Pictures, Wolves, and Code – The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where the sun is rising on what promises to be a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms that read my blog, especially my mom! We’re doing some gardening this weekend. I hope that you have something fun planned for your weekend as well. 

This was another busy week as I tried to keep some balance between my full-time teaching job, keeping this blog going, hosting a webinar, and training for the Unbound Gravel 200 in early June. When summer finally gets here it will feel like a vacation to just have to worry about hosting the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. I hope you’ll join me then. 

These were the week’s most popular posts:
1. Ten Good Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures
2. My Ten Favorite “Hidden” Office 365 Features
3. Ten Google Workspaces Features for Teachers You Might Be Overlooking
4. Five Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp FAQs
5. Blackbird Code – Overview and First Impressions from My Students
6. Wolves in My Yard and Penguins in My House! – Fun With Augmented Reality in Search
7. 7 Interesting Features You Can Add to Google Sites

On-demand Professional Development

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 35,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. 
  • I’ve been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fourteen years. 
  • The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. 
  • And if you’re curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

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ICYMI – Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff – Episode 36

Every other week my pal Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning and I get together to host the plainly-titled Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff webinar. Earlier this week we hosted the 36th episode in the series. If you missed it, the recording is now available to view here or as embedded below. The slides and links to all of the resources that we shared during the webinar are available right here on the Next Vista webinars page

The next episode in the series will be held on May 20th. You can register for it for free right here. If you have a question that you want us to answer, please send me and email or submit it through the Next Vista for Learning contact page. We’ll do our best to give thoughtful, practical, and concise answers.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

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Google Arts & Culture + Apple Classroom

Google is ending support for Google Expeditions on June 30th. A few weeks ago I shared a short list of alternatives to Google Expeditions. In that blog post I mentioned that one of features of Expeditions that I’ll miss most is the ability to remotely guide or pace students through a virtual reality experience. 

I still haven’t found something that works in the exact same way as the guide mode in Google Expeditions. That said, teachers who have iPads in their classrooms can guide students through scenes in the Google Arts & Culture app through the use of Apple’s Classroom app

Applications for Education
The downside to using Google Arts & Culture on an iPad instead of on a phone is that the VR experience isn’t immersive like it is if you’re using a VR viewer. The upside is that as a teacher you can provide more assistance to young students as they use the app.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

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Knowt Now Offers Public Galleries of Notes, Flashcards, and Quizzes

Knowt is a neat service that I’ve featured a few times over the last couple of years. It’s a service that will automatically generate flashcards and quizzes from any document that you import into it. The latest update to Knowt provides registered teachers and students with a public gallery of notes, quizzes, and flashcards. 

Now when you sign into a free Knowt account you have the option to browse for notes, flashcards, and quizzes according to subject area. There is also a gallery of notes, quizzes, and flashcards based on popular textbooks. All of the notes, quizzes, and flashcards found through the public galleries in Knowt can be copied directly into your account where you can modify them as you like. 

Here’s Knowt’s promo video for their new galleries of notes, quizzes, and flashcards. And here’s my overview of how to use Knowt to create your own notes, quizzes, and flashcards by importing a document into your account. 

Applications for Education
The new Knowt galleries of notes, flashcards, and practice quizzes are appearing at a good time for students who are preparing for final exams. Teachers who have Knowt accounts can go through the galleries and pick collections of notes and flashcards to share with their students.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. 

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The Question I’m Asked the Most

I get lots of questions sent to me every week. There is one that I get asked more frequently than any other. That is, “what are you using to make your videos.” Usually, people ask that because they want to know how I’m highlighting my mouse pointer in my videos or how I’m creating the moving oval cut-out of my webcam.  

Screencast-o-matic is the tool that I use to create nearly all of the videos that appear on my YouTube channelScreencast-o-matic is available in a browser-based version and in a desktop “deluxe” version. I use the desktop version unless I’m using my Chromebook. 

