Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Five Great Chrome Extensions for Teachers

After seeing my browser in one of my tutorial videos or one of my presentations, people often ask me about the extensions that I have installed. Here are five Chrome extensions that teachers should try.

1. Nimbus screenshot - I use this to create annotated screenshots. It can also be used to make screencast videos, but I only use it for that when I'm working on a Chromebook because I prefer to use Screencast-o-matic for my desktop screencast videos.

2. Screencastify - Screencastify is great for creating screencast videos. The feature that keeps it in my web browser though is the option to add must-answer questions into your screencasts

3. Mote - I like using Mote to add voice comments to Google Docs and Slides. Here's a demo of how it works

4. Google Keep - This has been my preferred bookmarking and note-taking tool for many years.

5. OneNote Web Clipper - I use OneNote's web clipper whenever I want to save a clean, clutter-free copy of a webpage.

Monday, June 6, 2022

How to Share Photo Albums in Google Sites

At this time of year I field a lot of questions about sharing photographs from school events like field trips, graduations, and concerts. Late last week one person who emailed me with that kind of question wanted to know what I thought about just creating a Google Drive folder and inviting parents to be viewers of the folder. While that can work, there are better solutions within Google Workspace. 

Creating a Google Drive folder of images and inviting parents as viewers can work, but it's not the most aesthetically-pleasing option. A better option is to create an image carousel in Google Sites. Parents can then simply view the Google Sites page to scroll through the photographs you've  published. Another option is to embed a Google Photos album into a Google Site. Both of those options are demonstrated in this short video that I recently published on my YouTube channel

If you're unfamiliar with the process of creating a Google Photos album or how to share it without inviting collaborators, the last minute of the video above shows you how to do that. 

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.