How to Track Updates to Students’ Google Sites

Google Sites can be a great platform for students to use to maintain digital portfolios. In fact, I did that last year with my computer science principles students. The challenge for a teacher when students use Google Sites for portfolios is keeping track of updates to those portfolios. 

The method that I came up with to keep track of updates that students made to their Google Sites was to create a weekly update assignment in Google Classroom. Then every week students added a new page to their sites. They then had to respond to the assignment with a link to the new pages they made in their Google Sites. 

In this short video I demonstrate how to keep track of updates to students’ Google Sites by using Google Classroom assignments. The video shows a teacher’s perspective and it shows a student’s perspective of this method. 

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere it has been used without permission. 

How to Track Updates to Students’ Google Sites published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

Short Lessons on the Science of Fireworks

Independence Day here in the United States is ten days away. Nothing says, “Happy Fourth of July” like a fireworks display. Watching Fourth of July fireworks displays is a quintessential part of the American experience in the summer. This year my daughters are just about old enough to stay up late enough to watch the fireworks with me, we’re at least going to try.

If your kids are old enough to watch a fireworks display, they might have questions about how fireworks work. I know that my oldest daughter will definitely be curious about how they work. To refresh my memory I’m rewatching the following videos from NPR’s SkunkBear, National Geographic, and Reactions to learn about the science of fireworks.


Short Lessons on the Science of Fireworks published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

Four Summer Science Lessons

Summer is here in the northern hemisphere. It’s a great time to go outside and soak up some sunshine. A little vitamin D is good for everybody. This is also a time when many schools run summer enrichment programs that provide kids with some learning activities that might not otherwise happen during the school year. For example, taking kids outside for science lessons. To that end, SciShow Kids has four suggestions for outdoor science lessons. In Fun Summer Science adults and children can learn about the science of bubbles, kites, ice cream, and solar energy. Each segment includes an explanation of the science and brief suggestions and directions for a hands-on activity.

Earlier this year SciShow Kids released a video about building a solar oven. As you might expect, the video explains the science of using solar energy and explains the basics of how to build a solar oven. However, the video isn’t quite detailed enough to be the only source that you or your students consult when building a solar oven. Fortunately, NASA, the US Department of Energy, and the Lawrence Hall of Science all offer detailed directions. 

NASA provides two sets of detailed, written directions for building solar ovens. This set of directions (link opens a PDF) was created for students in 7th through 9th grade. This set of directions (link opens a PDF) for building a solar oven was written for 6th through 8th grade students and culminates with students attempting to make s’mores with their ovens. 
Cooking With ‘Sol (link opens a PDF) was published by the US Department of Energy. It was written for students in 5th through 8th grade to follow directions to create a solar oven. 
DIY Sun Science is a free iPad app from The Lawrence Hall of Science. The app features directions for hands-on lessons about the sun. The lessons are a mix of activities that students can do on their own and activities that they should do with adult supervision. All of the activities use common household goods. Some of the activities that you will find in DIY Sun Science are measuring the sun, making UV detectors, detecting solar storms, and cooking with a solar oven.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Feature image captured by Richard Byrne. 

Four Summer Science Lessons published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices

“The water we’re swimming in” or “The smoggy air we’re breathing” are two well-known metaphors for talking about racism. They describe how racism is both everywhere and constant, which means it’s also present in classrooms, even when teachers have the best of intentions. 

This year’s Dismantling White Supremacy Culture in Schools (DWSC) Conference focused on how teachers can work towards antiracist practices to bring about policy changes and create positive outcomes for students.

“How do we create more anti-racist schools? That’s the question we’ve been looking at,” said educator and conference founder Joe Truss. “The conference spotlights a whole lot of people’s work that have been iterating and innovating in their own sphere.”

Truss has a legacy of supporting teachers and school leaders in challenging white supremacy culture in their schools through workshops, monthly check-ins and large gatherings. This year marks the first formal DWSC Conference with keynote speakers Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Dr. Gholdy Muhammad.

Joe Truss

“Joe’s conference really helped us center that schools can be liberatory spaces, but it definitely has been historically a space that has been violent towards kids,” said Nguyen Huynh, a teacher at DeJean Middle School in California. At the conference, educators are able to reflect, connect with one another and develop plans for better serving the needs of their students. 

Grading Quality Over Quantity

After reading Tema Okun’s characteristics of white supremacy, one of the recommended pre-readings for the conference, Huynh re-examined his grading. This past year, he stopped grading regular assignments because he felt students were doing the assignments in order to get a good grade, not deepen their understanding. He gave them the space to practice self-reviewing skills and gave them all the answers with the assignments. “It helps them build their own skills of checking themselves and also self-reviewing,” he said. 

He also prioritized developing students’ mastery of content and skills. He took the pressure off students of having just one shot at demonstrating what they learned in tests and used a variety of assessments instead. For example, if he assigned a quiz, students were able to have unlimited retakes. For one assessment, he had students draw from their personal experience and use their advocacy skills to write a letter to the district superintendent about whether they wanted the school building to open or stay closed. 

Many students preferred having the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery with the letter and show authentic learning. Huynh has received positive feedback about scaling back on grading assignments on the quarterly surveys he gives students. “My kids are saying, ‘I enjoy learning in this class’ or saying that it’s much less stressful now that I don’t grade everything.”

Huynh has faced a few issues getting parents on board with nontraditional assessment. While alternative ways to measure student learning are increasing in popularity, they are not widespread, so it’s hard to get buy-in. There was pushback about the emphasis on reflection and whether students were continuing to build important skills. “I think it definitely highlighted what we need to do next year about how to communicate these new things with grading, especially because it’s normally not what people are used to.”

Part of a letter written by one of Huynh’s students (Nguyen Huynh)

Students Seeing Themselves in STEM

Calvin Nellum is a physics and math teacher at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit. His work with Joe Truss focused his attention on how STEM education can be more antiracist by bringing in math tools from Black, Indigenous and POC cultures. “Allowing scholars to see themselves in science, that was my task,” said Nellum of bringing culturally responsive lesson plans into his predominantly Black classroom. “Just teaching scholars that science is them. It’s more than just using it to make things. It’s in you. It’s in your culture.”

Using a site called Culturally Situated Design Tools, Nellum shifted his curriculum to include coding the curves of Adinkra symbols created by the Ashanti people of Ghana using Scratch programs and calculating the arcs found in Anishinaabe Native American architecture. Students were able to examine visuals from these cultures and use math as a way to explore intricate designs. “These patterns and symbols and circles – all of these things that they use to represent nature, represent honor – represent where they come from. They have embedded mathematics in them.”  

He’s seen growth in his students’ confidence in STEM subjects and he presented the success of his lessons at the DWSC conference during the Anti-Racist Teachers and Leaders Symposium. “We got a lot of growth and I wanted to share the results,” said Nellum. “There are culturally responsive lesson plans for science and math teachers.”

Community-centered Classwork for Deeper Learning

Beth Vallarino, a humanities teacher at Tahoe Expedition Academy in Truckee, California, has been involved in Truss’s monthly check-ins for educators trying to become more justice-oriented in their teaching practice. She gravitated towards his educator-centered rubrics on anti-racist teachings. “Rubrics allow us to have a shared understanding and shared language about what quality or proficiency or success looks like,” said Truss. 

Using the rubric to reflect on her teaching practice has helped her identify priorities and gaps in the assignments and projects that she assigns students. Additionally, the rubrics provide questions that guide teachers to develop classwork that explores historical and current events in their community. She said rubric questions like “Was there a recent event that was either controversial or celebratory?” and “What’s the official history of your area?” are instrumental in helping students learn more about significant local history. 

“Kids were able to find out a lot about Truckee that’s not necessarily on a plaque,” she said. Using the rubrics as a guide, Vallarino’s class examined Squaw Valley Ski Resort’s decision to change their name because it contains an offensive slur against Native Americans. Students discussed the historical context that might have contributed to the naming and why the name should or shouldn’t be changed. “It’s interesting to present information in varied ways about what’s going on in our community and have them come up with their own ideas and opinions about what’s going on.”

In a conference presentation, Vallarino shared how her students have been identifying and speaking with experts, college students and organizations implementing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work – also known as “JEDI” work. Students presented what they learned to their school administration alongside recommendations for how their school can be improved. 

Vallarino plans to identify ways that antiracist teaching can extend even further beyond classroom walls. “I want to be more involved in developing opportunities for parents and families because it can be really challenging if your kids are learning something that you personally don’t know about or aren’t aware of,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned is that it’s really critical for schools to provide opportunities to educate communities.” She’s exploring ways to develop a shared vocabulary about antiracism and its role in improving humanity with students, caregivers and communities to build deeper understanding and energy around social justice work. 

