Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Five Google Workspace Tips That Can Make Your Day Better

The best part of a being a teacher is making connections with kids. Making those connections takes time. Unfortunately, teaching also comes with a lot of procedural and administrative tasks that take away from the time that can be used to build those connections with students. But you can get some of that time back when you use helpful systems to streamline administrative tasks. In this new video I highlight five Google Workspace tips that can make your day a little better by streamlining some routine tasks. 

Watch the video above to learn about:
  • Creating email templates.
  • Using an email schedule.
  • Streamlining meeting scheduling. 
  • Creating unforgettable reminders. 
  • Quickly creating helpful things with Google Sheets templates. 

Making and Teaching With Animated Explanations - A New Practical Ed Tech Course

At the end of this week’s Practical Ed Tech newsletter I teased a new online course that I’ve been developing. That course is Animated Explanations. It will begin on November 1st.

In Animated Explanations you’ll learn why creating animations is a great teaching and learning activity in elementary school, middle school, and high school classrooms. Of course, you’ll also learn how you and your students can create animated explanations of a wide range of topics and concepts.

This course is going to be delivered in a little different manner than other courses that I’ve hosted in the past. Rather than being a series of live webinars or being a big dump of materials all at once, this course will be delivered via email. Every week, beginning on November 1st, you’ll receive an email that contains a written lesson, video tutorials, and handouts that you can use in your classroom. In total you’ll receive five lessons that all together should take you about five hours to complete.

As this course will be delivered via email, you’ll be able to ask questions by simply hitting reply at the end of each lesson.

Be a part of the inaugural class!
I’ve offered Animated Explanations in the past as an in-person workshop. This is the first time that I’m presenting it in an online format. I’ll be looking for your feedback throughout the course. And because it’s the first time I’m offering this course in this manner, I’m pricing it much lower than other five-week courses that I’ve hosted in the past.

Sign-up for the course today and you’ll receive a welcome email from me within minutes of your registration. Then on November 1st at 6am ET the first lesson will arrive in your inbox.

Course Outline
The course will be delivered in five parts through weekly emails throughout November. The lesson titles are as follows:
  • Big Picture(s)
  • Creating from Drawings
  • Stills to Animations
  • Narrated Animations
  • Programmed Animations
If you want to know more about the course or just make sure that it’s right for you, send me an email at richard (at) byrne.media and I’ll be happy to answer any and all questions that you have.

Sign-up for the course today and you’ll receive a welcome email from me within minutes of your registration. Then on November 1st at 6am ET the first lesson will arrive in your inbox.

A note about registration fees: Registration fees from my Practical Ed Tech courses are what help to keep Free Technology for Teachers going. Without them this blog would have ended years ago. Thank you to all who have supported it over the years. 

C-SPAN Offers a Free Electoral College Poster

C-SPAN Classroom is one of my go-to sources of ideas for lessons on current events related to U.S. government and politics. Membership in C-SPAN Classroom is free and provides members with lots of digital and physical resources. One of the resources C-SPAN Classroom is currently offering to members is a poster about the Electoral College. This is an update to the one that they offered back in 2016. You can request a printed, full-size copy of the poster right here and get a smaller JPG version of it here

C-SPAN's 2024 Electoral College Map shows the number of Electoral votes each state has in 2024. The poster also includes the Electoral vote and popular vote tallies of the every election dating back to 1900. 

Applications for Education
The poster on its own is nice, but students will need some guidance in understanding what all of the information really means. To that end C-SPAN Classroom offers free lesson plans about the Electoral College including this one titled The Electoral College and the Constitution

Monday, October 17, 2022

How to Catch Monsters - A Halloween Play Script

How to Catch Monsters is a free play script published by Playbooks Reader's Theater. The play was written to be performed by students in first through third grade. The play centers around two children who are trying to catch blue, green, and purple monsters. The children do get a little help from their work-from-home dad. In all there are six roles for students to play. There is also a narrator role for a teacher to play in How to Catch Monsters

The How to Catch Monsters script is color coded to make it a little easier for students to follow. The script also includes some cues and other notes to help students perform the play. 

Applications for Education
Performing How to Catch Monsters could be a fun Halloween-themed activity for elementary school students. You can read the entire script online and or print it for free from the Playbooks Reader's Theater website. One concern I do have about the script is that it might be a bit too advanced for some first and second grade students. The whole script is less than thirty pages so it won't take you long to decide if it's a good fit for your students.

Two EdTech Guys Take Questions - Season Three, Episode Two

Last week Rushton Hurley and I hosted the second episode of the third season of our Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions series. We were joined by a handful of fine folks and even more people were registered to join us. If you missed our live broadcast, you can now watch the recording and find all of the associated links right here on Next Vista for Learning. The recording is also available to view here on Rushton's YouTube channel and as embedded below. 

We'll be hosting the next episode of this series on November 1st. Register here for the live session and to receive an email containing the recording and all of the resources we mention in the webinar. Until then feel free to email me or Rushton with your questions.