Monday, May 4, 2020

ICYMI - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff

Every Friday afternoon Rushton Hurley and I get together to host a free webinar called Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. For about thirty to forty minutes we do exactly what the title implies. We'd love to have you join us! If you can't make it, you can always find the recordings here on the Next Vista for Learning website under the heading of "previously." While you're there you will see that Rushton hosts other webinars during the week that you might also enjoy.

The recording of last Friday's installment of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff is embedded below. You can find the slides and chat transcript here.

Three Search Refinement Tools Every Student Should Know How to Use

Search is something that everyone knows how to do as an act of typing or speaking a query. Unfortunately, too many students never get beyond the first few pages of Google search results before changing their search terms or giving up and declaring "Google has nothing on this!" Oftentimes just using a couple of search refinement tools can show students new results that they otherwise would not see.

In the following video I demonstrate and explain why students should know how to refine search results by file type, by date, and by domain.


Enroll in the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp to learn more about search and teaching search strategies.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Three Tools for Collecting Stories from Students and Parents

Earlier this week I hosted a webinar about using online tools to build communities. One of the topics within that webinar was collecting and publishing stories from students and their parents. To that end, there were three tools that I recommended. Those were Flipgrid, GoSynth, and Wakelet.

Flipgrid
Flipgrid was originally designed for classroom use for students to share video messages with their teachers and classmates. About a year ago Flipgrid introduced the option to invited parents to participate in conversations in Flipgrid. Inviting parents to participate in a conversation in Flipgrid can be a good way to collect short local history stories. Another good use of this feature is to host a virtual career day in which parents share information about their careers. This video shows you how to use the guest option in Flipgrid.



GoSynth
Flipgrid is great but some people don't like to put their faces in a video. In that case GoSynth is a good option to use to invite people to participate in online conversations. GoSynth is a simple podcasting tool that lets you record for about five minutes and publish your audio recording. People who listen to your recording can respond with their own recordings that get threaded below your original.



Wakelet
Wakelet makes it possible collect all kinds of files in one collaborative collection. Files can be video, audio, text, images, or links to other sources. If your students have made a multimedia book with something like Book Creator, it can be displayed on Wakelet. Wakelet also includes Flipgrid's video recording tool.


The Week in Review - Green Screens, Parks, and Virtual Meetings

Good morning from Maine where the wind is howling but the sun is shining. Despite the wind it's relatively warm and should be nice for playing outside once my kids wake up. I'm also planning to ride my bike outside today. How about you? Do you have anything you're looking forward to doing this weekend? I hope so. After a long week of virtual classes, it's nice to step away from the computer for a day or two. Which is exactly what I'll be doing as soon as I finish this blog post.

Registration for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp went on sale on Thursday. It offers ten hours of live, interactive webinars on a wide array of topics applicable to every classroom. Register in May and you'll save $50 off the regular price. Register with a group of five or more and you'll save another $50!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting
2. Google Classroom Assignments from Teacher and Student Perspectives - Nine Lessons
3. An Overview of How Students View and Return Assignments in Google Classroom
4. By Request - How to Create a Timed Quiz in Google Classroom
5. National Parks Games and Challenges - Try Virtual National Parks Bingo
6. How to Create a Green Screen Video Without a Green Screen
7. 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Videos

Online PD With Me!
I've been hosting professional development webinars for a decade.
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.

The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp

Every summer teachers from all over the world join me here in Vacationland for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. This year I've had to suspend the in-person workshops in favor of a virtual format. The good news is that this year I'll be able to accommodate more people than ever before.


What is it?
The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp is all about helping you gain knowledge and develop new tech skills. You'll develop these skills through ten interactive webinars, a discussion forum, and a virtual social hour.

Some of the topics that we'll cover include developing video and podcasting projects, making simple apps, teaching search strategies, and tying everything together with digital portfolios. The complete list of topics is available here. I'll show you how all of these topics and tools fit into a simple framework that you can use whenever you're developing new lessons.

When is it?
The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp will be held three times this summer. The first session is June 15th-19th. The second session is July 6th-10th. And the third session is July 20th-24th.

Every session includes ten live webinars, a discussion forum, and a virtual social hour. Don't worry if you can't make it to every live webinar because they will be recorded for you to watch when it is convenient for you.

Registration
You can register right here for the session of your choice. Register in May and you'll save $50. Discounts are available for groups of five or more registering from the same school district.