Monday, October 16, 2017

Fresh view of education

Tyler DeWitt is very passionate about making science easy for students to understand through the use of story and simple language. Watch his TED Talk below to get a fresh look at how learning can be made interesting for your students.  If you are a Chemistry teacher take a look at his YouTube channel for some great chemistry videos.  If you are not a Chemistry teacher take a look at his channel for some examples of how easy it is to make low tech videos for instruction.    His video creation style is very easy for any teacher to replicate through the use of a stationary camera, large sheets of paper and markers, very low tech.  I also included a link to a 360 degree VR experience Tyler created as a guided tour of the cell.   Here is a link to Tylers YouTube Channel to watch some of his videos.

Tyler DeWitt TED Talk:

360 Degree Guided Tour of the Cell

Monday, October 2, 2017

5 Stunning Interactive Mini-Sites Made by the BBC

Are you looking for more than just a drill and skill webpage? Do you want to push your students to immerse themselves in a concept?  The link below is to an article highlighting 5 sites produced by the BBC that take the learner deeper than just facts and figures.
Biggest Bangs: Interactive Chemistry Experiments...Very interesting use of YouTube! Have you ever used a choose your own adventure video for instruction? Take a look at this one from the BBC and try to find the most energetic reaction.  This interactive video is fun for all ages, not just the chem class.  Click on different elements and see how they react with each other.
Journey to the Center of the Earth...Fun interactive that compares events, geology, manmade structures, and biology at different depths of the earth and the ocean.  As you go deeper pay attention to how the curved line running down the center of the screen changes with the map scale.  Great for all ages to explore both science and history.
Vastness of Space... Have you ever felt small in the Universe? This interactive page won't make you feel any bigger. Set up very similarly to the Journey to the Center of the Earth above. Once you make it to the center of the Earth flip around and head to space.
How Much of Your Body Is You?... You start with birthday, sex, weight, and height. This information is then used to calculate hundreds of interesting calculations about what you are made of. There are many interesting uses for this site from science/math to health/humanities.
Our World War: Can You Survive WW1?...This simulation is intended for 16year+. You are the commanding officer and you start the simulation in the middle of a firefight during WW1.  From there you make decisions and choose your own adventure based on historical events.

Take a look at the full article in the link below.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and fair use

Copyright, fair use, and creative commons licensing are often difficult subjects for both teachers and students to understand and are therefore sometimes afraid to use materials that they may have a right to use.  
First, assume that everything that you find on the internet is copyrighted unless otherwise designated as being in the public domain or under creative commons licensing.  This is because anything that is created automatically receives copyright at the time of creating even if the author does not apply for copyright, or puts the copyright logo © on their work.   
Second, even if a piece is copyrighted, you may still be able to use it under the guidelines of fair use.   Know however that fair use is not a law, just a way to defend your use of material.  If you want to use a piece in your class the first step is to see if you have cause for fair use.   Purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes:  Courts look at how the party claiming fair use is using the copyrighted work, and are more likely to find that nonprofit educational and non-commercial uses are fair.  This does not mean, however, that all nonprofit education and noncommercial uses are fair and all commercial uses are not fair; instead, courts will balance the purpose and character of the use against the other factors below.  Additionally, “transformative” uses are more likely to be considered fair.  Transformative uses are those that add something new, with a further purpose or different character, and do not substitute for the original use of the work.
Lastly, if you are concerned about using copyrighted material, always do your searches using google’s creative commons filter which will search only for materials that are given a creative commons license by the author.  This filter can be found under settings, advanced search once you have begun an initial search.  

For more information about Copyright, watch the short video on guidelines for teacher use.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Chromebook ed games

This is a quick post today just sharing a link to a list of educational games that work on the Chromebook.  Many of them are focused on the elementary grades but take a look and see if any will fit into your 1:1 classroom.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Welcome back I hope everyone had a great summer and a good start to the school year last week. For my first tech tip of the 2017-2018 school year, I would like to update everyone on some new changes to Google Classroom that were released in the beginning of August. If you would like to read the official post from Google CLICK HERE.  To give you the quick highlights here is a list of the updates.

  • Single view of student work: Click on any student name and you will be taken to a screen of all student work. 
  • Reorder Classes: In your Classroom dashboard page, you are able to rearrange the location of your class tiles so they make sense to you. 
  • Decimal grading: If you have the need you can now use fractional grading with the addition of more precise grading to the tenth rather than just whole number. 
  • Transfer class ownership: Teachers can change ownership of a class between two teachers. 
  • Add profile picture on mobile: Teachers and students can now change their profile picture using the mobile Classroom app. 
  • Display class code: Teachers no longer need to write the class code on the board or paste into a Google Slide for students to see the code.  In the "Student" section of Classroom, there is a drop-down menu next to the code to display larger. 
  • Updates to Google Forms:  Coming Soon....Use Forms for assessment and then have the grades automatically populate into Classroom and add question-by-question feedback grading. 

If you have any questions about any of these updates or are looking to get started using Classroom please email me and set up an appointment to discuss.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Google Earth has gone to the Cloud!

Google Earth has gone to the cloud! Google recently released a version of Google Earth that runs in the Chrome browser. Traditionally Google Earth has been one of those programs that you would need to install onto a computer taking the use of Google Earth on Chromebooks out of the picture.  This new updated version of Google Earth allows you and your students to explore the world in a very interactive way from a Chromebook in the classroom. Here is a link to more information about Google Earth and a link to an overview of some of the features.  If you would like to learn more about Google Earth and how you can use it in your classroom please send me and email and we can set a time to meet and discuss.

Monday, March 6, 2017

New CC search

Teaching digital citizenship starts with leading by example.  Over the past 20 years teachers have seen a dramatic increase in digital media in their classroom allowing a whole new world of content for instruction.  I have heard many teachers say, "I am not selling this so I can use whatever pictures I want." This statement is not entirely true and in years past the chances of anyone knowing you were using copyrighted material was quite low since you were only showing the kids in class. With the advent of cloud computing and the ability to share instruction with students outside of the classroom, content is no longer viewed only by your students.  Today teachers need to be aware of what content they are using to create their digital instruction and be aware of copyright violations.  The good news, there is so much free content out now that the need to use copyrighted material is greatly reduced, the problem then becomes finding what you need quickly.  Creative Commons licensing allows for content to be shared and there is a new resource available to find this content. Follow this link  to check out the new Creative Commons image search.  With this image search tool teachers and students are able to search for content that is free to use for both educational and commercial endeavors.