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Showing posts from May, 2014

Congratulations, Graduates! From Google

I just came across this video that Google posted on YouTube as a congratulations announcement to high school seniors. I thought it was clever enough that it was worth sharing.

Webinar: Twitter is Not the Devil

Here is my screencast/webinar of last week's topic of the week, "Twitter is not the Devil".



You can find the presentation file so you can click on the links over on the Twitter page of my "Guides & Tutorials" website.

5/26-30 Agenda & Announcements

A little behind the eight ball this week, but here is my long awaited agenda & announcements for this week:

Presentation: Twitter is NOT the Devil

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My screencast is coming, but I wanted to take a moment before everyone runs screaming for the hills for our much deserved long weekend. The last weekend of May. Here is my presentation that I used for the topic. There are lots of links and videos, so it should give you a good place to start and things to think about.

Common Sense Media Certified Educator

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I am happy to announce that I am officially a Common Sense Media Certified Educator! What does that mean? Basically, I completed a training course online that prepared me to better support you as we all work to help our students become better digital citizens. "Living in a 24/7 digitally connected world, students today must learn how to navigate issues like cyber-bullying, privacy and safety." If you would like to explore how you can use the standards aligned Common Sense Media curriculum in your classroom, just let me know! I am passionate about helping our students be the best they can and I see this as a big step towards that.


Wearable Technology for the Classroom Infographic

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I came across this post through my Diigo account this morning and I thought it was a great way to think about what is here and what is coming down the pipe to us. Although some of it would be considered a nuisance in the classroom, there are great ways to actually leverage it to our advantage.


Google Tips for at the Office

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If you are a Google Chrome user, you may see links of your splash pages to fun things from Google. Today I happened to see they put together a list of 50 things you may not have known you could do with Google. Some of the tips are ones that I know many of you know already, but I wanted to pass it along anyways.


Webinar: An Introduction to iBooks for the Classroom

Last week's topic was on how to access and use iBooks in the classroom. I recorded my screencast, or attempted to, a couple times on Friday, but the iBooks app was being too slow. So, I put it together today instead. One of the teachers I met with last week suggested using your $50 classroom fund to buy an electronic copy of the books her students read so that she can project the book and annotate the book for easy reference in class. What a great idea! Many of the classics are available in iBooks for free as are a wide variety of textbooks, especially from CK-12. So check it out and let me know what you think!

End of the Year Technology Survey

I sent the survey to just about every teacher at the high school and middle school a few moments ago. But I also wanted to send it out via my blog to try and increase my reach. I will be posting it to Staff Talks later this week as well.
I know that the end of the year is a crazy time for everyone. But it is important for me to get your feedback from the year and to assess what our collective skill level is in regards to technology. Last fall I sent out (almost) the same survey and now I'm checking in to see how we have improved. If you wouldn't mind taking a moment to fill it out for me at your earliest convenience, that would be awesome. I'm putting together my report  for the school board and your feedback will help me with that. Click here to access the survey. Thank you so much! I can't believe the year is almost over!

An Article on Google Classroom

I've talked with several teachers who are very excited for Google Classroom to come out. I just came across this blog post on Twitter from a teacher who did a Google Hangout with one of the case study schools and it will answer some questions folks may have in regards to using it in their own classrooms this fall. I'll admit that it made me even more excited to get my hands on it! Click here for the link.

How to Ask for Google Classroom Invite

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Apparently there was some confusion about how to ask for an invite to try Google Classrooms before it goes live this fall.

When you click on the link in my post (http://www.google.com/edu/classroom/) click on "Request Invite":

Then you should be all set. I opted in and am waiting to hear if I'll be included. Here is a copy of the email they sent me:
Hello Sir/Madam, Thanks for expressing interest in a preview of Classroom, a new tool coming to Google Apps for Education. We worked with dozens of schools to create this product, which will help your teachers get even more out of the Google Apps suite. In June, we’ll start to invite batches of administrators and educators to participate in an early preview. By September, Classroom will be available to all schools that use Google Apps for Education. In the meantime, here are some ways you can get ready for Classroom: Visit the site - Check out the site to learn about the new tool Watch the video - Hear the experiences of some of the…

5/19-23 Agenda, Announcements & Connected Classrooms

Here is a look ahead to the last regular week of classes in May. The end is in sight!

AppleTV Warning

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For those of you who have AppleTVs in your classroom, please make sure that you locked your classroom doors when you are not in your room or lock your AppleTV up in a locked cabinet. You can just unplug the AppleTV unit, which is shown below, and leave everything else plugged in where it is. The settings will "stick" when you plug it back in. They are very easy to walk off with. The AppleTV has three components: power cable, dongle, AppleTV. They are assigned to you, so it is in your best interest to keep track of it. If you are not using it, just let me know and I'll come and reacquire it. You can always ask for it again when you think you'll use it more! If you have any questions, please just email me.


Electronic Portfolios with Digication

Last week's topic of the week was how to make an electronic portfolio with Digication. The art department at the high school is already using it and they have some great examples of what can be done. I finally put together my webinar on how to use it with your students, which you can see below. I will also post it over on my "Guides & Tutorials" website at this page so you can reference it later.

Let me know how you make out with it and what your thoughts are! I know some of the middle school 6th grade teachers are excited at the prospect of making a portfolio that would start with them and go all the way through graduation. Sounds like an awesome way to have the students reflect and realize that they actually did learn something and that school was not a waste.

