Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is yet to come up and the air feels cool. I hate to say it, but those are reminders that summer won't last forever and fall will be here soon. I plan to soak up what's left of summer before school starts in a couple of weeks. I hope that you are doing the same this weekend.

This week the remnants of Hurricane Isaias hit Maine. Other than the electricity being knocked out for about 20 hours, no damage was done. I hope that those of you south of me were just as fortunate.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 5 Ways to Make Whiteboard Instructional Videos in Your Web Browser
2. Don't Fall for This Image Attribution Scam
3. A New Way to Make Sure People Can View Your Videos in Google Slides
4. Stream Multiple Sources at Once With OBS Studio
5. What You Need to Know About the Latest Version of Flipgrid
6. Phidgets - A Fun, Free, Hands-on Way to Learn Python, Java, and More
7. How to Improve Reverse Image Search Results

Back to School PD Opportunities
This week I hosted a few PD webinars for schools for the start of the school year. If you'd like to have me host a PD session for your school, 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.

Friday, August 7, 2020

A Handy Tool for Picking Accessible Color Schemes


Earlier today I hosted a webinar about tools that teachers can use to improve the accessibility of the slides, documents, and videos that they create for their students. In that webinar I shared a simple tool that is quite helpful when trying to determine what color combinations you should use on your slides or documents. That tool is the Accessible Color Matrix hosted on Github. As you can see my demo video, the Accessible Color Matrix provides a quick and easy way to see which color combinations do and don't work from an accessibility standpoint.

What You Need to Know About the Latest Version of Flipgrid

Earlier this week Flipgrid published a slew of updates and had a big online event to hype it up showcase those new features. A lot of the updates were largely cosmetic. From what I've seen so far, nothing fundamentally changed with the way that Flipgrid works. What did change and is worth noting is some of the terminology that is now used in Flipgrid. In the following video I explained that change and a couple of other minor updates that you should be aware.

An Easy Way to Loop Videos in Google Slides

There are so many little "hidden" features in tools like Google Slides that even after more than a decade of using it I am still finding new things. One of those things that I stumbled upon earlier this week is an easy way to make videos play on a loop in a Google Slides presentation.

To make a video loop in Google Slides all you have to do is present your slides then right-click on the video. When you right-click on it you'll be able to choose an option to loop the video. Watch my short video to see how it's done.


Applications for Education
Playing a video on a loop in a slide could be useful when you want to play a video to use as a welcome announcement in a virtual meeting or in a physical meeting as students are slowly joining in.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

A Timeline for Transitioning to the "New" Version of Google Sites

The new version of Google Sites has been out since 2016 and since 2016 Google has continually told users that the "new version" would become the default version "soon." Four years later they're still telling us to get ready for the day when the "new" version is the only option. The latest reminder of that landed in my inbox this morning in the form of a message for G Suite domain administrators to make sure they've enabled the new version of Google Sites in their domains.

The email from Google also reminded domain administrators of the timeline for transitioning to the new version of Google Sites. Here's that timeline:
  • August 2020 - New Sites will become the default option for website creation.
  • Starting May 2021 - New website creation will no longer be available in classic Sites. This means that any new websites created in the organization will only be in new Sites.
  • Starting October 2021 - Editing of remaining classic Sites will be disabled.
  • Starting December 2021 - When users try to visit a classic Site, they will no longer see the website content. Any remaining classic Sites will automatically be:
    • Downloaded as an archive and saved to the site owner’s Google Drive.
    • Replaced with a draft in the new Sites experience for site owners to review and publish.

If you don't want to transition your old Google Site into the new version, follow the steps in this tutorial