Monday, May 31, 2021

How to Move from Google Drive to OneDrive

It's that time of year when some teachers and administrators will be leaving one school district for another. For some that means leaving a district that uses Google Workspaces (formerly known as G Suite for Education) for a district that uses Office 365 and all of the associated Microsoft tools including OneDrive. If that's the case for you, don't worry because it is fairly easily to move your files from Google Drive to OneDrive. 

In my video that is embedded below I demonstrate how you can move your files from Google Drive to OneDrive. Like most processes, there is more than one way to do this. In the video I focus on using Google Takeout which is probably the easiest way to get all of your files out of Google Drive at once. 

On the topic of summer, today is the last day for early-bird registration for The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. Register here!

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured graphic created by Richard Byrne.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

How to Overlay Text on Images in Google Docs

Earlier this week Google finally added the option to overlay text on top of images in Google Docs. Since then I've had a few people email me to ask for clarification about how that works. The most important "trick" of the process is to write your text before adding your image. Then when you insert your image you'll position it behind the text. Once that's done you can use all of the normal text editing processes in Google Docs. In this short video I demonstrate how to overlay text on images in Google Docs. 

It's important to note that the new image options in Google Docs haven't been added to all Google accounts, yet. I'm still only seeing it in two of my four Google accounts.

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured graphic create by Richard Byrne using Canva.

Brainstorming, Games, and Flying Teachers - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it is a damp 45F to start Memorial Day weekend. In fact, it's going to be unseasonable cool all weekend. The cool weather won't stop us from having fun outside. We have a full weekend planned with lots of bike riding, playground visits, and a trail walk and picnic that my four-year-old "planned" for us. I hope that you also have some fun things planned for your weekend. 

To all of you that ended your school year this week, congratulations! You made it through a school year unlike any other! To those who still have a few weeks left (as I do), the finish line is in sight and you're going to make it!

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. A Collaborative Brainstorming and Voting Tool - No Registration Required
2. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game
3. How to Combine Canva and TeacherMade to Make Online Activities
4. Fling the Teacher! - A Fun Review Game
5. Five Warm-up Activities for Group Brainstorming Sessions
6. New Text Overlay Options in Google Docs
7. Seven Good Tools for Creating and Publishing Online Timelines

Register This Weekend!
Early-bird registration for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp ends on Monday at midnight (Eastern Time). Register for the session of your choice right here!

On-demand Professional Development
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 35,000 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 If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Five Activities for Teaching and Learning With Primary Sources

As a history teacher one of my favorite yet challenging things to do was introduce my students to primary sources. It's great because it reveals to them a whole new world of research opportunities. There's nothing better than a student saying, "wow! Mr. Byrne, look at this!" At the same time learning to read, evaluate, and utilize primary sources can be long process with some students. The following are some of the online activities incorporating primary sources that I've done with my students over the years.

1. Compare textbooks, primary sources, and Wikipedia.
This is a rather simple activity that I've done over the years as an introduction to the value of primary sources. In the activity I provide students with a textbook entry, a Wikipedia entry, and a primary source document about the same event or topic. I then have them read all three and compare the information about the event. The outline of questions for students is available in this Google Document that I created.

2. Guided reading of primary sources through Google Documents.
One of my favorite ways to use the commenting feature in Google Documents is to host online discussions around a shared article. Through the use of comments connected to highlighted sections of an article I can guide students to important points, ask them questions, and allow them to ask clarifying questions about the article. All the steps for this process are outlined in Using Google Documents to Host Online Discussions of Primary Sources.

3. Historical Scene Investigations.
Historical Scene Investigation offers a fun way for students to investigate history through primary documents and images. Historical Scene Investigation presents students with historical cases to "crack." Each of these thirteen cases present students with clues to analyze in order to form a conclusion to each investigation. The clues for each investigation come in the forms of primary documents and images as well as secondary sources. HSI provides students with "case files" on which they record the evidence they find in the documents and images. At the conclusion of their investigation students need to answer questions and decide if the case should be closed or if more investigation is necessary. (Once you have done a couple of these with your students it becomes easy to craft your own HSI activities or have them craft HSI activities for each other).

4. Historical Image Identification.
Find some historical images in the World Digital Library, the Flickr Commons, or the Digital Public Library of America. Take those images and put them into a Google Drive or OneDrive folder. Then have your students pick a photograph to research to identify who or what is featured in the image. Take it a step further and have students use ThingLink to add interactive labels to those images. 

5. Layer old maps on top of modern maps.
In Google Earth your students can layer images of old maps on top of current maps. This is a great way for students to see how early cartographers saw the world. It can also provide some insight into how and why early explorers chose the paths that they traveled. The David Rumsey Historical Map collection is my go-to place for historical maps.

What's the Difference Between a Primary and a Secondary Source?
If you're looking for a good video explanation of the differences between primary and secondary sources, the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center offers this good and concise explanation for students.

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. 

How to Make Good Explanatory Videos - The MinuteEarth Style

MinuteEarth is a popular YouTube channel whose videos I've featured a handful of times on this blog. Their short videos provide explanations of interesting science topics like why rivers curve, how some waves get so big, and why it is hot underground. A few years back MinuteEarth published a video about the process their team uses to produce their videos

Applications for Education
This video could be helpful in showing students the process of creating a good, concise explanatory video. In particular, it is notable that the visual components are the last things added to the video.

On a related note, Video Projects for Every Classroom is one of the ten big topics to be covered during the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. Register here!

Popular Posts