Friday, July 16, 2021

More Than 20,000 Teachers Get Tech Tips This Way

About seven years ago I noticed that "too many updates" was the most common reason for people unsubscribing from the emails from this blog. To remedy that I created the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week Newsletter. What started out small now has more than 20,000 weekly subscribers. 

The Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter features my favorite tip of the week along with a summary of the most popular blog posts from my blogs FreeTech4Teachers.com, PracticalEdTech.com, and EdTechFitness.com. The newsletter is emailed on Sunday evening/ Monday morning (depending on your time zone). Some of the newsletters include Google Docs and PDFs that aren't published elsewhere. 

Those of you who read FreeTech4Teachers.com via email will be pleased to know that the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week email is published manually which means that unlike the FreeTech4Teachers.com daily emails, you can read the entire article in your inbox.

Sign up for the Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter right here.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

700 Space Math Problems

Space Math is a NASA website containing space-themed math lessons for students in elementary school through high school. This evening  I revisited for the first time in a couple of years and noticed that it now offers more than 700 math problems related to space and space exploration. 

On Space Math you can search for problems according to grade level or mathematics topic. The bulk of the materials seem to be PDFs of directions for carrying out the lesson plans. The exception to that pattern being the middle school (grades 6-8) resources which include the use of some of NASA eClips videos.

While you're exploring the Space Math problems you might also want to check out the free ebook, A Guide to Smartphone Astrophotography which is currently featured on the Space Math homepage. 

Applications for Education
Each of the Space Math lessons align to different NASA missions. The NASA missions provide the context for the math lessons. That alignment makes Space Math lessons a good option for an integrated science and mathematics lesson.

Getting Started With Google Forms - The Basics and More

All week I've been releasing new video tutorials designed to help new Google Workspace users get started with the basics and a little more. The first installments in the series covered Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Slides. You can see those tutorials here and here. This morning I published a tutorial on Google Forms for beginners. 

How to Create and Give Quizzes via Google Forms covers everything you need to know to create your first quiz, share it with your students, and review your students' responses. The video also shows a student's perspective of taking a quiz via Google Forms and Classroom. 



Once you've got a handle on the basics of using Google Forms to create a quiz, you'll probably want to learn more. Here are some additional Google Forms tutorials to help you.

Score Quizzes That Have More Than One Correct Answer



How to Require Complete Sentences



How to Combine Google Forms



How to Create QR Codes for Google Forms

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Whimsical - A Good Tool for Collaborative Diagram Creation

Whimsical is a good tool for creating flowcharts, mind maps, Venn diagrams, and a variety of other charts and diagrams. As we've come to expect with any tool like it, Whimsical is a collaborative tool. You can invite people to collaborate with you to edit your work or to simply comment on it to provide feedback. Charts and diagrams created on Whimsical can be published as simple webpages, kept private, or exported as a PNG (image file) or as a PDF. 

To create a flowchart or mind map on Whimsical you can start with a template or create from scratch. Either way you can customize every element of your chart by using the editing tools that appear on the left-hand side of the Whimsical editor. You can quickly select shapes and lines to connect in your diagram. Text can be written on any shape that you add to your diagram. And you can even add emojis into the shapes that you use in your diagram. 


Applications for Education
As is demonstrated in my screenshot above, Whimsical could be a good tool for students to use to create illustrations of government processes like how a bill becomes law in the United States. Another use for Whimsical is to have students outline the progression of a story. Whimsical might also be used by computer science students to create wireframes and user-experience maps.

Getting Started With Google Slides - The Basics and More

This week I'm releasing a series of videos intended to help new Google Workspace users. Yesterday, I published videos on getting started with Google Drive and Google Docs. Today's videos are all about Google Slides. 

Google Slides for Beginners shows viewers eight key aspects of Google Slides that they need to know. Those aspects are outlined below:

➡Three ways to access Google Slides
➡How to alter slide layouts.
➡How to add and edit images
➡How to add and edit videos
➡How to add and edit audio
➡Using speaker notes
➡Adding captions to presentations
➡How to publish slides



Once you've learned the basics of using Google Slides you'll probably want to know more about how to use it. That's why I created Ten Things You Need to Know About Using Video in Google Slides and Five Things You Need to Know About Using Audio in Google Slides. Both videos are embedded below.