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Ten Good Tools for Making Multimedia Timelines

5 de Dezembro de 2022, 11:30

Last week I read a Book Widgets blog post about fun ways to use timelines in your lessons. Reading that post inspired me to make a new video about making timelines with Adobe Express. It also prompted me to update my list of good tools for making multimedia timelines. 

Timeline JS
Timeline JS is still my favorite tool for making multimedia timelines. Timeline JS creates a timeline based on entries made in a Google Spreadsheets template provided 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. 

Adobe Express 
In Adobe Express there are two ways that students can create timelines. The first is to use one the more than 250 timeline infographic templates that Adobe Express offers. Students can customize those templates by changing the font, color scheme, and graphics. They can also use the integrated image search to find pictures to use in their timelines. Completed timelines can be downloaded as PDFs and as PNG files. The other way that students can create timelines in Adobe Express is by creating a simple web page in a linear format. When using that option students can include videos and hyperlinks in their timelines as well as pictures and text.



BookWidgets
BookWidgets is an online tool that you can use to create interactive activities for your students to use in Google Classroom, in Canvas, in Moodle, in Microsoft Teams, and right on the BookWidgets website. Timelines are one of the many types of activities that you can create in BookWidgets. Your multimedia timelines created in BookWidgets can include questions that you have your students answer. Watch this video for a short overview of how BookWidgets works. 
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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How to Correctly Use Google Images to Find Pictures for Your Projects

5 de Dezembro de 2022, 10:16
Last week a student in my Google Earth & Maps Crash Course emailed me with a question about using Google Images for a classroom project. Specifically, she wanted to know about licensing and whether or not students could use the images they found through Google Image search. 

The short answer to the question of can students use the pictures they find on Google Images is that students can use some of the images, but not all of images. Figuring out which ones can be used and which one cannot be used takes a bit of work. I recorded a short video to explain how to use Google Images to find images that can be legally downloaded and re-used in classroom projects. That video is embedded below. I hope that you find it helpful. 

Video - How to Correctly Use Google Images to Find Pictures for Your Projects



Applications for Education
There are three things that students and teachers who watch the video should learn. First, not all of the pictures found through Google Images are free to use. Second, that you need to filter the search results according to licensing. Third, that you need to visit the image source page to verify the licensing terms.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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A Free Smithsonian Webinar Tomorrow

4 de Dezembro de 2022, 13:32
Some of my high school history students often took a while to understand the idea that just because a document is an old primary source it doesn't automatically mean that source is infallible or even an accurate representation of events. They still needed to account for context and the potential for an author's bias among other factors that could impact the value of a primary source. Tomorrow at 4pm ET Smithsonian Education is hosting a free webinar for teachers who want to help their students become better at evaluating primary sources. 

The webinar is titled Critical Questions to Build Primary Source Literacy. It will be streamed live on YouTube and recorded for those who cannot attend the live broadcast. The collection of primary sources to be featured during the webinar can be seen here




On a related note, here's a collection of Smithsonian Learning Lab tutorials.

You may also be interested a National Archives resource called Understanding Perspectives in Primary Sources.

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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How to Find and Download Your Old Canva Projects

4 de Dezembro de 2022, 11:26
Last week a reader emailed me to ask for help with Canva. Specifically, he wanted to know where all of his videos had gone. He wasn't the first person to send me that question so I decided to make a short video to show three ways to find your old Canva projects and then download those projects. The video is embedded below. 

Video - How to Find and Download Your Old Canva Projects



This is the 51st video in my playlist of Canva tutorials. Some of the most popular ones from that collection include How to Make a Video in Canva and How to Create and Publish Comics With Canva.

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Two EdTech Guys Take Questions - The Grand Finale!

4 de Dezembro de 2022, 11:09
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020 Rushton Hurley and I have held a regular series of live Q&A sessions. This week we're wrapping it up with one last live session of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff. We'd love to have you join us as we answer your questions about all things education, technology, and life :) Register here!

The final live episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff will be held at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT on December 6th. Grab a cup of tea or a cup of hot cocoa and join us for a fun half hour of sharing and learning. We'll answer questions that are emailed to us in advance and we'll answer questions that are given to us during the live broadcast. Register here!

Is this really the end?

