Monday, February 10, 2020

Headliner - A Good Alternative to Adobe Spark Video

In the last episode of the Practical Ed Tech Podcast I answered the following question from a reader,
"I was wondering if I may ask for a suggestion/recommendation. I have some eighth grade students creating videos incorporating music. I'd prefer not to use adobe spark because I don't want the adobe logo on each slide. What would you suggest? Their devices are managed by the school so it needs to be a free app that I can push out."
My answer to the question was to take a look at Headliner. Headliner is a browser-based video editor. It has more editing features than Adobe Spark but not quite as many as WeVideo. Headliner provides four tracks for editing the pictures, video clips, text, and audio files that you use to create your videos. There is an integrated audio library as well as integrated image search tool. There is also a tool for adding and editing captions in your videos.

Headliner provides its "pro" version for free to schools. The pro version removes all watermarks. Finished videos can be saved without watermarks for free.

Three Easy Steps to Encourage Technology Integration

This afternoon I hosted a short webinar titled Three Easy Steps to Encourage Technology Integration. I recorded the webinar for those who couldn't attend the live broadcast. The recording is now available to view on my YouTube channel. The slides that I used during the webinar can be seen as embedded below.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Electoral College Explained by Common Craft

We still have a long way to go in the party primary and caucuses before the Democratic nominee for President will be chosen. And then we have even longer until we go to the polls to choose a President of the United States. And a President is finally elected through the Electoral College. How the Electoral College system works is a bit confusing to some students. Fortunately, Common Craft offers a nice little video explanation of how it works.

How the U.S. Elects a President provides a concise overview of the Electoral College. The version embedded below is an update to the original that Common Craft released and I used in my classroom in 2008.

Disclosure: I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from cold and dreary Maine. It seems like forever since we've seen the sun. To add insult to injury what was supposed to be snow turned out to be two days of sleet. I hope that wherever you are this weekend, the weather is a bit cheerier than it is here.

This week I announced that I'm going to host a free webinar on this coming Monday afternoon. The webinar is designed for tech coaches, instructional coaches, principals, and anyone who is in charge of encouraging teachers to use technology in new and meaningful ways in their classrooms. There is still time to register here. And speaking of registering, there is one week left to get the super-early discount on the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp registration.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. PayGrade - A Classroom Economy Simulation You Can Use All Year
2. Two Ways to Make Progress Trackers With Google Sheets
3. Designing & Sending Certificates With Google Slides and Forms
4. Three Interesting Ways to Use Google Slides Besides Making Presentations
5. A Great Set of Videos for Teaching Networking and Computer Hardware Concepts
6. Short Lessons on Colds and Flu
7. Free Webinar - Three Steps to Encourage Technology Integration

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.

Thank You for Your Support!
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Do Politics Make Us Irrational? - A TED-Ed Lesson

As the 2020 Presidential primaries and caucuses roll on more there is no avoiding political advertising unless you shut off your television, your radio, and never go on YouTube. Politics stir up all kinds of feelings in us. People who are otherwise very even-keeled sometimes get very passionate and perhaps irrational when it comes to politics. That's the topic of the latest TED-Ed lesson.

Do Politics Make Us Irrational? explains the results of 2013 study about how politics can affect other parts of our decision making processes. Watch all the way through the lesson and you'll learn that it might not be just politics but any other deeply held allegiance that can cause us to make decisions that might be a little bit irrational. The lesson is made relatable to students through the us of an analogy between politics and sports. Watch the lesson as embedded below and find some good discussion questions here.