Saturday, October 16, 2021

Copyright, Handbooks, and Goals - The Week in Review

Good morning from Vermont where in a few hours I'll be riding in my last bike race of the year, The Hibernator. I still have fitness goals to reach this (riding 7,500 miles in 2021 is the big one), but this is my last event of the year and it looks like the weather is going to be a typical northern New England mix of clouds, drizzle, and a large temperature swing during the day. It should be fun! I hope that you have something fun planned for your weekend as well. 

Before I head out on my bike I have this week's list of the most popular posts of the week to share with you. Take a look and see if there's something new or interesting that you missed during the week. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Get Your Free Copy of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook
2. Transcribing Early Copyright Applications
3. The Science of Cake! - And 83 Other Food Science Lessons
4. Ten Skills Students Can Learn from Google's Applied Digital Skills Lessons
5. Five Genius Hour Activities With Tract - Students Teaching Students
6. Taskade - A Complete Project Planning Solution for Teachers and Students
7. What Does Indigenous Mean? - And Why Some States No Longer Celebrate Columbus Day

Thank you for your support!
Your registrations in Practical Ed Tech courses (listed below) help me keep Free Technology for Teachers going.

A big thank you also goes to the companies whose advertising helps keep the lights on.
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 38,000 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. 
  • 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.

Gary Paulsen Talks About Reading and Writing

Gary Paulsen's book, Hatchet was the first book that I willingly and eagerly read from cover to cover when I was in elementary school. It filled my suburban child mind with great thoughts of adventure and a little virtual escape at a time when my own parents were going through divorce. The book meant and still means a lot to me. That's why I was sad to learn of Gary Paulsen's passing earlier this week.

After learning of Gary Paulsen's death I went looking for more stories about him. In doing so I came across this nice video produced by Random House Kids. The short video was released in 2010 and it features some poignant moments of Mr. Paulsen talking about his life and his work. Librarians may be especially pleased to hear him talk about how he was inspired to read. 

If you enjoyed Gary Paulsen's books the way that I did, spend a few minutes watching the video. I think you'll like it. 

Self-Paced Professional Development

The primary means through which I am able to keep Free Technology for Teachers going is through consulting and speaking engagements along with the sales of my live and on-demand Practical Ed Tech courses

The latest addition to my catalog of on-demand courses was made last month when I released Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The courses that I offer are a Crash Course in Google Earth and Maps for Social Studies and A Crash Course in Making and Teaching With Video

All three of these courses are completely self-paced. Each course contains six to ten modules that will take you sixty to ninety minutes to complete from start to finish. Of course, as you go through the courses you can go back and review any and all of the modules as often as you like. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of each course. 

Group rates for departments and schools are available for all three courses. Just send me an email at richard (at) byrne.media to learn more about group enrollment.  


Friday, October 15, 2021

Life on Minimum Wage - A Personal Economics Simulation Game

Almost twelve years ago I published a Google Document that outlines a personal economics simulation that I conducted in my classroom. For many years after that it was the most-requested Google Doc that I published. Then for the last few years I haven't had any requests for it. In fact, I forgot that I had even published it. That changed this week when out of the blue I got a few requests for it. You can get a copy of my simulation, Life on Minimum Wage right here

The purpose of Life on Minimum Wage is for students to recognize how difficult it is to save money when your only job(s) pay minimum wage without benefits. To win at Life on Minimum Wage the students have to reach five financial goals that they select. To earn money the students have to complete the tasks of their assigned jobs. The students then have to pay required bills before using money for their selected financial goals. As the game progresses students will be issued "surprise" cards which require them to spend money on things like speeding tickets, trips to a health clinic, and increases in rent.

All of the jobs in Life on Minimum Wage are connected so that if one business slows production or closes, the workers of another business are also impacted. The goal here is to demonstrate the effects of a business closing on a small town's economy.

Important notes before using this activity:
I created this activity twelve years ago and I have not adjusted it for inflation since then. You'll probably want to do that.

Before you email me about the Browning rifle goal card, please understand that these were goals chosen by my students in a rural community in which hunting is often a family tradition. You're welcome to change that card for use in your own classroom.

How to Create a Video in Canva

Yesterday, Canva released a new video editor. As I mentioned in yesterday's post about it, Canva has had some video creation tools for a couple of years, but this is a new option that can be used to create anything from a thirty second personal introduction clip to a long documentary-style video and anything in between. 

I tested out Canva's new video editor and found it rather easy to use. I made this video to demonstrate how it works from start to finish. 



To learn about the many other things that you and your students can do with Canva, please take a look at this playlist of Canva tutorials that I've created.