Kind of. It's the end of our live webinars, but we do plan to continue with a series of recorded events. Whether that series is in video or podcast format or both is still to be determined. But if you really can't get enough of our smiling faces, you can head to this page on Next Vista for Learning to watch recordings of all of the episodes we've ever hosted. 

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Posters, Pictures, and Leftovers - The Week in Review

3 de Dezembro de 2022, 11:17
Good morning from Maine where yesterday it felt like winter and today it feels like spring. My family is supposed to go see the Christmas lights display at the Boothbay Botanical Gardens this evening, but the rain might dampen our plans. So we might end up spending the day making Christmas cookies. Either way, we're going to have a fun weekend and I hope that you do too. 

This week marked the 15th anniversary of Free Technology for Teachers. On Monday I published some thoughts about what's happened in the world of edtech, blogging, and social media over those years. That post also included a list of the ten most popular posts of all time on this blog. You can read it all here

On the same day that I marked the anniversary of this blog I also scheduled a workshop for an organization that reached out to me. If you'd like to have me run a workshop for your school, library, or organization in 2023 please get touch with me soon

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. C-SPAN Offers a Free Electoral College Poster
2. More Than 70,000 Pieces of ClipArt and Pictures for Students
3. Three YouTube Features Every Teacher Should Know How to Use
4. How to Add Descriptions to Google Drive Folders
5. Two Good Ways to Create Simple and Focused Websites
6. A Thanksgiving Leftovers Search Lesson and Bookmarking Tip
7. In Memory of Ed Webster - Resources for Teaching and Learning About Mount Everest

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) freetech4teachers.com 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 FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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50 Canva Tutorials for Teachers

3 de Dezembro de 2022, 11:01
Other than Google Workspace tools, Canva is the tool that I've published the most tutorials about on my YouTube channel. In fact, with the publication of my latest Canva tutorial video I've now published 50 tutorials about using Canva's many features for making videos, presentations, timelines, posters, greeting cards, worksheets, and many other graphics. All of those videos are available in one playlist that you can find and bookmark right here on my YouTube channel.

You can view my updated Canva tutorials playlist right here. A handful of highlights from the playlist have been embedded below. 


How to Create a Video With Canva



How to Create an Audio Slideshow Video in Canva



How to Import PowerPoint Slides into Canva
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Two Ways to Make Timelines With Adobe Express

2 de Dezembro de 2022, 11:04
A couple of days ago I read a Book Widgets blog post about fun ways to use timelines in your lessons. Reading that blog post inspired me to create a new video about another tool that students can use to create timelines. That tool is Adobe Express

In Adobe Express there are two ways that students can create timelines. The first is to use one the more than 250 timeline infographic templates that Adobe Express offers. Students can customize those templates by changing the font, color scheme, and graphics. They can also use the integrated image search to find pictures to use in their timelines. Completed timelines can be downloaded as PDFs and as PNG files. 

The other way that students can create timelines in Adobe Express is by creating a simple web page in a linear format. When using that option students can include videos and hyperlinks in their timelines as well as pictures and text. 

Video - Two Ways to Make Timelines in Adobe Express



Applications for Education
If you and your students are already using Adobe Express for other things like making videos and editing images, Adobe Express provides a convenient way to build a printable timeline. If you're not already using Adobe Express and you're looking for a tool that is specifically designed for building timelines, I would try Timeline JS or Sutori first.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Image Candy - A Free Suite of Image Editing Tools

2 de Dezembro de 2022, 10:15
Image Candy is a free set of image editing tools that you can use without having to register for any kind of account. In all there are thirteen free image editing tools included in Image Candy. All of them are quick and easy to use. 

Some of the free image editing tools that you'll find on Image Candy include a background remover, watermark tool, meme generator, and image file-type converter. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate a few of the easy-to-use features of Image Candy. 

