Tuesday, January 21, 2020

How to Use Microsoft Forms to Collect Files

In this week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week I featured three ways to create online forms to collect files from students. One of those options is to use Microsoft Forms. With Microsoft Forms you can specify the type and size of files that you'll accept in response to a question or prompt. You can embed your form into a blog post, website, or share it in your favorite LMS. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Microsoft Forms to collect files from students.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for an easy way to collect samples of students' media projects in one places, using Microsoft Forms to collect files might be the way to go.

Monday, January 20, 2020

How to Create an Online Sorting Activity Using Google Sheets

Flippity is a great source of templates for making online games, flashcards, and quizzes. Recently, Flippity added a new template that makes it easy to create an online sorting activity based on information you provide in a Google Sheet.

Flippity's newest template is called Manipulatives. The template lets you create an online activity in which students sort items into categories. You can have students sort items into columns, grids, Venn diagrams, and even into regions of a map. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Flippity Manipulatives to create an online sorting activity.

Applications for Education
As is demonstrated in the video above, you can use just about any image as the background in your sorting activities. To that end, I can see the template being useful for creating activities in which students have to match terms to parts of a diagram. For example, you might use a plant cell as the background then have students drag the names of the corresponding parts into their correct places on the diagram.

Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom - Deep Dive

The single most popular Practical Ed Tech webinar that I hosted last year was 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom. More than 150 participated in it in live or recorded form. The most common piece of feedback that I received about it was, "I wish there was time spent on each project." That's why I've designed a new five part course titled Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom - A Deep Dive.

In Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom you'll learn how to make animated videos, green screen videos, documentary videos, instructional whiteboard videos, and video journals. I'll show you how you can do these projects on Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, iPad, and Android devices.

In addition to the how-to elements of the webinar we’ll cover planning, assessment, and privacy concerns. You’ll learn how to use aspects of YouTube that most people overlook. But YouTube isn’t the only way to share videos so we’ll look at other great options for sharing videos.

Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom begins at 4pm ET on January 30th. Watch this short video to learn more and get a discount code. Or just head to here to sign-up now.

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) freetech4teachers.com 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 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.

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.