Friday, August 16, 2019

ICYMI - Practical Ed Tech Live Recording

This morning I hosted a new episode of Practical Ed Tech Live on my YouTube channel. I hadn't held one of these sessions since the last school year ended. For the new school year I'm adding a new element to the broadcast. That element is a recap of some of the bigger stories in the world of educational technology. Of course, I'm still answering questions from readers and viewers like you. The recording of today's episode of Practical Ed Tech Live is now available to view as embedded below and on my YouTube channel.


Here's an outline of what was covered in the broadcast. The outline includes links for many of the things that I mentioned in the video.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified whenever I host a live session and whenever I upload a new tutorial video.

Post-it App for Android - Turn Physical Stickies Into Digital Ones

For many years Post-it has offered a free iPhone and iPad app that you can use to turn a collection of physical sticky notes into digital ones. This morning I discovered that Post-it now offers an Android version of the same app. Both versions of the Post-it app let you snap a picture of a collection of sticky notes that you want to digitize. After snapping the picture you'll be able to sort and group the digitized version of your sticky notes. You can export your digitized stickies and groups of stickies as PDF, PowerPoint, and Excel files. Watch the video below to see how the Post-it app works.


On a related note, Amazon currently offers a 10% discount on Post-it notes and other 3M products on this page when you use the discount code 10OFFCOLLEGE.

Applications for Education
As I've written before, this app is good for digitizing the output of a brainstorming session that started with physical notes. You could have students carry-out brainstorming sessions with physical notes then go around the room with one iPad or Android tablet to create a digital record of those notes. Then project the app through an LCD projector or interactive whiteboard to show students all of the notes and talk about which notes should be sorted into various categorized boards in the app.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Three Ways to Create Shortened URLs People Can Actually Spell

Whenever I have a webpage that I want a group of students or colleagues to go to at the same time, I use a URL shortener to turn long URLs into things that are easy to copy and spell. Sure, I could email the link in advance or post it on Google Classroom, but when I do that I've introduced an intermediate step that is full of distractions (colleagues start reading email, students start looking at grades).

Bitly has been my URL shortener of choice for many years because it lets me customize the shortened URL and track click-throughs. That said, lately I find that I also like Yellkey a lot. Finally, I can't write about URL shorteners without mentioning TinyURL which has been around forever, it seems. All three of these tools can be used to create custom shortened URLs. Demonstrations of how to use all three tools are included in the video below.

How to Add an Animated Clock to PowerPoint Slides

This afternoon I received an email from a reader who had watched my video about adding timers to PowerPoint slides. My video features a timer with a digital countdown display. She wanted to know if there is a way to add an analog clock countdown display to a PowerPoint slide. It is possible to do that through the use of shapes and animations in PowerPoint, but it does take some time. Normally, I would make a video about how to do this, but this time I'm just going to refer you to this tutorial from The Tech Train channel on YouTube.


And if you're curious about how to add a digital countdown to PowerPoint slides, my tutorial on that process is embedded below.

How to Annotate Webpages With Seesaw's Chrome Extension

Seesaw recently released an updated Chrome extension that makes it easy for students to save and annotate articles in their digital portfolios. With SeeSaw's free Chrome extension installed students can save an entire webpage or select a portion of the page to save. Once they've made a selection of what to save the Chrome extension will automatically open SeeSaw in a new browser tab where students can then highlight, draw, and type on the saved page. Students can also record themselves talking about the pages they've clipped. Watch my video below for a quick overview of how SeeSaw's free Chrome extension works.