Video - Remove Backgrounds, Make Memes, and More With Image Candy



Applications for Education
One of the first things that I thought of when trying Image Candy was to use the background remover to strip the background from a photograph and then use the new image as an overlay on another background like a famous landmark. Another way that you might have students use Image Candy is to create memes based on images of historical events and notable people in history. 
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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The True Costs of Owning a Car - A Lesson Plan for High School Students

1 de Dezembro de 2022, 10:23
I paid $1500 for my first car. That was a hefty sum for me back in the fall of 1996. That car needed a little bit of brake work to pass the state's safety inspection and then it needed about a dozen other little repairs over the next two years. Fortunately, I had someone in my life who taught me a lot about working on cars and saved me lots of money in the process. I made the same mistake that many young people make in believing that saving money to purchase the car was all that I needed. That's why I like EconEdLink's free lesson plan titled Owning a Car.

Owning a Car is a free lesson plan that is designed as a personal finance lesson for high school students. The lesson is based around a video titled What are the True Costs of Car Ownership? The video was produced as a collaboration between Bank of America and Khan Academy. The lesson plan has students first estimate what they think the costs of car ownership are then watch the video while taking notes (template provided) about the actual costs of car ownership. The follow-up activity has students comparing ownership costs for a variety of vehicle types.

To build upon EconEdLink's Owning a Car lesson plan consider showing your students Common Craft's videos about insurance and borrowing money. You can preview both of those videos as embedded below.



Disclosure: I have a long-standing in-kind relationship with Common Craft. 
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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How Airplanes Fly - And Other Good Resources for Learning About Flying

1 de Dezembro de 2022, 09:49
I'm currently reading Bill Bryson's book, One Summer: America, 1927. The book is centered around significant events of that summer including Charles Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic. Airplanes have come a long way since Lindbergh flew in the Spirit of St. Louis, an airplane that he couldn't see out of when looking forward. The physics of how an airplane gets airborne and stays airborne are still the same as they were 1927. A newly released video SciShow Kids uses excellent visuals to explain how an airplane flies today. The video uses both jet-powered airplanes and prop-powered airplanes to show the key concepts. 

How Airplanes Fly is the latest video that I'm adding to my growing list of resources for teaching and learning about airplanes and airlines. Those resources are included below.  

Turbulence: One of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of Physics is a TED-Ed lesson that explains what turbulence is and the forces that create it. The lesson explains that even though we typically associate turbulence with flying in airplanes, turbulence exists in many other places including oceans.


The Wright Brothers - The Invention of the Aerial Age offers timelines for teaching about the developments made by the Wright Brothers. Dig into the Interactive Experiments section of the timeline and you'll find Engineering the Wright WayEngineering the Wright Way offers interactive simulations in which students learn about wing design by joining the Wright Brothers for test flights in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

How Things Fly hosted by the Smithsonian features an interactive module in which students design their own airplanes. The activity starts with a simple and slow airplane that students have to modify until it reaches a target speed and altitude. As students modify the wings, fuselage, and engines of their airplanes they are given instant feedback on the effects of those modifications. In some cases the feedback includes the airplane crashing and the students having to start over again.

TED-Ed offers a lesson about breaking the sound barrier. The lesson is called The Sonic Boom Problem and it explains how a sonic boom is created and how math is used to predict the path of a sonic boom in the atmosphere. 



Here's some archival footage of Yeager's flight in the Bell X-1.

If you have ever wondered why airlines sell more tickets than they have seats on an airplane, the TED-Ed lesson Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets? is for you. In Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets? you can learn about the mathematics that airlines use to maximize the revenue that they can generate from each flight. That math includes calculating the probability that everyone who holds a ticket for a flight will actually show up for the flight. The way that probability is calculated is explained in the video. Finally, the lesson asks students to consider the ethics of overbooking flights. Watch the video below or go here to see the entire lesson.



Image source: SDASM Archives, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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November's Most Popular Posts on Free Technology for Teachers

30 de Novembro de 2022, 21:38
Good evening from Maine where the sun has set on the month of November. At this time of year sunset is a rather early 4:04pm and it feels even earlier than that. Ice is forming on the ponds around my home and I hope that we get some more snow soon because my daughters and I are itching to go skiing. 

As I do at the end of every month, I've compiled a list of the most popular posts of the last thirty days. Take a look and see if there is anything interesting that you missed earlier in November. 

