Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Maine where it was a good day for being outside skiing and playing. It was a great way to spend the first half of the weekend. I hope that you also had a great start to your weekend.

This week I opened registration for the 2020 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. Summer might feel like it's a long way off, but it's never too early to start planning your summer travel. I hope that you'll consider coming to Bethel, Maine for a couple of days of hands-on learning in beautiful location.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Three Interesting Ways to Use Google Slides Besides Making Presentations
2. Three Neat Things You Can Do With Google Sheets
3. Two Ways to Make Progress Trackers With Google Sheets
4. Quickly Create & Share Transcripts of YouTube Videos
5. How to Remove Image Backgrounds in PowerPoint
6. A Great Set of Videos for Teaching Networking and Computer Hardware Concepts
7. How to Make Timelines With Google Sheets

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com 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.

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.

New Unsplash for Education Collections - Library of Congress, NYPL, NOAA, and More

Unsplash is one of my top recommendations for places to find images that are in the public domain. Last August Unsplash introduced collections intended for educational uses. This week Unsplash added more collections that have great potential for classroom uses.

Earlier this week Unsplash announced the addition of collections of images from the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a handful of other institutions. Those institutions are the Austrian National Library, McGill Library, Boston Public Library, Birmingham Museums Trust, and Europeana. All of the images in these collections are in the public domain. You can download the images with just one click of the download button that appears on all of the images in the collections.

Applications for Education
Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a way to search within the new collections on Unsplash. You have to just scroll through the collections to find images. That said, there is a search function on Unsplash and you will find images from the various collections through that search tool. Either way, it's great to see more historical imagery available through Unsplash.

Think Like a Coder - My Freshmen Love These Videos!

Think Like a Coder is a series that TED-Ed started publishing last September. They're cartoons that present a riddle or puzzle that is solved by using the logic that one would use to create a computer program. The basic premise of the series is that the main characters Ethic and Hedge have to collect artifacts and solve puzzles.

The latest episode of Think Like a Coder was released this week. It's best to watch the series in order, but you can jump into any of the videos you'll still get a little lesson out of it.




As I said in the title, my freshmen in Intro to Computer Science love these videos. I didn't think that they would so I didn't plan to show them. Then last week we had wrapped up for the day and had a little time so I put one on just to see how they'd react, they really liked the first episode and now we've gone through all of them.

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Great Set of Videos for Teaching Networking and Computer Hardware Concepts

As some of you know, I'm took over a computer science program at my local vocational/ technical high school this year. It has been fun and, at times, has made me feel like a brand new teacher again. When I took the job I told my director that I'd be fine with the programming side of things. It was the networking and hardware that I was concerned about. Fortunately, I've been able to brush-up fairly quickly with the help of some instructor resources from Cisco and a great YouTube channel called PowerCert Animated Videos.

PowerCert Animated Videos offer clear and concise explanations of big concepts in computer hardware and networking. I've been watching them as refreshers for myself. I've also been using them in lessons for my students. I alternate between showing them to the whole class and incorporating them into Edpuzzle activities. The PowerCert Animated Videos that I used in lessons this week were FTP Explained and DHCP Explained.




On a related note, here's my demonstration of how to create Edpuzzle activities.

Gmail, Screencasts, and Summer Plans - The Month in Review

The first month of 2020 is at its end. I hope the first month of the year has gone well for you. Did you make a New Year's Resolution? How's going? Mine was to cut-out junk food and except for three slip-ups I've kept to it.

This month I had the honor of speaking at Amarillo College and I hosted a couple of online courses through Practical Ed Tech. Speaking of Practical Ed Tech, the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp is going to happen again this year. Super early, super discounted registration is on sale now.

As I've done at the end of every month for the last ten years, I've put together a list of the most popular posts of the month. I don't see any reason to stop that pattern now.

These were the month's most popular posts:
1. Learn How to Use These 5 Time-saving Gmail Features in 2020
2. A Mostly Complete Guide to Classroom Blogging
3. Three Neat Things You Can Do With Google Sheets
4. A Tip for Your Colleagues Who Unnecessarily Use "Reply All"
5. Signing Into Chrome vs. Signing Into Your Google Account
6. How to Use the New Creative Commons Chrome Extension
7. A Great Update to Screencastify
8. How to Create an Online Sorting Activity Using Google Sheets
9. A Comparison of Multimedia Timeline Creation Tools - Updated
10. Three Interesting Ways to Use Google Slides Besides Making Presentations

I'll come to your school in 2020! 
Send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com 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.

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.