Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where it's a balmy -7F outside. My dogs went outside for about thirty seconds before coming right back to the house this morning. Most mornings I have to call them back in. Needless to say, we'll be waiting for it warm up a little bit before going to ski this morning.

This week I had the privilege to speak at Amarillo College. It was a fun event. One of the highlights for me was seeing a great presentation by La'Tonya Rease Miles about the hidden curriculum that first generation college students have to navigate. It was a fascinating talk and much of it was relevant to high school teachers as well as college instructors.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Signing Into Chrome vs. Signing Into Your Google Account
2. A Mostly Complete Guide to Classroom Blogging
3. A Great Update to Screencastify
4. A Student Podcast Contest
5. How to Use the New Creative Commons Chrome Extension
6. How to Upload a Podcast to SoundCloud
7. Keeping Track of Students' Websites

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.

Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom
Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom is an online course that I'm hosting on Practical Ed Tech starting on January 30th. You can get more information and a discount code right here.

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.

A Tip for Your Colleagues Who Unnecesarily Use "Reply All"

In a presentation that I occasionally give about the evolution of educational technology I have a slide that lists classic online discussion tools. On that slide I have a bullet point that reads, Group Email (which everyone hates). That slide always gets a chuckle from the audience because everyone has a colleague that uses "reply all" far more often than is necessary. If you use G Suite for Education, you avoid being that colleague by making a small change in your Gmail settings.

In Gmail settings you can set the default reply behavior to be "reply" instead of "reply all." Making that change means that you never have to worry about accidentally sending a reply a group unless it is absolutely necessary for everyone in the group to see your reply. See my screenshot below for directions.

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode 29 - Video & Standardized Chargers

There were a bunch of neat things related to ed tech that were released this week. And a bunch more will be out next week in conjunction with the BETT Show in London. In this week's episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast I shared a new video tool, an awesome update to a popular video tool, and a new video contest for students and teachers. In the episode I also shared an interesting idea coming out of Europe regarding the standardization of chargers.

As I always do, in the episode I answered some interesting questions from readers and listeners. You'll also want to listen for my personal professional learning highlight of the week that came courtesy of Amarillo College.

Listen to episode 29 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast platform.

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

The Origins of the English Language

This morning I had a student ask me "what does 'the' mean?" It's was one of those classic teenager moments of trying to distract me/ waste time at the start of class. I indulged him for a minute then got on with the plan for the day. The interaction did remind me that there was a TED-Ed lesson years released years ago about the origins of the English language. A little search through my archives and I found that lesson along with another lesson from The Open University on the same topic.

Where Did English Come From? The TED-Ed lesson focuses on the evolution of language and similarities to other languages. The TED-Ed video is embedded below.

The History of English from Open University is embedded below. As with many Open University lessons you should screen them to judge their suitability for your high school students.

How to Publish a Google Calendar Without Showing All Event Details

Yesterday, I received a question on an old YouTube video of mine in which I demonstrated how to embed a Google Calendar into Blogger. The video is seven years old and Google Calendar has changed a bit since then, but the question was still a good one. The question was, "instead of showing all the details how do you set so that the public only sees an event as busy?"

When you make one of your Google Calendars public you have the option to either "show all event details" or "see only free/busy." You'll find this option by opening your calendar's "settings and sharing" menu then scrolling down to "Access permissions." See my screenshots below for details.

Step 1:

Step 2:

On a related note, here's how you can display the same event on multiple calendars.