The deluxe version of Screencast-o-matic is the paid version that costs $1.65/month. With that version comes the option to crop and resize the webcam view that you can overlay on your screencast. One of those cropping options is to use an oval. That’s what I do. Screencast-o-matic also provides the option to have a highlighted circle follow your mouse pointer on your screen. When I’m making longer videos I’ll also utilize the clip merging tools, transition tools, and text overlay tools that are available in Screencast-o-matic.

Overviews of Screencast-o-matic
Last year March I published a complete video overview of Screencast-o-matic. You can see that video here.

A Comparison of Other Screencasting Tools
Last fall I created a chart and wrote a detailed comparison of free screencasting tools. In my ranking of free options, Screencastify came out on top. That chart and ranking can be seen here.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. 

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CodePen – See How Web Apps Come Together

CodePen is a code editing environment in which students can see how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript work together to form web applications. As you can see in the screenshot that I’ve included below, the screen is divided into four parts. There’s a column for HTML, a column for CSS, and a column for JavaScript. Below that there is a preview panel that displays what the application looks like and how it functions. 

The best aspect of CodePen is that it is a real-time editor. That means you can change any aspect of the HTML, CSS, or JS and immediately see the effects of those changes in the preview panel. This is a great way to see what happens when a variable is changed in an application. If the change didn’t work as anticipated, a quick “CTRL+Z” on your keyboard reverts it back to the previous state. The same is true when you edit an aspect of the HTML or CSS. 

You can register for a free CodePen account using an email address, a GitHub account, Twitter account, or a Facebook account. (I signed up using my school-issued Gmail address and my students did the same). The first time that you sign into your CodePen account you’ll be taken through a very short tutorial that leads into making your first project. The first project is a simple “Hello World” project that has some basic HTML, CSS, and JS elements that you can quickly edit. 
CodePen does have a gallery of publicly shared projects that you can copy and modify. In fact, the screen image above is of a project that I found and shared with my students so that they could get some fun practice with CodePen. You can access the same project right here

Applications for Education
My Computer Science Principles class is now at the point that they’re ready to break out of scripted activities or projects and work on making functioning applications of their own. During the year they’ve had experience writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (most recently they ripped through the lessons in Blackbird Code). So this morning I had them jump into CodePen, specifically this LOLCat Clock, to experiment and see what they could modify and make. Without exception all of my students liked using CodePen and one was even effusive in praising how quick it was to see changes implemented. 
Next week my students will spend some more time using CodePen to tinker with existing projects before I send them off to brainstorm and develop web apps of their own.
CodePen Free and Paid Plans

CodePen offers free and paid plans. My students and I have only used the free plan so far. The paid plan offers additional features that could be helpful to me in the future. Those features include Professor Mode and Collab Mode. Professor Mode would let me remotely watch my students’ progress in real-time. Collab Mode would let me and my students collaborate on projects in real-time much like working in Google Docs. You can read more about CodePen’s paid plans for educators right here

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that regularly steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. 

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If Your Brain Feels Foggy And You’re Tired All The Time, You’re Not Alone

In recent weeks, Dr. Kali Cyrus has struggled with periods of exhaustion.

“I am taking a nap in between patients,” says Cyrus, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University. “I’m going to bed earlier. It’s hard to even just get out of bed. I don’t feel like being active again.”

Exhaustion is also one of the top complaints she hears from her patients these days. They say things like, “It’s just so hard to get out of bed” or “I’ve been misplacing things more often,” she says.

Some patients tell Cyrus they’ve been making mistakes at work. Some tell her they can “barely turn on the TV. ‘All I want to do is stare at the ceiling.’ ” Others say they are more irritable.

Mental health care providers around the U.S. are hearing similar complaints. And many providers, like Cyrus, are feeling it themselves.

This kind of mental fog is real and can have a few different causes. But at the root of it are the stress and trauma of the past year, say Cyrus and other mental health experts. It’s a normal reaction to a very abnormal year.

