Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Student Podcast Contest

For the second year in a row NPR is a hosting a podcasting competition for students in fifth through twelfth grade. To enter the challenge students have to create a podcast that is three to twelve minutes long. Unlike last year, this year students can include music in their podcasts. Any music that is included in a podcast has to be a student's original work.

NPR's Student Podcast Challenge is open for submissions now and will stay open until March 24th. The winning submissions will be played on NPR broadcasts. Submissions to the contest have to be made by teachers on behalf of students. Submissions have to be uploaded to SoundCloud. Submissions have to be original work created specifically for the contest. All of the contest rules are available here.

Applications for Education
For this contest NPR has published two extensive podcasting guides. The guide for students walks them through the planning and recording processes. Although they don't provide tutorials on specific tools, they do offer this video about training your voice to sound more natural on a microphone.

H/T to Larry Ferlazzo.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where we're anticipating a winter ice storm. I'm trying to get a lot done before the inevitable power outage. One of those things is writing up this week's list of the most popular posts of the week.

This week I hosted the first session of Teaching History With Technology. 31 people are participating in the course. At the end of the month I'll be hosting a new course called Video Projects for Every Classroom - Deep Dive.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. A Comparison of Multimedia Timeline Creation Tools - Updated
2. Biomes and Ecoregions Interactive Map
3. Tips on Using Voice Typing in Google Documents
4. How to Use the New Creative Commons Chrome Extension
5. Learn How to Use These 5 Time-saving Gmail Features in 2020
6. Algorithms Explained by Common Craft
7. How to Combine Multiple Google Forms Into One

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.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode #28

This evening after my toddlers went to bed I sat down to record the 28th episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. This episode follows the same format as most of the others. I shared some news and notes from the world of ed tech, gave a little update on what's happening in my classroom, and answered a handful of questions from readers and listeners. You can listen to the latest episode right here or on your favorite podcast network.

The show notes are available in this Google Doc.

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

Reverb Record - Quickly Create Voice Recordings

Reverb is a relatively new service (still in beta) that is designed to let people create short voice recordings to share with others. The concept is similar to Voxer and Synth in that you can record a message for a group to listen to and then members of that group can reply with voice messages of their own. Reverb Record is a recording tool offered by Reverb that you can to record and share with the world.

To use Reverb Record simply go to the website, click the microphone icon, and start talking. Click the microphone icon to stop the recording when you're done. You can then share your message via social media or by embedding your recording into a blog post. Registration is not required in order to use Reverb Record.

Applications for Education
Reverb Record could be a convenient tool to use to create a short audio recording for your students and or their parents to listen to. I've used Vocaroo in the past to record sub plans for my classes to listen to and Reverb Record could be used in the same way.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Mostly Complete Guide to Classroom Blogging

Over the last couple of weeks I've published some lengthy blog posts about classroom blogging activities and tools for classroom blogging. Those posts were excerpts from a longer piece that I've been working on. That longer piece is almost done. For lack of a more creative title, I'm calling it A Mostly Complete Guide to Classroom Blogging.

In A Mostly Complete Guide to Classroom Blogging you'll find a glossary of blogging terms, a comparison of blogging platforms, a list of K-12 blogging activities, and some suggestions for classroom blogging ground rules.

You can get a Google Docs copy of A Mostly Complete Guide to Classroom Blogging right here.