Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video

About a month ago I hosted a Practical Ed Tech webinar titled A Crash Course in Making and Teaching With Video. In the weeks since I hosted that webinar I've had a bunch of requests to host it again. So that's what I'm going to do next Tuesday (September 29th) at 4pm ET. 

This school year has going to have many of us teaching students in our classrooms as well as students online. For many of us that means we’re making instructional videos to address the needs of in-person and online students. If you find yourself needing to make instructional videos, but you’re not sure how best to do it, this webinar is for you! 

In this 75 minute webinar you’ll learn: 
  • How to plan an instructional video. 
  • Three simple and quick ways to make instructional videos. 
  • How to share your videos with your students with and without using YouTube. 
  • How to make sure your students actually watch your videos. 
  • Tips for improving your videos regardless of the equipment you use. 
Your Registration includes: 
  • Live webinar with Q&A. 
  • Access to the recording of the webinar. 
  • Handouts. 
  • PD Certificate
Cost:

About the cost:
I announce the Practical Ed Tech webinars on this blog because the registrations from the webinars go to keeping the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. I use GoToWebinar to for hosting the webinars and recordings. GoToWebinar is not cheap, but it is the best webinar platform out there (I've tried them all over the years). And while all the tools featured in the webinars are available for free, my time for teaching isn't free. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Good Sets of Primary Source Documents About the American Revolution and More

The Massachusetts Historical Society has a great website that hosts collections of primary sources related to the American Revolution, founding families of the United States, abolition, and the Civil War. Additionally, on the MHS site you'll find recordings of webinars about many of the topics related to the collections of primary sources. Music of the Plimoth Colony Settlers is an interesting webinar that was published last week. 

Some of the highlights of the collections of primary sources found on the Massachusetts Historical Society's website include:
In addition to the collections listed above, the Massachusetts Historical Society offers four collections of lesson plans that incorporate primary source documents. Those collections are Founding Fathers & Their Families, Era of the American Revolution, Slavery and Antislavery, and Civil War. The most lesson plans are in the first two collections. The vast majority of the lesson plans are for high school students, but there are a few for elementary and middle school use. 

More than a decade ago I started using Google Documents to help students analyze primary source documents. I outlined that process in this blog post in 2015

How to Recover an Archived Google Classroom

 

Last week I published an overview of how to add co-teachers to your Google Classroom classes. That post prompted a bunch of follow-up questions from readers and viewers. The most common follow-up question was "what happens if a class is accidentally archived?" The answer is that it goes into the "archived" section of your Google Classroom account. While it's archived you and your students can't do anything in it. However, all is not lost because you can recover archived classrooms. It's a simple thing to do and I've outlined the process in this one minute video

Monday, September 21, 2020

Using YouTube to Share Lessons This Fall? - Settings and Tools You Need to Know About

This fall many of us are using YouTube more than ever before to share lessons with students. Whether those lessons are ones you recorded or ones that you found YouTube, there are some settings and tools that you should know about. 

Settings and Features When Sharing Your Own Video Lessons
  • You can make your videos unlisted and still share them in Google Classroom or any other learning management system that you choose to use. 
  • You can and probably should disable comments on the video lessons that you upload. By doing this you avoid the hassle of dealing with YouTube spam comments. I post my videos in Google Classroom and let kids can ask questions there. 
  • Add a cover image to your video to let students know what the video is about. Doing that also avoids using the still frame that YouTube selects at random for your cover image. That function and more are covered in this video
  • If you use a recording of a Zoom or Google Meet as part of a lesson that you upload to YouTube, use the blurring function to hide the faces of students who don't want to be in the video. That feature is demonstrated in this video
Settings and Tools When Sharing Videos You've Found on YouTube
  • It is possible to collaborate with another teacher to make a playlist of educational videos. This is a good option for those who work in teaching teams. Here's a video on how to collaborate on a playlist. 
  • Watchkin, SafeShare, and Quietube are simple third-party tools that you can use to display videos in your classroom without displaying the related sidebar content found on YouTube. 
  • Put videos into Google Slides or PowerPoint and that will let you share videos with your students without forcing them to see the sidebar content from YouTube. A bonus aspect is the option to specify a start and end time for a video in a Google Slide. 
  • Put video links in Wakelet collections or on Padlet walls to share videos without having to make students see the sidebar content from YouTube. 
  • Create a lesson from an existing YouTube video by using EDpuzzle. EDpuzzle lets you add questions into the timeline of a video. Students have to answer the questions in order to advance to the next section of the video. My complete overview of EDpuzzle can be seen here

"Why Do We Have Fall?" - A Post Inspired by My Daughter

 

"Why do we have fall?" That was the question that my four year old asked while we were walking in the woods yesterday.  It was a good question (she's full of good questions these days) and I tried my best to explain that different times of the year have more or less sunlight which makes the plants grow or "hibernate" (a concept she's learned from National Geographic's All About Bears). When she's a little older we'll worry about covering more of the details. In the meantime, if you have elementary school students who are wondering "why do we have fall?" here are a couple of good little videos on the topic. 

Why Are There Seasons? from SciShow Kids is a good video lesson about seasons. The video is appropriate for students in primary grades. 

 

Reasons for the Seasons is a TED-Ed lesson appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. The lesson explains the relationship between the shape of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, the Earth's tilt on its axis, and how those affect the amount of sunlight on different areas of the Earth.