Monday, January 16, 2023

Why You Should Clean Your Phone

When was the last time you looked at your phone? According to my site analytics there's at least a 55% chance that the answer to that question is "right now." But when was the last time you looked at all the stuff that's on your phone? How many files do have you that downloaded (knowingly or unknowingly) that you needed to look at just once? What about that app you thought you'd use all the time that you haven't used in months or years? The point is, we all have things cluttering up our phones that we don't need.

Three Benefits of Cleaning Up Your Phone
  • It could run better without all of those little files that don't need to be on it. Cumulatively, they could be hogging up a bunch of space on your phone.
  • Removes security risks. If you have some apps on your phone that you haven't used in a long time, there's good chance that you've forgotten what kinds of permissions you've granted it. And if it's an app from a small developer, it might not even be supported anymore which means they're not paying attention to permissions and security either.
  • Preserve your battery by removing apps that you don't use that might be running in the background and eating away at your battery.
On a related note, last week I reminded you to do an audit of the add-ons you've installed in Google Forms, Docs, Slides, and Sheets. The reasons for doing that are similar to cleaning up your phone. Here's my video on how to remove add-ons from Google Forms

Gray Whale Migration and More Felt Mapping Ideas

Felt is a multimedia mapping tool that I started using late last year. It has quickly become one of my preferred tools for creating multimedia maps. In fact, at this point I think I like more than Google's My Maps. The aesthetics of Felt are great and it has a great selection of easy-to-use features. Those features include the ability to upload and overlay just images, easily draw paths and routes, and add text directly on your maps. All three of those things were used in the creation of a map titled Most Gray Whales are Capricorns

Most Gray Whales are Capricorns is a map created by a Felt user who goes by RJ. The map depicts the annual migration of gray whales from the coast of Alaska to the coast of Baja California. The creator of the map added some fun elements to it by making some comparisons to the travel of gray whales in December to the travel of Santa's reindeer in December. The creator of the map also included some links to additional information for readers. 

Applications for Education
A map like Most Gray Whales are Capricorns is a nice example of what students can make with Felt. Felt has more ideas for educators right here and has an active Slack group for educators.

Video - Felt Offers a Great Way to Create Custom Maps

Video - Two Cool Mapping Tools on

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Forms, Games, and Images - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is rising on what should be a nice winter day. It's nice to see the sun after a couple of days of clouds, snow, and a bit of rain. We're headed out to take and teach ski lessons this weekend. I hope that you also have something fun scheduled for the weekend. 

This week I started my first course of the new year. I have more scheduled for later this year. Subscribe to my Practical Ed Tech newsletter to be notified when my next course opens for enrollment. That newsletter contains my tip of the week and a summary of the most popular posts from this blog. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Dozens of Tutorials for Getting Started With Google Forms
2. Students Can Create Their Own Video Games With Construct 3
3. 5 Google Docs Features You Might Have Overlooked or Forgotten About
4. How to Convert Google Forms into Microsoft Forms
5. I'm Feeling Lucky - Around the World With Google Earth
6. BookWidgets Adds a New Video Quiz Option to Use in Google Classroom and Beyond
7. An Important Tip for Using Image Search in Google Slides 

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. 

50 Tech Tuesday Tips!
50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech integration specialists, 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 44,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fifteen years. 
  • I update my LinkedIn profile a time or two every week.
  • 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.

Dozens of Google Slides Tutorials

Earlier this week after publishing An Important Tip for Using Image Search in Google Slides it occurred to me that I should probably start to organize all of the Google Slides tutorials that I'd made over the years. As I started to search through my YouTube channel I discovered that I've made more than eighty Google Slides video tutorials over the years. Some of them are a bit outdated now, the rest are still relevant. All of the relevant ones are now organized into one playlist

In my playlist of Google Slides tutorials you'll find everything from the basics of using Google Slides to using the image editing tools in Google Slides to adding audio to Google Slides and a whole lot of things in between. Some of the highlights of my Google Slides tutorials playlist are featured below. 

How to Share Google Slides Through a QR Code

How to Loop Videos in Google Slides

How to Create a Google Slides Template

How to Print Google Slides

How to Create Interactive Charts and Diagrams in Google Slides

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