Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Free Webinar - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff

Every Thursday afternoon I join Rushton Hurley for our live webinar series titled Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. We took a break for Thanksgiving last week but we'll be back this week at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT and we'd love to have you join us. It's a fun and free half-hour webinar in which we answer all kinds of questions and share some neat things that we've found on the web. 

Three Ways to Create Online Forms to Collect Samples of Your Students' Work

This blog post originally appeared as in my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. Subscribe to have my favorite tips sent to your inbox every Sunday evening

Teaching online classes and hybrid classes is a new challenge for many if not most of us. Collecting samples of work like math problems that students have traditionally done on physical paper is particularly challenging for some. One solution to that is to create online forms through which students or their parents acting on their behalf can submit pictures of their work. On a similar note, many teachers of world languages have reached out asking for advice on collecting audio recordings of their students speaking. Both of those challenges can be addressed by creating online forms to which students upload audio recordings. 

Here are three good options for creating online forms to which students can upload samples of their work as image, video, and or sound files. 

Google Forms has offered a file upload option for the last few years. Watch this video to see how it works.

JotForm is another good tool for creating online forms that accept file uploads. JotForm also lets you create forms that people can fill and sign online. Watch this video for an overview of some of JotForm's key features.

Microsoft Forms offers a file upload option. Students have to be signed into their school-issued Microsoft accounts in order to upload files. Here's a video overview of how this works. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

City Walks - Hear and See Cities Around the World

City Walks is a neat website that I recently learned about from Larry Ferlazzo. On City Walks you can go for a virtual walk in more than a dozen cities around the world. You can experience the cities with or without sound. You can go for virtual walks in the daytime or at night. At the start of each walk you'll see some quick facts about the city that might help you understand a little more about what you're seeing during the walk. 

City Walks is essentially a really nice display of street-level YouTube videos with some additional menu options overlaid on them. That's not meant as a knock on the site as it is a nice site. That does mean that there isn't any interactivity built into virtual walks like you might experience in a virtual reality experience. The video sources for City Walks are clearly labeled in the lower-right corner of each screen. 

Applications for Education
City Walks isn't going to replace Google Expeditions (ending in 2021) or Google Arts & Culture, but it is a good additional resource to have bookmarked when you want to give students a street-level view of cities that they learn about in your classroom. 

The Most Popular Posts of the Month

There's just one month left in 2020! I hope those of you who had a Thanksgiving break are feeling re-charged and ready for the last month of school in 2020. 

As I do at the end of every month, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the last thirty days. Take a look at the list and see if there's anything new or interesting that can help you in the last month of 2020. 

These were the most popular posts in November:
1. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game
2. Two Ways to Create Your Own Online Memory Games
3. A New Google Meet Feature That Brings Order to Class Meetings
4. How to Create Self-grading, Timed Quizzes in Google Classroom
5. Ten Google Meet Features for Teachers - Fall 2020 Update
6. Five Uses for Wakelet in Your Classroom
7. Seven Tools for Creating Word Clouds
8. Five Screencasting Tools Compared and Ranked - Fall 2020
9. Use a Zoom Virtual Background for Lesson Outlines
10. How to Create and Conduct Polls in PowerPoint and Google Slides

Professional Development Opportunities 
Through Practical Ed Tech I'm currently offering two on-demand learning opportunities:
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. 
  • Wakelet is a great tool for making collections of resources, recording video, and more!
  • GAT Labs offers a great, free guide to using Google Workspaces in online classrooms.  
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 more than 31,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of edtech tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @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.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Save Time by Searching Within Favorite YouTube Channels

One of the tips that Rushton Hurley and I have passed along in a few episodes of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff is to search within the YouTube channels of people whose tutorials you've found useful. For example, whenever I need help with a WordPress problem I head to WP Crafter and search within that YouTube channel before conducting a broader search on YouTube. I do that because Adam, the producer of WP Crafter, has been extremely helpful in the past I know that if I have a WordPress problem he's probably made a video addressing it. 

In short, searching within a favorite YouTube channel is a timer-saver for me. If you've never tried it, here's a short video about how to search within a YouTube channel