Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Somehow over the last 50 years it became a tradition that classic rock stations play Alice's Restaurant Massacree at noon on Thanksgiving Day. And it has become a tradition for the last ten years that I post a video of Alice's Restaurant Massacree here on Free Technology for Teachers. If you search for the song on Wolfram Alpha you will find a chart of Wikipedia traffic for the search term "Alice's Restaurant." So the question/ cultural history lesson for students is "why do people search for that term around Thanksgiving?"

Happy listening! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Three Ways to Collaboratively Create Multimedia Maps

With Padlet's new multimedia mapping tool and the recent update to the web version of Google Earth there are more ways than ever for students to collaborate on creating multimedia maps. The three collaborative multimedia mapping tools that I'm going to recommend to most people for the foreseeable future are Google's My Maps, Padlet, and the web version of Google Earth. Tutorials for all three of those services are embedded below.

How to Create a Multimedia Map on Padlet


How to Use Google's My Maps


How to Create Tours in the Web Version of Google Earth

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Transno - Quickly Turn Outlines and Notes into Mind Maps

Transno is a new service that lets you write notes and outlines that can then be turned into mind maps and flowcharts with just one click. It reminds me a lot of the old Text2MindMap service that I used to use. Transno is better because it offers a variety of mind map and flowchart styles while Text2MindMap only offered one. Transno also supports collaboration by letting you invite others to edit and add to your notes. In the following video I demonstrate how Transno works.


Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing Transno in his weekly Ed Tech Digest

Applications for Education
What I like about Transno it that it can be used by students who like to look at their notes as outlines as well as by students who prefer to see their notes in mind maps to see the connections between topics. Transno's option to quickly change the style of the mind map displayed could also prove to helpful in getting students to see connections between topics. And for students who need a little help taking notes, Transno offers some templates to follow.

Thanksgiving Bundle of Practical Ed Tech Webinars

Throughout the year on Practical Ed Tech I host live professional development webinars. The sale of those webinars helps to keep this blog running. The timing of the live webinars doesn't work for everyone so I offer replays on-demand. For the next week all of the Practical Ed Tech on-demand webinars are on sale at 20-50% off! The biggest savings is in the Thanksgiving bundle of eight webinars in one package. The details of that package are highlighted in the video below.




You can also get individual Practical Ed Tech webinars at 20% off right now. The list of webinars available includes 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom, 5 Fun Formative Assessment Methods, Ten Search Strategies Students Need to Know, and Intro to AR & VR in Education.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Three Easy Ways to Create Forms That Accept File Uploads

Last week Microsoft announced that a new file collection option has been added to Microsoft Forms. That feature is the option to accept file uploads in response to questions. The file upload option is already available to some users and is rolling out to others over the next few weeks.

Microsoft Forms isn't the only tool that you can use to collect files through an online form that you create. Google Forms has had that feature for a couple of years now. Watch this video to see how it works.



JotForm is another good tool for creating online forms that accept file uploads. JotForm also lets you create forms that people can fill and sign online. Watch this video for an overview of some of JotForm's key features.


Applications for Education
Creating questions that students can respond to by uploading files can be a great way to collect examples of students' work in one convenient place. The file upload option can also be useful for collecting paperwork like permission slips from students and their parents.