Sunday, March 15, 2020

How to Create Video Lessons Without Making Your Own Recordings

In the latest episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast I mentioned that EDpuzzle recently updated their user interface and that I was going to make a video about it. Well I started to make a video just about the updated UI then realized that I could help more teachers right now by making a complete overview of how EDpuzzle works. So that's what I did. In the following I provide a complete overview of how to use EDpuzzle to create video lessons using videos that you find online.

Highlights of the video include:
  • How to create an EDpuzzle account.
  • How to create an EDpuzzle classroom via Google Classroom and without Google Classroom.
  • How to make lessons with videos you've found online.
  • How to make lessons with videos you've created.
  • How students can access and respond to your lessons.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

How to Schedule and Host Google Hangouts Meet Events - Video

Last week I published a series of screenshots illustrating how to schedule and host Google Hangouts Meet events. For those who would like to see the whole process in a video format, I recorded the following tutorial video. In How to Create Google Hangouts Meet Events you'll see two methods for creating events and inviting your students to join those events.

Take a look at my PDF Tips and Tools for Teaching Remotely for more tools and ideas for online instruction.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the wind is howling outside. Spring seems to be coming a little early this year as almost all of the snow in my yard has melted and the stream behind my house is running high.

As COVID-19 continues to spread and more schools close, I hope that all of can stay healthy and safe. Kudos to the ed tech companies and organizations that have worked hard to make resources freely available to teachers and students who need help rapidly transitioning to online instruction. As I said on my podcast, you can call me naive, but I think the vast majority are doing it out of a genuine concern and not as a money-grab.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Cisco Makes Webex Free and Publishes Guides for Teachers and Students
2. Tips and Tools for Teaching Remotely
3. Now You Can Fix Images in Google Docs
4. How to Host an Online Meeting With Zoom
5. How to Schedule, Host, and Customize Google Hangouts Meet Events
6. Two More Guides to Transitioning to Online Instruction
7. Teamimg - Collaborate to Make Interactive Images

2020 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp!
I'm still planning to host the 2020 Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp in July. Discounted early registration is on sale now.

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 it includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 17,000 people subscribe 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, March 13, 2020

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode 37 - More Online Teaching

More schools are closing every day, my superintendent told us to make two week's worth of online lesson plans, and school sports in Maine have been suspended until the end of April. Almost every ed tech company seems to be making their products free in response to school closures. Those topics and more are discussed in this week's episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast.

And as always, in this episode, I shared some new and updated tools before answering bunch of questions from readers and viewers.

Listen to episode 37 of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast right here or on your favorite podcast network. The show notes can be found here.

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

MonkeyLearn - A Neat Word Cloud Generator

MonkeyLearn is a new tool for creating word clouds from text that you supply. As you can see in my video that is embedded below, MonkeyLearn lets you customize the display of your word clouds before you download them as PNG files. MonkeyLearn does more than just make word clouds. You can use it to extract keyword from a document. You can also use it to analyze the sentiment of a document.

Applications for Education
MonkeyLearn, like other word cloud generators, could be useful in providing students with a nice way to visualize the most frequently used words in passages of text they are reading and or writing. In the context of analyzing their own writing word clouds can help students identify words or phrases that they might be using a little too often.

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