Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Month in Review - The Most Popular Posts

It's the end of May and sure was a month I'll remember for a while for a few reasons. First, we had snow on the ground as late as Mother's Day and then we temperatures in the 90s a couple of days ago. Second, as the weather improved it became quite trying to keep my students engaged in online activities for class. Third, I started the month with a modest goal for registrations for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp and the level of interest in the event far surpassed my expectations.

As I do at the end of every month, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the month. Take a look and see if there's anything interesting that you missed.

These were the most popular posts of the month:
1. Use Whiteboards in Google Meet Without Screensharing
2. How to Use Kahoot in Google Classroom
3. Quickly Create Online Whiteboards for Your Students
4. Another Whiteboard Option for Google Meet Users
5. How to Create Complete Sentence Requirements in Google Forms
6. Seven Ideas for Flipgrid Activities
7. How to Convert a PDF Into a Google Document
8. Move Items from One Google Account to Another
9. How to Create a Green Screen Video Without a Green Screen
10. 5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting

Online Summer PD Opportunities
This summer I'm hosting two online professional development courses. I'm hosting the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp three times. The June session is almost full so register soon if you want in on that session. The July sessions have more seats available.

In June and July I am hosting Teaching History With Technology. This is a five part course designed to help you develop new ways to create engaging history lessons and projects. Register now and use the discount code THWT2020.

This summer I'm working with a handful of schools and organizations to develop online professional development for teachers. If you'd like to work with me, please send me a note at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more about how we can work together.

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 23,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 Google tools tutorials.  
  • 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.

How to Make Whiteboard Videos on Your Chromebook - Updated

About two months ago I published a post featuring three ways to make a whiteboard video on a Chromebook. Since then I've created a couple more tutorials on that same topic. Here's an updated set of tutorials on how to make whiteboard videos with browser-based tools that work on Chromebooks.

#1 - Make a Whiteboard Video in Flipgrid
Last fall Flipgrid added an option for creating whiteboard videos. That feature lets you start video using just your webcam then transition into using a built-in whiteboard function to teach a lesson. This feature has also been integrated into the Flipgrid video tools that are available in Wakelet. Watch my videos below to see how you can make whiteboard videos in Flipgrid.




#2 - Make a Whiteboard Video in Seesaw
Seesaw offers a recording tool that you can use to draw and talk at the same time. To do this just create a new announcement or assignment then select the "draw" option when attaching an item. In "draw" you'll find a microphone icon that you can click to start recording while drawing. The recording and drawing will sync together. Students can watch the recording in their Seesaw accounts.



#3 - Use the Drawing Tools in Screencastify
Screencastify had already made most of their features free to teachers before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they offer all of them for free. To record a whiteboard style video with Screencastify first open a blank white Google Slide then start recording. While recording use Screencastify's built-in drawing tools to draw over that slide while you're recording your video.



#4 - Use the Drawing Tools in Zoom
You can host a Zoom meeting without anyone attending. In fact, this is a good way to record a video as Zoom will create a video file for you. Enable the screenshare option in Zoom then choose "whiteboard" to record yourself talking while drawing on a virtual whiteboard.


Three Webinar Recordings You Can Watch Right Now

In May I hosted or co-hosted a handful of free webinars. The recordings of some them are now available to watch at your leisure. Those webinars are Intro to Teaching History With Technology, A Framework for Using Educational Technology, and Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff.

Intro to Teaching History With Technology is, as the name implies, and introduction to the big concepts in my Practical Ed Tech course Teaching History With Technology. That course begins on Monday and there is still time to register.


A Framework for Using Educational is a webinar that I hosted twice in May. The purpose of this webinar was to provide some clarity on how to pick the best educational technology tools to use in your classroom.


Every Friday Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I host Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. You can find all of the episodes and related handouts here. The recording of the latest episode is embedded below.



Rushton also hosts a series of webinars called Activities Across Grade Levels that you should also check out.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and it's going to be a great day for bike rides, dog walks, and playing outside with my kids. And I also have the lawn to mow :( But I'll focus on the fun stuff first because it is the weekend after all. I hope that you also have some fun things in store for your weekend.

This week was a busy one at the Byrne Instructional Media World Headquarters as I balanced online meetings with my students with hosting some PD webinars. I also spent a good bit of time preparing materials for the courses I'm teaching this summer. Are you teaching or taking any courses this summer? I'm doing both.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Another Whiteboard Option for Google Meet Users
2. Five Resources for Teaching and Learning About Copyright
3. Google Has Introduced a New Sharing Option in Shared Drives
4. Updated - How to Use EDpuzzle to Create Video Lessons
5. How to Use Kahoot in Google Classroom
6. How to Search for Matching & Similar Documents Submitted in Google Classroom
7. Five Screencastify Settings You Should Know How to Use

Online Summer PD Opportunities
This summer I'm hosting two online professional development courses. I'm hosting the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp three times. The June session is almost full so register soon if you want in on that session. The July sessions have more seats available.

In June and July I'll also be hosting Teaching History With Technology. This is a five part course designed to help you develop new ways to create engaging history lessons and projects. Register now and use the discount code THWT2020.

This summer I'm working with a handful of schools and organizations to develop online professional development for teachers. If you'd like to work with me, please send me a note at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com to learn more about how we can work together.

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 23,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 350 Google tools tutorials.  
  • 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.

AudioMass - A Free, Registration-free Audio Editor

AudioMass is a new online audio editing tool that I recently learned about on Product Hunt. AudioMass doesn't require any registration in order to use it. In fact, there isn't even an option to register.

To get started using AudioMass just head to the site and click "use a sample" to start exploring the audio editing tools. You can record directly into AudioMass by clicking the red record button at the top of the interface. You can import existing MP3s that you own into AudioMass to edit the audio playback.

There are about a dozen and a half effects that you can edit in AudioMass. Some of those include fade in/ fade out, distortion adjustments, reverb adjustments, and playback speed.

When you are satisfied with your audio file in AudioMass you can export as an MP3 file.

Applications for Education
AudioMass could be a good option for an audio editing tool that you can use on your Chromebook or for an alternative to desktop programs like Garage Band and Audacity.

If you're interested in learning how AudioMass was developed, the developer tells the story here.