These were the most popular posts of the month:
1. Is This the End of the Google Keep Chrome Extension?
2. 30+ Activity Templates to Use in Google Classroom
3. More Than 70,000 Pieces of ClipArt and Pictures for Students
4. C-SPAN Offers a Free Electoral College Poster
5. CollegeLab - A Tool to Help Students Find Colleges They May Like
6. GeoQuiz History Edition - A Fun and Challenging Geography Game
7. How to Add Descriptions to Google Drive Folders
8. Two Good Ways to Create Simple and Focused Websites
9. Math and Geography
10. A New Primary Source Crowd-sourcing Project from the Library of Congress

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) freetech4teachers.com 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 FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
✇ Free Technology for Teachers

How to Make Custom QR Codes With Adobe Express

30 de Novembro de 2022, 11:07
Yesterday afternoon I published a video and blog post about using Canva to create custom QR codes that include your own images and graphic designs. The Adobe Express suite of tools also offers a QR code creation tool. QR code creation tool in Adobe Express doesn't let you use pictures in your codes like Canva does, but you can customize the color scheme and format of your QR codes. It's a nice option for those who are already using the Adobe Express suite and need to quickly create a QR code. Watch my video below to see how it works. 

How to Create Custom QR Codes With Adobe Express



Applications for Education
Read Five Ways QR Codes Can Be Helpful in Your School for some ideas on how you might use the Adobe Express QR code generator in your classroom, library, or school.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
✇ Free Technology for Teachers

Free Webinar Next Wednesday - Best of the Web 2022

30 de Novembro de 2022, 10:37

 

Tomorrow the calendar turns to December and many of us will start to think about the year that was. One of the things that I do every December is take a look back at all of the new and updated educational technology tools that I tested throughout the year. I'll put all of my favorite ones into one presentation that I'll share with all of you. 

Join me one week from today for a free webinar titled Best of the Web 2022. I'm hosting it live at 3:30pm ET on December 7th. Register here! Come to the webinar to see my favorite new and updated tools in action. 

The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot attend the live presentation. The recording will be posted on Free Technology for Teachers the next day (December 8th). 

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
✇ Free Technology for Teachers

How to Create Custom QR Codes in Canva

29 de Novembro de 2022, 19:31
Over the last fifteen years I've seen QR codes rise in popularity, fall in popularity, and rise again. They never lost their appeal to me because they can be used in schools a bunch of helpful ways. There are more QR code creation tools than ever before including one that is built into Canva.

In Canva you can take any design that you've made and use that design as the basis for a custom QR code. Or you can do what I demonstrate in the video below and simply use Canva to create a custom QR code based on a picture that you have taken. 

How to Create Custom QR Codes in Canva



Applications for Education
Besides the handful uses of QR codes in school that I outlined here, using Canva to create your QR codes could be a good way to add some classroom or school branding to your QR codes.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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One More Day

29 de Novembro de 2022, 17:29

Over the last year many of you have kindly supported my work here on Free Technology for Teachers and Practical Ed Tech by purchasing a copy of my eBook, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips. If you've been thinking about purchasing a copy, there's a 20% discount available until the end of the day on November 30th. 

50 Tech Tuesday Tips was curated from more than 400 editions of The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. In 50 Tech Tuesday Tips you will find ideas for lots of helpful things that you can teach to your colleagues and to students. Throughout the eBook you'll find tutorials and handouts that you can pass along in your school. 

Some of the many things you'll find in 50 Tech Tuesday Tips include:

  • What to do when a web app isn't working as you expect.
  • Building your own search engine.
  • How to create green screen videos.
  • Improving instructional videos. 
  • Streamlining email management.
  • Creating educational games. 
  • DIY app creation.
  • Podcasting tips for teachers and students. 



Get your copy of 50 Tech Tuesday Tips right here!
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
✇ Free Technology for Teachers

A Mean PhET Simulation

29 de Novembro de 2022, 15:19
PhET is one of my go-to resources for math and science teachers. Just before the Thanksgiving break (for those of us in the United States) PhET released a new simulation designed to help students understand the concept of mean. 

Mean: Share and Balance is an interactive simulation in which students are shown a series of beakers of water. They then have to estimate where the mean water level will be. The simulation can be adjusted to show as few as two beakers or as many as seven beakers. When displaying the simulation to your students you can enable or disable level indicators on the beakers and turn on or turn off prediction indicators. 


