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Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week – Five Favorites to Start 2018

As we’re on the doorstep of a new year (some of you already are in the new year), I think it’s a great time to look at some of my favorite tools from 2017 that are sure to be useful in 2018 too.

1. The beginning of the new year is when many of us set goals for ourselves. Flippity’s Progress Indicator template for Google Sheets provides an easy way to keep track of progress toward a goal. The template makes it easy to create a progress chart that will update whenever you update the data in your spreadsheet. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use Flippity’s Progress Indicator template.

2. Toontastic 3D is a free app for creating animations on Android devices, iOS devices, and on some Chromebooks. In the video embedded below I provide a tutorial on how to create an animated movie with Toontastic 3D.

3. Flipgrid was featured in a recent tip of the week email, but it deserves to be featured again. It is a great service for collecting video responses to prompts that you pose to your students. The basic idea behind Flipgrid is that it enables you to post a video prompt and then have your students respond through video by using the webcams in their laptops or through the cameras on their smartphones or tablets. All responses are collected and displayed in a grid format. Watch my video below to learn how to use Flipgrid.

4. Plum’s Creaturizer from PBS Kids is a free iOS and Android app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. In the following video I demonstrate how the app works (apologies for the background noise, I recorded this video outside to show how the AR feature works in real settings).

5. Metaverse is a free platform that lets anyone create an augmented reality app. Metaverse’s programming platform is based on the premise of using a storyboard to outline the actions that you want your app to perform. You then connect each frame of the storyboard with action commands that you pick from a menu of action commands. The more scenes you add to your storyboard, the more options you can add to your app. Essentially, creating an augmented reality app through Metaverse is the same process as designed a good choose-your-own-adventure story. The video embedded below provides an overview of the Metaverse design tool.

Here are this week’s most popular posts from FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Track Progress Toward Goals With This Google Sheets Template – Best of 2017
2. The Things I Wish Every Teacher Knew About Technology – Best of 2017
3. My Five Most Frequently Recommended Google Forms Add-ons – Best of 2017
4. Three Alternatives to Google Classroom – Best of 2017
5. 21 Tools for Conducting Digital Formative Assessments – Best of 2017
6. 22 Videos That Can Help Students Improve Their Writing – Best of 2017
7. How to Add Spoken Audio to Google Slides – Best of 2017

Online Professional Development
Despite it being a vacation week more people registered for the 2018 Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group. And a bunch of people took advantage of the 30% discount available until midnight tonight (December 31st) on my Teaching History With Technology course and my G Suite for Teachers course.