Building Capacity and Sharing the Work

While Vallarino is hoping to build more collective capacity in her community, Huynh is hoping to build capacity to take on more antiracism work within his school’s staff. After attending Truss’s workshops last year, he brought five colleagues to the conference. “A lot of the work has to involve getting enough people on your side and moving forward together. And so for me, I made the decision to try to get many staff members to go just so there’s more sustainability,” he said. “We just need to keep building capacity because I think it’s really hard on our staff of color and myself.” Sharing the work helps reduce burnout among POC educators and gives co-conspirators an opportunity to help.

Truss agrees that one of the merits of the conference is getting everyone together to immerse themselves in a topic. He’s hoping that people not only learn from the sessions, but also are able to learn from the model of how the conference handles conversations about challenging and disrupting the status quo. 

“Seeing what quality professional learning looks like allows them to go back and lead it,” said Truss.

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices

“The water we’re swimming in” or “The smoggy air we’re breathing” are two well-known metaphors for talking about racism. They describe how racism is both everywhere and constant, which means it’s also present in classrooms, even when teachers have the best of intentions. 

This year’s Dismantling White Supremacy Culture in Schools (DWSC) Conference focused on how teachers can work towards antiracist practices to bring about policy changes and create positive outcomes for students.

“How do we create more anti-racist schools? That’s the question we’ve been looking at,” said educator and conference founder Joe Truss. “The conference spotlights a whole lot of people’s work that have been iterating and innovating in their own sphere.”

Truss has a legacy of supporting teachers and school leaders in challenging white supremacy culture in their schools through workshops, monthly check-ins and large gatherings. This year marks the first formal DWSC Conference with keynote speakers Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Dr. Gholdy Muhammad.

Joe Truss

“Joe’s conference really helped us center that schools can be liberatory spaces, but it definitely has been historically a space that has been violent towards kids,” said Nguyen Huynh, a teacher at DeJean Middle School in California. At the conference, educators are able to reflect, connect with one another and develop plans for better serving the needs of their students. 

Grading Quality Over Quantity

After reading Tema Okun’s characteristics of white supremacy, one of the recommended pre-readings for the conference, Huynh re-examined his grading. This past year, he stopped grading regular assignments because he felt students were doing the assignments in order to get a good grade, not deepen their understanding. He gave them the space to practice self-reviewing skills and gave them all the answers with the assignments. “It helps them build their own skills of checking themselves and also self-reviewing,” he said. 

He also prioritized developing students’ mastery of content and skills. He took the pressure off students of having just one shot at demonstrating what they learned in tests and used a variety of assessments instead. For example, if he assigned a quiz, students were able to have unlimited retakes. For one assessment, he had students draw from their personal experience and use their advocacy skills to write a letter to the district superintendent about whether they wanted the school building to open or stay closed. 

Many students preferred having the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery with the letter and show authentic learning. Huynh has received positive feedback about scaling back on grading assignments on the quarterly surveys he gives students. “My kids are saying, ‘I enjoy learning in this class’ or saying that it’s much less stressful now that I don’t grade everything.”

Huynh has faced a few issues getting parents on board with nontraditional assessment. While alternative ways to measure student learning are increasing in popularity, they are not widespread, so it’s hard to get buy-in. There was pushback about the emphasis on reflection and whether students were continuing to build important skills. “I think it definitely highlighted what we need to do next year about how to communicate these new things with grading, especially because it’s normally not what people are used to.”

Part of a letter written by one of Huynh’s students (Nguyen Huynh)

Students Seeing Themselves in STEM

Calvin Nellum is a physics and math teacher at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit. His work with Joe Truss focused his attention on how STEM education can be more antiracist by bringing in math tools from Black, Indigenous and POC cultures. “Allowing scholars to see themselves in science, that was my task,” said Nellum of bringing culturally responsive lesson plans into his predominantly Black classroom. “Just teaching scholars that science is them. It’s more than just using it to make things. It’s in you. It’s in your culture.”

Using a site called Culturally Situated Design Tools, Nellum shifted his curriculum to include coding the curves of Adinkra symbols created by the Ashanti people of Ghana using Scratch programs and calculating the arcs found in Anishinaabe Native American architecture. Students were able to examine visuals from these cultures and use math as a way to explore intricate designs. “These patterns and symbols and circles – all of these things that they use to represent nature, represent honor – represent where they come from. They have embedded mathematics in them.”  

He’s seen growth in his students’ confidence in STEM subjects and he presented the success of his lessons at the DWSC conference during the Anti-Racist Teachers and Leaders Symposium. “We got a lot of growth and I wanted to share the results,” said Nellum. “There are culturally responsive lesson plans for science and math teachers.”

