Sunday, March 7, 2021

A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps

Last week I held a webinar titled 5 Google Earth & Maps Projects for Social Studies. After the webinar I realized that there was a lot more that people wanted to know about using Google Earth and Google Maps in social studies lessons. That's why I put together a new on-demand course titled A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies

A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies contains more than two hours of instruction divided into eight self-paced modules. In addition to the nuts and bolts of how to use Google Earth some of the things you'll learn in this course include how to create virtual tours, how to map datasets, how layer maps and images for comparisons, and how students can collaborate on Google Earth projects. 



FAQs:
  • The cost for this course is $27. Registration fees from my Practical Ed Tech courses make it possible to keep FreeTech4Teachers.com and my free Practical Ed Tech newsletter going. 
  • This course is designed for teachers of grades 3-12 (ages 9 to 18). Who use Windows computers, Mac computers, or Chromebooks in their classrooms.
  • 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.
  • Group registration is available. Email richard (at) byrne.media to learn more.

Why Do Our Clocks Spring Forward Next Weekend?

It's almost that time of year when when most of us in the northern hemisphere have to move our clocks forward by one hour. I never liked moving my clocks forward in the spring before I had kids. And now as the tired dad of two little kids who don't like to sleep, I really don't like moving the clocks forward.  

If you or your students are wondering why we have to change our clocks next weekend, here are few short explanations.

Daylight Saving Time Explained

Daylight Saving Time 101



Daylight Saving Time Explained



TED-Ed has two lessons that aren't specifically about Daylight Saving Time but are related to the topic. First, The History of Keeping Time explains sundials, hourglasses, and the development of timezones. Second, How Did Trains Standardize Time in the United States? explains the role of railroads in the development of the timezones used in the United States (and most of Canada) today.



How to Quickly Find the Sum of a Spreadsheet Column

Right now some of my students are designing their own Arduino projects. I have money for them to spend on materials, but they have to stay within the budget allotted to them. I'm having them use Google Sheets to keep track of materials and budget. Last week I noticed one student tallying her materials cost by hand. I used that as a chance to show the class how to use the built-in sum function in Google Sheets to tally the value of a column. 

A few years ago I made a video about about using the sum function in Google Sheets. That video is embedded below.  

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Search, Meetings, and Hiccups - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it is going to be another great weekend for playing in the snow. One of my dogs is doing that as I write this. He's happiest when it's cold and snowy. Just take a look at the picture in this post, that's one happy dog! I hope that wherever you are this weekend that you have time for something fun that makes you as happy as my dog is when he's rolling in snow. 

This week I hosted or co-hosted a couple of webinars. If you missed the Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions webinar that I do with Rushton Hurley, you can watch it here. The content of the webinar about Google Earth that I hosted on Tuesday is now available as a self-paced course right here

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Annotations, Games, and Audio - The Month in Review
2. Two Search Refinement Tips That Helped My Students Today
3. How to Make Sure Students Aren't Unsupervised in Google Meet Video Calls
4. How to Use Google Calendar to Book Zoom Meetings
5. Daddy, What Are Hiccups?
6. How to Make a Copy of a Google Doc That Isn't Directly Shared With You
7. Why My Dogs Have Email Addresses and Your Dog or Cat Should Too

Thank you for your support! 
  • Registrations for my Practical Ed Tech webinars is one of the primary ways that I am able to keep this blog and my email newsletters going. More than 300 of you have participated in a Practical Ed Tech course last year. I couldn't do it without you!
  • BoomWriter is hosting a unique creative writing contest for kids. Check it out!
  • Spaces takes a new approach to digital portfolios. Give it a try!
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 34,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fourteen 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.

How to Change Your Google Account Profile Image & Why You Should Change It

When your school issues you a Google Workspaces for Education account your profile picture will just be a simple letter icon featuring your initials. Many people leave it that way only because they don't know how easy it is to change it. In the video below I demonstrate how to change your Google profile image.



Applications for Education
Changing your Google account profile image can help with name recognition so that parents begin to put a face with a name as soon as they start receiving emails from you. They won't have to wait until the first parent-teacher conference or open house night to make the association between your face and name.

If you have more than one teacher in your district with the same name or similar names (at one point there were three Mr. Burns and a Mr. Byrne in my district) students seeing an email with your profile picture can visually confirm that they are emailing the correct person.

On a related note, a lot of people don't realize that there is a difference between signing into a Chrome profile and signing into a Google account. I explained the difference in this short video