Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Three Free PD Webinars Today!

The Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference starts this afternoon at 3pm ET. There is still time to register here. Today's presentations and times are listed below.


Easy Ways to Make Your Own Apps
3pm ET – Richard Byrne
Not that long ago creating a mobile app required extensive coding skills and knowledge of programming. Today, there are many tools that make it possible for educators and students to develop their own functioning apps without any prior programming experience. Come to this presentation to learn how you and your students can develop simple apps to use on your phones or tablets.

3D Printing Solutions to World Issues
4pm ET – Jeremy Rinkel
With an emphasis and focus on the UN Sustainability Goals, students were challenged to create prototypes or products that would be beneficial in assisting communities and countries in reaching the UN Sustainability Goals. Our first year of 3D printing has brought challenges, but we are learning a lot through problem solving and design. I’ll discuss our journey into 3D printing, the excitement of students in learning about “real-world” challenges and how 3D printing could play a role in solving these issues. Take ideas from our experience, make them your own and help save our world one 3D print at a time.

Coding + Drones= 100% Engagement
5pm ET – Karin Knapik-Cloutier
Create multidisciplinary projects that teach students coding as well as the 4 C’s of critical-thinking,creativity, collaboration and communication. Using TELLO drones and free apps that run on IOS, Android and as a Chrome extension you can teach coding to students in elementary through high school.

Yes, the presentations will be recorded. The recordings will be available on my YouTube channel by the end of the week.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Add Interactive Annotations to Images With a New Classtools Tool

Russel Tarr at Classtools has come up with another great little tool for teachers and students. The new Image Hotspot Generator on Classtools makes it easy to add interactive annotations to any picture that you upload to the site. The annotations that you add to your pictures can include text and links. Your annotated images can be shared by embedding them into a blog post or web page as I've done with one below. Your annotated images can also be shared by simply distributing the URL that is assigned to it.

Using the Image Hotspot Generator is easy. You don't need to register in order to use the tool. Just go to classtools.net/hotspot/ then click the upload button at the bottom of the page then upload the image that you want to annotate. Once your image is uploaded simply click on it wherever you want an annotation to appear. Click the save button when you are finished adding all of your annotations. When you click save you'll be prompted to pick a password for your project, remember that password if you want to be able to go back and edit your annotations later. Click the embed button to get an embed code, a QR code, and a URL for your annotated image.


Applications for Education
The Image Hotspot Generator could be a great tool for students to use to annotate all kinds of images, diagrams, and maps. As it doesn't require an email address or any student information, it can be used at any grade level. I can see the Image Hotspot Generator being used in a geography lesson to have students create annotated maps. In a biology lesson students could use the Image Hotspot Generator to make interactive diagrams of cells. In an art lesson students might use the Image Hotspot Generator to identify and label techniques or important aspects of a work of art.

A Few Tips for Getting the Most Out of Webinars

The first webinars of the free Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference will be broadcast tomorrow. These are going to be live presentations with time for Q&A. More than 500 people have registered to attend. If you're one of them, here are a few tips for getting the most out of attending webinars. These are tips I've shared in the past, but they're worth repeating.

1. Participate in live webinars, don't just watch them.
Every webinar platform has some kind of chat or Q&A feature. Use it! Use it to ask the presenter questions. An experienced webinar presenter will be able to handle questions in realtime. Don't be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Even when I'm attending webinars about things with which I'm already familiar, I make an effort to think of questions to ask. This forces me to tune-in and listen with more focus than if I was just listening in the hopes that something said by the presenter will jump out at me.

2. Close Facebook and take notes.
If I cannot attend the live version of a webinar, I still find great value in recorded webinars. When I watch recorded webinar I focus on it the same way I would during a live session. That means closing Facebook and taking notes in my notebook. In that notebook I write the questions that I want to send to the presenter via email.

3. Act on webinar ideas quickly.
When I participate in a webinar my participation isn’t over until I actually act on what I was just taught. Just like in a traditional classroom setting, it’s important to try for yourself what was just demonstrated for you. Do this as quickly as you can.

Here's a video that I made a couple of years ago about these tips.

Lesson Plan, Meal Plan, and Fitness Plan Templates

Last week Canva announced a handful of new features including a video editor and a desktop application. A new education-specific version of Canva was also announced. Those new features don't appear to have been rolled-out quite yet. But I did notice that there seems to be an expansion in the number of templates intended for educational settings. That includes a big set of lesson plan templates.

A quick browse through Canva's lesson plan templates gallery will reveal dozens of templates that you can easily copy and modify in your free Canva account. In the gallery you'll find templates for daily lesson plans as well as templates for planning a week's worth of lessons. Like all Canva templates, you can modify them with your own text choices, color schemes, and decorative elements. Completed templates can be saved as PDFs.

Scroll down through Canva's lesson plan templates gallery and eventually you'll come to templates for meal planning and workout planning.

Applications for Education
Canva's lesson plan templates could be great for those who like to print out their lesson plans in a visually appealing format. The meal plan templates could be helpful to those who are in charge of publishing your school's lunch calendar.

Once Canva for Education is up and running you'll be able to share and collaborate on lesson plans using the lesson plan templates.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode 22 - Fitness, Code, and Q&A

Last night I published the 22nd episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In this week's podcast I talked about how I improved my fitness in 2019, shared some resources for Hour of Code, and answered some questions from readers, listeners, and viewers like you. One of my favorite questions this week was about what to do with energetic middle school students in the last week before winter vacation. In the podcast I also shared my highlight of the week from my classroom.

You can listen to episode 22 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast network.

Get the complete show notes here.



Listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them on the following podcast networks: