Latest Industry Updates on Edtech and MetaTours

Unofficial ‘Half-Life’ VR Mod is Coming to Steam October 20th

By |October 5, 2022|

Much like the recently released Half-Life 2 VR Mod, Valve is soon giving its blessings to another third-party project that this time brings VR support to the original Half-Life (1998).

If you’ve played Half-Life in VR before, it was probably thanks to the HLVR mod by Max Vollmer, who started back in 2017 to bring Valve’s iconic action-adventure shooter to the first wave of consumer VR headsets.

Now Vollmer is getting ready to launch HLVR on Steam starting October 20th. The mod is free, however it of course requires you to own a copy of Half-Life to play (i.e. […]

How to Create Green Screen Videos in Canva

By |October 5, 2022|

A couple of weeks ago Canva held an event to announce a bunch features that were going to be added over the coming months. One of those features is now available in the form of a background remover for video clips. Just like you can use Canva to remove image backgrounds you can now use Canva to remove the background from your video clips. 

By using Canva’s background remover and video editor you can now create green screen videos even if you don’t have an actual green screen to record in front of. Now […]

Tutorials for Getting Started With the Smithsonian Learning Lab

By |October 5, 2022|

The Smithsonian Learning Lab allows teachers to create and search for documents, images, videos, interactive animations, and lesson plans from a wide range of Smithsonian-hosted resources. It also lets you create collections to share with others as well as create assignments to give to your students. To start the new school year The Smithsonian published a collection of new tutorial videos that teach you how to collect, customize, and share collections of resources in the Smithsonian Learning Lab. You can watch all of those videos here. I’ve embedded a couple of them […]

Here Is How to Create Your Own Maps Using Google Drive

By |October 5, 2022|

The integration of Google Maps with Google Drive made it super easy for anyone to create and share maps with others. The process is simple and does not require any software installation. Using My Maps in Drive will enable you to design your own customized maps where you can add places, draw lines, add markers and layers, add directions, measure distances and areas and many more. 

Once your map is ready you can then print it, export it to KML, or embed it on your site using a generated embed code. For other map creation options, check out […]

Best Online Tools for Creating Interactive Maps for Students and Teachers

By |October 5, 2022|

Map creation is a key educational activity that helps students develop their geographical literacy and enhances their spatial thinking skills. It also raises their critical awareness about the role geography plays in cultural, political, and social diversity and helps them understand their positionality as active participants in the social construction of this diversity. 




Besides learning about the different parts of the world and the skills required to navigate them, the ability to create maps, regardless of how simple or advanced the process is, also enables students to develop a nuanced understanding of how […]

Google Ventures Invests $12M in SideQuest to Create Main Content Hub for XR Ecosystem

By |October 5, 2022|

SideQuest, the sideloading software and unofficial app store for Meta’s Quest and Quest 2, announced it completed a $12 million Series A investment, this time led by Google’s investment arm, Google Ventures (GV).

Founded in 2019 by Belfast-based team Orla and Shane Harris, SideQuest has essentially become the de facto unofficial app store, not to mention the leading sideloading platform for Quest and Quest 2.

As first reported by Tech Crunch, Google GV’s M.G. Siegler will be joining the company’s board. As a GV general partner, Siegler he has backed a number of […]

Updated – Screencasting on Chromebooks – Built-in Tool vs. Third-party Tools

By |October 4, 2022|

Back in June Google introduced a new screencasting tool for Chromebooks. Back then I wrote a comparison of the Chrome OS screencast tool and some others that are available to use on Chromebooks. Since then Screencastify has changed their free plan and Flipgrid has been renamed as Microsoft Flip. So I think it’s time that I publish an updated overview of the screencasting tools available for use on Chromebooks. 

Chrome OS Built-in Recorder
The obvious benefit of using the built-in recorder is that you don’t have install any third-party extensions. Additionally, your recordings automatically save […]

Creative Storm – A Student Video Contest

By |October 4, 2022|

Creative Storm 2022 is the title of the latest Next Vista for Learning video contest. Like previous Next Vista contests, this one is open to students and teachers. There is a category for student-produced videos, a category for teacher-produced videos, and a category for videos created through the collaborative efforts of teachers and students. Regardless of the category, all videos must teach a lesson in 90 seconds or less. The lesson can be about almost any concept a person would learn about in elementary, middle, or high school.

Entries into 

Using Telepresence Robots in School

By |October 4, 2022|

Telepresence robots can bring students who cannot attend school into the classroom in a more immersive manner than video conferencing.

‘Bonelab’ Review – An Ambitious Sandbox Waiting for the Right Toys

By |October 4, 2022|

Bonelab, the latest title from veteran VR developer Stress Level Zero, brings the core of Boneworks to Quest 2 for the first time, but beyond that does little to improve its foundational gameplay. This time, however, a fully-featured modding system could save the day.

Bonelab Details:

Available On: Quest 2Oculus PC, Steam
Release Date: September 8th, 2022
Price: $30
Developer: Stress Level Zero
Reviewed On: Quest 2

Gameplay

Bonelab’s gameplay is functionally the same as its predecessor, with highly physics-driven gameplay that can be both magical and bothersome. This time around, however, the game more clearly communicates its sandbox intentions and offers up official modding […]

Best Venn Diagram Makers for Non-designers

By |October 4, 2022|

A venn diagram is a visual organizer composed of two or more overlapping circles. Venn Diagrams, named after their inventor John Venn, are especially used to contrast or compare a set of elements, ideas, concepts, items, etc with the purpose of drawing out similarities or differences. You can also use Venn diagrams to highlight important points or to outline and draw attention to the interrelatedness of elements.

