Saturday, July 17, 2021

Docs, Slides, and Simulations - The Week in Review

Good evening from Maine where we had a fun day outside despite the clouds and rain. My mother came to visit and my daughters enjoyed showing her all of the fun things in our yard including wild raspberries and blueberries, our garden vegetables, and their little backyard clubhouse. Getting an ice cream treat was also a highlight of the visit. I hope that you also had a fun start to your weekend. 

This week I hosted the second session of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. I'll be hosting one more session in August. You can register for the August session right here

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. 21 Google Docs Features You Should Know How to Use
2. Getting Started With Google Drive and Google Docs - Everything You Need to Know
3. Getting Started With Google Slides - The Basics and More
4. What Strava Taught Me About Using Digital Badges in School
5. Whimsical - A Good Tool for Collaborative Diagram Creation
6. Add PhET Simulations to Your PowerPoint Slides
7. 700 Space Math Problems

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 36,000 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 (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Add PhET Simulations to Your PowerPoint Slides

PhET is a free resource that has been popular with science and math teachers for many years. PhET provides free interactive math and science simulations covering topics in physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and mathematics. In the PhET library you'll find simulations appropriate for elementary, middle, high school, and university students. PhET even offers a search tool that will help you find lesson ideas built upon the free simulations.

Dozens of the PhET simulations are available to insert into PowerPoint presentations through the use of PhET's free PowerPoint Add-in. With the Add-in installed you can browse the available simulations and insert them into your slides. The simulations work in your slide just as they do on the PhET website.

Watch my short video that is embedded below to learn how to install PowerPoint add-ins. 


Applications for Education
The PhET PowerPoint Add-in could be time-saver if you are planning to use more than one simulation during a lesson. Rather than clicking through menus or clicking through bookmarks to bring-up the right simulation, you could just create a slideshow that has your PhET simulations arranged in the sequence you plan to use them during your lesson.

Getting Started With Google Classroom - Teacher and Student Perspectives

This week I have been publishing a series of videos designed to help teachers who are new to Google Workspace learn what they need to know to use Google Drive, Docs, Forms, and Slides in their classrooms. Continuing in that series I've just published a new video titled Getting Started With Google Classroom

In Getting Started With Google Classroom I explain and demonstrate everything a teacher needs to know to start using Google Classroom. The video includes a student perspective of Google Classroom so that teachers can see how students access and complete assignments in Google Classroom. All of the points covered in the video are listed below. 

➡How to create a Google Classroom.
➡How to invite students to a Google Classroom
➡How to invite a co-teacher to Google Classroom
➡Student settings in Google Classroom
➡How to create assignments in Google Classroom
➡How students complete assignments in Google Classroom
➡How to view students' work in Google Classroom




The other videos in this series are listed below:
Getting Started With Google Forms

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.