Sunday, October 9, 2022

How to Create Your Own Search Engine

A couple of weeks ago I published a post about two ways to add an image search tool to your website. One of those methods is to build your own search engine. Thanks to Google's Programmable Search tool it's much easier to create your own search engine than you might think it is. In the short video embedded below I demonstrate how to create your own search engine.



Applications for Education
Creating your own small search tool can be helpful when you are introducing younger students to web search strategies. By making your own search tool you can limit how many sites are indexed, know which sites are indexed, and have a reasonable expectation of what will appear when your students use your custom search engine.

Why Our Voices Sounds Different to Us Than to Others

One of the questions that I often get asked after giving a keynote is "has anyone told you that you sound like Ray Romano?" I never thought that I did until people started asking me that. A dozen years later I've come to accept that I do sound like him. On a similar note, 
"do I really sound like that?" is a question that you will hear many students ask the first they hear themselves on an audio recording. 

How other people hear your voice is different than how you hear it. An older episode of SciShow explained why our voices sound different to us than they do to others.



Applications for Education
The next time you have students recording a podcast through a service like Anchor and they ask, "do I really sound like that?" tell them yes and create a little science lesson out of the SciShow video.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Pizza, Cats, and Videos - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where we're going to enjoy a nice long weekend of riding our bikes, raking some leaves, and visiting Storyland one last time before it closes for the winter. I hope that you have a great weekend!

If your weekend plans include catching up on some ed tech news, take a look at the list of this week's most popular posts. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Tutorials for Getting Started With the Smithsonian Learning Lab
2. The Science of Pizza, Diets, and the Esophagus
3. How to Create Green Screen Videos in Canva
4. The DMCA Scam Returns in the Form of Nationwide Legal Services
5. A Great Alternative to Quizlet
6. Updated - Screencasting on Chromebooks - Built-in Tool vs. Third-party Tools
7. An October Video Project - Halloween Safety

I'll Come You!
If you'd like me to come to your school or conference, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com or fill out the form on this page

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!
50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integrators, and media specialists in mind. In it you'll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions. Get a copy today!

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 43,000 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 Strava.
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Short Lessons on the Differences Between Canadian and American Thanksgiving

Monday is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It's about six weeks earlier than it is here in the United States. I've celebrated both versions of Thanksgiving and I can tell you that there are a lot of similarities between the two. There are also some differences between them. The following videos provide a humorous look at the similarities and differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving.







Reminder! You should always preview videos before showing them in your classroom. I know many high school teachers who will not have a problem sharing these, but teachers of younger students may want to proceed with caution with the second two videos.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Eight Good Tools for Creating and Publishing Timelines

Having students create timelines has been a standard in the playbooks of history teachers since the beginning of history. Writing a timeline is a good way for students to chronologically summarize sequences of events and see how the events are connected. When I was a student and when I started teaching timelines were made on large pieces of paper. For someone with handwriting like mine and a keen interest in history, there was never enough room on even the largest paper to make the timeline look nice. Today's students can make timelines online and not have to worry about running out of space nor are they limited to just having text on their timelines. 

These are my go-to recommendations for creating multimedia timelines. This list has been updated for the second time this year because some of my old "go-to" tools relied on Flash and are no longer available and some tools were updated. 

Timeline JS
Timeline JS is a great tool if your school is using G Suite for Education. Timeline JS creates a timeline based on entries made in a Google Spreadsheets template provide by Timeline JS. Your entries can include videos, images, text, and audio recordings. Take a look at this tutorial to learn how to use Timeline JS.  

Flippity Timeline Template
If Timeline JS seems a bit too complicated for your students, Flippity.net offers another way to create a multimedia timeline through a Google Spreadsheet. Simply fill in the blanks in Flippity's timeline template to create a multimedia timeline. In the following video I demonstrate how it works.



Google Slides & PowerPoint
Google Slides and PowerPoint both offer templates for making timelines. Using those templates you can create a timeline that includes text, links, images, and video. One of my most-watched videos is this one about making timelines in Google Slides. You can also make animated timelines with Google Slides by following the directions in this tutorial.



Sutori
Sutori is a complete multimedia timeline creation service. Students can build timelines that include pictures, videos, and text. As a benefit for teachers, not only can you include media like pictures and videos, you can also include quiz questions in your timeline. So if you wanted to have students view a few events on a timeline and then answer a few comprehension questions, you can build those questions right into the timeline.

Padlet
Padlet is a tool that I've used for more than a decade to create all kinds of multimedia collages and galleries with students. In the last couple of years Padlet has added a lot of new templates for teachers and students. One of those templates is a timeline template. You can use this template to add events in any date format of your choosing. Padlet supports inclusion of video, audio, image, hyperlinks, and text.
 


Canva
Canva is one of those web tools that the more time you spend with it the more features you discover "hidden" in it. One of those hidden features is the ability to create timelines to save as images and PDFs. Canva has about a dozen timeline templates that you can modify by altering the text size and style, inserting images, and dragging-and-dropping other design elements. Watch the following short video to learn how to create a timeline in Canva.


ClassTools
Russel Tarr, a history teacher and developer of ClassTools.net, recently released a new template called the Wikipedia Timeline Generator. This free tool will take a Wikipedia article and generate a timeline based on that article. That's not all it does. You can edit the entries on the timeline to correct dates, to edit the information associated with the dates, delete entries on the timeline, and add new dates to the timeline. Timelines created with the Wikipedia Timeline Generator can be embedded into web pages and or shared with the unique URL assigned to your timeline.

In this short video I demonstrate how to use the Wikipedia Timeline Generator hosted by ClassTools. 



RWT Timeline
RWT Timeline provides a good way for elementary school students to create timelines that include pictures and text. It doesn't offer nearly as many options as some other timeline creation tools, but it's easy to use and more than adequate for elementary school settings.