Google Classroom is Coming!

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If you are a big Google Drive user in your classroom, I have really good news for you to look forward to for this fall. They are releasing Google Classroom to our accounts! What's great about that?

Email Etiquette 101

I had a teacher email me this morning with concerns about general email etiquette for ourselves as well as our students. To, CC, BCC? What is that? So, I put together a Prezi today for her, but wanted to send it out to everyone here as well in hopes that it helps give folks some good pointers in regards to email etiquette 101. As always, let me know what you think!

How about THIS for a course reflection!?!?

While checking in on my favorite tech integrators on Twitter just now, I came across this awesome course reflection video that is posted on YouTube. Imagine being the professor/teacher receiving this project as a student's reflection on what they have learned in your class! Being a gamer at heart, the Mario theme made it even more fun. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Agenda, Announcements & Upcoming Google Connected Classrooms for May 12th-16th

Looking back at last week's topic, looking head to upcoming week, and exploring all of the virtual field trips coming soon within Google Connected Classrooms... here is my agenda for May 12th through 16th.

Free Economic Games!

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I just came across this free economic games website that is "free, ready to play, nothing to install, no need to register!" They have 12 different games to chose from. As an example:
Industrial Organization
Price discrimination, vertical differentiation and peak-load pricing
Players take price and quantity decisions for an airline on a given route against a robot competitor. Illustrates notions such as marginal cost/average cost, variable cost/fixed cost, sunk cost, short-run/long-run cost, price discrimination (yield management), elasticity of demand, peak-load pricing... And eventually, players must choose whether or not to use vertical differentiation to soften competition. This is a classroom variant of the tutorial of our other game, airECONsim. There are also games involving game theory, introduction to microeconomics, public goods, and Cournot and Stackelberg Games. They are not the most glamourous, but they seem to be a good way to use games in economic classes without…

Ditch the Paper and Go Digital with Posters!

Last week's topic was on how to take your poster projects and move them to be done digitally instead. You can boost creativity, level the playing field, and create more in depth presentations by doing them online, since you can add in movies, sound, links, and a vast array of other materials that simply can be done with the traditional poster. I finally recorded my screencast on the topic, complete with me mixing up presentation and poster (hey, I'm human with a case of the Mondays), so be sure to check it out and let me know if there is anything I can do to help you go digital!

To access the LucidPress poster that I prepared for this topic, please click here.

Randomize Answers in Google Forms

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If you use Google Forms for quizzes, assessments, or just general feedback and have been wanting a way to randomize the answer order for Multiple Choice, Check boxes, Choose from a list, and Grid question types, I'm about to make your Monday.

Virtual Chemistry Labs

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I came across ChemCollective while checking out my Twitter feed and it seems like a great resource to help students understand chemical reactions without needing the lab time. If you are covering a topic, but the experiment is inaccessible (cost, safety, time, etc.) then you can have your students log on to the website from in Safari and then complete the experiment online. Or perhaps you have a student who has a passion for the subject. Now they can come on to here and explore the vast array of resources available to them to help increase their knowledge. THe site also has tutorials, autograded problems, scenario based problems, molecular science modulars, and tons of other information. It is such a great resource that I'm guessing our chemistry teachers have already seen it. But it's worth checking out again to see their new site.


May 5th-9th Weekly Agenda & Announcements

In my ongoing effort to give folks information before the weekend hits, here is my weekly agenda for next week. Hopefully the topic is of more interest to folks than this week's! I'll be putting together my calendar invites shortly, so be on the look out for them.

Free brain breaks in 5 minutes of less

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Especially this time of year, our brains seem to be just in desperate need for a break. Go Noodle to the rescue! The idea is simple. Brain breaks for use to burn off energy, relax, or focus before a test as well as others. And they are meant to take 5 minutes or less to do. I know that adding anything else to the day is overwhelming. But do you have a class that is especially wired and hard to control? Take the first 5 minutes and do one of the energy burning activities and see if it helps. If it does, then you may have just saved yourself 5 minutes of time spent managing the chaos. Or are your students stressing about an upcoming test like SATs or APs? Then try one of the calming exercises. One of them is even called "Let It Go" and features the song from Disney's Frozen and is less than 4 minutes long. The idea is that they focus on the words from the song and just relax and let the stress go.

Each time that your class uses "Go Noodle" they earn points towar…

Graphing Videos with Functional Carnival

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I've been looking around today trying to decide on a topic for next week and see what was snazzy and new out there. One of the tools that I came across is called "Function Carnival", which would be the perfect addition to a graphing unit in a math class or to a physics class. The idea is pretty simple. The student watches a video clip and then draws a graph based on the motion. Once they click play, the clip is played again with a secondary moving object that matches the graph so they can see how accurate they were. You can set up a classroom for them to do the exercises, and they have a teacher tip section on this website. I played with it for a while and it certainly has potential to get your students involved and spur some conversation about what happens. It's pretty fun!

Gmail Quick Keys

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If you are someone who relishes in the quick key shortcuts that you know (command + c = cut, command + v = paste, etc.) then you may be interested in the list of quick keys that I found for Gmail. You can pull up the list right in Gmail by clicking shift + question mark and an overlay will appear with them all. You may also need to turn on the bottom section of the shortcuts depending on if you have used them before or not.