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Pixabay is one of my favorite places to find public domain images to use in all kinds of projects including slideshows, blog posts, videos, and documents. You have always been able to go to Pixabay and download pictures to then insert into documents and slides. Recently, Pixabay has been built into an Add-on for Google Docs and into a Plug-in for Word and PowerPoint.

Pixabay for Google Docs is a free Add-on created by Learn In 60 Seconds. With this free Add-on installed you can quickly search for an image. Search results appear in the right hand margin of your document. Double-click on an image to insert it into your document. You can resize the image just as you would any other image that you upload to a Google Document.

The Pixabay Images Plug-in for Word and PowerPoint lets you search Pixabay without having to leave the Word document or PowerPoint project that you are working on. You can locate images and insert them into your document or slideshow with just one click. Once inserted, you can resize your chosen Pixabay images just as you would any image that you inserted from your computer.

If Pixabay isn’t for you, you might want to try Full Deck for Google Docs. Full Deck is a free Add-on that uses Unsplash to locate public domain images to use in your documents. Once you have found an image that you like, click the insert button that appears just below it. Like the Pixabay Add-on, you can resize your selected images by clicking and dragging the borders.

Google Slides users who are looking for something other than Pixabay images, will want to try the Unsplash photos Add-on. This Add-on gives you instant access to Unsplash’s collection of free, royalty-free photographs.

How to find free photos in Google Slides - YouTube

These were the week’s most popular posts on FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. 79 Math In “Real Life” Lessons
2. Free Math – A Free System for Grading Large Batches of Math Assignments
3. NASA Kids’ Club – Fun Games for Learning About Space
4. Nine Ways to Add Notes to Padlet Walls
5. Use Google Sheets to Create Online Bingo Boards With Pictures
6. 16 Videos About the Science of Winter Olympics Sports
7. PrepFactory Introduces New PARCC and SBAC Review Content

President’s Day Sale!
This weekend three of my Practical Ed Tech courses are on sale. Use the code “presidents” to save 20% on Teaching History With TechnologyG Suite for Teachers, and the Ed Tech Starter Kit.
Book Me for Your Conference

I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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It’s Valentine’s Day and President’s Day is coming up so I’m having a Love Your Presidents Sale! During this sale you save 20% on my Teaching History With Technology and G Suite for Teachers courses. You can take 20% off when you purchase the Ed Tech Starter Kit.

Use code “presidents” to save 20%

In Teaching History With Technology you will learn how to develop engaging and challenging learning activities through the use of tools like Google Earth and Maps, video production tools, and virtual reality. You will also learn how to help your students become better researchers.


Purchase Teaching History With Technology

G Suite for Teachers is an on-demand course that was designed for teachers who are new to using the powerful the tools within G Suite for Education. In this course you’ll learn everything you need to know to feel comfortable using all of the core G Suite tools with your students. This course is more than just a series of “how to” videos. You’ll be provided with concrete examples of activities that you can use and adapt to use in your classroom.


Purchase G Suite for Teachers

The Ed Tech Starter Kit provides you with four hours of professional development in the form of four on-demand webinar recordings. The webinars included are Search Strategies Students Need to Know, Fun With Formative Assessments, Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners, and How to Build a Classroom Blog. All webinars are accompanied by printable handouts for your reference.


Purchase Ed Tech Starter Kit

Sale Ends February 21st!
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Flippity is a great service that provides easy-to-follow Google Sheets templates. Recently, Flippity added a new template that you can use to build your custom typing tests. Watch my video embedded below to see how to make a typing test in Google Sheets. With the addition of the typing test template, Flippity now offers sixteen free Google Sheets templates. You can access the templates through the Flippity website or through the free Flippity Add-on for Google Sheets.

How to Create a Typing Test in Google Sheets - YouTube

Here’s the complete list of templates offered by Flippity:

  • Flashcards, Quiz Show, Typing Test, Random Name Picker, Badge Tracker, Spelling Test, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, Bingo, Hangman, Progress Indicator, Memory Game, MadLibs, Mix & Match, Certificates.

