Monday, October 5, 2020

A Self-paced Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video

Last week I hosted a live Practical Ed Tech webinar titled A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video. By popular request, I've turned that webinar into a self-paced course that is available now. If you find yourself needing to make instructional videos, but you’re not sure how best to do it, A Crash Course in Making & Teaching With Video is for you! 

In this course you will learn:
  • Best practices for creating instructional videos.
  • Five easy methods for making instructional videos.
  • How to responsibly share video lessons with your students.
  • The equipment you do and don’t need.
  • How to avoid copyright problems.
  • How to make sure your students actually watch your video lessons!

Course structure
  • Six self-paced modules.
  • Q&A is available in each module.
  • A PD certificate is available at the completion of the course.

  • This course is designed for teachers who will use Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computers to create video lessons. 
  • When you register you will have immediate access to all of the course modules for one year. You can go back through the modules as many times as you’d like during the year. 
  • The cost for this course is $25. 

Register here and get started today!

About the cost:
I announce the Practical Ed Tech webinars and courses on this blog because the registrations from them goes to keeping the lights on at Free Technology for Teachers. And while all the tools featured in the webinars and courses are available for free, my time for teaching isn't free. 

How to Measure Distances in Bing Maps and Google Maps

This afternoon I received an email from a reader who was frustrated by how slowly Google Earth loaded on her students' Chromebooks. She had designed some activities about distance that she wanted her students to complete using the measurement tools in Google Earth, but it was loading so slowly for many students that the activity was taking much longer than necessary. She reached out to me for ideas for alternatives to Google Earth. 

My suggestion if you need an alternative to Google Earth for geography-based distance measurement lessons is to try using Bing Maps or Google Maps in your web browser. In my experience Bing Maps generally loads a little faster, but both tools load much faster than Google Earth. In the following videos I demonstrate how to measure distance with Google Maps and with Bing Maps. 

How to Create and Host Your First Kahoot Game

In this week's Practical Ed Tech newsletter I share some ideas for adding some fun educational activities into online and hybrid classrooms. In the newsletter I mentioned that I'm using Kahoot at the end of my of my class meetings as a fun way to recap that day's lesson. This morning I actually used Kahoot in the middle of a lesson as a way to transition between two topic. 

A few minutes after I sent out this week's Practical Ed Tech newsletter someone replied to ask if I had an updated tutorial video that I could share. I didn't have one so I made a new one. My previous ones are slightly out of date due to changes that Kahoot has made in the last year. Here's my new tutorial on how to create and host your first Kahoot game. 

And if you're a Google Classroom user, here's how to share your Kahoot game in Google Classroom

Sunday, October 4, 2020

How to Disable or Limit Google Classroom Notifications

If you're like a lot of the teachers I'm hearing from this fall, you're using Google Classroom more than ever. And if that's the case you might be feeling like you're getting overrun with notifications from Google Classroom. That was certainly the case for someone who asked me and Rushton Hurley for help in the latest episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff

If you're feeling overwhelmed or just annoyed by a barrage of notifications from Google Classroom, you can turn them off. That's exactly what I demonstrate in this new video

Saturday, October 3, 2020

The Week in Review - Search, Coding, and Microsoft Forms

Good morning from Maine where the sun is rising and revealing all of the colors of fall. Fall is my favorite time of year to be outside. Playing outside is what I plan to do with my kids today. My oldest daughter has been asking all week for us to make a leaf pile for her to jump into. So that's the first order of business after breakfast. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have something fun on your schedule. 

This week was a weird one in my classroom. On Tuesday we went back to 100% remote teaching and learning. Then on Friday we learned we're going back to a hybrid model next week. Flexibility and being prepared for anything is the theme of this fall. Through it all, I keep blogging. 

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. "Whoa!" - This Is Why We Should Review Search Strategies Every Year
2. Think Like a Coder - The Final Episode!
3. Good Video Lessons About Cyberbullying and Digital Privacy
4. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game
5. How to Use Microsoft Forms for a Classroom Sign-in/ Sign-out Sheet
6. A Similarity Checker in Word - How Did I Miss This?
7. How to Add Shapes and Drawings to Google Docs

Thank you for your support!

  • More than 300 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech course or webinar this year. Those registrations help keep Free Technology for Teachers and Practical Ed Tech going. I couldn't do it without you!
  • Pixton EDU is a great tool for creating comics and storyboards. 
  • Cloud Stop Motion makes it easy to create a stop motion video in your web browser. 

Other Places to Follow Me

  • The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers. 
  • My YouTube channel has nearly 30,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of ed tech tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting at @rmbyrne for thirteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • And if you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava