Friday, April 26, 2019

Spring and Summer Professional Development Opportunities With Me

As some of you know, the primary funding for Free Technology for Teachers comes through the sale of my Practical Ed Tech webinars and workshops. (If you're wondering, it costs about $12,000/ year to support the site without accounting for labor). This spring and summer I'm hosting a series of professional development webinars and workshops. I’d love to have you join me for one of them.

5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom

  • This is a one-hour webinar that I'm hosting on Tuesday, April 30th. This webinar introduces you to five video projects that you can do in almost any K-12 classroom. Learn more or register here.

Teaching History With Technology

  • This is a popular online course that I’ve offered in the past as a series of three webinars. I’ve expanded it to five weeks in order to include more fun and engaging topics including augmented reality and virtual reality lessons, the latest Google Earth features, and making mobile apps in social studies lessons. I’m offering this course in May and in June. Learn more about the May course here and learn more about the June course here.

Getting Going With G Suite

  • This webinar series sells out almost every time that I offer it. This is a five week course designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using G Suite for Education. In the course you will not only learn the nuts and bolts of using G Suite for Education, you’ll also learn how to leverage these tools to create engaging experiences for your students. This course draws on my ten years of training thousands of educators on G Suite for Education tools. This course will start in June. Learn more and register here.

Making & Teaching With Video

  • This online course is a deep dive into making videos on your own and with your students. During the course you will learn how to plan, complete, and assess a series of video projects. You’ll also learn how to responsibly share videos and how to respect copyright. The class begins on May 7th. Learn more and register here.

Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp

Professional Development Workshops at Your School

  • This summer is my tenth summer of conducting professional development workshops in schools all over North America. I would love to visit your school this summer. Booking me for professional development day or series of days is quick and easy. Just send me a note at richard (at) or fill out the form here.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Google Earth Timelapses and Historical Imagery

Google Earth Pro (the desktop version of Google Earth) has offered historical imagery for many years. You can access that imagery by selecting the timeslider icon in the menu at the top of Google Earth when it is open on your desktop. Today, Google unveiled some updates to their Google Earth Engine Timelapse website that offers historical imagery in an online version of Google Earth. The timelapses are animations that play 35 years of satellite imagery. In the following video I demonstrate how to access the timelapses and the historical imagery in Google Earth.

Applications for Education
The timelapse and historical imagery could be useful in a science class to help students see how coastlines and other features of landscapes change over time.

This is a Copyright Infringement

If you have been following my blog for more than a few months, you're probably already familiar with my ongoing battle against copyright infringers all around the world. I recently took the step to truncate all of my RSS feeds which has helped in substantially cutting down on the number of sites publishing my work without permission. There are still some sites that feel it is okay to copy and paste my entire blog posts and then just add "source: Free Technology for Teachers" at the end. That's like a student copying an entire Wikipedia article into a document and passing it in as an essay with a one-item bibliography listing Wikipedia. No teacher would accept that essay and no blogger should accept similar behavior from a website. That's why I made the following video to explain the problem, how to properly re-use a person's work, and to call out the latest website to steal my work.

Learn more about copyright issues as they relate to education and blogging in this 2017 post in which I included the recording of a webinar that Beth Holland and I hosted on the topic.

ReadWorks Offers a Split Screen to Help Students Complete Assignments

ReadWorks is a free service that provides high-quality articles and lesson plans for K-12 ELA teachers. Every article on ReadWorks is accompanied by a lexile score and a suggested grade level. Any article that you select will also be accompanied by a list of key vocabulary terms and suggested questions to give to your students.

ReadWorks offers you the option to create an online classroom by either importing your Google Classroom roster or by manually entering students' names. Either option will give you the ability to assign articles and questions to your students. Students then sign-in to read their assigned articles and answer questions. A relatively new-to-me option provides students with the ability to split their screens in ReadWorks in order to have the questions and articles appear side-by-side. Watch my new video to see how that works. - Search and Share Resources by Standard is a free social network for finding and sharing free teaching materials according to Common Core standard or keyword. Resoures that you find through list the standards that can be addressed as well as some suggestions for using through resources in your classroom. You will find videos, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and Word Documents on uses a clean and simple user interface. When you first go to the site you will be greeted by a grid of recently shared resources. On that same page you can begin searching for resources by entering a keyword or by entering a Common Core standard. Search results are displayed in a grid format with large previews of each resource. You will have to create a free account on in order to download or save any resources.

You can register for a free account by using any verifiable email address. Once you have registered you will be able to bookmark and download resources. Depending upon the restrictions that a contributor to sets for his or resources, you may have to send a friend request before you can access his or her resources. You can add your own resources to by going to your account contents page and clicking on the add button to upload resources, write descriptions of your resources, and to link to external resources.

Applications for Education could become a great place to find new instructional materials according to Common Core standard. I kind of look at like if Teachers Pay Teachers without the selling and with an easy way to find resources according to standards.

Disclosure: is currently running a banner advertisement on the homepage of