These were the week’s most popular posts on FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. 16 Videos About the Science of Winter Olympics Sports
2. Free Hands-on STEM Lesson Plans and Projects
3. A Large Collection of Virtual Chemistry Labs and Lessons
4. 5 Observations Students Can Record With Google’s Science Journal App
5. 7 Ways to Create Screencasts on Chromebooks – Updated for 2018
6. These Google Docs Add-ons Make It Easy to Find Public Domain Images
7. How to Create a Multimedia Quiz With Microsoft Forms

New Online Learning Opportunities
This week on Practical Ed Tech I announced the relaunch of my online course titled From Blog to Job. This is a course for anyone who has ever wanted to learn how to earn an income from blogging.
The Ed Tech Starter Kit contains my most popular professional development webinars in one package. You’ll get access to these webinars at 50% off the cost of purchasing them individually.
Book Me for Your Conference

I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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Padlet is a versatile tool that I have used and promoted for many years. When it originally launched it only supported text and picture notes. Over time new features have been steadily added to it. The latest feature added to Padlet is an option to make audio recordings directly in the notes on a Padlet wall. In the following video I demonstrate how to add audio, video, and picture notes to a Padlet wall.

How to Add Audio, Video, and Picture Notes to Padlet Walls - YouTube

Padlet’s audio note recording option could be a good one for students to use to create short podcasts. Or you could just have students record short audio notes as an exit ticket at the end of a lesson.

Some of the other ways that you can use Padlet in your classroom include voting on responses, making flowcharts, and creating distraction-free video playlists.

Here are the week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features
2. Gamifying Writing Instruction
3. A Periodic Table of AR and VR Apps
4. Create Your Own Google Expeditions
5. Add Live Polls and Q&A to Your PowerPoint Slides
6. Code for Life – Coding Challenges and Lesson Plans
7. Three Ways to Add Audio to Google Slides

Online PD for Your School
Did you know that I offer group discounts on my Practical Ed Tech G Suite for Teachers and Teaching History With Technology courses? Register five people from your school district at the same time and you’ll get five more registrations for free! For less than the cost of sending two people to a Google Summit, you can get direct PD for ten people.



Book Me for Your Conference

I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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Google’s Cardboard Camera and Street View app are good tools for creating simple virtual reality imagery. Those tools are great if you want to capture immersive images of physical environments and share those images with others. But if you want to create completely drawn and animated virtual reality scenes, then you’ll want to try Patches.

Patches is a free online tool for creating virtual reality scenes. Patches offers animated characters, animals, buildings, and common objects that you can place inside a virtual reality scene. Just drag and drop objects and animations from the selection menus to the Patches design canvas. You can create and customize your VR scenes as much as you like by changing object positioning, color schemes, and even the speed at which an animation moves. You can preview your VR scenes within the Patches editor. Completed projects can be viewed in a VR viewer by just enter the link assigned to your project into your mobile phone’s browser. Some tutorial videos are available here.

Students could use Patches to create virtual reality environments in which a fiction story is brought to life in VR. Patches could be used by students to create simulations of historical events. As someone in the Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group pointed out, Patches could be used in math classes to help students further their understanding of geometry concepts.

Here are the week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Ten Overlooked Google Slides Features
2. Geometry at Mount Rushmore – A Math Lesson
3. Ten Overlooked Google Docs Features
4. Story Cubes – Templates to Help Students Plan Stories
5. How to Add Voice Comments to Google Docs
6. Important News About Adobe Spark
7. GE Teach Tour Builder – Create Google Earth Tours for the Web

Last Day for Course Discounts!

Today is the last day to join the Practical Ed Tech courses Teaching History With Technology or G Suite for Teachers at the discounted rate of just $75. In both courses you’ll get at least ten instructional videos (20-45 minutes each), lesson outlines, and suggested classroom activities. Use the code “construction” to receive the discounted price.

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Adding interactive elements makes it possible to pack more information into a diagram, chart, or image. You could do this to enhance the references and digital handouts that you give to your students. Likewise, your students can add interactive elements to their diagrams and images deliver more thorough explanations. Here are three ways to create interactive images and diagrams with tools that you’re probably already using.

Google Slides has a lot of capabilities that often go overlooked. One of those capabilities is the option to link slides so that viewers don’t have to necessarily see them in a chronological sequence. By linking slides you can create an interactive diagram in Google Slides. In this video I demonstrate how to create an interactive diagram in Google Slides. You can try my diagram yourself by viewing the slides here.

