Monday, June 15, 2020

From the Archive - A Webinar on Copyright for Teachers


Twice today I hosted webinars in which the topic of copyright in the classroom came up. Since the webinars weren't specifically about copyright, I referred people to the recording of a webinar that Dr. Beth Holland and I hosted a couple of years ago in which we addressed a whole bunch of nuanced questions pertaining to copyright in the classroom. While the webinar is now a few years old, everything that we talked about is still relevant today.

The recording of Copyright for Teachers - A Webinar With Beth Holland and Richard Byrne can be watched here or as embedded below.


The slides used in the webinar can be seen here or as embedded below.

Five Tools for Creating Storyboards to Plan Videos and Presentations

Creating a storyboard is an excellent way to outline and plan videos, presentations, and written stories. In the old days this was done with paper and pencil. Today, storyboards can be created with a variety of digital tools. Here are five ways to create storyboards with digital tools.

Canva, which recently launched a new desktop app, offers a lot of templates for creating storyboards. Students can use Canva's library of clip art and pictures to illustrate the main points of their stories in the storyboard templates. Completed storyboards can be downloaded as PDFs and as image files.

Milanote is a tool that I described a couple of weeks ago as being part bookmarking tool and part storyboarding tool offers easy-to-use templates for making multimedia storyboards. Here's a short video of how it works.



One of the many "hidden" features of Google Slides is the option to change the layout of your slide print pages. You can use that option to create a simple, printable storyboard. Watch the video below to see how to do that.



Just like Google Slides, PowerPoint has lots of hidden features that people often overlook including the ability to design a simple printable storyboard. Watch the following video to see how to do that.


Pixton EDU can be used for a lot of purposes in your classroom. One of those is creating storyboards. Pixton EDU offers lots of pre-made templates and art work that you can use as-is or customize to create your storyboard. I like the idea of using Pixton EDU to design a storyboard to pitch a product or make a proposal.

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is an advertiser on this blog. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

How to Create Your First Google Sites & 5 Ways to Customize It

Summer is here (in the northern hemisphere) and after a break from school you might start thinking about next year and what you need to do to be ready for it. Many people have been asking me questions like, "what can I do to be ready in case we have to switch back to online teaching next year?" One of the things that you can do is spend some time learning more about the features of your school's learning management system (Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Schoology, Canvas). Another thing that I've been recommending is creating a website to organize handouts, resource links, videos, and more.

There are many free tools for building websites. Google Sites is one of the best options for teachers who have Google accounts (either school-issued or personal accounts). Here are some tutorials to get you started on the process of creating a great website with Google Sites.

How to Create a Website With Google Sites


How to Include Videos in Google Sites



And here's a common mistake to avoid when using video in Google Sites.

How to Include Flipgrid Topics in Google Sites


How to Create Banners and Templates in Google Sites


How to Create an Art Gallery in Google Sites


How to Collaborate on Google Sites via Google Classroom

Saturday, June 13, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and the air has that perfect early summer feel to it. It's going to be a great day for riding bikes and doing all kinds of fun things outside. And it's also a good day for mowing the lawn (something I don't consider to be fun). Before doing all of that I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week to share with you.

Have a great weekend! Get outside and play...after you read this.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Create Virtual Class Pictures With Pixton EDU
2. Seven Ideas for Flipgrid Activities
3. How to Use Kahoot in Google Classroom
4. Five Things You Should Know About Using Audio in Google Slides
5. How to Create an Online Game of Connect Four
6. Sharing vs. Publishing Google Docs
7. Canva Now Has a Desktop App for Windows and Mac

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 sold out! The July sessions have more seats available.

In July I'll 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 - 25,000 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.

Friday, June 12, 2020

How to Create an Approved Senders List in Gmail

Have you ever signed up for a webinar like this one and then wondered why you never got any information about how to join the webinar? Or have you had someone say, "yeah, I emailed that to you yesterday" but you didn't see it in your inbox? If so, you should create an approved senders list in your inbox.

Creating an approved senders list will ensure that email you want to receive from a particular sender or group of senders always ends up in your inbox instead of in your spam folder.

In the following video I demonstrate how to create an approved senders list in Gmail. (Creating an approved sender list is also known as creating a whitelist in your email account).



Create an Approved Senders List in Office 365
If you're an Office 365 or Outlook user, you can also create an approved senders list in your email account. Here are a couple of tutorials on how to do that.