Thursday, October 22, 2020

An Unplanned Benefit of Using Your Own Pictures in Blog Posts and Presentations

Last week I went on a bit of a rant about copyright and fair use. If you didn't read it, the gist of it was "no, you can't use any picture you find on the Internet and call it Fair Use because it's school-related." The best way to avoid accidental copyright infringement is to just use your own pictures. An additional benefit occurred to me this week when I was filing yet another DMCA takedown notice for a website that was copying all of my blog posts. 

When you use your own pictures in a blog post, in a video, or in a slideshow that you post online you don't have to worry that you've infringed on someone else's copyright. Additionally, if someone then tries to improperly use your work without permission, you have an additional claim that you can make against the infringer. In the case of a blog post, I made the claim in my DMCA takedown notice that my writing was used without permission and my image was used without permission. Why that matters is because of the time it takes to file these kinds of claims. A claim for writing is takes more time than a claim for an image, especially if the image is a selfie. 

I realize that many of you will never have to file a DMCA takedown notice to protect your work. But if you do, I hope this helps. And for everyone else, I hope it's another little story that you can share with your students and colleagues when educating them about copyright and fair use. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A TED-Ed Lesson Exploring the Pros and Cons of Types of Milk

TED-Ed released a new lesson this week. The lesson is all about milk. The title of the lesson, Which Kind of Milk is Best for You? doesn't accurately portray the number of lessons and questions that can be raised when students watch the video. 

Which Kind of Milk is Best for You? explains the basics of the nutrition of dairy milk and plant-based milk products like soy, almond, and oat milk. That part of the video is fairly straight-forward. It starts to get interesting when information about how the various milks are created and the environmental impacts of each. It is through the combined lenses of nutrition and environmental impact that the video presents the answer to the question "which kind of milk is best for you?" (Spoiler alert: TED-Ed is not going to be getting any Christmas cards from the dairy farmers of America). 


Applications for Education
When I started watching this video I thought it would just be an overview of nutritional value of the various milks and perhaps how plant-based milk is created. I wasn't expecting it to take a turn toward environment. And as I watched the second half of the video I started to think about the questions and arguments that might be raised by students depending upon their personal backgrounds. For example, students who come from farming families (I have two right now and have had many over the years) might view this lesson and raise some arguments that students who don't have a farming background might not even consider. The video could also lead into discussions about farm and industry subsidies and or their respective lobbying groups. 

An Easy Way to Search in Google Classroom

Twice this week I've had people ask me if there is a search function in Google Classroom. Unless, I've been overlooking something obvious, there isn't a native search function built into Google Classroom. What I have been telling people to do is use Control+F on Windows computers or Command+F on Mac computers to search within a Google Classroom stream or classwork section. It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than just scrolling through dozens of announcements or assignments to find the one that you want. In the following short video I demonstrate how to search in Google Classroom by using Control+F. 
 

Applications for Education
We're getting to the point in the school year that many of us have a lot of announcements and assignments posted in Google Classroom. If you or your students need a quick way to look for an item in your assignments or announcements, this is the way to do it. 

If you have a question for me, send me an email richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com and I'll include it in the weekly free webinar series that I co-host with Rushton Hurley

13 Google Forms Tutorials for Beginners and Experienced Users

For the last six or seven months whenever I open my YouTube analytics the top two videos are almost always How to Host an Online Meeting With Zoom and The Basics of Creating a Quiz in Google Forms. And based on the response to the Google Forms video that I posted on Monday, there are a lot of people who want more Google Forms tips and tricks to use in their virtual, hybrid, and in-person classrooms. Here is a selection of more Google Forms tips and tricks tutorials that are available on my YouTube channel

The Basics of Creating a Quiz in Google Forms


Enable These Google Forms Settings to Save Time Making Quizzes.



Use Google Forms to Create a Digital Sign-in/ Sign-out Sheet






















Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A New Microsoft Teams Feature That I Wish Google Classroom Had

If you work in a school that use Microsoft Teams or any of the other great Office 365 tools available to teachers and students, you need to subscribe to Mike Tholfsen's YouTube channel. It was through his channel that I recently learned about a fantastic new feature in Microsoft Teams that I wish Google would add to Classroom.

The new Microsoft Teams feature that look awesome is the option to anonymize students' assignment submissions when you're grading them. In other words, you can hide all student names and avatars when you are grading their work then reveal their names and avatars after you have completed grading all submissions. Mike made a new video that succinctly shows you how to use anonymous grading in Microsoft Teams


Applications for Education
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all can have a little bias when looking through students' essays and other written work like lab reports (Mike gives a good example of that in the video above). Anonymizing assignment submissions is one way to try to remove that bias. I'm glad to see that Microsoft Teams now has this option and I hope that Google's product development team takes note of it.