Saturday, October 5, 2019

The Week in Review - It's Pumpkin Season!

Good morning from Maine where it is looking and feeling like fall a little more every day. Last Sunday afternoon I did my first round of leaf removal and I'll be doing another one this weekend. You have to stay on top of these things when you live in a place where a foot of snow in October isn't unheard of. The other sign of fall is that my daughters have been decorating pumpkins all week.

In business news, this week I published six on-demand webinar options over on Practical Ed Tech. And I planned a live webinar for later this month. Stay tuned for details about that.

 These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Google Forms Features You Should Know How to Use - Video
2. How to Randomize Question and Answer Sequences in Google Forms
3. Get Your Copy of the Free Practical Ed Tech Handbook
4. Math & Science Halloween Lessons
5. Creative Bridge - A Next Vista for Learning Video Contest
6. Common Craft Explains Incognito or Private Browser Windows
7. A Halloween-themed Physical Education Program

I'll come to your school or conference. 
I'm already booking my 2020 workshop and conference schedule. This will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Click here to learn how to bring me to your school or conference.

Thank You for Your Support!
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Win Chromebooks and ISTE Registration in Book Creator's "A Better Future" Contest

Book Creator is a popular tool for creating multimedia ebooks on an iPad or in the Chrome web browser. Students can use Book Creator to create ebooks that include pictures, text, voice, video, maps, and drawings. I have a couple of tutorials on it here.

Earlier this week Book Creator announced a contest through which schools can win Chromebook tablets, registration to the annual ISTE conference, and more. The competition is open to schools anywhere in the world. The theme of the competition is "A Better Future." The contest asks students to create short ebooks (minimum 3 pages, maximum 11 pages) that address the following questions:

  • What are the issues facing the world today? 
  • How can we address them? 
  • What will the future look like? 
  • How can we make the world better for everyone?
There is a category for students ages 4-11 and one for students ages 12-18. The contest submission deadline is January 10th. Read the complete contest rules and FAQs here


Disclosure: Book Creator is currently an advertiser on this blog. 

Book Review Videos Made in the Common Craft Style

Years ago I came across a video in which someone reviewed The Art of Explanation by making a video in the Common Craft style. The Art of Explanation is a book that was written by Lee LeFever who is the voice behind all of the Common Craft videos. The producer of the video, Bruce Herwig, wrote a blog post explaining the lessons he learned in the video production process.

I've written about book trailers video projects many times in the past. Usually those projects are focused on having students produce videos that will get other students interested in a book. The approach that Bruce Herwig uses is slightly different as it focuses more on providing a clear overview of the book rather than just trying to hook viewers into reading the book. That approach could be a good one for high school students to use as a means to providing reviews of non-fiction works that may not have the entertainment value of fiction works.

Bruce Herwig's video is embedded below.


My video on how to make Common Craft-style videos with Google Slides and a screencasting tool is embedded below.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode #12

This afternoon I recorded the twelfth episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In the episode I shared some reflections on teaching computer science and some reflections on being a teacher at 40 versus being a teacher at 25. Of course, I also answered a handful of questions from readers. The episode begins with some news and notes from the world of ed tech over the last week. Give the show a listen here or search "Practical Ed Tech" on your favorite podcast platform.



Get the complete show notes here.

You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks:

The Solutions to Common Classroom Stains

Stain Solutions is a handy website developed by Susan Taylor at the University of Illinois Extension. The site is a database of solutions for removing more than 200 common stains like coffee, bird poop, and white glue (commonly called Elmer's glue). Click on a stain in the chart and you will be taken to a list of the ingredients needed to make a solution that will remove your chosen stain. Directions and warnings are provided along with the solutions.

Applications for Education
I don't know of any teacher who hasn't stained work clothes themselves or had them stained as the result of a student mishap. I've stained enough neckties to create a drop-cloth. Coffee, ink, and dry-erase markers seem to be the leading causes of those stains. Solutions to remove all those stains can be found on Stain Solutions.