12 Podcasts to Check Out (The Listicle)… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a listicle.
Some helpful notes:

  • Write about any topic at all that interests you
  • A list can be as short as 3 entries
  • Be helpful, make the list a resource your readers may want to bookmark and come back to
  • If you aren’t up for a list, write about lists, list keeping tools, or tools to embed lists
  • Marketing tests prove that putting a number in your title will often increase shares and clicks

Another timely prompt. I have a ThingLink which I use to share out the podcasts I listen to, as a recommendation tool. Well it was overdue for a much needed update, so here is my list of podcasts I currently listen to with a ThingLink embedded below so you can get the links to each one.

Note: the numbers are not indicating any kind of ranking
  1. The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe
  2. House of #Edtech – Chris Nesi
  3. The EdTechTV Podcast with Brent Warner
  4. The Wired Educator Podcast – Kelly Croy
  5. Always A Lesson – Gretchen (Schultek) Bridgers
  6. Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers
  7. The Cult of Pedagogy – Jennifer Gonzalez
  8. Check This Out with Ryan and Brian
  9. Teachonomy Talks – Chuck Poole
  10. My BAD – Jon Harper
  11. Google Teacher Tribe Podcast – Kasey Bell & Matt Miller
  12. The EdTech Take Out – Jonathon Wylie & Mindy Cairney

Challenging Situations… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post about challenging situations.
Here are some ideas or topics you may wish to include:

  • Share your biggest teaching challenge and explain how you overcame it
  • Write a motivational “how-to” for overcoming a common challenging situation.
  • Do a review on a book or website that has helped you overcome a challenging situation. What was the challenge? How did the book/website help you?
  • Discuss any thoughts or experiences you have about challenges in education.
  • Talk about a time when a student was facing a challenge and you provided strategies to help the student. What were they? How did they help?

I’m a technology coach (my district loves long titles, so I’m really a Teacher Resource Specialist for Technology) which many people expect to mean I know everything about technology and how to operate/use all the digital tools available. With technology constantly changing, new tools coming out each day, that is an impossibility. At times it is beneficial that many tools utilize the same icons and I can get a handle on something quickly. But the expectation to “know it” can be daunting.

So when a teacher friend of mine, from the south, who knows what I do, scoffed at me not knowing/using Instagram; I felt challenged.

“You use technology all the time, how are you not using Instagram? I needed you to explain it to me and why my students want me to use it?”

Well, maybe this can be a social media tool that could come in handy. So that night I opened an account. Started to use it to share one of my hobbies. I’m slowly getting a handle on it, might not know all the ins & outs, but getting there; it’s a work in progress. I even added a new page to this blog to embed a ThingLink which will share each of the posts.

The main thing is this, when provided a challenge, make it an opportunity and jump in (feet first is best, diving is not approved because we don’t know the depth). Challenges, as someone once described to me, are the speed bumps which keep us from increasing our velocity and loosing control of our vehicle.

What’s a challenge you’ve had to deal with lately? How did you ‘jump in’ and tackle the challenge? I would love to read about it in the comments below.

Nearpod’s Newest Feature… Collaborate!

It think the easiest description for it is, imagine Nearpod & Padlet had a child… that child would be Collaborate!

Nearpod announced via a post this week the new feature on their blog.

This is part of their paid features, but you can try it out for a limited time in a free account. Below is a short video on the Activity tool in action as well as an embedded image of the final results (some of the students who tried this had a little fun with it).

Have you tried the new feature? What are your thoughts? I would love to read about your experiences with this interactive feature in the comments below.

Free Web Tools… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post about free web tools.
Here are some ideas or topics you may wish to include:

  • Share your absolute favorite free web tool and discuss why

  • Write a ‘how-to’ post on using a free tool

  • Do a review in a category of multiple free web tools – for example, compare 3 web tools for photo editing

  • Discuss any thoughts or experiences you have about free web services

  • Talk about a time when a free service you were using shut down

Since I share about different tools often, the last bullet point jumped out at me.

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful extension,
That started as a free tool,
Aboard the Chrome dimension.

The device was a mighty screen capturer,
It snapped and recorded,
All synced to your Google Drive,
In a folder, they hoarded, that’s where they’re all hoarded.

The school year started getting rough,
The tiny tool was tossed,
If you were not prepared,
GIF capturing would be lost, GIF capturing would be lost.”

That’s right folks, I’m talking about SnagIt! A tool which was a go-to for me when creating tutorials/how-to’s for teachers. Whether it was a short recorded screencast, a simple screenshot, or my personal favorite, GIFs; SnagIt would do it all! Then it would sync my captures directly to my Google Drive. I loved it, and when I read the news over the summer that Tech Smith was lessening their available tools (SnagIt extension, Screen Chomp iOS app, etc.) to focus on making a few of their other tools the greatest; I started to hear, “Near, far, wherever you are…” (That’s right, Céline Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’)

Hmmm… tangent here, did I just make two tragic boat references in one blog post, yes I did!

I had to scramble to find replacements. And let me tell you there are a bunch of various ones out there, but nothing all encompassing as my dear departed SnagIt. Here are some of the ones that filled in the gaps:

Screencastify took over for my screen recordings. GifIt! (while only really works on YouTube videos) allows me to create gifs. On a chromebook, the shortcut for taking a screenshot took the place of being able to select the part of the screen I wanted to image capture. Finally, I went out and purchased SnagIt for my Mac. While I still feel like the extension was Rose, “I’ll never let go Dan, I’ll never let go” then thirty seconds later it was gone from the Chrome Web Store (another Titanic reference); my heart has moved on to other tools which hopefully will not sink into the internet abyss!