How to Create an Interactive Diagram in Google Slides - YouTube

PowerPoint can also be used to make interactive diagrams. I made the following video that demonstrates how to make interactive diagrams in PowerPoint.

How to Create Interactive Diagrams in PowerPoint - YouTube

Google Drawings can be used to create interactive diagrams, but because you only have one frame to work with, it is better suited to making interactive images as I demonstrate in the following video.

How to Use Google Drawings as an Alternative to Thinglink - YouTube

Here are the week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. 10 Free Apps for Elementary School Math Lessons
2. How to Create an Interactive Diagram in Google Slides
3. 5 Ways to Use Comics in Social Studies Lessons
4. Virtual Tours of Ancient and Modern Greece
5. 300+ Free Economics Lessons, Videos, and Educational Games
6. Loom 2.0 – Create and Edit Screencasts
7. Eight Lessons in Teaching History With Technology

Online Professional Development

There are only two days left to join the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group. After Monday the group will be closed to new members.

You can join Teaching History With Technology or G Suite for Teachers at any time. Use the code “construction” this weekend to get a discount on registration.

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Simple animated GIFs or short animated videos played on a loop can be a good way to simply display the steps of a solving a math problem. I’ve also seen animated GIFs used to illustrate parts of speech. And my friends who teach physics like to use animated GIFs to illustrate key physics concepts. Those are just a few of the ways that you could use animated GIFs in your classroom. The following three tools make it easy to create instructional animations.

Flip Anim provides possibly the easiest way draw and create an animated GIF. In the following short video I demonstrate how to create animated GIFs by using Flip Anim.

How to Create Animated GIFs - YouTube

Loopy is a free tool for creating your own animated simulations or illustrations of a concept. This free animation tool is designed to showing relationships between two or more parts of a system. It’s perfect for showing cause and effect or for showing a workflow system. To create an animation on Loopy you simply have to click on the blank canvas to place a circle that represents the start of a system. Then click on the canvas again to add another element to your system animation. To connect the two (or more) pieces you use a drawing tool to connect them. Once you’ve drawn the connections you can add cause and effect commands by selecting them from the Loopy editor.

Parapara Animation is a free animation creation tool developed and hosted by Mozilla. The tool is easy to use and it does not require registration in order to use it. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create an animation with ParaPara Animation.

How to create simple animations on Parapara Animation - YouTube

Animations made with any of the tools that I have featured here can be embedded into a blog post, webpage, or into most slideshows.

Here are this week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Free Music to Use In Google Slides Presentations
2. Doodle 4 Google is Back for 2018
3. 25 G Suite Add-ons & Chrome Extensions for Teachers & Students
4. How to Quickly Copy Questions from One Google Form to Another
5. g(Math) Has Been Deleted – Try These Three Alternatives
6. 10 Good Resources for Math Teachers and Students
7. Three Things I Like About Microsoft Forms

Online Professional Development

The 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group will had its first webinar on Tuesday afternoon, but you can still join until the end of the month.  And you can start Teaching History With Technology or G Suite for Teachers at any time.

Book Me for Your Conference

I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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I’m guilty of having a bias in favor of all things G Suite for Education that sometimes leads me to ignore some of the excellent products that Microsoft has been developing. I’m aware of that bias and I’ve been making a concerted effort over the last six or seven weeks to give more Microsoft products and honest try. One of those products is the free Learning Tools add-in for OneNote and Word.

Learning Tools is an add-in that you can use in OneNote and in Word. The primary feature of Learning Tools is called Immersive Reader. Immersive Reader will read aloud the articles that students have saved in their OneNote notebooks. It can also be used in Microsoft Word. In both instances, Immersive Reader does more than just read articles aloud. Students can choose to have Immersive Reader identify the nouns, verbs, and adjectives within a documents. Students can also choose to have every syllable of word identified for them. Students who need larger font, a higher contrast, and or larger font spacing can elect to have those modifications applied to documents.

In this video I provide a short overview of how Immersive Reader functions within OneNote. For those who aren’t aware, OneNote is completely free for anyone to use as a mobile app, desktop application, or in a web browser.

