Sunday, August 23, 2020

Three Ways for Students to Join Google Classroom

A few weeks ago Google announced the addition of some new features to Google Classroom. One of the features teased in that announcement was an option to distribute a "join link" that can be used in place of sending an email invitation or having students use a "join code" to join your Google Classroom. The option to use "join links" is now widely available in G Suite for Education.

The new "join link" feature and two other options for students to join your Google Classroom are demonstrated in my new video that is embedded below.


Applications for Education
Depending upon the age and skill of your students, the "join link" might be the quickest way to get students into your Google Classroom. You can distribute the link through a variety of means including texting it via Remind for students and or parents to use at home.

ICYMI - Get Your Free Copy of the 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook

Last week I published the sixth edition of my free Practical Ed Tech Handbook. This year's edition includes new sections on accessibility and remote instruction as well as updates to eleven other sections. I'm particularly happy with the updates that I made to the section on teaching search strategies.

In total there are thirteen big topics covered in this year's Practical Ed Tech Handbook. Throughout the handbook you will find descriptions of a variety of free tech tools and videos on how to use them. If you haven't gotten your copy of the 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook, you can get it for free right here!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Webinar Recording - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions

Every week Rushton Hurley and I sit down to answer questions and share cool stuff that we've found on the web. We do this in a free webinar that is simply titled Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. The most recent episode was recording on Thursday afternoon. If you missed it, you can watch the recording right here on the Next Vista for Learning website or as embedded below.



Join Us for the Next One!
We'd love to have you join us for the next live webinar which will be this coming Thursday at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT. Register here to join us for our free webinar Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff. We're going to have a special guest joining us in the next episode. Read about that on the registration page.

The Week in Review - Where Did the Time Go?

Good morning from Maine where the air feels cool and crisp this morning. We had a couple of similar mornings earlier this week. And I spotted my first red leaves this week! School starts on Monday. Where did the time go?

I'm also asking myself, "where did the time go?" this weekend because my oldest daughter turns four on Sunday. It still feels like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. Now she's in pre-K and "rockin' in her school shoes," as Pete the Cat would say. While we can't have a big party for her, we are going to have cake and ice cream and do a bunch of her favorite fun things. I hope that all of you have a fun weekend too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. How to Use Grid View in Google Meet - No Chrome Extensions Required!
2. How to Create Split Screen Videos in Flipgrid
3. Five Current Google Meet Features to Note
4. Five Tips for Live Online Instruction
5. How to Direct Students to Videos Based on Answer Choices in Google Forms
6. Five Zoom Features You Need to Know
7. Factitious 2020 - Can You Spot Fake News Stories?

Online Back to School PD Opportunities
Two weeks ago I hosted Get Organized With Google Classroom, Meet, and Calendar. You can access the recording an associated materials here. This week I hosted A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video. Next week I'll be hosting a webinar on search strategies. Details for that webinar will appear on Monday on PracticalEdTech.com.

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 28,000 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 21, 2020

A Comics Activity as an Icebreaker

Disclosure: Pixton EDU is currently an advertiser on this blog. 

As the new school year begins you may find yourself looking for some new ways to conduct icebreaker activities. One thing you can try is having students create avatars for themselves then talk about their designs. Then after making those avatars you might have them design a little comic to tell a story. Pixton EDU offers tools for doing both of those things.

In Pixton EDU you and your students can create characters to represent yourselves. Once you've done that you can use Pixton EDU's free Truth-or-Lie activity. Truth-or-Lie is designed as an ice-breaker or familiarization activity for your class. In the activity students create a short comic strip in which they tell a truth or a lie. They then share those comics with  you and their classmates who have to guess if the comic represents a truth or a lie.



Pixton EDU is currently running a back-to-school offer. That offer gives you 15% off their annual premium plan with this link. To be clear, everything in this blog post can be done without the premium plan.