Monday, December 23, 2019

How to Add Alt Text to Images in Google Documents

In this week's Practical Ed Tech newsletter I included a seven page handout containing tips and tutorials for improving the accessibility of documents, slides, websites, and videos. In that handout was a note about adding alt text to images in Google Documents. It's an easy thing to do that can make your documents more accessible to those who use screen readers. In the following video I demonstrate how to add alt text to the images that you include in Google Documents.

Two Easy Ways to Share Google Forms Without Google Classroom

The school that I am teaching in this year draws students from multiple school districts who come to us for technical/ vocational classes, but take their traditional academic classes in their home school districts. It is because of that arrangement that I have one class in which I can't use Google Classroom because not all of the students have the same email domain and I can't force them all to get a consumer Gmail address. Therefore, when I want to share something like a Google Form with them I will either use a QR code generated with QR Droid or share a shortened URL generated by Yellkey. In the following video I demonstrate how both of those tools work with Google Forms.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

How to Add & Edit Google Sites Image Carousels

One of the better features added to Google Sites in 2019 is the image carousel option. Image carousels let you display a large collection of images in a gallery that site visitors can scroll through. As you'll see in the video that is embedded below, your image carousel can occupy as much or as little of page as you like.


Applications for Education
Image carousels are great for displaying a set of pictures from a school event like a holiday concert or a field trip. Image carousels can also be great for students to use on their own sites to share pictures to document the process of building something for a class project. Student can caption in the images to help explain the significance of each picture. Google Sites includes an option for easily captioning the images in the carousel. That caption option is demonstrated in the video above.

Word Game - A Simple Game Vocabulary Game

Word Game is a simply named simple vocabulary and trivia game that you can play in your web browser. To play the game simply go to wordgame.betafactory.tech and you're into the game. The game consists of single questions that test your vocabulary and trivia knowledge. Only one question appears on the screen at a time. You do have to create an account if you want to save your scores and track your progress. Otherwise, it's completely free to play.

Word Game also offers a Chrome Extension that will display a new word and its definition whenever you open a new tab.

In the following video I provide a demonstration of Word Game and its corresponding Chrome extension.



Applications for Education
Word Game is the type of site that is nice to keep in a list on your classroom website or Google Classroom page under the heading of "things to do with extra time" or "things to do while waiting for classmates." 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

My vacation reading list.
Good morning from Maine where the ground is covered with snow and it's going to be a great vacation week for those of us who like to ski. Vacation is also a great time to do some reading. I have a few books that I'll be trying to read or re-read during vacation. What about you? I hope that you have some fun plans for winter (or summer) vacation.

If your plans include reading some blog posts or watching some tutorial videos, take a look at this week's most popular posts. For more in-depth materials take a look at the on-demand webinars I have available on Practical Ed Tech.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. How to Add a Countdown Timer to Google Slides
2. How to Disable and Remove Chrome Extensions - And Why You Should
3. My Primary Tools for Making Tutorial Videos
4. Dozens of Outline Maps You Can Print for Free
5. Need Some Classroom Blog Ideas? Try These Edublogs Resources
6. How to Create a Video With Canva
7. White Christmas Probability Map

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
2020 will be my tenth year of speaking at schools and conferences. Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more about how we can work together.

Thank You for Your Support!
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 16,000 are subscribed to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 300 Google tools tutorials. 
  • The Practical Ed Tech Podcast is where I answer questions from readers, share news and notes, and occasionally talk to interesting people in education. 
  • 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.