Monday, November 22, 2021

How to Create Re-usable Daily Check-in Forms

Last week a reader emailed me with a question about creating a form that could be used many times over for things like daily check-in or exit ticket questions. He wanted to be able to have all responses in one place where responses could easily be sorted according to date or name. My suggestion was to create a Google Form and then sort the responses in a connected Google Sheet. 

In this short video I demonstrate the two ways that I would create a Google Form for daily check-ins and then view and sort responses in Google Sheets. 

To learn more about sorting information in Google Sheets, watch this short video.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video above, repeatedly using a Google Form to collect information about how your students feel about each day's lessons could be a good way to identify patterns or trends. For example, if every Wednesday my students respond with "I don't get it," I'll want to examine what's happening on Wednesdays that's impacting my students' comprehension of the day's lessons. Perhaps every Wednesday my lesson is right before lunch whereas on other days it's right after lunch (a true quirk of my schedule last year).

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Three Updated Google Docs Features

Over the last month or so Google has added some handy new features to Google Docs. I've written about them as they were announced by Google. But if you would like to see how they work, watch this new short video

In the video you will see the following Google Docs features that have been added in the last month:

  • Watermarking Google Docs
  • Improved section breaks
  • Citation search

Applications for Education
The new watermark feature could be helpful when you want to add a big "confidential" or "draft" label to a document that you're working on that has sensitive student information. The new citation search function should help students find the right information to include in their works cited pages. The improved section breaks will be make it easier to format long documents without having to manually add spaces to preserve section breaks.

Hands-on Activities for Learning About Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Like millions of other Americans the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will be on the television in my house this coming Thursday morning. Just like last year Macy's is providing some hands-on STEAM lessons related to the parade. 

Parade 101 features four video demonstrations of hands-on activities that students can do at home with their parents or in your classroom. The four activities include inflating balloons through the use of baking soda and vinegar, designing balloons for the parade, making and using sculping dough, and building model floats. All of the videos include lists of needed supplies. 

I like all four of the activities. If I was to recommend one for Thanksgiving day it would be building model floats or designing because they can be done with cardboard, paper, glue, markers, and other common household materials that don't make a mess and don't have to be done in a kitchen. That said, I think the most fun one is the inflating balloons activity. 

In addition to the videos and STEAM projects Parade 101 offers some printable coloring sheets and puzzles. An interactive timeline of the history of the parade is still available to view as well. 

Finally, if you are looking for some history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade videos, take a look at the following videos that I've shared in the past. 

History of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The History of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Docs, Geography, and Videos - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where I'm home after a great trip to Nebraska earlier in the week. It was great to spend time with my friends Kris and Beth Still, but there's nothing like being home with my little family. We're going to make big leaf piles and have fun playing outside today. I hope that you have something fun planned for your weekend as well. 

Many of you took advantage of my Geography Awareness Week special that offered 50% off enrollment in my Practical Ed Tech course, A Crash Course in Google Maps and Earth for Social Studies. I'll have a similar offer for my other courses next week. More information will be included in my weekly newsletter tomorrow evening. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Take a Look at Your Google Docs Activity Dashboard
2. My Big List of Activities and Resources for Geography Awareness Week
3. My Top Three Tools for Creating Audio Slideshow Videos
4. ClassPoint - Turn PowerPoint Into an Interactive Teaching Tool
5. Three Ways to Make Green Screen Videos
6. Seven Good Tools for Making Animations
7. Mapping Where Food Comes From

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

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 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.

The Heimlich Manuever Saved My Life

Last Saturday my friend Kris Still saved my life by performing the Heimlich manuever when I was choking on an omelette in a lovely little diner called Laura Lee's. I was actually about to comment on how good the food was when I started choking. Fortunately for me, Kris is a sheriff's deputy and is trained to calmly and quickly react to emergencies. It was still a bit frightening for all involved. 

I've been thinking about my experience all week. If you don't know how to do the Heimlich manuever or you want to teach it to your kids, here are some instructive videos to view. 

How to Give the Heimlich Manuever

How to Give the Heimlich Manuever - LifeBridge Health

Dr. Heimlich Explains His Manuever to Larry King
This one isn't instructional, it's an explanation of how the manuever was created.

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