Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where it's nearly forty degrees warmer than last week. It almost felt like March weather when I went out with my dogs this morning. It's going to be a great day for taking my toddlers skiing. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you get to do something fun too. If that means catching up on some reading, take a look at this week's list of the most popular posts.

This week I hosted the third installment of Teaching History With Technology. A few folks have asked if I'll be offering the course again. I will be hosting it again in the spring after I wrap up Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Quickly Create Collaborative Maps With Ethermap
2. How to Use Microsoft Forms to Collect Files
3. Rubrics and Originality Reports in Google Classroom
4. Three Google Forms Tutorials for Beginners
5. A Tip for Your Colleagues Who Unneccesarily Use "Reply All"
6. Vortex by ClassTools - Create Your Own Sorting Game
7. How to Create an Online Sorting Activity Using Google Sheets

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) to learn more about how we can work together. This year I'm offering an opportunity to bring me to your school for free! Ask me for details.

Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom
Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom starts next week! 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.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Book Creator Adds New Accessibility Features

Book Creator is a tool that I have been using and recommending for years for making multimedia ebooks. You can use it as an iPad app or in your web browser. This week Book Creator announced that it now works in Microsoft Edge as well as Chrome and Safari. That's not the only product enhancement Book Creator released this week.

Some of the other Book Creator enhancements made this week include support for dictation in 120 languages, auto-generating captions on videos, and auto transcription of audio recordings. Automatic captioning of videos can be activated for videos that are recorded directly through the Book Creator app as well as videos that are uploaded to Book Creator pages. Likewise, automatic transcription of audio can be activated for files recorded directly in Book Creator as well as files that are added from external sources. Captions and transcripts are available in 120 languages.

Applications for Education
Students can use Book Creator to create ebooks that contain pictures, videos, audio recordings, drawings, and text. Those are just some of the types of the things that students can add to their Book Creator books. That flexibility is what has made Book Creator a popular choice for making ebooks to tell fiction and non-fiction stories. And lately I've seen teachers using Book Creator to develop professional development training materials.

How to Embed Google Calendar Into Blogger, WordPress, and Google Sites

Last week I got a couple of questions about an old video of mine in which I demonstrated embedding Google Calendar into Blogger. Google Calendar and Blogger have changed in the years since I made that video. That's why last night I decided to create the following new video about how to embed Google Calendar into Blogger, WordPress, and Google Sites.

Applications for Education
Putting a Google Calendar into your classroom blog or school website can be a good way to provide parents with a go-to place for information about upcoming assignments and events. A couple of years ago I worked with a school that used Google Calendar embedded into their website to display the school lunch menu.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Quickly Create Collaborative Maps With Ethermap

Google's My Maps tool is great for students to use to collaborate on the creation of custom maps. The problem with it is that students must have Google accounts in order to use it. Ethermap solves that problem by not requiring users to have any kind of email account.

Ethermap is a new tool that anyone can use to create online maps. Ethermap lets users share maps and collaborate on maps by simply sharing a link. In the following video I demonstrate how to use Ethermap to create an online map.

Learn how to use Google Maps & Earth in Your Classroom
If you are interested in learning how to use Google Maps or Google Earth, take a look at my on-demand webinar titled Google Maps & Earth – More Than Just Social Studies.

Three Google Forms Tutorials for Beginners

Last night my friend Beth emailed me to ask if I had any tutorials for beginning Google Forms users. My answer was, "I sure do!" These were the three Google Forms tutorials that sent to her to share with the group of teachers she's working with right now.

This one covers all the basics:

This one covers how to combine forms:

And this one covers 5 things every teacher should know about forms:

But wait! There's more! If you call now I'll throw in How to Create an Activity Tracker With Google Forms:

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