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Showing posts from 2016

Final post of 2016

Hello Everyone, Mr. B is taking some much needed time off this holiday season. I shall return this January along with the launch of my improved YouTube channel. Thanks again for your continued support of Mr. B Ed Tech! Did you know? Coca-Cola Helped Shape the Image of Santa In 1931 the company began placing Coca-Cola ads in popular magazines. Archie Lee, the D'Arcy Advertising Agency executive working with The Coca-Cola Company, wanted the campaign to show a wholesome Santa who was both realistic and symbolic. So Coca-Cola commissioned Michigan-born illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus — showing Santa himself, not a man dressed as Santa. For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem " A Visit From St. Nicholas " (commonly called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore's description of St. Nick led to an image of a warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human Santa. (And eve

A Special Letter to Teachers...From Santa

See the letter below

2016 was supposed to be the year of VR

...The stage was set for 2016 to be the year virtual reality took off. But a funny thing happened along the way to the VR revolution — it turns out much of the content and tools needed to support the new world of VR weren't as fully cooked as the hardware... The power and potential of AR was perhaps epitomized by the debut of Pok√©mon Go, a classic Japanese video game reimagined as an AR experience on a smartphone screen, sending legions of gamers around the world trekking through parks and alleys — real ones! — for imaginary monsters... See the Full Article

White Launches Augmented Reality App The White House (recently) introduced ‘1600’, an augmented reality app that provides an interactive, three-dimensional tour of the White House. Anyone with a smartphone and a dollar bill can check it out. Just download and load the app, point the camera at the face of George Washington on a dollar bill and a narrated tour begins, with various images appearing over the bill.

5 Great Mobile Learning Apps

For those that like these lists... 5 Great Mobile Learning Apps (That Are Totally Free)

Can Technology Replace Teachers?

Article Preview The act of teaching isn’t just imparting what’s in your head to a captive audience. Teaching is a performance, it’s reading the room and working it. This is where technology really falls short. Empathy is a key area of difficulty for technology and automation. Are the kids at the back of the classroom bored because you’re talking about something they find too difficult, because they know it already, or because you’re not presenting the information in a meaningful way? See the full article here Editorial Fearful teachers and hopeful students have both asked this question at one time or another. As technology improves, the teacher's role in the classroom transitions away traditional instruction. Traditional instruction is mainly what education has consisted of for the last 50+ years. This includes elements such as a teacher in front of students, at a board/screen p

Ultimate History Quiz - History Channel

When discussing "Why study History?" with students, I often used to add a humorous anecdote by saying "How will win at Jeopardy (or insert other Game Show here) if you don't study History?" History accounts for a lot of Game Show quiz questions. Not that is is the only reason why we study History, but students enjoy feeling like they are on a game show. In that spirit, check out the Ultimate History Quiz (from Players can play single player, mutliplayer, or friend-to-friend competitions. Questions are from various history subjects. Link to the Quiz Where the game show contestants go to study

iPad App: NASA Visualization Explorer

Check out this app from NASA that helps students explore the galaxy. Pros: Tons of exciting, cutting-edge information for kids to explore, and the stories are supported with beautiful images and videos. Cons: Some of the content may be difficult for younger audiences to understand without extra support. Bottom Line: Weekly updates and striking visuals make it easy for kids to stay informed about NASA's most recent discoveries. For more information:

Keys to 1:1 Success: Ten Tips From the Experts

If you are planning to implement a 1:1 program in your school or district, check out these "Keys to Success" when going 1:1. If you have already planned or implemented 1:1, check your plan against these keys to ensure you have addressed each are in your plan. Article Preview Some of these tips are straight-forward. Some you may have thought of. However, if you are looking for a successful 1:1 implementation in your school or district, it will be best to make sure you follow these tips from Education Technology experts. Know why you're doing it -- What is the expected outcome of 1:1 and how will it impact learning Research and plan Build your infrastructure -- If the technology does not work (or work well) then nothing you do will have an impact. and more... See the article linked below. See the Full Article Here

Silas - Educational Video Game Helps Social Skills

SiLAS has a multitude of applications specific to teaching individual speech and language skills. SiLAS promotes interest in learning and provides students with the visual and auditory feedback they need to store those skills in long term memory. Most importantly SiLAS provides students with the opportunity to correct their own answers and assess their own performance. Overall, We have observed a significant increase interest in technology based programs in the field of speech and language pathology. For More Information Silas Website

Using Podcasts to Strengthen Listing Skills

Podcasts are a great way to help strengthen student listening skills. Podcasts are audio (and sometimes video) recordings similar to a radio program or television episode. A wide range of organizations and individuals host podcasts and share their thinking around a topic through this medium. You can access podcasts through iTunes and the Podcast app on iOS devices or through web-based tools. Most individual podcasts have their own site where you can stream each episode directly from their webpage. This article has some great tips for how to use Podcasting the classroom. See the full article below. Full Article

Using G Suite (GAFE) at the Younger Grade Levels (K-2)

I came across this interesting article about a teacher using Google Classroom with Kindergarten and thought I would share. Using Google Classroom in the Kindergarten Classroom This next article also has a great resource for students learning Google Classroom Basics from a blog called "Sailing in to 2nd Grade" Google Classroom Basics for 2nd Grade

