Monday, October 10, 2022

A Classic - How to Use Classtools.net to Create a Fake Text Message Exchange

Russel Tarr, owner of Classtools.net, has developed and published a bunch of great tools over the years. One of my favorite of those is the Fake SMS Generator which Russel developed almost a decade ago and is still going strong.

The Classtools Fake SMS Generator is free to use and does not require students to register to use it. In the video below I demonstrate how to create a fictitious text message exchange between historical characters.



As I mentioned in the video, the Fake SMS Generator could also be used to create visuals for lessons on cyber-safety and etiquette.

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.