Community-centered Classwork for Deeper Learning

Beth Vallarino, a humanities teacher at Tahoe Expedition Academy in Truckee, California, has been involved in Truss’s monthly check-ins for educators trying to become more justice-oriented in their teaching practice. She gravitated towards his educator-centered rubrics on anti-racist teachings. “Rubrics allow us to have a shared understanding and shared language about what quality or proficiency or success looks like,” said Truss. 

Using the rubric to reflect on her teaching practice has helped her identify priorities and gaps in the assignments and projects that she assigns students. Additionally, the rubrics provide questions that guide teachers to develop classwork that explores historical and current events in their community. She said rubric questions like “Was there a recent event that was either controversial or celebratory?” and “What’s the official history of your area?” are instrumental in helping students learn more about significant local history. 

“Kids were able to find out a lot about Truckee that’s not necessarily on a plaque,” she said. Using the rubrics as a guide, Vallarino’s class examined Squaw Valley Ski Resort’s decision to change their name because it contains an offensive slur against Native Americans. Students discussed the historical context that might have contributed to the naming and why the name should or shouldn’t be changed. “It’s interesting to present information in varied ways about what’s going on in our community and have them come up with their own ideas and opinions about what’s going on.”

In a conference presentation, Vallarino shared how her students have been identifying and speaking with experts, college students and organizations implementing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work – also known as “JEDI” work. Students presented what they learned to their school administration alongside recommendations for how their school can be improved. 

Vallarino plans to identify ways that antiracist teaching can extend even further beyond classroom walls. “I want to be more involved in developing opportunities for parents and families because it can be really challenging if your kids are learning something that you personally don’t know about or aren’t aware of,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned is that it’s really critical for schools to provide opportunities to educate communities.” She’s exploring ways to develop a shared vocabulary about antiracism and its role in improving humanity with students, caregivers and communities to build deeper understanding and energy around social justice work. 

Building Capacity and Sharing the Work

While Vallarino is hoping to build more collective capacity in her community, Huynh is hoping to build capacity to take on more antiracism work within his school’s staff. After attending Truss’s workshops last year, he brought five colleagues to the conference. “A lot of the work has to involve getting enough people on your side and moving forward together. And so for me, I made the decision to try to get many staff members to go just so there’s more sustainability,” he said. “We just need to keep building capacity because I think it’s really hard on our staff of color and myself.” Sharing the work helps reduce burnout among POC educators and gives co-conspirators an opportunity to help.

Truss agrees that one of the merits of the conference is getting everyone together to immerse themselves in a topic. He’s hoping that people not only learn from the sessions, but also are able to learn from the model of how the conference handles conversations about challenging and disrupting the status quo. 

“Seeing what quality professional learning looks like allows them to go back and lead it,” said Truss.

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

How to Share Google Slides Without Sharing Speaker Notes

Earlier this week I answered an email from a reader who was looking for a way to share his Google Slides with his students without them being able to see his speaker notes. Unfortunately, there isn’t an add-on or extension that will do that for you. Instead you have to make a copy of your original slides then remove your speaker notes from the copy before sharing or publishing it. How that is done is outlined in this short video

Applications for Education
I often give search challenges to students in the form of visual prompts and written prompts displayed on slides. I keep some notes for myself in the speaker notes section. The slides that I give to kids don’t have my speaker notes so that they don’t have any extra hints unless I choose to give them.

On a related note, take a look at my on-demand webinar titled Search Strategies Students Need to Know to learn more about teaching search strategies.

How to Share Google Slides Without Sharing Speaker Notes published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices

“The water we’re swimming in” or “The smoggy air we’re breathing” are two well-known metaphors for talking about racism. They describe how racism is both everywhere and constant, which means it’s also present in classrooms, even when teachers have the best of intentions. 

This year’s Dismantling White Supremacy Culture in Schools (DWSC) Conference focused on how teachers can work towards antiracist practices to bring about policy changes and create positive outcomes for students.

“How do we create more anti-racist schools? That’s the question we’ve been looking at,” said educator and conference founder Joe Truss. “The conference spotlights a whole lot of people’s work that have been iterating and innovating in their own sphere.”

Truss has a legacy of supporting teachers and school leaders in challenging white supremacy culture in their schools through workshops, monthly check-ins and large gatherings. This year marks the first formal DWSC Conference with keynote speakers Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Dr. Gholdy Muhammad.

