Saturday, February 19, 2022

I'll Host Your Next Professional Development Session

Yesterday afternoon I hosted a webinar for an organization that had purchased a bunch of copies of my 50 Tech Tuesday Tips ebook. I would be happy to do the same for your school, department, or organization. 

If you purchase ten or more copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips I'll host a custom, one hour webinar for your school or department within your school. The webinar can be about any of the topics within the book or I can cover some other topics of interest to you and your colleagues. To get started arranging a custom webinar for your school just send me a note at richard (at) and we'll get the ball rolling. 

About the eBook:

50 Tech Tuesday Tips was curated from more than 400 editions of The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter 50 Tech Tuesday Tips provides you with ideas for lots of helpful things that you can teach to your colleagues and to students. Throughout the eBook you'll find tutorials and handouts that you can pass along in your school. 

Some of the many things you'll find in 50 Tech Tuesday Tips include:

  • What to do when a web app isn't working as you expect.
  • Building your own search engine.
  • How to create green screen videos.
  • Improving instructional videos. 
  • Streamlining email management.
  • Creating educational games. 
  • DIY app creation.
  • Podcasting tips for teachers and students. 

Get your copy of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips right here!

No, this ebook isn't free but the tools that feature within it is free to use. Creating something like this takes many, many hours but reading it can save you many, many hours. Purchases of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips make it possible for me to create other free resources like The Practical Ed Tech Handbook that I update and give away to thousands of teachers every year.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Watch Out for These Common Google Slides Audio Errors

Last year I wrote quite a few blog posts about a Chrome extension called Mote that lets you record and add audio to almost anything in Google Workspace. As great as that extension is, it's not for everyone. In fact, earlier this week I got an email from a reader who was looking for some help adding audio to Google Slides without the use of a Chrome extension (her school won't allow them to use Mote). 

Helping that person earlier this week inspired me to create a new video that addresses the three mistakes that I most often see when people are adding audio to Google Slides. Watch the video to see what they are and how to avoid them. 

In the video above I explain the following mistakes and how to avoid them:
  • Trying to find a direct record or upload option in Slides. 
  • Not changing the default settings.
  • Not sharing the audio file with collaborators or viewers. 

Three Great Google Maps Features for Teachers

Google Maps is one of my favorite tools to use in history and geography lessons. I've been using it for at least as long as I've been writing this blog (15 years). Like all Google products it has evolved over time and some features have gone away while others have been added. And there are some features that are "hidden" in plain sight that can be helpful when creating lessons that incorporate the use of Google Maps. 

In this new video I demonstrate three great features of Google Maps that are helpful when creating and conducting history and geography lessons. 

In the video I demonstrate:
  • How to create and share lists of places with your students. 
  • How to share specific Street View imagery. 
  • How to use different base layers in Google Maps. 
To learn even more about how to use Google Maps and Google Earth in your classroom, enroll in A Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Take a Virtual Tour of the National Museum of Computing

98% of the press releases that are sent to me are completely worthless. Then every once in a while I get one that's actually kind of helpful. That was the case when earlier this week I got a press release about The National Museum of Computing.

The National Museum of Computing documents and celebrates the development of computers and computing. There is a physical museum that you can visit (if you're near Bletchley, England). There is also a great virtual tour of the National Museum of Computing. Throughout the virtual tour you'll find dozens of clickable hotspots to learn about the artifacts housed within the museum.

In addition to the virtual tour, museum's website hosts some picture-based challenges about computers. Students have to spot the differences between the images of artifacts from the museum.

Applications for Education
Some of us will remember using some of the computers related products that are featured in the virtual tour of the museum. For our students, it's an interesting history lesson about the development of technology. One of the things that some of my former students found fun to do was to try to find the original prices for old computers and convert that into inflation-adjusted prices.

By the way, the featured image in this blog post is of a Compaq laptop manufactured in 1993 that was in the repair closet in my classroom last year.


In my family we have a bit of a love/hate relationship with squirrels. We hate that they take so much food from our bird feeders. But we do like to watch them and my daughters do enjoy reading Those Darn Squirrels! That's why I was intrigued when SciShow Kids released a new video all about squirrels

Stupendous Squirrel Storage is a SciShow Kids video all about how squirrels find food, store food, and the role of that process in the ecosystem. Take a few minutes to watch it and you might find yourself with a new appreciation for those pesky squirrels. 

Applications for Education
Before watching the video I'd ask students to think about how animals like squirrels find and store food. After watching the video I'd ask them if they can think of other animals that find and store food in a manner similar to that of squirrels. 

Watching the video also reminded me of a global nature observation project called Project Squirrel that is still open to contributions from classrooms.