And while many people will likely continue to struggle with mental health symptoms in the long run, research on past mass traumas suggests that most people will recover once the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“We know that the majority of people tend to be resilient,” says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist with the American Psychological Association. “They may have struggled during the time of the challenges but generally come out OK on the other end.”

In the meantime, Bufka and other experts say that there are things we can do now to fight the mental fog and exhaustion.

How stress and sleep are linked

“Exhaustion can be a symptom of many things,” says Cyrus.

For one, it can be a symptom of stress.

“We know from other research that people will talk about fatigue as something that they experience when they’re feeling overstressed,” says Bufka.

A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that 3 in 4 Americans said that the pandemic is a significant source of stress.

Millions of people have lost loved ones, have become ill themselves and/or have lost income as a result of the pandemic. The threat of COVID-19 alone has been stressful for most people, as has all of the upheaval that the pandemic has brought, says Bufka.

Stress “keeps our mind vigilant and our nervous system vigilant, and that uses more energy,” says Elissa Epel, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco. That’s one reason that prolonged stress can leave us feeling drained.

Another way that chronic stress makes us feel exhausted is by interfering with sleep, says Bufka. “When we’re feeling stressed, our sleep can get disrupted, which naturally leads to feelings of tiredness and exhaustion,” she says.

“We really rely on sleep to recover each day,” explains Epel. “And so for many of us, even though we might think we’re sleeping the same number of hours, it’s not the same quality. It doesn’t have the same restorative ability, because we’re getting less deep sleep, and we think that is tied to this chronic, subtle uncertainty, stress.”

Chronic stress also triggers low-grade inflammation, she adds.

“We have this inflammatory response when we’re feeling severe states of stress that can last. It’s subtle, it’s low grade and it can absolutely cause fatigue and a worse mood.”

A year of anxiety, grief and trauma

The fatigue and fog so many are feeling now also could be symptoms of other mental health issues that flared over the last year, says Dr. Jessica Gold, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis. “After this long, most people have had some degree of anxiety, depression, trauma, something,” she says.

As studies have shown, rates of anxiety and depression in the population have gone up during the course of the pandemic.

Long-term anxiety can also exhaust the body, says Gold.

“We evolved as creatures, people that run from predators in the animal kingdom, right? To have anxiety as a way to predict and run from threat,” she says.

When we’re anxious, our hearts race and our muscles tense up as we prepare to fight a predator or run from it. But “you can only run a 100-yard dash for a short amount of time. Not a year, and not a year where they keep moving the finish line,” says Gold. “We can’t do that. Eventually our muscles and our body say, ‘No, I’m tired.’ ”

The rise in symptoms of anxiety and depression, which include exhaustion, is a predictable response to the trauma of the pandemic, says Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the School of Public Health at Boston University.

“The definition of a trauma is an event that threatens people’s sense of safety and stability,” which this pandemic is, he adds.

Nearly all of us are grieving the loss of life as we knew it, says Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. “We’re just in a completely different world right now,” she says. “A lot of things are not going to go back to the way they were. And so that causes grief and is a normal reaction to a big change.”

However, the trauma is much bigger for individuals directly affected by the pandemic, says Galea — for instance, those who’ve lost loved ones or who had COVID-19, lost a job or housing, or struggled with child care.

Some people have been hit so hard — and are so worn down — that “they are having trouble coming back from this,” says Cyrus, the Johns Hopkins psychiatrist, whose patients are mostly people of color and/or queer. Black and Latino communities in particular have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and its fallout.

And people in these communities will likely struggle with more mental and physical health issues in the long run, notes Galea, and need access to mental health care and greater support to recover.

Steps to take now

For many people, the relaxing social activities that can help buffer against stress and anxiety — like seeing friends or going out to dinner — are not yet reality, due to uneven vaccination rates. So what can we do now to help recharge?