Applications for Education

Mean: Share and Balance could be a great instructional aid for elementary school or middle school lessons. One of the things that's great about PhET simulations is that most of them, including this new one, can be downloaded for use offline, shared in Google Classroom, or embedded into your website.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
✇ Free Technology for Teachers

Threadit is Closing - A Few Alternatives to Try

28 de Novembro de 2022, 19:39
Threadit is a Google product that when it launched I thought could have become a rival to Microsoft Flip. As feature-laden as Threadit is, it never really caught on and now Google is shutting it down in a few weeks. On December 19th Google is closing the doors on Threadit. If you have videos in it that you want to save, you need to download them sooner than later.

Alternatives to Threadit in the Google Workspace Environment

Some of what Threadit does can be replicated with other tools that are still available to Google Workspace users. Those tools include the screencast app for Chrome OS, office hours in Google Calendar, and Google Meet.

How to Record a Screencast in Chrome OS

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
✇ Free Technology for Teachers

15 Years of Free Technology for Teachers - Some Thoughts

28 de Novembro de 2022, 16:47
Fifteen years ago today I was supervising detention when I wrote the first post on this blog. I did not have any idea what was to come over the next fifteen years let alone that I'd still be writing about educational technology in 2022. So on this occasion, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to take a few minutes to reflect on the last fifteen years. 

People and Places
I've met some wonderful people and made great friends as a result of writing my blog. I've been invited to speak at events on six of seven continents over the last fifteen years. If anyone is hosting a conference in Antarctica, I'll be happy to speak at it. I've been to events in 49 of 50 states. New Mexico is the only one I'm missing. And I've spoken at events in every Canadian province that borders the U.S. (one of my old dogs got to tag along for a few of those 2012). But none of that would have happened without the support of all of the folks who have followed my blog and invited me into their schools and conferences over the years. Thank you!

Years ago many of you reached out to me when one of my dogs passed away. Some even sent me condolences via good old fashioned USPS. Likewise, many of you reached out and sent congratulatory notes when my daughters were born. In both cases it was nice to know that people cared and knew there was a real person behind the blog.

Sadly, some of the people that I met through this blog (and social media) over the years are no longer with us. Sylvia and Allen immediately come to mind and I hope they knew that their work mattered.

Social Media
Over the years I've seen social media go from this odd place where only the really techy/geeky people were hanging out to the really odd place that it's in today. I'm glad that I didn't abandon blogging to chase social media likes and views.

Only a few of the people who regularly blogged when I started are still doing it on a consistent basis. Larry Ferlazzo, Vicki Davis, Kevin Hodgson, Stephen Downes, and Alan Levine seem to be the only ones I followed then who are still at it on a regular basis today. Keep it up!

Could've, Should've
Eight years ago I had a chance to sell this blog for a sum that would have given me a lot of financial flexibility (especially considering that I was single and debt-free). I passed because I wasn't sure what the heck I would have done with myself without blogging. In hindsight, I probably should have taken the offer. Oh well, live and learn.

Punctuation
In 1997 my freshmen comp professor wrote on one of my papers, "you throw punctuation around like it's confetti." I'm sure I still do that because some nice readers have corrected me over the years. My favorite was the person who used purple comic sans font in all caps to correct my mistakes.

More good than bad
I've gotten some nasty emails over the years (yes, from teachers) and some of them really sting. Overall, the good ones far outweigh the bad ones. And I hope that I've done more good than bad over the last fifteen years as well.

Battling plagiarism has been a source of frustration for almost all of the last fifteen years. I try to spin it as a teaching opportunity even though it really grinds my gears.

Some of the pitches I've gotten for sponsored guest posts over the years have been quite entertaining. No, I don't think your "high quality" article about crocheting is relevant to my audience. 

Another 15 years?
To be completely transparent, there have been some times over the last couple of years that I've seriously considered walking away from it because of become a bit cynical about some aspects of the educational technology industry. But I keep coming back because at the end of the day, I still enjoy writing and trying to help other teachers. So will I still be doing this in 15 years? Probably not, but I would have said the same thing 15 years ago.

