Monday, April 27, 2020

What's Inside Your Computer - Three Introductory Lessons from TED-Ed

Much like cars, many of us use computers without knowing what really makes them go. And much like cars you don't have to know what makes your computer run, but it can certainly be helpful to know the basics in order to make informed decisions about them. Of course, if you want to attempt to repair your computer then you'll definitely want to know what makes them work.

TED-Ed has a few videos that can help viewers understand the basics the components inside a computer and how they work. These videos are appropriate for upper elementary school and middle school students. High school students who don't have any formal background in computer science may also find these videos to be instructive.

Inside Your Computer
This video covers all of the basic components found in a computer today. The video focuses on the role of the CPU in the system.



How Do Hard Drives Work?
This TED-Ed lesson explains how a mechanical hard drive works. It's important to note that the video doesn't specifically say that the lesson is based on a mechanical hard drive. Solid State Drives (SSD) function differently so you'll need make that clarification for your students.



How Computer Memory Works
Through this TED-Ed video viewers learn about types of memory within a computer and how they function within the greater system of a computer.

ICYMI - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff - Webinar Recording

Every Friday afternoon I join Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning for Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff. If you missed the last episode, the recording now available here on Next Vista under "previously." You can also watch the recording as embedded below.


On a related note, Rushton Hurley and Susan Stewart host Activities Across Grade Levels every Thursday afternoon. You can find recordings of those episodes and register for the next session here.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting

At this point we've all had our fill of virtual staff meetings. Hopefully, all of yours are going as well as possible. But even the best virtual staff meetings still have "that one person" who doesn't quite understand the norms of a virtual staff meeting. That's what inspired my list of 5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting.

(This is meant to be fun. Please don't take it too seriously).

5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting by richardbyrne

The Week in Review - Could This Be Spring?

Good morning from Maine where the birds are chirping as the sun begins to rise. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 50's (F) for the second day in row! Could this be the beginning of consistent spring weather? I hope so. We're all getting a little tired of boots and snowsuits (wrestling toddlers into snowsuits is a workout).

I plan to spend the day playing outside with my kids and my dogs. I hope that wherever you are this weekend, you can get outside too. Getting fresh air and exercise is a great way to reset your brain after a long week of virtual meetings and virtual classes.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Google Classroom Assignments from Teacher and Student Perspectives - Nine Lessons
2. By Request - How to Create a Timed Quiz in Google Classroom
3. How to Reverse the Mirroring Effect in Zoom
4. Google Meet Gets a Grid View and Higher Quality Video Sharing
5. Google Sites Templates & Banners
6. Five Elementary Lessons You Can Do With Pixton EDU
7. Explore the Library of Congress on Your iPad

Online PD With Me!
I've been hosting professional development webinars for a decade.
  • My most popular webinars are available on-demand right here
  • If you prefer live webinars, I am planning to host some more later this month and in May so stay tuned for more information about those soon. 
  • I'm always available to schedule custom, online PD for your school.
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 it includes my tip of the week and a summary of the week's most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com.
  • My YouTube Channel - More than 21,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 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 more than 450,000 followers. 
  • Twitter - I've been Tweeting away for the last thirteen years at twitter.com/rmbyrne
  • Instagram - this is mostly pictures of my kids, my dogs, my bikes, my skis, and fly fishing.

Friday, April 24, 2020

How to Collect Voicemail Through Your Website with SpeakPipe

In a couple episodes of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff Rushton and I have mentioned using SpeakPipe. SpeakPipe is a tool that allows you to collect voicemail messages through your website or blog. With SpeakPipe installed on your blog anyone can click on the "send voicemail" button and leave a message for you. You can then either listen to the message or read a transcript of the message in your SpeakPipe account.

Someone who watched one of the webinars in which Rushton and I mentioned SpeakPipe emailed me this week for advice on how to install SpeakPipe. I made the following short video to explain how you can install SpeakPipe on a Google Site. The process in the video can used for just about any other website or blog platform that allows you to embed 3rd party HTML widgets.



Applications for Education
SpeakPipe can be a nice little addition to a school, library, or club website so that you can collect voice messages that are automatically transcribed for reading. You can also use it to simply create your own MP3 recordings that you download and distribute through your blog or website.