Friday, July 2, 2021

How to Record Videos in Canva - New Feature!

Earlier this week Canva introduced a couple of new features for adding media into your slides and graphics. One of those features is a new video recording option. You can now record using your webcam and instantly insert that video into your slides and graphics. The video can be cropped in Canva. You can also adjust the transparency, orientation, and layering position of your video within your slides and graphics. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to use Canva's new video recording option. 



Applications for Education
As I wrote earlier this week, the new option to record a webcam video in Canva could be useful in adding personal messages to graphics like digital greeting cards or to slides to provide an explanation of charts and graphs.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If seen elsewhere, it has been used without permission.

Book Creator Offers New Digital Citizenship eBooks

Book Creator recently announced the launch of a series of digital citizenship ebooks developed by Common Sense Education. The new ebooks contain activities for students to learn how to become responsible digital citizens. The books are designed for elementary school students between the ages of five and eleven. All three of the books are free to read and copy into your Book Creator library. In this short video I demonstrate how you can access the new digital citizenship activity books and copy them into your Book Creator library for your students to access. 




To learn more about how to use Book Creator, watch this short tutorial in which I walk you through the all of the steps necessary to use Book Creator.



This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere it has been used without permission.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

How to Password-protect an Edublogs Blog

For more than a decade Edublogs has been my go-to recommendation for anyone looking to build a classroom blog or website outside of the Google environment. One of the reasons for that recommendation is the priority that Edublogs gives to content privacy protection and teacher management of students' accounts. That's why I recommended Edublogs earlier this week to a reader of my newsletter who asked me for a recommendation for a platform that elementary school students could use to collaborate on a website without the site having to be public. 

In Edublogs you and your students can create blogs that are entirely private or semi-private. A completely private blog can be created by password-protecting the entire site or by selectively password-protecting individual posts and pages within the blog. In this short video I demonstrate how to apply all of those settings. 



Applications for Education
Creating a private or semi-private blog in Edublogs can be a good way for students to chronicle and share their learning experiences over the course of a semester or year. Doing that not only provides students with a way to reflect on what they've learned but it also provides them with a way to practice and develop their writing skills. 

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. Feature graphic created by Richard Byrne using Canva. 

All Paygrade Features are Now Free

PayGrade is a classroom economy simulation that you can use all year in just about any classroom setting. Recently, PayGrade was acquired by an online investment company called Stash. A result of that acquisition is that all of the features of PayGrade are now free for all teachers and students. 

How PayGrade Works
Last year I wrote this detailed overview of how PayGrade works. The following is a condensed version of that overview. 


PayGrade lets you create an online classroom space in which students have to complete jobs to earn virtual currency. PayGrade offers a list of jobs that you can assign to your students or you can create your own jobs for students to complete. Some of the default job listings that you'll find listed in PayGrade are secretary, conservationist, and technology assistant. The rate of pay for each job is something that you can choose.

At the end of each week in PayGrade your students get paid in virtual currency that they can redeem for various rewards of their choosing. Students also have the option to just bank their virtual currency for use at a later date.

PayGrade isn't just a simple "students do jobs, students get rewards" system. That is because students have to pay bills from their virtual paychecks before they can spend their currency for things that they want.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Coming Later This Month...

The July session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp begins in eleven days. If you haven't registered for the session of your choice, you can do so up until the day before it starts. While the early-bird discount has passed, you can still get group discounts. 

There is a July session and an August session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. In all both sessions we'll cover ten key topics over the course of ten live webinars (recordings will also be available). 

These are the topics for the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp:
  • Teaching Search Strategies & Digital Citizenship
  • Video Projects for Every Classroom
  • Classroom Podcasting 101
  • Building Digital Portfolios
  • Fun Formative Assessment Methods
  • Using AR & VR in Your Classroom
  • Making Virtual Tours
  • Easy Ways to Make Your Own Apps
  • Simple and Fun Makerspaces Projects
  • Blending Technology Into Outdoor Lessons

Register online or email me to register your group of five or more. 


Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a group discount?
Yes, there is a group discount available. You can save $50/person if you have five or more people registering from your school district. Email me for a discount code to apply to online group registrations or to initiate a PO registration.

Can I register with a purchase order or check?
Yes, you can certainly register with a purchase order. Send me an email or have your business office send me an email to initiate that process. Because of the additional paperwork and delay in receiving funds, the early registration discount doesn't apply to purchase order registrations.

Can I get CEUs/ contact hours?
You will receive a certificate from me indicating that you participated in ten hours of professional development time. Whether or not your school, state, or province will accept it for license/ certificate renewal is a determination that you will have to make. The rules about CEUs vary widely from state-to-state and I can't possibly keep track of them all.

What platform are you using for the webinars?
All of the webinars will be conducted through the GoToWebinar platform. I've tried many other webinar services, but I keep coming back to GoToWebinar because of it's reliability. I've used it for almost a decade for hundreds of webinars. You can access GoToWebinar on any computer or tablet.

Will the sessions be recorded?
Yes, all of the live webinars will be recorded. If you have to miss a session, you'll be able to watch the recording. That said, I find that people get the most out of webinars when they can attend live broadcasts and ask questions in real-time. Therefore, I encourage you to pick the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp session that works best with your schedule.