The ten most popular posts of the last fifteen years!
1. Google Forms Can Now Automatically Grade Quizzes Without an Add-on
2. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game
3. Click to Spin - A Fun and Free Random Name Picker
4. Use Whiteboards in Google Meet Without Screensharing
5. Five Google Classroom Improvements Announced During ISTE
6. 5 Handy Chrome Extensions for Teachers
7. The Periodic Table in Pictures and Words
8. Two Ways to Visually Show Classroom Noise
9. Six Tools for Creating Classroom Quiz Games - A Comparison Chart
10. 250 Google Tools Tutorials for Teachers
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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In Memory of Ed Webster - Resources for Teaching and Learning About Mount Everest

28 de Novembro de 2022, 15:27
This morning I opened Facebook and saw the news that fellow Mainer, mountaineer, and author Ed Webster had passed away on Thanksgiving morning. He's probably most famous for pioneering a new route up Mount Everest in 1988 which he chronicled with words and fascinating imagery in Snow in the Kingdom

I met Ed a few times over the years. He was incredibly humble and he was someone who you knew right away was a kind and generous soul. The first time I met him was at LL Bean fifteen years ago. He was signing books in the lobby but all the people there that day seemed to be too busy to stop and chat. I got to chat with him for nearly an hour. What struck me most about that first meeting was that he seemed more interested in hearing about where I wanted to climb than he was about telling his stories. 

The other thing that I'll remember about Ed is that he loved history and telling the stories of climbers and explorers of old. To that end, he gave innumerable talks at libraries, schools, and clubs. His rates for speaking at schools were so low that I'm not sure he wasn't losing money when he gave those talks.

In memory of Ed Webster, here are some resources for teaching and learning about Mount Everest:

To understand the scope of the accomplishment that Ed and his three teammates accomplished in 1988 watch this presentation that he gave at a library a couple of years ago. 



Why is Mount Everest so Tall? is a TED-Ed lesson in which students learn why the peak of Everest is so high, why other mountains are longer from base to summit, and how mountains in general are formed. Through the lesson students can also learn why the heights of mountains change and why Everest may not be the tallest mountain forever.

Through Google's Street View imagery of Mount Everest Basecamp (south side) students can zoom and pan around the foothills of Mount Everest. Students viewing that imagery for the first time might be surprised at how different the view is compared the to the typical pictures of Everest. After viewing the imagery students can click forward to see Street View imagery of other places in the region.

Scaling Everest is an infographic that goes beyond the usual scale of Everest comparisons to buildings and jet flight paths. In the infographic you will find audio of three Everest climbers talking about the approach to Everest basecamp and the nuances of the climb itself. The infographic also provides some interesting facts about plants and animals in the region.

Expedition Everest: The Mission is a five minute overview and introduction to a scientific expedition to Mount Everest. The purpose of the expedition is to study the effects of climate change on glaciers on the world's tallest mountains. When you watch Expedition Everest: The Mission in your computer's web browser, you can click and drag to move the viewing angle while listening to the narration. If you have a VR viewer, watch the video in that and you can move your head to explore the immersive imagery while listening to the narration.
I was just dabbling in climbing and dreaming about bigger mountains when Ed wrote that inscription for me in 2007.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Three YouTube Features Every Teacher Should Know How to Use

27 de Novembro de 2022, 11:14
In last week's Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I detailed a few features of YouTube Studio that every teacher who uploads videos to YouTube should know how to use. The video included in that newsletter can be seen here. Chances are that even if you don't upload videos to YouTube, you probably use YouTube to find and show videos in your classroom from time to time. If that's the case for you, there are some features of YouTube that you should know how to use. 

In this new video I highlight the features of YouTube that you should know how to use before showing a video in your classroom. Those features include adjusting the size and color scheme of subtitles, accessing and saving a transcript of videos, and clipping sections of YouTube videos.  

Three YouTube Features Every Teacher Should Know How to Use

Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Clipart, Maps, and Food - The Week in Review

26 de Novembro de 2022, 11:18
Good morning from Maine where it feels like winter is here to stay. A couple of the local ski mountains are open, a thin coat of ice appears on a lot of the ponds around my house, and I have to wear a lot more layers to ride my bike outside. Like many of you, I've had the last few days off to relax and spend with family. That will continue this weekend as we head outside for a hike and to find our Christmas tree. I hope that you have an equally enjoyable weekend. 