Payne, of Johns Hopkins’ Women’s Mood Disorders Center, encourages people to keep in mind all of the usual things that help during stressful times: exercise, a healthy diet, going outdoors and limiting news consumption. And engage in relaxing activities often, like a hobby you love, listening to or watching something funny, or reading books you enjoy.

If these diversions aren’t working for you now, she recommends trying a change of scenery if you can.

For Payne, who lives in Baltimore, that meant staying at her parents’ home in West Virginia for three nights.

“It was not a very exciting trip, but we got away and it was a completely different environment. And I didn’t have any projects around the house that I could do other than reading or listening to a podcast, sleeping, eating,” Payne says. “And that was really, really renewing for me.”

However, Cyrus, who is also at Johns Hopkins, says some of her patients say their normal coping strategies aren’t working.

That’s because we are running on an emptier gas tank than usual, she says. “Your coping strategies that might be able to refill you a certain percent, [but now] you’re starting lower. So it’s not quite getting you where you need to be.”

If that’s the case for you, try changing up your routine, Payne says. “If you’re walking every day and that’s no longer helping, you try biking.”

Self-care is important, notes Gold of Washington University. “Take the vacation time you need,” she recommends. “Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself in the short and long term.”

And, she adds, “there’s no wrong time to go talk to someone.” If you can’t get an appointment with a therapist, talk to a friend or co-worker, she suggests.

“I think that because so many people are struggling with this and because it is so normal, everybody has something to say,” says Gold. “If we could just get to the point where we could be talking about the stuff more openly, we’d feel a lot less alone.”

Feeling more connected can help ease some of our stress and related exhaustion.

Also, Payne encourages trying to find things to be grateful for. Research shows that gratitude journaling lifts your mood and is good for your mental health.

“We can always find things to be grateful for,” says Payne. “It’s springtime and the days are starting to be beautiful and the trees are blossoming, and really thinking about that and admiring the trees, for example, can make you feel really grateful.”

Acceptance and self-compassion will also help, notes Gold. “We have to be able to give ourselves a little bit of grace,” she says. In other words, accept that you might not work as efficiently or get as much done right now.

For most of us, the brain fog will likely fade away when we are able to resume some normalcy in our lives, say Gold and others.

“Most people are resilient to traumatic events, and we should always keep that in mind,” says Galea of Boston University. “Most people bounce back fairly quickly once the trauma resolves.”

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Strange Borders – A Geography Lesson

Yesterday afternoon I read an interesting article titled Belgian Farmer Accidentally Moves French Border. The whole story is almost exactly what the title says. A farmer moved a stone that was in his way when plowing a field. It just happened that the stone he moved is a marker for the border between two small towns in Belgium and France. The border itself is not in dispute and the border is a relatively normal one between two friendly neighbors. Still, reading the story reminded me of a couple of videos that I’ve bookmarked about irregular country borders. 

Countries Inside Countries (Bizarre Borders, Part 1) was produced by CGP Grey seven years ago to illustrate where some of the landlocked countries of the world are and how they became landlocked. The video also highlights countries that have only one neighbor. 

Canada & The United States (Bizarre Borders, Part 2) explains why border between the United States and Canada might look like a long straight line in many places, but is not a straight line. The video also delves into some border quirks and disputes. The Google Earth file used in video is available to download here on CGP Grey’s website.

Tom Scott has also produced a couple of interesting videos about interesting borders between countries. In The Most Complex Borders in Europe: Why Do We Have Nations? he explains the complicated border between Baarle-Nassau in the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in Belgium. 

In The US-Canada Border Splits This Road Down the Middle he visits the border between Stanstead, Quebec, Canada and Derby Line, Vermont, United States where the border really does split a road or, depending upon who you ask, the road splits the border. In the video he explains what you can and can’t do on the road as well as how border enforcement has increased in the last couple of decades. (Speaking as someone who has lived relatively close to the US-Canada border for all of my adult life and has crossed the border countless times, border crossings today are much more regulated today than they were the first time I crossed in the late 90’s).