Joe Truss

“Joe’s conference really helped us center that schools can be liberatory spaces, but it definitely has been historically a space that has been violent towards kids,” said Nguyen Huynh, a teacher at DeJean Middle School in California. At the conference, educators are able to reflect, connect with one another and develop plans for better serving the needs of their students. 

Grading Quality Over Quantity

After reading Tema Okun’s characteristics of white supremacy, one of the recommended pre-readings for the conference, Huynh re-examined his grading. This past year, he stopped grading regular assignments because he felt students were doing the assignments in order to get a good grade, not deepen their understanding. He gave them the space to practice self-reviewing skills and gave them all the answers with the assignments. “It helps them build their own skills of checking themselves and also self-reviewing,” he said. 

He also prioritized developing students’ mastery of content and skills. He took the pressure off students of having just one shot at demonstrating what they learned in tests and used a variety of assessments instead. For example, if he assigned a quiz, students were able to have unlimited retakes. For one assessment, he had students draw from their personal experience and use their advocacy skills to write a letter to the district superintendent about whether they wanted the school building to open or stay closed. 

Many students preferred having the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery with the letter and show authentic learning. Huynh has received positive feedback about scaling back on grading assignments on the quarterly surveys he gives students. “My kids are saying, ‘I enjoy learning in this class’ or saying that it’s much less stressful now that I don’t grade everything.”

Huynh has faced a few issues getting parents on board with nontraditional assessment. While alternative ways to measure student learning are increasing in popularity, they are not widespread, so it’s hard to get buy-in. There was pushback about the emphasis on reflection and whether students were continuing to build important skills. “I think it definitely highlighted what we need to do next year about how to communicate these new things with grading, especially because it’s normally not what people are used to.”

Part of a letter written by one of Huynh’s students (Nguyen Huynh)

Students Seeing Themselves in STEM

Calvin Nellum is a physics and math teacher at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit. His work with Joe Truss focused his attention on how STEM education can be more antiracist by bringing in math tools from Black, Indigenous and POC cultures. “Allowing scholars to see themselves in science, that was my task,” said Nellum of bringing culturally responsive lesson plans into his predominantly Black classroom. “Just teaching scholars that science is them. It’s more than just using it to make things. It’s in you. It’s in your culture.”

Using a site called Culturally Situated Design Tools, Nellum shifted his curriculum to include coding the curves of Adinkra symbols created by the Ashanti people of Ghana using Scratch programs and calculating the arcs found in Anishinaabe Native American architecture. Students were able to examine visuals from these cultures and use math as a way to explore intricate designs. “These patterns and symbols and circles – all of these things that they use to represent nature, represent honor – represent where they come from. They have embedded mathematics in them.”  

He’s seen growth in his students’ confidence in STEM subjects and he presented the success of his lessons at the DWSC conference during the Anti-Racist Teachers and Leaders Symposium. “We got a lot of growth and I wanted to share the results,” said Nellum. “There are culturally responsive lesson plans for science and math teachers.”

Community-centered Classwork for Deeper Learning

Beth Vallarino, a humanities teacher at Tahoe Expedition Academy in Truckee, California, has been involved in Truss’s monthly check-ins for educators trying to become more justice-oriented in their teaching practice. She gravitated towards his educator-centered rubrics on anti-racist teachings. “Rubrics allow us to have a shared understanding and shared language about what quality or proficiency or success looks like,” said Truss. 

Using the rubric to reflect on her teaching practice has helped her identify priorities and gaps in the assignments and projects that she assigns students. Additionally, the rubrics provide questions that guide teachers to develop classwork that explores historical and current events in their community. She said rubric questions like “Was there a recent event that was either controversial or celebratory?” and “What’s the official history of your area?” are instrumental in helping students learn more about significant local history. 

“Kids were able to find out a lot about Truckee that’s not necessarily on a plaque,” she said. Using the rubrics as a guide, Vallarino’s class examined Squaw Valley Ski Resort’s decision to change their name because it contains an offensive slur against Native Americans. Students discussed the historical context that might have contributed to the naming and why the name should or shouldn’t be changed. “It’s interesting to present information in varied ways about what’s going on in our community and have them come up with their own ideas and opinions about what’s going on.”

In a conference presentation, Vallarino shared how her students have been identifying and speaking with experts, college students and organizations implementing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work – also known as “JEDI” work. Students presented what they learned to their school administration alongside recommendations for how their school can be improved. 

