all five at once for the price of three.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Theme Poems and Shape Poems - Activities for Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month here in the United States. This is a good time to remind you or introduce you to a couple of good resources from Read Write Think about poetry.

RWT's Theme Poems interactive provides students with 32 pictures to use as the basis for writing short poems. To write a poem students launch the interactive then choose a theme. Within each of the five themes students will find related images. Once they choose an image students are prompted to write the words that come to mind as they look at the image. Students then create poems from those words. The finished product can be saved as a PDF and or emailed to a teacher from the RWT site.

Shape Poems is a simple poem generation template hosted by Read Write Think. Shape Poems provides a template for writing poems in the shape of an object, about that object. Shape templates can be selected from one of four themes including sports, school, nature, and celebrations. Students then select a shape and identify words that they associate with their chosen shape. When completed, students can hear their poems read to them and or print their poems.

Applications for Education
Every RWT interactive has related lesson plans. Visit the RWT Theme Poems interactive page to find a handful of lesson plans appropriate for use in K-5.

Getting students interested in writing poems can be a difficult task. The Shape Poem generator provides a nice selection of templates that may pique students' interest in writing poetry.

Six Good Lessons About Man's Best Friend

As long-time readers of this blog know, I love dogs. Small dogs, big dogs, skinny dogs, and fat dogs, I love them all. And I have a particularly soft spot for older dogs in shelters (I've adopted three in the last decade). So it was with much interest that I watched the latest TED-Ed lesson about dogs.

A Brief History of Dogs traces the evolution of dogs from their origins as wild wolves to their current state as domesticated lap dogs. In the lesson you'll also learn how dogs and humans came to be as bonded as they are today.


A Brief History of Dogs isn't the first lesson that TED-Ed has published about dogs. How Do Dogs "See" With Their Noses? was released about four years ago. It provides a great explanation of how dogs' noses work. The most interesting part of the video is the explanation of how dogs' senses of smell allow them to identify friends, foes, and potential threats. The video is embedded below. You can find the full lesson here.



If you've ever wondered why dogs tilt their heads in response to a question or other prompt, SciShow has some answers for you in the video embedded below.



Why dogs pant is another question your dog-owning students may wonder about. SciShow Kids has that answered in the following video released last week.



Whether its from a deer, a moose, a horse, or any other mammal, my dogs have a hard time not scooping up a mouthful of poop. While I don't like the habit, thanks to Why Do Some Animals Eat Poop? I know why they do it. Why Do Some Animals Eat Poop? explains why and how some animals get nutrients from eating the excrement of other animals. The video also mentions why the feces of some animals has more nutrients than that of other animals. Like all MinuteEarth videos, the description notes on YouTube for this video include a list of the references used in producing the video. Watch the video on YouTube or as embedded below.



"why do animals have tails?" SciShow Kids has the answer to that question in their latest video. The video explains how some animals use their tails to communicate and some use them for balance. The video also explains why humans don't need tails.

Free Webinar Tomorrow - Best of the Web 2019

The last few Wednesdays I have hosted a live Q&A session in which I answer questions from you, my awesome readers. Tomorrow, I'm going to mix it up and instead of hosting a live Q&A I'm going to host a free live webinar featuring the highlights from the latest version of my Best of the Web presentation.

The webinar will be held tomorrow at 4pm ET and will run for roughly 35-40 minutes. You can register for tomorrow's Best of the Web webinar right here.

It will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live presentation. The recording will be posted on this blog on Thursday. You do not need to email me to get the recording.