What’s a tool you loved and lost; how does that old saying go, ‘Its better to have loved and lost, than to not have loved at all’ does that apply to tech tools in education? I would love to read & reply in the comments below.

Photos…#EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Last year, I read a post from Richard Wells on Star Wars posters for school using LEGOs. Well, new year, new posters, so a new post from him.

With this week’s prompt having to deal with photos, I figured this would be timely. The post I wrote last year, inspired by EduWells, utilized quotes from, then released, “A Force Awakens.” Well, new year, new movie (“Rogue One”), new posters!


I’m going to again propose a challenge for you & your students, have them select a quote from a favorite movie of theirs, then design a ‘poster’ applying that quote to a topic/content area. See how creative they can be!

If you take the challenge, please link to images of the posters in the comments below, I would love to view your or your students’ work.

How Technology Is Preserving Historical Documents For Future Generations

Technology is often associated with futuristic thinking, expanding human knowledge in innovative new ways beyond anything we’ve ever experienced before, but technology is also empowering us to preserve the past as well. Today, technology is helping educators keep history tangible and real for generations of future students because there is a huge difference between learning about history and seeing physical evidence about it.

When, for example, a high school history student reviews the historical facts around the U.S. Declaration of Independence, it’s something of an abstraction. The people and the events of the distant past are merely facts to be memorized for a history exam. However, actually seeing the unique engrossed Declaration of Independence — one of the most cherished documents in the United States — at the National Archives in Washington DC, paints a vivid picture of the events that altered the history of a young nation and changed the world.

Historical Collections

Witnessing actual historical documents can be remarkably inspiring, and, fortunately, not all historical documents are tucked away in museums, libraries, and private collections. Some historical documents for sale are signed by such iconic figures as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson and are available from the Raab Collection for students of history to enjoy.

Why History Matters

In a HuffingtonPost article about why preserving history matters, Steve Berry, the New York Times bestselling author of The Columbus Affair explains why history still matters in an age when technology is slowly pushing us to become a space-faring species:

“Firsthand, all across the country, I’ve witnessed the incredible treasures preserved within libraries in our schools, public buildings, historical societies, museums, and universities. At the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, I saw a marginalia written in Twain’s own hand. Inside the rare book room at the Library of Virginia was a book of psalms that arrived here on the Mayflower. In county libraries in rural America were the records of families who settled that land centuries ago, and in Smithsonian were the last remaining books of James Smithson, whose legacy was the founding of the institution itself.”

The Work of Preservation Experts

Libraries and museums face the dilemma of trying to make historical documents available to the public and historians while at the same time making sure that they are preserved for posterity. By keeping them encased where they are visible, they achieve this balance. Helping them with this effort is a  small, dedicated band of researchers who are preserving human records for posterity.

Although most paper documents are digitized, it’s still important to preserve the original—although, of course, working with original documents can be nerve-wracking because the preservation expert can’t afford to make a single error. New advances in technology make it possible to identify the causes of degradation and create solutions to prevent further ruin.

The Science of Preservation

The biggest source of degradation is oxygen, and so documents must be encased in a way that removes oxygen and controls moisture. An encasement will use a thick sheet of glass as the base. This is not ordinary glass, but a non-reflective glass. The encasement is then hermetically sealed and oxygen replaced with argon, an inert gas.

Argon is used to keep the atmospheric pressure. Oxygen has to be removed because it reacts with the atoms in paper and it also speeds up the rate that the ink fades.

The encasement is often monitored with a sensor to notify the museum or library staff if the atmospheric pressure inside an encasement exceeds a safe level for the paper document. The staff will immediately alert their preservation researcher, who then rushes over to vent the excessive pressure. Many priceless documents are preserved in this way, including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Examining Historical Documents

Besides preserving documents, technology can enhance historical research, often revealing surprising new insights about a historical document. Hyperspectral imaging technology is an invaluable way of examining ancient maps and documents without researchers actually touching the materials.

Just like the telescope and the microscope can enhance human vision to see what used to be invisible, hyperspectral imaging makes it possible for researchers to uncover a wealth of information that was not accessible before. It is now possible to see how, where, and when a document was made by examining the finest elements of ink pigmentation. This enhanced vision sometimes reveals surprising things, too, like a watermark, or, as in the case of the Declaration of Independence. Normally, human vision is restricted to the electromagnetic spectrum that ranges from red to violet, but with hyperspectral imaging makes it now possible to include ultraviolet and infrared light.

Preserving Documents for Posterity

Although documents are made of imperfect materials and degrade over time by fading or tearing, the situation is not as dire as it could be because researchers can now use some amazing technologies to preserve ancient documents for posterity. Technology is also giving us a deeper understanding of hidden text or other clues.

Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article

About the Author: Jenna B.

Jenna is a freelance writer who got into blogging in college and copywriting upon graduation. Jenna has usually written about topics that mean a lot to her such as health and medicine when applied to family and loved ones. Jenna is an avid runner as long as it’s not a marathon distance jog! She’s on twitter (she still hasn’t fallen in love with and doesn’t use often) @JennaFromDaBlog!