Monday, August 12, 2019

Certify'em Now Has a BCC Option for Distributing Certificates

Certify'em is one of my favorite Google Forms add-ons. It lets you automatically distribute personalized certificates to students when they pass a quiz in Google Forms. I use it at the end of all of my PD webinars as a way to distribute certificates to attendees. You can use Certify'em to distribute one of the standard certificates or you can design your own certificate in Google Slides and have that be the template used when certificates are distributed to your students. A complete Certify'em tutorial is available here.

Over the weekend Certify'em added a convenient BCC feature. This feature allows you have a certificate automatically sent to your student when he/she passes a quiz and have a copy of that certificate sent to a parent, another teacher, a classroom aide, or to anyone else that might want to see the certificate that a student has just received. You can find the BCC option in the advanced options section of Certify'em.

Intro to Animation and Green Screen Videos

Every Thursday afternoon in August I'm hosting a different Practical Ed Tech professional development webinar. Last week's was all about Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep. This week's webinar is about creating animated videos and green screen videos with your students.

In Intro to Animation and Green Screen Videos you'll learn how your students can make animated videos and green screen videos. Making these types of videos is fun and easy to do with students from grades three through twelve.

Seven Things You Can Learn in the Webinar

  • How to make green screen videos.
  • How to make animated videos even if you can’t draw.
  • The best tools for making animated videos and green screen videos.
  • Tips for creating the best lighting and sound recording environment.
  • Where to get pre-made artwork to use in animated videos.
  • Video project planning steps.
  • How to responsibly publish your students’ video projects.
When?
  • This Thursday at 4pm ET
    • It will be recorded for those who register but cannot attend the live broadcast. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Rubrics, Whiteboards, and Phys Ed - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it is a beautiful morning for a bike ride. That's what I'm going to do as soon as I finish writing this week-in-review.

This week I hosted a professional development webinar all about using Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep. If you missed it, it will be available on-demand at the end of the month. Next week I'm hosting a webinar about making animated videos and green screen videos. You can learn more about that webinar right here.

This week I also restarted the Ed Tech Fitness newsletter. More than 300 of you have now joined that community to participate in little challenges to improve or maintain good health throughout the school year. You can join us here.

Have a great weekend!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Two Important Changes Coming to Google Classroom
2. How to Use Flipgrid to Create Whiteboard Videos
3. Google Drive Priority Page Now Available for All G Suite Accounts
4. Five Google Product Updates for Teachers to Note
5. Create a Directory App for Your School
6. Dozens of Apps for Physical Education
7. How to Use Creative Commons Search

Live PD in August!
In August I'm hosting some new and updated professional development webinars through PracticalEdTech.com. Those webinars are:
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides FreeTech4Teachers.com and the daily email digest, there are other ways to keep up with what I'm publishing. 
  • Practical Ed Tech Newsletter - This comes out once per week (Sunday night/ Monday morning) and includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 15,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • Facebook - The FreeTech4Teachers.com Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing. 

Thank You for Your Support!
  • More than 300 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech webinar this year. Thank you!
  • Pixton is a fantastic tool for students to use to create digital stories. Get started by using their free "Truth or Lie" lesson plan. 
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County has been supporting this blog for many years. 

Try This! - A Series of Hands-on Science Lessons for Kids

Try This! is a series of videos produced by National Geographic Kids. Each of the videos in the series presents a hands-on science lesson or experiment that elementary school and middle school kids will enjoy.

Middle school students can probably do all of the experiments in the Try This! series on their own. Elementary school students will need some help from adults. As you can see in the couple of videos from the series that I have embedded below, each video states the concept that can be taught with the experiment and concludes with a brief explanation of what happened in the experiment.



Applications for Education
If you're elementary school teacher who is looking for some hands-on science lessons to do with your students, the Try This! series could be a good source of inspiration for you. This could also be a good resource to share with parents who are looking for fun and educational activities to do at home with their kids.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Add Video Comments to Google Documents

e-Comments is a Google Chrome extension that offers three great ways to add comments to Google Documents. You can use e-Comments to add canned text comments, you can use it to add audio comments, and you can use it to add video comments to Google Documents. All three options are equally easy to use.

Add Text Comments With e-Comments
This option lets you pick from a menu of more than 200 canned comments to insert into Google Documents. The great thing about this option is that the comments not only provide correction, they also provide suggestions and examples for correction.

Add Audio Comments With e-Comments
To use this option you open the comment bank provided by e-Comments and then click on the audio icon. Clicking that icon will let you record a voice comment that you can save and re-use as often as you like.

Add Video Comments With e-Comments
This option is found the same way as the audio option is found. Simply open the comment bank then click on the video icon to record a video comment to save and insert into the comments of any Google Document that has been shared with you.

About the e-Comments Comment Bank
When you install and activate e-Comments you can choose the grade range that you teach (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, or college). That selection will give you slightly different comments to pick from so that they are in line with your students' current abilities and needs.


You can learn more about Google Docs, Chrome extensions, and all things G Suite in the on-demand course that I'm offering starting on September 4th. Learn more about it here!