Friday, June 4, 2021

Science Research Papers Annotated With Teaching Resources

Science in the Classroom is a free resource for teachers from Science Magazine. On Science in the Classroom you will find research papers containing interactive annotations to help students understand the content of the papers. In the right hand margin of each paper you will find a section called "learning lens." The learning lens offers seven types of interactive annotations that students can enable. Of those seven types of annotations, the glossary annotation is the one that students will probably use most often. The glossary annotations highlight key words and terms in the article. Clicking on a highlighted annotation reveals a definition.

Applications for Education
In addition to the interactive annotations for students Science in the Classroom provides teachers with discussion and reading comprehension questions. At the bottom of each article on Science in the Classroom teachers will also find a list of suggested teaching activities.

Three Good Options for Annotating PDFs

In last week's Practical Ed Tech newsletter I shared three good options for adding audio comments to Google Docs, Word docs, and PDFs. That prompted a couple of readers to ask me about options for annotating PDFs. I have a few recommendations for annotating PDFs. The one you pick may depend upon whether you prefer to use tools that work with your Google account or ones that work with a Microsoft account. 

Annotate PDFs in OneNote
OneNote has lots of neat features built into it. One of those neat features is a tool for annotating PDFs. In this short video I demonstrate how you can do that.



Annotate PDFs with Lumin PDF
Lumin PDF is a Chrome extension that enables students to draw on top of PDFs that you open in Chrome. After drawing on the PDF students can save the PDF as a new copy or replace the existing copy of the PDF that was sent to them in Google Classroom. Here's my video overview of how students can use Lumin PDF to write on PDFs that are assigned to them in Google Classroom.




Annotate PDFs with Kami
Kami is a service that enables users to annotate and comment on PDFs. You can do this directly on the Kami website or in Google Drive with Kami's Chrome extension. Kami also works with Word and Pages files.

Here's a couple of videos about how Kami works.



An Easy Way to Digitally Sign Documents

This blog post was inspired by my mother who asked me how to do this a couple of nights ago

Whether it's a form for your HR department, permission slips for athletics, or an acceptable use agreement for a school-issued laptop, back-to-school season often involves signing a lot of documents. In the old days those documents would be printed and you'd sign them then stick them in a mailbox and hope they didn't get lost in the shuffle. Today, most of the forms we need to sign can be sent, signed, and returned online. There are many tools available that make this quick and easy to do. HelloSign is the one that I use and recommend for digitally signing documents that have been sent to me.

In the following video I demonstrate how to use HelloSign to fill-out and sign documents online.



Applications for Education
If you have permission slips or other forms for parents to sign, consider sending them the link to this video to show them how easy it is to sign and send documents to you.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Plan Safe Routes for World Bicycle Day

Today is World Bicycle Day! By the time most of you read this I'll be on my way to Kansas to participate in Unbound Gravel 200, a 200 mile bike race across gravel roads around Emporia, Kansas. You don't have to punish yourself like I am this weekend to enjoy riding a bicycle. All you need is a bike, a helmet, and a safe place to ride. To that end, Google Maps and Strava can help you plan safe biking routes. In the following videos I demonstrate how you can use both of those tools to map safe bicycling routes. 





This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. 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.

My Most-watched Tutorials in May

In May I didn't publish as many videos on my YouTube channel as I wanted to, but still more people subscribed to the channel. There are now more than 36,000 people subscribed to get notified as soon as I publish a new video. My channel contains more than 1,000 tutorial videos covering everything from fundamental aspects of Google Workspaces to making your own Android apps and lots of stuff in between those ends of the spectrum. Below are the ten videos that were watched the most in May.