Vallarino plans to identify ways that antiracist teaching can extend even further beyond classroom walls. “I want to be more involved in developing opportunities for parents and families because it can be really challenging if your kids are learning something that you personally don’t know about or aren’t aware of,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned is that it’s really critical for schools to provide opportunities to educate communities.” She’s exploring ways to develop a shared vocabulary about antiracism and its role in improving humanity with students, caregivers and communities to build deeper understanding and energy around social justice work. 

Building Capacity and Sharing the Work

While Vallarino is hoping to build more collective capacity in her community, Huynh is hoping to build capacity to take on more antiracism work within his school’s staff. After attending Truss’s workshops last year, he brought five colleagues to the conference. “A lot of the work has to involve getting enough people on your side and moving forward together. And so for me, I made the decision to try to get many staff members to go just so there’s more sustainability,” he said. “We just need to keep building capacity because I think it’s really hard on our staff of color and myself.” Sharing the work helps reduce burnout among POC educators and gives co-conspirators an opportunity to help.

Truss agrees that one of the merits of the conference is getting everyone together to immerse themselves in a topic. He’s hoping that people not only learn from the sessions, but also are able to learn from the model of how the conference handles conversations about challenging and disrupting the status quo. 

“Seeing what quality professional learning looks like allows them to go back and lead it,” said Truss.

Three Strategies for Advancing Antiracist Practices published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

What to Try When a Web App Isn’t Working

Two weeks ago in my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter I outlined six things to try when a website or web app isn’t working as you expected it to. Based on click-through, that was my most popular newsletter of the year! For those who haven’t seen it, the handout from that edition of the newsletter is included below. Feel free to share it with your friends. (Click on the image to view it in full size).


These are the six things to try:
1. Is it you or is it the website? An easy way to find out is to visit downforeveryoneorjustme.com then enter the URL of the website you’re trying to use. If you’re familiar with the Windows command terminal you can also try pinging the address of the site you’re trying to use. Here’s a short video about both of those things.

2. Is your browser updated? This isn’t as common as it used to be, but in some instances of a site not working properly the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of a web browser. If you’re using an older version of a browser, not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats.

3. Do you have cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to offer you the best possible experience.

4. Are you using a pop-up blocker? It is not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account log-ins. If the pop-up is blocked, you won’t be able to log-in.

5. Have you allowed camera and or microphone access? If you’re trying to use a web-based video or audio editing tool, you’ll need to make sure your camera and microphone are accessible.

6. If none of the steps above have resolved the problem, restarting your computer just might be the thing that fixes your problem. In fact, you might be surprised how often that works. It’s the reason IT help desks ask you to do that when they answer the phone.


What to Try When a Web App Isn’t Working published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

How to Create a Thumbnail for Your YouTube Videos

In the last week or so I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I create the thumbnail images for my YouTube videos. I make all of my thumbnail images, AKA cover images, from a simple template found in Canva. I use Canva templates because they are formatted for the exact dimensions that YouTube requires. I also use Canva templates because they’re designed by people who actually have graphic design skills and I do not have those skills. 

To add a custom thumbnail to a YouTube video you do need to have a verified YouTube account. The verification process only takes a few minutes but it does require you to be able to receive text messages on your phone. The complete directions for verifying your YouTube account can be read here

Once you’ve created your YouTube thumbnail image in Canva you’re ready to use it. To use it you need to first upload your video to your YouTube account. Then you’ll select “custom thumbnail” on the same screen that you write the description of your video. All of the steps are outlined in this short video that I created earlier today. 

Applications for Education
The reason to create and add a custom thumbnail to your YouTube videos is to make it easy for your students to know what your video is about before they even click the play button. It’s also helpful when you’re trying to organize a series of videos that you’re embedding into an LMS like Canvas that will display the full video and cover image without requiring students to click through to YouTube.
How to Create a Thumbnail for Your YouTube Videos published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

A Short Overview of Google Sites Publishing and Sharing Settings

During a webinar that I hosted earlier today the topic of Google Sites access settings came up. That topic usually does come up whenever I talk about using Google Sites with students. It comes up because just as there is a difference between publishing and sharing Google Documents there is a difference between publishing and sharing Google Sites. 

The difference between sharing and publishing Google Sites:

  • Publishing a Google Site means to make it available to view on the web. 
    • A published site can be restricted to a small audience. A published Google Site is essentially view-only. 
  • Sharing a Google Site means to invite other people to collaborate on editing the site with you. 
    • You can invite people to be collaborators via email or via a sharing link. 
In this short video I provide an overview of sharing and publishing settings in Google Sites. 


A Short Overview of Google Sites Publishing and Sharing Settings published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/