A Short Overview of Microsoft's Immersive Reader - YouTube

Here are the week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Automatically Issue Certificates When Students Pass a Quiz in Google Forms
2. Ten Things You Can Do With Google Forms – Best of 2017
3. 12 Free Lessons About Rocks, Minerals, and Landforms
4. Google Calendar is Changing Whether You Like It or Not
5. 5 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2018
6. Free Timer Templates for PowerPoint Presentations
7. Immersive Reader – A Fantastic Addition to OneNote

Online Professional Development

The 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group will have its first webinar on Tuesday afternoon. There is still time to join us by registering online. And you can start Teaching History With Technology or G Suite for Teachers at any time.

Book Me for Your Conference

I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

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As we’re on the doorstep of a new year (some of you already are in the new year), I think it’s a great time to look at some of my favorite tools from 2017 that are sure to be useful in 2018 too.

1. The beginning of the new year is when many of us set goals for ourselves. Flippity’s Progress Indicator template for Google Sheets provides an easy way to keep track of progress toward a goal. The template makes it easy to create a progress chart that will update whenever you update the data in your spreadsheet. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use Flippity’s Progress Indicator template.

How to create a progress chart in Google Sheets - YouTube

2. Toontastic 3D is a free app for creating animations on Android devices, iOS devices, and on some Chromebooks. In the video embedded below I provide a tutorial on how to create an animated movie with Toontastic 3D.

How to use Toontastic 3D on Chromebooks - YouTube

3. Flipgrid was featured in a recent tip of the week email, but it deserves to be featured again. It is a great service for collecting video responses to prompts that you pose to your students. The basic idea behind Flipgrid is that it enables you to post a video prompt and then have your students respond through video by using the webcams in their laptops or through the cameras on their smartphones or tablets. All responses are collected and displayed in a grid format. Watch my video below to learn how to use Flipgrid.

How to Use Flipgrid - YouTube

4. Plum’s Creaturizer from PBS Kids is a free iOS and Android app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. In the following video I demonstrate how the app works (apologies for the background noise, I recorded this video outside to show how the AR feature works in real settings).

Plum's Creaturizer - A fun AR app for kids - YouTube

5. Metaverse is a free platform that lets anyone create an augmented reality app. Metaverse’s programming platform is based on the premise of using a storyboard to outline the actions that you want your app to perform. You then connect each frame of the storyboard with action commands that you pick from a menu of action commands. The more scenes you add to your storyboard, the more options you can add to your app. Essentially, creating an augmented reality app through Metaverse is the same process as designed a good choose-your-own-adventure story. The video embedded below provides an overview of the Metaverse design tool.

Building a Breakout Experience in Metaverse - YouTube

Here are this week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Track Progress Toward Goals With This Google Sheets Template – Best of 2017
2. The Things I Wish Every Teacher Knew About Technology – Best of 2017
3. My Five Most Frequently Recommended Google Forms Add-ons – Best of 2017
4. Three Alternatives to Google Classroom – Best of 2017
5. 21 Tools for Conducting Digital Formative Assessments – Best of 2017
6. 22 Videos That Can Help Students Improve Their Writing – Best of 2017
7. How to Add Spoken Audio to Google Slides – Best of 2017

Online Professional Development
Despite it being a vacation week more people registered for the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group. And a bunch of people took advantage of the 30% discount available until midnight tonight (December 31st) on my Teaching History With Technology course and my G Suite for Teachers course.
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All month long I’ve offered a 30% discount on my popular Teaching History With Technology course. There is just one day left to take advantage of that offer. The discount code will expire at midnight (ET) on December 31st. Click here and use the code “december18” to get the 30% discount.

In Teaching History With Technology you will learn how to develop engaging and challenging learning activities through the use of tools like Google Earth and Maps, video production tools, and virtual reality. You will also learn how to help your students become better researchers.

This course is delivered in an on-demand format. What does that mean? It means that you can complete the course at your own pace. Each lesson of the eight lessons in the course will be emailed to you once a week for eight weeks. You can start at any time. The first lesson is emailed to you the same day that you complete your registration. Hit reply on any email that you receive during the course to ask me any questions that you have. See the list of lessons here.


Register here

Use code “december18” to get the 30% discount.
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