Sunday, November 6, 2022

Is This the End of the Google Keep Chrome Extension?

I've been using Google Keep for nearly all of my bookmarking for the last half-dozen years or more. It nicely syncs my bookmarks, notes, and reminders between my phone and any computer that I use when logged into my Chrome profile. Unfortunately, my days of using Chrome as my primary bookmarking tool may be coming to an end in December. 

Last week I started to notice a little warning appear whenever I bookmarked a site with the Google Keep Chrome extension. The warning reads, 

"starting on December 5th, 2022, notes created here will not save automatically. You will also have to access and edit existing notes associated with a URL via Keep." 

Other than that little note appearing when using the Chrome extension, so far I haven't been able to find any official statements from Google about this change. If Google really is discontinuing support for the Keep Chrome extension, that will probably be the end of using it for bookmarking and I'll migrate to using OneNote for all bookmarking. 

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that Google has ended support for a bookmarking tools that was popular with teachers. Some of us still fondly remember Google Notebook and the disappointment we felt when Google terminated that product back in 2009. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options for online bookmarking including the aforementioned OneNote, EverNote, and the native bookmarking tool in Chrome. 

Even if this is the end of bookmarking with Keep, I'll probably still use the Keep Android app for creating location-based reminders for myself. 

5 Things You Can Make With Microsoft Flip Besides Selfie Videos

Microsoft Flip (formerly known as Flipgrid) is a great tool for getting to know your students through the use of short selfie-style videos. I've also used it for asynchronous classroom discussions. You might have done the same with your students then gotten to the point of wondering, "okay, what's next?" If that's where you are with Microsoft Flip, I have some suggestions for you in this short video

In 5 Things You Can Make With Microsoft Flip Besides Selfie Videos I demonstrate the following things that you might to try or have your students try to do:

  •  Audio-only recordings.
  • Audio + whiteboard recordings.
  • Green screen videos
  • Green screen + annotation
  • Split whiteboard with drawings, text, and images. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

GeoQuiz History Edition - A Fun and Challenging Geography Game

The start of Geography Awareness Week is nine days away. It's probably my favorite academically-themed week of the year. (Yes, that's my social studies teacher background coming through). Over the next week or so I'll be sharing a bunch of great resources for teaching and learning about geography. To start things off I have a fun and challenging game for history students. 

Geoquiz History Edition is a fun and challenging map game for history buffs. The game works like similar geography games in which you're given the name of a place and have to place a marker on a blank outline map as close as possible to the actual location. In Geoquiz History Edition you're given the name of a battle or the name of historically significant landmark. The War Battle edition of the game lists battles from wars all over the world throughout history. The Heritage edition of the game lists historically significant places in the heritage of a country or culture.

Geoquiz History Edition is played without the need to register or sign into any kind of account. Each round of the game contains ten prompts. You're given immediate feedback as to how accurate your guess was. That feedback comes in the form of a line drawn from your placemarker to the correct placemarker.

Watch my short video that is embedded below to see how to play GeoQuiz History Edition. 

Applications for Education
Geoquiz History Edition doesn't have categories so all prompts are completely randomly selected from locations all over the globe. For that reason the game is probably best used as a way to spark interest in learning more about the places that appear in the game.

Documents, Maps, and Clocks - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where it is unusually warm for November. There have been many years in the past when I have been skiing by this point in the fall. Today, we're going to the beach! We won't swim because the water is quite cold despite the warm air temperature. Instead, we'll have fun exploring and looking for beach treasures. But before doing that we have more leaves to rake which is a different kind of fun. I hope that whatever the weather is wherever you are in the world that you have a fun and relaxing weekend!

This week the inaugural class of Animated Explanations began. I've been amazed at how many people signed-up for the class and the kind feedback that I've received so far. I'm looking forward to seeing how the second week goes. If it continues to go well, I might run it again later in the school year. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. A New Primary Source Crowd-sourcing Project from the Library of Congress
2. How to Make Multimedia Maps on Padlet
3. How to Create a Digital Map Collection in Wakelet
4. The End of Daylight Saving Time is Near...for this year
5. How to Import PDFs Into Book Creator Projects
6. Why We Procrastinate and Tips to Stop Doing It
7. The Difference Between Stocks and Bonds

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!

Workshops and eBooks
If you'd like to have me speak at your school or conference, please send me an email at richardbyrne (at) or fill out the form on this page. Book me for this school year and I'll include copies of my eBook for all of the teachers in your school. 

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 If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

Friday, November 4, 2022

How Focusable Helps Me Stop Procrastinating

On Thursday morning I wrote about a new TED-Ed lesson that explains why we procrastinate. The lesson also offers some suggestions for breaking the procrastination habit. One of those suggestions is to journal about how you feel when faced with a task that you would rather avoid. To that end, I suggested trying Focusable

I've been using Focusable since September. I use it whenever there is a project or even just a list of little tasks that for one reason or another I have trouble getting started on. It's a simple program that works remarkably well. 

The premise of Focusable is that you can do anything for five minutes. Based on that idea Focusable gives you a brief breathing exercise to do then a five minute timer appears. Your goal is to work for five minutes on that thing you've been avoiding. Once you've worked for five minutes Focusable plays a little chime and prompts you to record a little video journal of how you felt while working. Then the process repeats, but the second time you work for ten minutes. Then the process repeats again for twenty minutes. 

Watch my updated video that is embedded below to see how Focusable works. 

Applications for Education
As a teacher you can create a group for your students to join in Focusable. They then use Focusable to create progressions to help them develop the habits of focusing for blocks of time and reflecting as they go. When students are in your group, you can reply to their reflections with short videos of your own to encourage them and give them feedback. Again, the only people who see those videos are you and the student. Jump to the 6:53 mark in this video to see the student perspective of Focusable.