Monday, June 6, 2022

Free to Use and Reuse Images of Athletes and Sporting Events

The Library of Congress is a great place to find historical pictures, drawings, and maps to use in lesson plans and classroom projects. Finding things on the Library of Congress' website isn't always easy if you only use the search function. But the LOC's Free to Use and Reuse Sets make it much easier to find thematically arranged collections of image and drawings that you can download and use for free.

Recently, the Library of Congress' blog featured the Free to Use and Reuse collection about athletes. This collection includes pictures of some famous athletes like Jackie Robinson and some not-so-famous, but still remarkable athletes. The collection also contains historical images of unnamed athletes competing in archery, skiing, equestrian, boxing, fencing, and more. 

Applications for Education
One of the things that I've always appreciated about these free to use and reuse collections is that most of the pictures include some kind of description that gives you a little bit of information about what's seen in the image. That little bit of information can be used to create a little research prompt for students. Of course, these collections are also great for just finding images to use in classroom projects without worrying about copyright restrictions.

For more places to find free images and other media for classroom projects, take a look at my updated guide to finding media for classroom projects.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

A TED-Ed Lesson for Every Element on the Periodic Table

For years I have referred readers to the University of Nottingham's Periodic Table of Videos. That table provides a video about every element that is in the Periodic Table. A few years ago the producers of the Periodic Table of Videos partnered with TED-Ed to create lessons about every element in the Periodic Table.

TED-Ed's Periodic Videos page features an interactive Periodic Table of Elements. Click on any of the elements to launch a video. Below the video you will find a link to the related TED-Ed lesson. (Note, I had to reduce my browser size to see the links). Each of the TED-Ed lessons follows the typical format of providing a handful of multiple choice and short answer questions. The lessons also include some links to additional references.

Here's the lesson about Technetium.

If the questions that the TED-Ed lessons ask are too simple for your students, you can customize the lesson after registering on TED-Ed. You can also create similar lessons by using EDpuzzle. Here's how to use Edpuzzle to create a lesson.

A Lesson About Money for Students Getting Summer Jobs

Summer is near and for many high school students that means it is time to start working at summer jobs. For many students the first real paycheck that they receive comes with a surprise in the form of tax withholding. PBS Learning Media has a free lesson plan through which students learn about reasons for taxes being withheld from paychecks, where the withholdings go, and why some people have more or less withheld than others.

In addition to helping students understand taxes withheld from paychecks Taxes - Where Does Your Money Go? introduces students to concepts related to saving for retirements. To that end, the lesson plan includes a video about how a self-employed person handles budgeting for taxes and retirement.

Applications for Education
I've been working at one job or another since I was 14 (before that I had paper routes) and there are times when I'm still surprised at how much is withheld from my paycheck. I have no doubt that many students are surprised by the same. This free lesson plan could help you help your students be a little less surprised when they look at their paychecks from their summer jobs. 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Writing, Typing, and Virtual Tours - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where fog and light rain are making for a less than ideal morning. We have our last Tinkergarten class of the season and we were hoping for some nice weather. We'll just have to wear our rain gear and have fun in the rain. I hope that you have a fun weekend wherever you are. 

This week I hosted the first meeting of my Teaching History With Technology course. I'll be hosting more classes later in the summer so keep an eye out for announcements about those. And if you want me to host a webinar or workshop for your school, please send me a note at richardbyrne (at)

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Two Ways to Quickly Turn Writing Into Videos
2. How to Archive Google Classroom
3. Videos for Teaching and Learning About Memorial Day
4. Games for Students to Play to Improve Their Typing Skills
5. Five Virtual Tour Creation Projects for Students
6. How to Quickly Remove and Replace Image Backgrounds
7. Use Google Drive to Comment on PDFs, Images, and Videos

Webinars for Your School
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.

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 41,000 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 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.

What Makes Us Itch? - A Science Lesson

Last weekend we had our first really nice summer-like day of the year. There was lots of sunshine, it was warm, and there was little wind. That little wind is a curse and a blessing in Maine at this time of year. It's nice because it makes for easier bike riding. It's bad because it's easier for the mosquitos and blackflies (gnats) to swarm you. I stopped on my bike to take this picture and got swarmed. And for a few days afterward my arms were covered in itchy bug bites. 

Scratching and trying to resist scratching my bug bites reminded me of the video Why Do We Itch? published a few years ago by Be Smart. What makes us itch? Is there any way to avoid itching? And how can you make those itchy feelings go away? Those questions and more are answered in the video.

Applications for Education
We've all heard of various home remedies for itchy skin and your students probably have too. Before watching this video have students share some of those home remedies. Then have them watch the video and see if the science matches what their home remedies are supposed to do.