Thursday, April 1, 2021

My Most Popular Tutorials in March

As I mentioned in today's episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff, my YouTube channel now has nearly 35,000 subscribers watching my tutorial videos. On my channel I cover everything from how to make a Google Form to how to make a green screen video to how to map spreadsheet data. Here's a list of the ten most-watched tutorial videos on my YouTube channel in March.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

How to Create Comic Strips in Google Slides



How to Add a Timer to Your PowerPoint Slides



How to Create Videos on a Chromebook - No Extensions or Apps Required



Threadit - Google's Alternative to Flipgrid?!


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

Free Webinar - Intro to Teaching History With Technology

As announced just a few moments ago during Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff, next week I'm hosting a free webinar titled Intro to Teaching History With Technology. 

In this free webinar on April 6th you'll learn about my Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration framework for using educational technology and how to apply to history and geography lessons.

In this webinar you'll learn:
🔎 How to get your students beyond the first page of Google search results.
🧿 Tips for engaging students in online discussions about history.
🎥 Ideas for new ways for students to show what they know about history and geography.

Intro to Teaching History With Technology will be live at 4pm ET on April 6th. Use this time zone converter for your local time. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be emailed to those who have registered in advance. 

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

Five Ways to Get Students to be More Active in Remote Learning

This is a guest post from Hali Larkins (@HaliLarkins), communications intern at The Learning Accelerator and Master's student at Columbia Teachers' College.


In remote environments, sustaining engagement is a challenging task even for adults, but with school continuing to take place virtually, the question of “How to motivate and keep students engaged in remote learning?” continues to be top of mind for many teachers. In exploring this question, The Learning Accelerator has outlined five key steps to getting and keeping students engaged:

1. Be Clear and Consistent:
Classroom agendas can be recreated virtually to offer students a central place to track objectives and activities for the lessons. Tools such as virtual notebooks, online agendas, and visual virtual classrooms can establish consistency for students.

2. Provide Opportunities for Ownership and Choice:
Systems such as classroom jobs, choice boards, and award systems can be designed for virtual contexts to both give students something to look forward to and establish a sense of agency in their learning.

3. Offer Opportunities Non Verbal Engagement:
Normalizing non-verbal communication through strategies such as wait questions, muted share alouds, and communicating with hand signals allows for variety in classroom participation.

4. Establish Effective Small-Group Collaboration:
Establishing clear expectations, assigning group roles, and providing space for wellbeing check-ins can help students build community and connection with their peers in across both remote and in-person environments.

5. Build Movement in Lessons:
In remote learning, students are generally less active than usual. Teachers can motivate students to get active by offering brain breaks, creating active activities, and providing virtual scavenger hunts.

The key to designing engaging remote learning experiences is for them to be fun, interesting, and account for the full needs of students during these times. We want to create learning environments where students feel challenged, emotionally safe, and connected to their learning community — whether remote or in-person.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Games, Transcripts, and Copyright - The Month in Review

Good evening from Maine where it was a beautiful day for bike ride after school. Jumping on my bicycle after school on a sunny spring day always makes me feel like a kid again. I hope that you also have an activity in your life that makes you feel like a kid again.

As the sun sets on the month of March I've compiled a list of the most read posts of the last 31 days. Take a look and see if your favorite post made the list or if there is something neat that you missed earlier this month.

These were the most popular posts of the month:
1. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game
2. Kahoot Now Displays Questions and Answers on the Same Screen - Finally!
3. How Does Artificial Intelligence Learn? - A TED-Ed Lesson I'm Using Today
4. Google Meet Transcripts Automatically Saved as New Google Docs
5. 27 Videos That Can Help Students Improve Their Writing
6. 5 Features of Google Advanced Search That Students Should Know How to Use
7. Why My Dogs Have Email Addresses and Your Dog or Cat Should Too
8. New Copyright Compliance Checks in YouTube
9. Jamboard Now Offers Version History
10. A New Option for Shortening Microsoft Forms Links

On-demand Professional Development at PracticalEdTech.com
The registrations for my Practical Ed Tech webinars and courses is what enables me to keep Free Technology for Teachers going. Right now there are three on-demand courses and webinars available.
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.
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

A Fun and Educational Use of Cardboard Boxes

Instructables is a site that I've written about a couple of times during the last year. I love to visit the site for inspiration for all kinds of hands-on STEM projects for kids to do at home and or in their classrooms. On Instructables you'll find everything from complex Raspberry Pi projects to relatively simple projects developed with cardboard, glue, and other common craft materials. 

Just like they did at this time last year, Instructables is hosting a contest called the Speed Cardboard Challenge. As the name implies, you have to design and make something out of cardboard. You also have to publish directions that other people can follow to make your project. The contest runs through April 12th at midnight Pacific Time. There are nine prizes to be awarded to contest winners and runners-up. The top prize is a $250 gift card.

At the time of this writing there are not any entries into the contest! So you or your students have a good chance of winning. You can see some of last year's entries into the contest right here

Thanks to online shopping and quarantining there is an abundance of cardboard in my life. Projects like the ones on the Instructables Speed Cardboard Challenge provide a good way to put some of that cardboard to use. 

Applications for Education
Doing things like Instructables cardboard projects can be a good way to spark students' imaginations for STEM-related questions to explore. Depending upon the project and the age of your students they could come up with questions about PSI (pounds per square inch), calculating area and volume, or the structural integrity of various adhesives as they interact with cardboard.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my work include CloudComputin and 711Web.