Sunday, March 13, 2022

ICYMI - Two EdTech Guys Take Questions - Webinar Recording

Last week Rushton Hurley and I resumed our Two EdTech Guys Take Questions webinar series. If you missed it, you can watch the recording right here or as embedded below. Rushton does a great job of sharing links to all of the resources that we mention in the webinar. That list of resources can along with the slides from the webinar can found right here on the Next Vista website under Season 2, Episode 9. 


The next live edition of Two EdTech Guys Take Questions will be on April 7th at 4pm ET. Register here to join us for the fun.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Pi, Clocks, and Games - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we've awoken to rain that is forecasted to turn to snow. We had a couple of spring-like days this week and it was nice to get outside on my bike. But living in Maine means enjoying every season (except black fly season) and I plan to enjoy today's weather by doing a little skiing. I hope you also do something this weekend. 

This week I hosted or co-hosted two webinars. I also spent a good deal of time filing DMCA takedown notices for websites that were plagiarizing my work. In fact, I filed more than 100 of them this week. Getting sites to stop stealing my work is the Internet's worst version of whack-a-mole. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here's how to file a DMCA takedown notice with Google

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Five Ways to Create Online Drag-and-Drop Activities
2. How to Make Your Own Wordle-style Game
3. PowerPoint Cameo Looks Cool and Could be Useful
4. Daylight Saving Time is Coming! Here are Some Explanations of It
5. How to Add Narration to Google Slides Without Add-ons
6. How to Suppress Background Noise in Loom Recordings
7. Pi Day is Coming!

Thank you for your support!
Your registrations in Practical Ed Tech courses and purchases of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips help me keep Free Technology for Teachers going. Purchase ten or more copies of my ebook and I'll host a free one-hour webinar for your school or organization. 

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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 Icons Daily and Daily Dose. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

It's Maple Syrup Season!

The saving grace of the change to Daylight Saving Time is that it coincides with one of my favorite things about spring, maple syrup season! That means days are getting a little longer and the sun is a little higher in the sky during the day. As a result of that increased daylight and warmth the sap in maple trees is starting to run. Some of my local friends make their own maple syrup and have started to collect sap to make syrup. 

The process of collecting sap and turning it into maple syrup provides some great science lessons for students. The process of creating maple syrup can teach students lessons about why maple sap is easiest to collect in late winter/early spring, what makes the sap run, and it teaches students about evaporation. 

Here are a few video lessons about making maple syrup: 

Ever Wonder How Maple Syrup is Made? is a video from Highlights. The succinct video shows a mix of the old way of using buckets to collect sap and the modern method of using hoses.



My friend Gardner Waldeier AKA Bus Huxley on YouTube collects maple sap to make maple syrup. He does it the old fashioned way and he made a video about the process. Gardner's video shows viewers how he collects maple sap and turns it into maple syrup. In the video he explains why maple sap is collected at this time of year, how much sap he'll collect from a large tree, and just how much sap it takes to make a gallon of maple syrup. You also get a nice tour of Gardner's woodlot.



Maple Syrup the Modern Way is a three minute video about the process commercial producers use to make syrup.


On a related note for my friends who like to run or bike and might be looking for a new energy bar or  gel, take a look at the Untapped Maple products. I started using their products last year and I love them! It's so much easier to eat an Untapped Maple waffle than a Clif Bar in the middle of a hard workout. The Untapped Maple gels are way easier to choke down than anything else I've tried over the years. The waffles and gels were part of my fueling strategy when I completed the Unbound Gravel 200 last June

Friday, March 11, 2022

How to Manage Browser Pop-ups - Not All of Them Are Bad

Yesterday morning I answered a question from a reader who was having a little trouble accessing the sharing function on a website. From the description she gave me, the solution was to enable to pop-ups for that particular website. I sent her a screenshot of how to enable pop-ups and then created this short demonstration video.

In the following video I demonstrate how to change pop-up settings in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.



The default setting in most browsers these days is to automatically block all pop-up windows. That's generally a good thing. However, there are times when pop-ups are necessary. For example, some websites' sharing menus (like mine) utilize pop-ups for sharing blog posts to social media sites. Some websites' log-in screens utilize pop-ups as well. So if you're experiencing problems with a site not working exactly as you expected, try enabling pop-ups for just that site and see if the problem is resolved.

Actionable Insights for Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams

Last week Microsoft added some new aspects to the Reading Progress tools in Microsoft Teams. One of those new features is called Actionable Insights. As the name implies, it provides you with information about your students' reading progress and lets you create assignments based on those insights. The means that after you have reviewed the reading progress data for your students you can create differentiated assignments based on that data. 

As I expected, Mike Tholfsen created a video that highlights the features of Actionable Insights and other recently updated features of Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams. Watch the video on his YouTube channel or as embedded below.


For those of you who are not Microsoft Teams users, check back on Monday for a blog post about a cool tool that does a similar thing as Reading Progress but works without the need for a Microsoft account.