As the parent of a two year old and a one year old I know a thing or two about operating on little sleep. There are times when I wonder if I'll ever get a full night's sleep again. Which begs the question, "what if I stopped sleeping?" That question is the focus of an ASAP Science video. What If You Stopped Sleeping? explains the effects of sleep deprivation as well as the effects of sleeping too much.

ASAP Science includes links to the references used in the production of the videos. Those links are included below:

Scholastic Study Jams are slideshows and animations that provide a short overview of various topics in science and math. The Human Body Study Jams from Scholastic provide short overviews of topics in anatomy and physiology. There are six Human Body Study Jams; skeletal system, nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, muscular system, and circulatory system.

Applications for Education

The Human Body Study Jams from Scholastic could be useful resources for elementary school or middle school students to review prior to a lesson that you teach to them. The Study Jams could also be good review materials for students.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Somewhere in the last 50 years it became a tradition that classic rock stations play Alice's Restaurant Massacree at noon on Thanksgiving Day. And it has become a tradition for the last ten years that I post a video of Alice's Restaurant Massacree here on Free Technology for Teachers. If you search for the song on Wolfram Alpha you will find a chart of Wikipedia traffic for the search term "Alice's Restaurant." So the question/ cultural history lesson for students is "why do people search for that term around Thanksgiving?"

Happy listening! Happy Thanksgiving!

A few years ago I read Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance 1921 which I downloaded for free from Google Books. In the introduction there is a three page explanation of the methods used to measure the height of Mount Everest. An explanation of the differences in measurements is also provided in the introduction. Part of that explanation includes differences in snow fall, cyclical deviations of gravity, and differences atmospheric refraction when observations were made. I'm not a mathematics teacher and will never pretend to be one, but reading that introduction did get me thinking about a possible mathematics lesson.

Applications for Education
Turn to pages 10 through 13 of Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance 1921 and read about the difficulties of accurately measuring Mount Everest in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. It's interesting to note that most accepted measurements were more than 100 feet higher than today's accepted measurement. Tell your students that Mount Everest has shrunk over the last 100 years and ask them to solve the mystery of the shrinking mountain. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States. Just like I did last year, on this Thanksgiving Eve I found a video that would have made for a nice Thanksgiving-themed lesson. So even though it is too late to use it this year, bookmark the Thanksgiving Turkey Compilation from the Reactions YouTube channel. The video explains two things. First, it explains how the deep-frying process works and how it helps to make a turkey more flavorful. Second, the video explains why turkey isn't the primary culprit in making you drowsy after devouring your Thanksgiving meal.

One of the ways that I keep Free Technology for Teachers running is through the sales of professional development webinars on my other site, Practical Ed Tech. In the last year I hosted more than three dozen professional development webinars on that site. For Black Friday and Cyber Monday I'm offering the six most popular Practical Ed Tech webinars in one convenient package.

The webinars in the Practical Ed Tech Black Friday bundle are:

  • 5 Video Projects for Nearly Every Classroom 
  • 10 Search Strategies Students Need to Know 
  • Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners 
  • Get Organized With Google Classroom, Calendar, and Keep 
  • Introduction to AR & VR in Education (only available in this bundle) 
  • 5 Ways to Blend Technology into Outdoor Lessons (only available in this bundle)
Purchased individually this collection of webinars would cost $120. During this sale the whole collection is just $47. 

Padlet is one of the most versatile tech tools that a teacher can have in his or her toolbox. From making KWL charts to exit tickets to simply posting ideas in a shared online space, Padlet can be used in nearly every grade level and subject area. And your notes aren't limited to just text on Padlet walls. In fact, there are ten types of notes that you can add to Padlet walls including screencasts, audio notes, and even maps.

Recently, I noticed that Padlet has a new wall template designed for hosting backchannel chats. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a backchannel on Padlet.

Applications for Education

When you use the backchannel template on Padlet you and your students can still add all of the note formats that Padlet offers. That means that you could post a picture or video as a discussion prompt.

On Tuesday I wrote about the impending closure of the Free Music Archive. In that post I shared some other sites to find free music to use in your multimedia projects. Thanks to an email from Kari Kakeh I've learned about another good site to find free music. That site is called Bensound.

Bensound offers about 175 music tracks that you can download for free. Those tracks are arranged in eight categories. Those categories are acoustic/folk, cinematic, corporate/pop, electronica, urban/groove, jazz, rock, and world. You can listen to the tracks before you download them. When you click the download button you will see the clear rules about using the music. You can download and use the music in your video projects for free provided that you credit Bensound for the music. Alternatively, you can purchase a license to use the music wherever you want without crediting Bensound.

Applications for Education

Bensound's collection features instrumental music which is great for classroom use because you won't have to worry about students picking music that has lyrics that are not appropriate for classroom use.

Wakelet is free bookmarking and note-taking service that I've been using since April when I started looking for alternatives to Padlet. On Wakelet you can create collection and sub-collections of notes, bookmarks, and pictures. You can add those materials to your Wakelet collections through a browser extension or by adding them directly to your collection on the Wakelet website.

Wakelet has always let users share their collections with others. This week Wakelet added the option to let other users make copies of collections that you make publicly available. Those who make copies of your collections can then add to those collections within their own Wakelet accounts. Watch this video to see how that is done.

Applications for Education

Wakelet's new "copy collections" feature could be used by teachers to start a small collection of resources for students to build upon. For example, I might start a small collection of resources for about a unit on my US History curriculum then have my students add their related resources that they find as conduct their own research.

New Google Sign-in screen.

Starting next Tuesday you might notice a small change to the sign-in screen for your Google account. The change is that you will see a box around the "email or phone number" field on the sign-in page instead of just a single line. This won't change anything about your Google account or how any of the G Suite tools function. It's simply worth noting as changes to sign-in screens sometimes cause people to worry about spoofing or fraud.

If you're a G Suite for Education domain administrator, it might be worth notifying your staff so that they don't worry or inundate you with questions when the sign-in screen changes.

As with most updates to G Suite for Education, the change will roll-out over the course of a couple of weeks.

You can read Google's announcement about this change right here.