Applications for Education
The article I mentioned above along with the videos could make for a good starting place to introduce lessons on international boundaries, border enforcement, and negotiations between countries. I’d probably put the videos about US-Canada borders into EDpuzzle to add comprehension questions to the videos for my students to answer while they watch the videos. Here’s an overview of how to use EDpuzzle.

Google Earth offers lots of great tools that students can use to explore quirky borders and neat features of geography. My self-paced Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps shows you how to use those tools and more.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured image taken by Richard Byrne. 

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Wolves in My Yard and Penguins in My House! – Fun With Augmented Reality in Search

Thanks to where I live and the amount of time that I’ve spent hiking, camping, fly fishing I have slightly more experience seeing wildlife like bears and moose than the average person. Almost every night at dinner my three-year-old asks me to tell a story about seeing a bear, a moose, or other animal. But last week when she asked for a story about a wolf, I didn’t have one because I’ve never had an encounter with one in the wild. So I did a quick Google search on my phone to show her pictures of wolves. That’s when I was reminded of Google’s augmented reality in search experiences

When you conduct a Google search on your Android or iPhone/ iPad Google will suggest objects to “view in 3D.” Of course, your search has to be for something that Google offers as a 3D augmented reality object. The complete list of objects can be seen here in Google’s Search Help Pages

Some of the animals in Google’s 3D Augmented Reality Objects in Search:

  • Timberwolves
  • Tigers
  • Pandas
  • Alligators
  • Great White Sharks
  • Penguins
  • Golden Retrievers
Animals aren’t the only things available to view in augmented reality via mobile Google search. You can also view representations of chemistry, physics, and biology concepts. There is also a small selection of cultural objects and sites available to view as 3D augmented reality objects. Again, that complete can be found here. Some highlights from the list include:
  • Red blood cells
  • Metallic bonding
  • Plasma membranes
  • Human digestive system
  • Apollo 11 command module
Applications for Education
One of the neat things that you can do with the 3D objects is view them in augmented reality while recording a video about those objects. To do that you open the object on your phone or tablet then tap “view in your space.” Then you’ll be prompted to point your camera at a flat space. Once you’ve done that the 3D object appears in your camera view. I did this to put a wolf in my front yard (see the video here). I recorded the video by simply holding the camera shutter button while viewing the object. 
Your video of the 3D object in augmented reality can include sound. Simply start talking while recording. Doing that could be a good way to record a short video lesson for your students. Likewise, it could be a good way to have students record short videos about animals or concepts they’re learning about in your classroom. 

Learn more about augmented reality and its place in the classroom during the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer CampRegister today!
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured screenshot created by Richard Byrne. 

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Ten Good Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures

This is an update to a blog post that I published six years ago on this topic. Some of the tools in the original post are either no longer available or have implemented a subscription-based business model. 

Composing a story from scratch comes naturally to some people. For the rest of us, it can be a struggle. Over the years I’ve found that using pictures helps a lot of students get started on crafting stories. In some cases I’ve had students create collages to represent elements of a story. In other cases I’ve had them choose five pictures and write two hundred words about each. Being asked to write two hundred words about five pictures feels a lot less daunting than being asked to write one thousand words in one shot.

Here are some of my favorite tools for students to use to create image-based stories.

Create Collages to Tell Stories
Canva is a great service for creating infographics, slides, and photo collages. On Canva you can create infographics, slides, and photo collages in much the selecting a template then dragging and dropping into place background designs, pictures, clip art, and text boxes. Canva offers a huge library of clip art and photographs to use in your designs (some of the clip art is free, some is not). You can also import your own images to use in your graphics. Your completed Canva projects can be saved as PDF and PNG files. Canva offers a free iPad and Android apps that work in much the same way as the web version of the service. Check out Canva’s education page for more ideas about using it in your classroom. And learn lots more about Canva through this collection of tutorial videos

Google Drawings, Google Jamboard, and Google Slides can both be used to create simple collages. Into each service you can import images from your desktop or your Google Drive account. You can drag and drop images into any placement that you like. The tools include options for cropping images and adding borders. Word art is available to use in each service too. When you’re ready to use your collages outside of the Google Workspaces environment, you can download them as image files. Here’s a tutorial on using Google Drawings to create collages that can be shared via Google Classroom.

