Latest Industry Updates on Edtech and MetaTours

The True Costs of Owning a Car – A Lesson Plan for High School Students

By |December 1, 2022|

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 […]

How Airplanes Fly – And Other Good Resources for Learning About Flying

By |December 1, 2022|

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 […]

Computer Coding for Kids- 13 Great Guides

By |December 1, 2022|

Computer coding is becoming the 21st century literacy par excellence. More and more schools are teaching elementary kids computer science and programming. As the popular saying goes, learning coding is like learning a new language, both are better done early. 

When kids learn to code, they also pick up a number of other ‘incidental’ skills along the way. Besides learning the technicalities involved in the digital world, kids also get to develop a number of  key skills including: critical thinking,  problem solving, strategic thinking, logical reasoning,  creative thinking, design thinking, systems thinking, and the list goes on.

More […]

What is Book Creator? Tips & Tricks

By |December 1, 2022|

Book Creator is a free tool that allows users to create multimedia ebooks

November’s Most Popular Posts on Free Technology for Teachers

By |December 1, 2022|

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 […]

Free Christmas Card Templates and Presentation Slides

By |December 1, 2022|

Christmas brings so many memories and delightful experiences. It is the time of year when everybody winds down and enjoys time with their family and loved ones. For us in education, Christmas is also a time for creating engaging and fun learning experiences for our kids and students. 


Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a Christmas resource page where I want to include various educational activities, apps, and websites that teachers and parents can use to celebrate the holiday season. From secret Santa generators and Santa tracking […]

Indie VR Hit ‘Gorilla Tag’ is the Most-rated Quest Game Ever, and Only Just Coming to the Main Store

By |December 1, 2022|

Indie VR hit Gorilla Tag has been staggeringly popular despite only being available thus far on Quest’s App Lab. Now set for release on the main Quest store on December 15th, it will launch as the most-rated game on the entire store, even surpassing Beat Saber, one of VR’s best known apps.

App Lab is Meta’s ‘unlisted’ app store for Quest, which allows developers a way onto the platform but precludes them from being promoted or easily found through the main Quest store that most customers see.

Still, we’ve seen apps find success on App Lab, and none more so than Gorilla […]

How School Social Media Accounts Put Student Privacy at Risk

By |November 30, 2022|

New student privacy research shows that school social media accounts have posted millions of photos of students and other identifiable information, which might be dangerous

Free Webinar Next Wednesday – Best of the Web 2022

By |November 30, 2022|

 

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.

How to Make Custom QR Codes With Adobe Express

By |November 30, 2022|

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 […]

The 20 Best Christmas Movies of All Time

By |November 30, 2022|

Celebrate the holiday spirit with these amazing Christmas movies. For the boomers among you some of these movies,especially the classic Christmas movies, will definitely arouse old memories and stir up feelings of nostalgia to an era where there were no mobile phone, Internet or social media, and where everybody would gather around the single TV set at home to watch Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, or A Christmas Carol. Yes, those were old good times.

This post is motivated by a personal communication with a fellow educator in which we talked about our favorite Christmas movies. Out of […]

Indie VR Gem ‘COMPOUND’ Set to Release on Quest 2 Next Week

By |November 30, 2022|

First released in early access on Steam in 2018, VR roguelite COMPOUND hit its 1.0 release on PC VR earlier this year and is now set to launch on Quest 2 for the first time next week on December 8th.

Compound is a VR roguelite with a unique pixel-art style and an arsenal of fun weaponry with which to experiment. And though little-known, it’s something of a cult hit as the 6th best-rated VR game according to Steam (with an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ 97% rating) and the 9th best-rated according to Steam250 (which uses its own algorithm to determine rankings).

Created by one-man indie developer Bevan “NotDead” […]

Razer Launches Free Haptic Authoring Tool for Quest, PS5, & More

By |November 30, 2022|

Razer, the popular peripheral company, today announced the free release of the Interhaptics haptic authoring tool which is designed to make it faster and easier for developers to create compelling haptic effects for multiple haptic devices.

Razer acquired haptic software tool company Interhaptics earlier this year. Having gotten its start building VR haptic peripherals under the name Go Touch VR, it’s no surprise that the Interhaptics tool is compatible with Meta’s Quest headset controllers, in addition to PS5 and non-VR game platforms like Android and iOS.

Now free for developers to use, the Haptic Composer tool from Interhaptics […]

How to Create Custom QR Codes in Canva

By |November 30, 2022|

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 […]

One More Day

By |November 30, 2022|

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 […]

Mapme- Customizable Interactive Maps for Students

By |November 30, 2022|

Mapme is a simple yet powerful tool students can use to create beautiful interactive maps that can be embedded on any website or blog. Students can customize their maps the way they want. For instance, they can add multimedia materials such as PDFs, 3D tours, photos, and videos. They can also use the ‘categories’ feature to organize their maps making it easy for others to filter maps and find locations.  For more interactive map options check out The 6 Best Tools for Creating Interactive Maps.


Credit:mapme.com

Mapme also offers a […]

A Mean PhET Simulation

By |November 29, 2022|

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 […]

Best Ereaders for Students and Teachers

By |November 29, 2022|

The best ereaders for help you do paper-free while getting access to a wealth of digital content.

‘Super Smash Bros’ Creator Masahiro Sakurai Says VR is “Truly the perfect fit” for Some Games

By |November 29, 2022|

In his video series introducing aspiring developers to the basics of game development, Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai recommends viewers give VR a try to understand what it does uniquely well.

Masahiro Sakurai has had an illustrious career in game development. Though best known as the creator and director of the Super Smash Bros series, the first game in the series was actually his fourth game. He first got his start back in 1992 with another franchise you’ve probably heard of… Kirby.

With 30 years of experience under his belt, Sakurai recently started up his own YouTube channel to share his game design […]

Threadit is Closing – A Few Alternatives to Try

By |November 29, 2022|

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 […]

15 Years of Free Technology for Teachers – Some Thoughts

By |November 29, 2022|

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 […]

How EdTech Can Encourage Healthy and Professional Social Media Use in Teens

By |November 29, 2022|

Image Source: Pexels

Today’s teens have never known a world without social media. It’s an established – and growing – part of everyday life, from the professional to the personal. While teens are pretty savvy regarding social media use, it can be a slippery slope if they aren’t educated on how to use it correctly and safely.

It’s up to educators and parents to properly educate today’s teenagers on healthy, productive, and professional social media habits. If teens aren’t well-versed in using certain platforms properly, they could fall victim to cyberbullying and identity theft, or even run into problems later in life […]

In Memory of Ed Webster – Resources for Teaching and Learning About Mount Everest

By |November 29, 2022|

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. […]