Monday, January 6, 2020

A Conversation With Tom Richey - History Teacher & YouTube Star

During winter break I caught up with my friend Tom Richey to record an episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. Tom is a high school history teacher (AP Euro) and the producer of fantastic YouTube videos covering lots of topics in AP Euro, World, and U.S. History. He has more than 150,00 subscribers to his YouTube channel. Tom also produces videos covering AP test taking strategies and hosts live online review sessions for students.

I always enjoy talking with Tom and I hope that you enjoy this episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. You can listen to the episode here or on your favorite podcast network by searching "Practical Ed Tech Podcast."

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

A Comparison of Multimedia Timeline Creation Tools - Updated

Making a timeline is a "classic" history class assignment. When I started my teaching career my students made timelines on big sheets of paper. Later I had them use some online programs that let them include some pictures and links. Eventually, we got to a place where true multimedia timeline creation tools were readily available. Today, there are plenty of ways to create multimedia timelines. In the following chart I highlight the features of my favorite tools for making multimedia timelines.  A copy of the chart can be acquired in Google Docs format here.

I'll be covering some of these tools in greater depth during my upcoming course, Teaching History With Technology

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Biomes and Ecoregions Interactive Map

Ecoregions 2017 is an interactive map produced by Resolve for the purpose of showing the ecoregions and biomes of the world. When you visit the map you can choose to display either ecoregions or biomes. After you make that selection you can then click on any location on the map to discover the ecoregion or biome of that location. An associated image of that location and some brief details are also displayed when you click on the map.

Applications for Education
The Ecoregions 2017 interactive map could be a good little reference to add to a Earth Science course website, OneNote notebook, or Google Classroom section.

H/T to Maps Mania.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the snow that blanketed us earlier in the week is still here and will be here until April. I'm not complaining at all because at our house snow equals skiing. And that's what we're going to do after the sun comes up and we wrangle our toddlers into their snowsuits and boots.

I had classes on Thursday and Friday this week. If you did too, I hope it was a smooth start to 2020 in your classroom.

Last week I announced that I'm hosting an updated version of my Teaching History With Technology course starting on January 8th. Fifteen people have signed up. Register by midnight on Monday if you'd like to join us.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Learn How to Use These 5 Time-saving Gmail Features in 2020
2. The Twelve Most Popular Posts on Free Tech for Teachers in 2019
3. Remove Image Backgrounds With PhotoScissors
4. Ten Blogging Activities for Kindergarten Through High School Classrooms
5. How to Make an Interactive Graphic With Canva
6. How to Create and Publish Multimedia Collages
7. FAQs About Teaching History With Technology 2020

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) to learn more about how we can work together.

Thank You for Your Support!
Other Places to Follow My Work
Besides 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
  • 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 Facebook page has nearly 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last twelve years at
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.

How to Combine Multiple Google Forms Into One

Import questions is one of the many useful, yet often overlooked functions in Google Forms. The import questions function lets you draw questions from your existing forms to use in a new form. In the following video I demonstrate how you can use the import questions function to combine questions from multiple Google Forms to create one new one.

Applications for Education
One of the things that I typically do at the end of the semester is create practice quizzes for my students by compiling questions from quizzes that they have already taken. Usually, I focus on including the questions that were most frequently answered incorrectly earlier in the semester. Google Forms makes this easy to do. By using the import questions function in Google Forms I can quickly create a new form that is just a compilation of questions from prior forms. The determination of which questions to pick is done by looking at the summary data from the prior quizzes.