Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Free Historical Coloring Pages

If you're looking for an offline activity that you can recommend to parents for their students to do at home, take a look at the New York Academy of Medicine's Color Our Collections website. The site contains contributions from more than one hundred museums and libraries around the world. The participating museums and libraries offered of up PDFs of black and white drawings that visitors can print and then color. In other words, Color Our Collections is a huge collection of historical coloring book pages.

Applications for Education
Color Our Collections offers coloring pages covering a wide range of topics and themes. The Getty contributions feature animals, the contribution from the Library of Virginia covers the topic of Women's Suffrage, and Brunel University's collection features trains. Contributions from some museums and libraries cover topics in medicine. Because of the wide range of topics in the collection I'd recommend either curating a collection from the collection to send home or advising parents to pick and print from the website rather than sending students directly to the website.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Three More Free Webinars About Online Learning

Last week Rushton Hurley hosted three webinars about transitioning to online teaching and learning. Those webinars addressed a lot of questions about planning. You can watch the recording of his webinar from last week here.

Rushton is hosting three more free webinars this week. Here's how Rushton describes the webinars that he's hosting this week:

This program is not a collection of web-based tech tools, but rather one which focuses on how assignments can work for those who have just switched to online learning. The tools you are familiar with are your best choices after a sudden change to online instruction, and finding ways to use them effectively is the goal of the webinar.

This week's webinars will be on Wednesday at 4pm and 7pm ET and on Friday at 1pm ET. You can register for the webinars here.

In case you're wondering who Rushton Hurley is, he's the founder of Next Vista for Learning and a former principal of an online school. Watch the recording of one of his webinars from last week to learn more about him and his work.


Rushton uses Zoom for his webinars. You can learn how Zoom works by watching this short video.

Create a Consistent Communication Schedule by Using Gmail's Scheduling Feature - Here's How To Use It

In my webinar about quickly transitioning to teaching online (recording available here) I mentioned that I would using the scheduling feature in Gmail to send messages to students and parents on a consistent schedule. Here's a demonstration of how to use the scheduling feature in Gmail.


Applications for Education
You might be wondering why I would use this feature and not just use the scheduling feature in Google Classroom. The answer is that I have some students who prefer to have email sent to an email address other than the one issued by the school. Right now my priority is engaging my students in an online learning experience that we've been thrust into. Now is not the time for me to make a stand that says, "you must use your school email!" I'll fight that battle later. On a similar note, I have parents who despite repeated invitations won't join Google Classroom so I'm trying to meet them where they are.

Webinar Recording - Three Things We Can Do To Quickly Transition to Teaching Online

Last night I hosted a free webinar in which I shared what I'm doing to transition to quickly transition to teaching my high school classes online. I also shared some advice from my colleague Dr. Wendy Robichaud on how to prepare students for online learning and what to focus on in the first week or two. Other highlights of the webinar included tips for making videos and tips for keeping a consistent communication schedule. The webinar concludes with a short demonstration of how to use EDpuzzle to make video lessons.

Like most of you, I'm quickly having to transition to teaching my classes online. I've taught professional development courses online for a decade, but this is the first time I have to do it for high school students.

The recording of the webinar is now available to view on my YouTube channel and as embedded below.


The slides from the webinar can be accessed here and viewed as embedded below.

Three Things We Can Do to Quickly Transition to Online Teaching by richardbyrne

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Cincinnati Zoo Launches Daily Virtual Zoo Visits

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is closed to the public right now and thousands (millions?) of kids are home from school right now too. That's why the zoo has announced that they're hosting daily "Home Safaris" beginning today at 3pm ET. These Home Safaris will be broadcast live on Facebook. Each Home Safari will feature a different animal and a related at-home activity. Be sure to follow the zoo's Facebook page to be notified when the Home Safaris begin.