Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Join Me for a Free Webinar This Thursday - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Question & Share Cool Stuff

This Thursday at 4pm ET Rushton Hurley and I are hosting Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff. You can register for free right here.  Just like the title implies, during the webinar we answer questions from anyone who attends as well as questions that have been sent to us in advance. You can email me or Rushton with your questions. In each episode we also share a couple of interesting apps, websites, or videos that we've found during the last few weeks. 

Watch our last episode to get a sense of what the webinar is all about.

Some of my Favorites - Flipgrid Whiteboard

This week is school vacation week here in Maine. I usually take this week off to go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake. Unfortunately, that's not happening this year. Instead I'll be "staycationing" and working on some projects around home. While on my staycation I'll be sharing some of my personal favorite tools. Flipgrid's new whiteboard tool was one of my favorite new things in 2020.

The option to make a whiteboard video with the Shorts function in Flipgrid is now found in the "effects" menu that is present next to the record button after you launch the Shorts recorder. I made the following short video to demonstrate how to make a whiteboard video in Flipgrid.

Some of my Favorites - Talking With Mr. D!

This week is school vacation week here in Maine. I usually take this week off to go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake. Unfortunately, that's not happening this year. Instead I'll be "staycationing" and working on some projects around home. While on my staycation I'll be sharing some of my personal favorite tools and blog posts. Chatting with Gerry Dee in December was one of my favorite moments in 2020
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Mr. D The Gym Teacher is a show available on Amazon Prime in the U.S. On Amazon Prime the show is called Mr. D The Gym Teacher instead of just Mr. D as it was on the CBC. The show is loosely based on the stories of teacher-turned-comedian Gerry Dee. Yes, it's a sitcom about teachers, principals, and school librarians. And yes, it's hilarious!

Mr. D lasted eight seasons which is far longer than any other sitcom about teachers that I can remember. That was possible because the show featured an actor and writer who actually spent years teaching instead of just relying on some cliché Hollywood ideas of teachers. You can watch some snippets of the show on Gerry Dee's Facebook page and Twitter account

We all need something to look forward to that we can do at home these days. Flipping on Mr. D The Gym Teacher and having a good beer or wine cooler (a joke you'll get if you watch the show) after my kids go to bed is what I'm looking forward to on Saturday night. If you don't have Amazon Prime you can get a 30 free trial right here

In December I got the chance to talk to the star of the show, Gerry Dee. Gerry was a history and physical education teacher for ten years before his stand-up comedy career took off. We chatted about his teaching experiences and how they contributed to creating a sitcom about teaching that is really enjoyable to watch as a teacher. I was super-excited and nervous to talk with Gerry but I enjoyed it and I hope that you enjoy the recording of our conversation. You can watch it right here on my YouTube channel or as embedded below. 


Monday, February 15, 2021

Some of my Favorites - Canva Comics

This week is school vacation week here in Maine. I usually take this week off to go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake. Unfortunately, that's not happening this year. Instead I'll be "staycationing" and working on some projects around home. While on my staycation I'll be sharing some of my personal favorite tools. Canva's release of new comics templates was one of my favorite new things in the fall of 2020. 

Canva's comic gallery contains templates for making comics in a variety of layouts and formats. All of the templates can be customized to your heart's content. 

If you are a current Canva for Education user, you may already know that your students can now collaborate online on any graphics. That's just one of the many good features available when making comics in Canva. In this video I demonstrate how to create comics in Canva and outline five key features of creating comics in Canva. 

Five Key Features of Making Comics in Canva

  • Online, real-time collaboration on comic strips. 
  • Customize hundreds of pieces of artwork/ drawings/ clip art. 
  • Customize the size, spacing, and number of frames per comic. 
  • Publish comics as stand-alone websites. 
  • Publish comics as PDFs and images. 


Applications for Education
In my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I outlined five ideas for incorporating comic strip creation into your classroom. Those ideas included illustrating vocabulary words, illustrating favorite stories, creating timelines, making digital greeting cards, and illustrating original writing.

Some of my Favorites - Knowt!

This week is school vacation week here in Maine. I usually take this week off to go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake. Unfortunately, that's not happening this year. Instead I'll be "staycationing" and working on some projects around home. While on my staycation I'll be sharing some of my personal favorite tools. Knowt is one of my favorite new tools of the last 18 months.

Knowt is a free service for turning documents into flashcards, quizzes, and other review activities. When it was initially launched it was created for individual use. Since then Knowt developed a teacher platform that you can use to develop activities to directly share with your students. 

I made a short video overview of how Knowt's teacher platform works. Here are some highlights of the Knowt platform to note before watching my video. 

  • You can create online classrooms for your students to join. It is possible to import Google Classroom rosters. 
  • Knowt will generate flashcards based on the documents that you create or import (I just copied and pasted a Google Doc into Knowt). 
  • Knowt will generate quizzes based on your documents. 
    • Quiz question formats include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true/false, and sequencing. 
  • Quizzes can be graded or ungraded activities. 
Here's my short video overview of Knowt's free teacher platform.