If you're interested in supporting my work here on FreeTech4Teachers.com and PracticalEdTech.com my eBook, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is 20% off for the rest of the month when you use this link.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Two Good Ways to Create Simple and Focused Websites
2. More Than 70,000 Pieces of ClipArt and Pictures for Students
3. How to Add Descriptions to Google Drive Folders
4. Watch Out for This Email Scam Pretending to Be From YouTube Support
5. Maps and Videos About Where Thanksgiving Foods Come From
6. Two Cool Mapping Tools in the Felt Mapping Platform
7. A Thanksgiving Leftovers Search Lesson and Bookmarking Tip

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) freetech4teachers.com 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 FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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Clipart & Drawings for Classroom Projects

25 de Novembro de 2022, 11:22
Earlier this week I shared ClipArt ETC and Clippix ETC as good resources for locating free clipart and pictures to use in classroom projects. That was the third post this fall that I've published to feature a good place for teachers and students to find free drawings. To summarize all three of those posts I recorded a short video about all three of them. 

In this new video I demonstrate how to use the following places to find free clipart and drawings for classroom projects:



Applications for Education
ClipArt ETC and CocoMaterial only host clipart and drawings. Openverse also hosts images so it's important to teach students how to use the filters on Openverse if they want to find drawings. It's also best to limit Openverse to high school age or older.

Check the license terms before using any of the images from ClipArt ETC or Openverse. ClipArt ETC is strictly for classroom use. Openverse has a mix of license terms ranging from public domain to strict citation requirements.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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An Encyclopedia of Comic Artists

25 de Novembro de 2022, 10:58
Peanuts drawn by Charles Schulz, Calvin and Hobbes drawn by Bill Watterson, and The Family Circus drawn by Bil Keane were the comics that I was drawn to as a kid. By the time I became a high school teacher my students didn't recognize any of those comics and I didn't know the ones that they were reading. In short, my knowledge of comics and their artists was limited to what appeared in the Sunday newspaper when I was a kid. Does that sound like you? If so, you may also be interested in looking at Lambiek's Comiclopedia

Lambiek's Comiclopedia is an online cyclopedia of more than 14,000 comic artists. You can search the Comiclopedia by name, you can browse through it in alphabetical order, or simply click through the random artists featured on the homepage on the day that you visit it. Every listing includes a biography of the artist, some background on their comics, and some examples of their work. 

Applications for Education
Comiclopedia could be a good resource for people who want to get to know a little bit about the comics that their students are reading. And it just might inspire you try making comics in your classroom. If that turns out to be the case, you'll want to check out MOMA's four part series about creating comics.

H/T to Open Culture.
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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A Thanksgiving Leftovers Search Lesson and Bookmarking Tip

24 de Novembro de 2022, 19:15
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is eating the leftovers the next day. I enjoy a good turkey sandwich almost as much as Ross, but I do like to mix it up a bit and try other ways to use leftovers. In fact, I was doing that earlier this week (yes, I was planning for Thanksgiving leftovers) when I got super annoyed by all of the pop-up and scrolling ads on various recipe websites. That's when I implemented one of my favorite search tips, searching by file type. 

To the end of my search term "turkey shepherd's pie" I added filetype:pdf. I did that in order to only find links to PDFs containing recipes for turkey shepherd's pie. There aren't annoying pop-ups and scrolling ads on PDFs to get in the way of reading a recipe. 

The other trick that I often use when looking for recipes online is to use the OneNote web clipper to save articles instead of just bookmarking the links. The web clipper will let you view the article without having to actually go back to the original web page. 

Both of these tips for finding and reading Thanksgiving leftovers recipes can be employed whenever you're searching online. I used the file type search method earlier this fall to help someone identify a piece of old archery equipment and I used it just a week ago to find a copy of the owner's manual for the portable generator in my garage. 

Watch this short video for a demonstration of searching by file type and a demonstration of the OneNote web clipper. 


Searching by file type is one of just many search strategies that students need to know. That strategy and many more are taught in my online course, Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The course is on sale this week for 33% off when you use the code THANKSGIVING22 during registration. Register here and take the course at your own pace. 
Are you a tech coach or media specialist looking for some new ideas to share with your colleagues? If so, 50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook you need. You can get it right here.
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