Sunday, March 31, 2019

5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor Lessons – Spring 2019

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. That's why on Tuesday at 4pm ET I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled 5 Ways to Blend Technology Into Outdoor 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.

Join me on April 2nd at 4pm Eastern Time to learn how you can blend technology into outdoor lessons.


In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  • Augmented Reality 
  • Digital mapping
  • Geocaching 
  • Activity tracking 
  • Observing and collecting scientific data

Your registration includes:

  • Access to the live webinar on April 2nd at 4pm Eastern Time. 
  • Unlimited access to the webinar recording. 
  • Digital handouts. 
  • PD certificate.
Use code "April" to save $5 on registration. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Math Keyboard and More Updates to Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms doesn't get as much coverage on this blog as Google Forms, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft Forms doesn't have some great features. In fact, it has some features that I wish Google would add to Google Forms.

In March Microsoft added some nice features to Microsoft Forms. For students and teachers, the most significant of those new features is the inclusion of a math keyboard. This feature lets students use a virtual keyboard to answer open-ended math questions in Microsoft Forms.

A small, but convenient update to Microsoft Forms lets you launch Forms from the header of Office.com

Six G Suite Updates You Might Have Missed in March

Every month Google rolls out new features for G Suite and many of their other products. Some of those updates are irrelevant for teachers and students while others can have a direct impact on how teachers and students use their favorite Google products. If you want to see every update that Google makes to G Suite throughout the month, follow the G Suite Updates Blog. But if you prefer to trust me to filter and pass along the relevant updates, here's what I think were the Google product updates that were relevant for teachers and students.


  • You can now use your own VR tours in Google Expeditions
    • You can use Google's VR Tour Creator through your G Suite account if your domain administrator has enabled it. Those tours can now be used in the Android and iOS versions of Google Expeditions. I wrote about this update and included tutorials here

Cards, Assessments, and Poems - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the April showers have arrived a couple of days early. That's okay because all week long it was sunny and warm which let my kids and dogs get lots of outdoor playtime. Speaking of outdoor playtime, next week I'm hosting a webinar about how to blend technology into outdoor lessons.

This week I didn't do any traveling. I stayed home and hosted some some webinars including a Best of the Web presentation. If you missed my Best of the Web webinar, you can view it right here.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Make Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional Characters
2. Fast & Fun Formative Assessment - Slides
3. Langscape - An Interactive Map of Languages
4. Theme Poems and Shape Poems - Activities for Poetry Month
5. How to Create an Activity Tracker With Google Forms & Sheets
6. The Story of the United States Told in 141 Interactive Maps
7. Check Out the Periodic Table of iOS 12 Apps for Education



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 March and save $50! 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, March 29, 2019

5 Resources for Teaching and Learning About the Science of Baseball

The Major League Baseball season started yesterday. The Yankees won, boo! The Red Sox lost, double boo! If you have students who are as excited as I am about the start of the baseball season, try to capitalize on that enthusiasm with one of the following educational resources.

Exploratorium's the Science of Baseball is a bit dated in its appearance, but it still has some nice resources that can help students understand how a bit of science and mathematics is involved in the game. The Science of Baseball includes video and audio clips of baseball players and scientists explaining how the weather affects the flight of the ball, the physics of various pitches, and reaction times to thrown and batted baseballs.

The Baseball Hall of Fame has free lessons that are aligned with the Common Core Standards for Math and English Language Arts. There are lessons for math, social studies, science, the arts, and character education.

ESPN's Sport Science has a handful of little resources about the science of baseball. One of those resources is Anatomy of a Pitch. In Anatomy of a Pitch seven pitchers from the Arizona Diamondbacks explain how they throw their signature pitches. Each explanation includes slow motion footage and the pitchers explaining the release points, finger positioning, leg uses, and rotations involved in each their pitches.

The Physics of Baseball is a PBS Learning Media lesson for students in high school. Learn about motion, energy, aerodynamics, and vibration.

Perfect Pitch is a nice little game produced by the Kennedy Center's Arts Edge. Perfect Pitch uses the backdrop of a baseball diamond to teach students about the instruments in an orchestra through a baseball game setting. The game introduces students to four eras of orchestral music and the instruments used in each. Students can create their own small orchestras and virtually play each instrument to hear how it sounds. After building an orchestra students then test their knowledge in short quizzes about the instruments and their sounds.