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. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Flex Your Keyboard Shortcut Muscle

Image result for keyboard shortcuts

Flex Your Keyboard Shortcut Muscle and Save Time!

Most of us have become accustom to pressing CTRL+V to paste and CTRL+C to cut (CMD for Mac folks), these keyboard shortcuts make working on computers much easier and efficient.  However, other than those simple shortcuts many people don't know that there are many more that you can use everyday. Each computing platform has a different set of specific shortcuts that work for that operating system.  Below you will find a link to all of the shortcuts for your preferred OS...

There is no way that you will need or remember all of the possible shortcuts, take a look at the list and see what might work for you.  Once you find a few you think are useful write them down on a post-it note and put it next to your monitor. While you are working try to use the shortcuts when applicable, once you have mastered those few try another set on a new post-it. Before you know it you will build your shortcut knowledge, increase your productivity and decrease your level of frustration. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Brochure Alternatives

Brochure Alternatives: 

Having students create a brochure has been a go to project to demonstrate understanding of a topic. They are easy to create and contain a large amount of information in an easy to print package.  I wanted to share some alternatives to printing out brochures that allow students to demonstrate a higher level of understanding while using less paper and allowing for more creativity than a traditional brochure.  

Paper Slide -Using artifacts, drawings and information written out on scrap paper students can create a low tech presentation with any device that can record video. Students write a script and then find artifacts that help tell the story and record their voice while showing the artifacts to the camera. Here is an example

Google Slide and Screen Cast -This is Googles alternative to PowerPoint. Students can use Slides to create something similar to what would be found in a brochure and then use a screen cast tool to create a video having them explain the information in the presentation. Here is an example.

News report -Have students work together to create a newscast that reports the information that would be found in a brochure. Using any device that has video recording ability students can then use hand drawn pictures and other artifacts to do a quick newscast presenting information that would be found in a traditional brochure. Here is an example.

Infographic (a visual representation of information)- Students can use free online tools to create infographics to show different data an information. Here are some of the online tools...
Here is a link to a video of why infographics are effective

If you would like to set up a meeting to learn more about these projects let me know and I would be happy to help you. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

EdPuzzle and the Flipped Classroom

Tech Byte

EdPuzzle and the Flipped Classroom

Have you ever thought about flipping your instruction? Do you know what flipping your instruction looks like? The Flipped Classroom is a current teaching strategy that is being leveraged by many educators to take advantage of the abundance of technology in today's school environment.  The basic premise behind a flipped classroom is students acquire passive instruction in the form of a video rather than a whole class lecture for homework. Then class time is devoted to working together with the teacher on projects and problems that would normally be given as homework.  Through flipping teachers and students are able to connect and work together to acquire information.  

One of my favorite tools for assigning videos to the students in your flipped class is  With EdPuzzle teachers are able to assign videos to students to watch and include checks for understanding throughout the video. EdPuzzle will grade checks for understanding and monitor student engagement with the video by tracking time on task.  If you are interested in learning more about the Flipped Classroom or EdPuzzle please let me know and we can set up a time to meet.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Google Classroom

As many of you may have seen Google Classroom went through some great updates a few weeks ago.  While you are setting up your new classes for this year take a look at some of the changes HERE. Also, here are some helpful reminders for managing your Google Classroom for the start of the year: 

-Create a new class each year. Trying to use last years class will be more difficult since the Stream is ranked from most recent to oldest and all of the assignments are past due. 

-Include year in class title.  Since you will create a new class each year it is a good idea to use the year in the title of the class so that you will be able to tell the difference between classes in the future. 

-Archive your old classes so your Dashboard screen is not cluttered. When you are on the dashboard each class has three dots in the top right of the square. These dots allow for archiving and editing the class title.  

-Title assignments with the future in mind.  Since you can use assignments from archived classes title each assignment so that next year you will know what the assignment includes. 

-In the students tab set the correct permissions.  Each new class the student permissions are set to "Students can post and comment" this may not be the level of access you want for your students. 

-Enrolling students with join code. Getting students into your class is easy if you provide them with the join code.  Make it an assignment and see who can figure out how to join and then offer an after school time for anyone that can't figure it out.  You will be amazed how quickly they figure it out. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Crank Up Your Formative Assessment with Quizizz and Kahoot!

Have you ever used Kahoot!? How about Quizizz? Well, if the answer is no you are missing out on two of the more interactive and engaging formative assessment tools in use today.  If you are sick of review and traditional paper quizzes you should take a look at both of these tools.  Kahoot! is a whole class review game that allows students to compete against one another in a fast paced game that tests knowledge and speed.  This tool is a replacement for more traditional review strategies allowing the students to be energized and engaged in the review process.  Quizizz is a formative assessment tool that integrates with Google Classroom allowing teachers to assign digital quizzes to students with some fun surprises. Both of these tools are highly engaging, easy to use and FREE! If you would like to set up a time to learn more about either of these resources please email me to set up a time to meet.