Once your students have finished their collages they can enhance them by using ThingLink to add an interactive element to their collages. A video tutorial for that process can be seen here. Here’s a video on how to use Google Drawings as an alternative to Thinglink. 

Thread Images Into Stories
Adobe Spark offers a great suite of digital creation tools for students to use. One of those tools is Adobe Spark Page. Adobe Spark Page can be used in your web browser or you can use it as an iPad app. With Adobe Spark Pages your students can create web pages that contain images, text, and videos. Those pages can then be published as stand-alone sites or they can be embedded into blog posts or other existing webpages. A tutorial on using the Pages element of Adobe Spark can be seen here

Create Talking Pictures
ChatterPix Kids is one of my favorite digital storytelling apps for elementary school students to use. The free app is available in an iPad form and in an Android form. To use the app students simply open it on their iPads or Android devices and then take a picture. Once they’ve taken a picture students draw a mouth on their pictures. With the mouth in place students then record themselves talking for up to thirty seconds. The recording is then added to the picture and saved as a video on the students’ iPads or Android devices. Tutorials on how to use both versions of the app can be seen here.

Create Picture Books
Book Creator is a popular service for creating multimedia ebooks. Book Creator can be used in your web browser or as an iPad app. The web browser-based version of Book Creator can be used for free while the iPad app costs $4.99 (less with volume purchasing). By using Book Creator students can create ebooks that include their own pictures and drawings. Students can use Book Creator’s built-in voice recorder to add their voices to their picture books. A complete tutorial on how to use Book Creator can be seen here on my YouTube channel.  

WriteReader is a good tool for elementary school students to use to create image-based stories. WriteReader has two distinguishing features that I always point out to new users. First, it provides space for teachers to give feedback to students directly under every word that they write. Second, WriteReader has a huge library of images, including some from popular programs like Sesame Street, that can be used for writing prompts. WriteReader does have a Google Classroom integration that makes it easy to get your students started creating picture-based stories. A series of WriteReader tutorials is available here

Picture Book Maker allows students to create six page stories by dragging background scenes into a page, dragging in animals and props, and typing text. All of the elements can be sized and positioned to fit the pages. Text is limited to roughly two lines per page. Completed stories are displayed with simple page turning effects. Stories created on Picture Book Maker can be printed and or saved as PDFs.

Create a Comic Book
Make Beliefs Comix is a creative writing platform that I have recommended for years. The core of Make Beliefs Comix is a free set of tools that students can use to create their own comics in multiple languages. Students don’t have to be good at drawing in order to make comics because Make Beliefs Comix offers tons of free artwork that they can use in their stories. Here’s a video overview of how to use Make Beliefs Comix.

In addition to the comic strip creation tools, Make Beliefs Comix hosts free ebooks that you can use online or download for free. All of the ebooks are full of inspiring drawings and are designed as fillable PDFs that your students can write in.

Picture Yourself in Front of Any Landmark
Remove.bg and PhotoScissors are tools for removing the background from any image that you own. For example, if I have a picture of myself in front of my house, I can use either Remove.bg or PhotoScissors to quickly remove the background and just leave the image of me in front of a white background. Once the background is removed I can take the image of myself and layer it over a new background image by using tools as simple as Google Slides and PowerPoint. That process is outlined in this video. The process of removing image backgrounds can also be accomplished in PowerPoint by following the steps outlined in this video.

Some of these tools and many more ideas like those featured in this blog post will be covered in depth during the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. Register today!
This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne’s) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured graphic created by Richard Byrne. 

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