Monday, July 20, 2020

Create Talking Pictures of Famous People

This morning the power was out at my house so I sat on my porch drinking coffee (brewed before the power went out) and brainstormed a list of ways to use video tools in elementary school classrooms. One of the ideas that I came up with was using ChatterPix Kids to create talking pictures of famous people.

ChatterPix Kids is a free app (Android version here, iPad version here) that lets students take pictures or upload pictures, draw a smile, and then record themselves talking for up to thirty seconds. The finished product is saved as a video file on the students' iPads or Android tablets. That video file can then be shared in a variety of ways including in Google Classroom. The following videos demonstrate how to use the Android and iOS versions of ChatterPix Kids.



Applications for Education
A great way to use ChatterPix Kids is to have students use it to record themselves talking as if they were the person in the pictures they use in the app. Consider having students read a quote from that person. Or have students read a short biographical detail about the person while recording in ChatterPix Kids.

How OneNote Can Help Students Solve Math Problems

As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to make more videos about the excellent products that Microsoft offers to teachers and students for free. One of those products is OneNote. Within OneNote there is a great feature that can help students solve math problems. In the video that I've embedded below you can see how OneNote can help students solve math problems.

OneNote provides students with step-by-step outlines for solving math problems that they write in their OneNote notebooks. The way that this works is a student hand-writes or types a problem onto a page in OneNote and then highlights that problem using the lasso tool in OneNote. Once the problem is highlighted students can then select "math" in the ribbon menu and a new menu appears on the page. In that new menu students can choose to see the steps to take to solve the problem.

Watch my short video to see how to use the math problem solution function in OneNote.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

How to Create Labeling Activities With Google Drawings and Classroom

Last week I hosted a webinar for a group that I'm working this  summer. One part of that webinar included making online activities for students. I included some of the typical things like Kahoot and Wizer but I also included a demonstration on how to use Google Drawings to make online labeling activities.

In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to use Google Drawings to create a labeling activity and then distribute it to students through Google Classroom. In the video I used the example of creating an activity in which students drag state names onto a blank map of New England. A variation on that activity would be to have students using the arrow tools in Google Drawings to draw connections between the labels and the states. Watch the video below to see how the whole process works including how students complete the activity in Google Classroom.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the temperature only reached 62F yesterday, but today is supposed to reach 90! These wild fluctuations in summer weather is something I'm just putting into a mental category labeled, "well...that's 2020 for you!"

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend and I hope that you are too. Next week I have another busy week of hosting webinars as I'll be running the third section of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. There is still time to sign up to join me.

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. 5 Ways to Make Whiteboard Instructional Videos in Your Web Browser
2. 500+ Icebreaker Questions
3. Doozy - Create and Play Fun and Educational Quiz Games
4. Canva Introduces Real-time Collaboration Options
5. How to Collaborate on Word Documents Online
6. Updated and Easier Way to Schedule Events in Google Calendar
7. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game

The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp!
The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp will be held one more time this summer. Register here for the session starting on Monday!

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 26,000 people subscribe to my YouTube channel for my regular series of tutorial videos including more than 400 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.

Got Toddlers? Bookmark This Website

If you have toddlers at home like I do, Stain Solutions is a website that need to bookmark today. Stain Solutions is a handy website developed by Susan Taylor at the University of Illinois Extension. The site is a database of solutions for removing more than 200 common stains like coffee, bird poop, and white glue (commonly called Elmer's glue). Click on a stain in the chart and you will be taken to a list of the ingredients needed to make a solution that will remove your chosen stain. Directions and warnings are provided along with the solutions.

Applications for Education
I don't know of any teacher who hasn't stained work clothes themselves or had them stained as the result of a student mishap. I've stained enough neckties to create a drop-cloth. Coffee, ink, and dry-erase markers seem to be the leading causes of those stains. Solutions to remove all those stains can be found on Stain Solutions.