As a teacher, you can use Venn diagrams to visually represent complex ideas and concepts and enhance students understanding. When creating presentations, Venn diagrams will also help you synthesize information into […]

Some Helpful Latin Phrases for Research Students

By |October 4, 2022|

Latin and Greek are the root of several modern languages. When Roman empire fell around the fifth century, its numerous tongues mutated into different languages, some of which are known as the Romance Languages (e.g., Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, among others). English, although is not counted among Romance languages, its vocabulary reflects a sizeable influence of the Latin. Several English words that are in common parlance right now are derivatives from Latin. 

While some of the Latin words that made it into English lost their original graphic and phonetic make-up, others retain their original format […]

Key Google Forms Tips and Tricks for Teachers

By |October 4, 2022|

Google Forms is one of the best free form creation tools out there. Over the years, Google Forms has introduced a wide variety of interesting features and functionalities making it a good alternative to several premium form creation tools currently available in the market.

A growing number of teachers are using it to create various types of forms including quizzes, questionnaires, surveys, and many more. If you haven’t already tried it or if you are still new to this platform,  the list below features key tips and tricks specifically highlighted for teacher. This work is based on guidelines […]

‘Walkabout Mini Golf’ Lets You Explore the Deep in New ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ Course

By |October 3, 2022|

Walkabout Mini Golf is probably one of the most fun multiplayer games available on Quest today, coming highly rated by users thanks to its immersive environments and intuitive mini-golfing gameplay. Now developer Mighty Coconut has released a new paid DLC, this time bringing to the game a course inspired by the classic Jules Verne novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

The studio says its latest course lets you putt through the chambers of Captain Nemo’s underwater vessel ‘Nautilus’ as you search for lost balls, go on a clever foxhunt, and navigate the course from bow to stern while avoiding […]

The DMCA Scam Returns in the Form of Nationwide Legal Services

By |October 3, 2022|

As you may recall, last spring I unravelled a scam in which someone pretending to be an attorney sent out phony DMCA takedown notices. That scam was centered around a website that pretended to be the law firm of Arthur Davidson Legal. Eventually, that website was suspended by its web hosting company. Well it appears that scam has popped-up again. This time in the form of a website that pretends to be the law firm of Nationwide Legal in Austin, Texas. 

Over the weekend I got an email from someone pretending […]

Using Focusable as a Progress Journal

By |October 3, 2022|

Disclosure: Focusable is an advertiser on my websites.

About a month ago I started using Focusable to help me focus on my work even when I really didn’t want to. That includes working on a particularly frustrating project that I have to get done. The project is rebuilding my Practical Ed Tech website from the ground up. That includes rebuilding and or editing some databases and doing a lot of quality assurance checks. The work is rather tedious, frustrating, and something I’d just pay someone else to do […]

Report: Sony Plans to Produce 2 Million PSVR 2 Headsets by March 2023

By |October 3, 2022|

Sony plans to release PSVR 2 sometime in early 2023, although exactly when is still a mystery. Now a Bloomberg report maintains the company is aiming to produce 2 million units by March 2023, which would signify a sizeable uptick in sales expectations over the original PSVR.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report maintains the 2 million figure “could be adjusted depending on the device’s sales momentum.” The company allegedly hasn’t faced any supply chain issues after initially heading into mass production in September, however.

Released in October 2016, the original PSVR for PS4 reached that two-million-unit sales […]

How Is Pre-K Utilizing Children’s EdTech?

By |October 3, 2022|

Image Source: Pexels

Pre-K often has the reputation of largely introducing children to socialization and collaboration through play. Yet, it can be a vital formative experience in children’s lives. Pre-K helps to prepare young kids to navigate the outside world and in their transition to more structured K-12 learning situations.

As such, many parents and teachers are looking toward resources that can help kids get the most from their pre-K schooling. The rise of the digital landscape has become instrumental in offering tools to meet and exceed these needs. However, it is not just the presence of technology that […]

Webinar This Week – Search Strategies Students Need to Know

By |October 3, 2022|

Many students will spend just a minute or two looking at search results before declaring, “Google has nothing on this.” If you have ever had a student say that to you, you know that they think of search as a function and not a process. In a webinar this Thursday I’ll teach you how to get students to approach search as a process and employ a variety of strategies to discover new information. 

During Search Strategies Students Need to Know on October 6th at 4pm ET you’ll learn the tools and […]

Physical Education With a Halloween Theme

By |October 3, 2022|

Justin Cahill runs a great blog called Keeping Kids in Motion. One of the regular features of his blog is a monthly thematic challenge. Those challenges are accompanied by printable calendars and handouts for teachers. The challenges for this month are Trick or Treat, Move Your Feet, The Pumpkin Dice Latte Challenge, and The Fitness Spooktacle.

Trick or Treat, Move Your Feet is a kids fitness challenge for the month of October (adults can do it too). There is a downloadable calendar of little workouts […]