Monday, May 2, 2022

Quick and Easy Ways to Remove Image Backgrounds

Removing the background from an image is a good way to protect your privacy and that of people who might unintentionally be in the background of your pictures. Remove image backgrounds is also a good way to get a stand-alone image of yourself to then place in front of a different background. For example, I could take a picture of myself at my local ski mountain then replace the background so that I look like I'm climbing Mount Everest. 

In the following video I provide demonstrations of four quick and easy ways to remove the background from your images. One way to use this with students is to have them place themselves in front of landmarks of the world then write about their virtual visit to those landmarks.


In the video above I demonstrated how to remove image backgrounds with the following free tools:
  • PowerPoint
  • Remove.bg
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Express
  • Canva

Book Widgets Now Offers Digital Rubrics

BookWidgets is a service that I wrote about back in October. When I wrote about it then, it offered dozens of templates for creating interactive lesson activities that you can see your students complete online. Recently, BookWidgets added a new rubrics function that you can use to score your students online and offline work. 

The new BookWidgets rubrics function includes premade rubrics that you can use and templates that you can modify to create your own rubrics. The rubrics can be distributed along with any activity assignment that you give in BookWidgets. 

A few of the features of the rubrics function in BookWidgets that stood out to me were the ability to use the rubrics to give feedback with or without scores attached, an option to use emojis and symbols in your rubrics, and the ease with which you can score assignments with the rubrics. 

Using the BookWidgets rubrics is rather straight-forward. However, if you'd like to see an overview of the process, BookWidgets published the following tutorial videos. 

How to create a rubric in BookWidgets - Part 1



How to grade a rubric in BookWidgets - Part 2

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Most Popular Posts in April

April 2022 has come and gone. Where there was snow on the ground at the start of the month there is now some green grass poking up. It felt like a busy month for me as I hosted some webinars and started planning for some summer workshops. Stay tuned for some announcements next week about the summer PD events that I'll be hosting. 

As I do at the end of every month, I've compiled a list of the ten most popular posts of the month. Take a look at the list below and see if there's anything interesting that you missed in April. 

These were the most popular posts in April:
1. It's Patriots' Day! Resources for Learning About the Start of the American Revolution
2. Thank Your School Librarians! And Ask Them for Help!
3. A Calendar of Social Emotional Learning Activities
4. Three Good Tools for Creating Infographics
5. Seven Activities for National Poetry Month
6. Using Branching Logic in Microsoft Forms to Provide Directions
7. Annotate PDFs With Lumin PDF - Free for Teachers
8. New Chrome Web Store Badges Might Help You Pick Better Extensions
9. A Few Good Resources for Learning How Blockchain Works
10. Ten Fun Things for Students to Map

Summer Workshops for Your School!
I'm going back on the road this summer to host professional development workshops in-person! If you'd like to have me come to your school, please get in touch with me soon.

Spring and Summer Webinars
I conduct professional development webinars throughout the year. I'll host a free one-hour webinar for any school or group that purchases ten or more copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips.

On-demand Professional Development
Thanks to This Month's Banner Advertisers!
  • Kikori App offers a huge library of SEL activities for all ages. 
  • WriteReader is a great tool for multimedia writing. 
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 40,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen 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 Icons Daily and Daily Dose. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Badges, Takeout, and Dubbing - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and it might get above 60F for the first time in a long time. We're going to play outside with our Tinkergarten class, ride bikes, and probably do a bit of garden work as well. Our dogs will enjoy lounging in the sun. I hope that you also have something fun planned for your weekend. 

This week I held a webinar for a great group of teacher-librarians in British Columbia. If you'd like to have me host a webinar for your group, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. New Chrome Web Store Badges Might Help You Pick Better Extensions
2. More Adobe Spark Alternatives
3. Changing Schools After This Year? Use Google Takeout Before You Go
4. It's Patriots' Day! Resources for Learning About the Start of the American Revolution
5. Three Great Ways to Create Online Exit Ticket Activities
6. Pickles, Popcorn, and More Food Science
7. How I Dubbed My Video About Creating a Professional Development Series

Spring and Summer Webinars
I conduct professional development webinars throughout the year. I'll host a free one-hour webinar for any school or group that purchases ten or more copies of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips.

On-demand Professional Development
Thanks to This Month's Banner Advertisers!
  • Kikori App offers a huge library of SEL activities for all ages. 
  • WriteReader is a great tool for multimedia writing. 
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 40,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen 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 Icons Daily and Daily Dose. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Mentimeter - Share Slides and Poll Your Class on One Screen

Mentimeter is an online polling and quiz tool that I've used since its launch over a decade ago. In that time it has evolved and added lots of helpful features for teachers. One of those features is the ability to broadcast your slides to your students' computers, tablets, and phones. Doing that makes it easy for students to follow along with your presentation and quickly access any polls or quiz questions that you've included in your slides. 

In this new, short video I demonstrate how you can use Mentimeter to share your slides with your students and conduct an open-ended poll. The video also shows you a student's view of a Mentimeter presentation and poll.