Remembering Pearl Harbor - 75 Years Later

More resources on Pearl Harbor Here are some online resources for teachers and students about the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Primary Sources (From the National WWII Museum - New Orleans) Pearl Harbor Historic Sites National Parks Service - WWII in the Pacific Site Library of Congress US - Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor Oahu

Guidelines for Early Learners Using Technology

Article Preview For years, students learned to associate No. 2 pencils with going to school. In today’s classrooms, technology is becoming just as synonymous with school as writing utensils. This statement shows what the view of education technology needs to look like when integrating technology into the curriculum. Do you plan your lesson around a No. 2 pencil? Or do you see how a No. 2 pencil could work into your lesson plan? This fall, the Department of Education made it clear that it is trying to provide clarity into the role technology should play in school, particularly for the youngest of learners. See the guidance provided in the article below. See the Full Article

What does Trump mean for EdTech?

Tech&Learning Live in Washington D.C. is holding a discussion panel on December 7th (from 12pm to 4pm EST ). Industry experts will discuss what the Trump Administration will mean for issues such as digital equality and personalized learning. I will not be able to attend as I live in the Midwest, however I do plan to follow the discussion online. Tech&Learning Live site: For more information or to sign up for this conference go to:

Three Tools for Blended Discussion

Check out this article for recommended tools for blended discussion. Tools this article previews are: Google Communities Today's Meet Twitter and more... See the Full Article

Education Podcasts: 36 Educational Podcasts to Energize your Teaching

The List

How to Split screen on Mac, PC, and Chromebook

This is a great resource for those looking to increase your multitasking on your computer screens. Source:

Check out the Periodic Table Of IPad Apps Vol 2

Article Link ...It’s never just about the apps. ... That said being guided around tried and tested apps from the classroom can be really helpful.

Introduction to the NEW Google Sites

I have used Google Sites to create, not only my class web site, but also our school and district websites since 2009. For the first time since I started using this service, Google has decided to drastically update and redesign the service for modern web design. Before Google Sites, I was using GeoCities create websites. Some of the revolutionary features of GeoCities, such as a web-based page editor, were successfully emulated in Google Sites. How a GeoCities Website Typically looked (circa 1999) What's New in Google Sites So, is the new Google Sites an improvement. I would say yes. Take a look at some of the improvements I highlighted below. Redesigned editor that is easy to understand and use a layout matches other G Suite Apps Sites now automatically create a Desktop Version as well as a Mobile and Tablet version of your site, all from the same template you create. This is a huge improvement over how Google Sites used to format itself for mob

12 EdTech toys for Christmas 2016

Article Link Article Highlights Below are a couple of my favorite toys mentioned in this article. These devices offer great learning opportunities and make the process look really fun. Boxels (Pictured above) By arranging different colored plastic blocks into the Bloxels grid, children are able to create a side-scrolling platform video game they can then play on their iOS or Android device. Once they have created a room or level they "capture" the grid using the camera on their smart device and their creation is imported into the game. Characters are created and added the same way, and Bloxels is designed to help children aged eight to 12-years-old develop their design thinking and creativity. The Bloxels Builder Starter Kit is priced at $50. Kano Complete Computer Kit Give a child a computer and they will be able to play Minecraft; teach a child to build a computer, and they will probably

Hover: The Game (From Windows 95)

Here is a nostalgic game that brings back memories of my childhood, having Windows 95 and no internet connection. Oh, how many hours were spent on this game??? It looks like Microsoft has re-released this game online. I thought I would share something fun before the holiday starts. Game Link

5 Ways Technology Can Make Thanksgiving Better

If there’s one thing most of us want to NOT think about on Thanksgiving, it’s technology. Put the smartphones away, pack up the laptop, and disconnect for one day, right? Well, technology can actually help to bring us together on this most American of holidays, provided it’s put to good use instead of as a distraction from family time. Check out the article below for some ways to use Tech on Thanksgiving. Article Link

Sign in to the Chrome Browser

Google Chrome has become a one stop program for almost all of your computer needs. If you were to log your most frequently used programs on your computer, what would rank in your Top 3. Based on what I have seen, from myself and others, your Chrome Browser is probably number 1. Think about it, what do you do with your laptop when it is NOT connected to the internet? Chrome works so much better when you are logged in to your Google account. Logging in essentially allows you to use any computer like a Chromebook. Article Preview Log into a Chromebook and your whole Google world is at your fingertips. Mail, Drive, bookmarks, and extensions are suddenly a click away, and you never need to enter another password again. This is part of the magic of Chromebooks, and what makes them so powerful in our schools. ... But many of us aren’t using Chromebooks at home--or even in class--and it’s important to have consistent access to these features. More and more, I’m realized that many don’

Future Ready Schools

I recently attended a Future Ready Schools conference. There was a wealth of information presented and I was very impressed with the research based plan that Future Ready has come up with for schools to improve learning for the 21st century. Yes, technology is a part of the plan, however it is not THE solution for bringing schools into the next level of education. Check out the article and resources linked below. Article Preview Future Ready Schools is a free, bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. The effort provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally under-served communities. The Alliance for Ex

Lifeliqe: Interactive 3D models augment classroom learning

App Preview Pros: Beautiful models, ease of use, and an extensive library make this app extremely versatile. Cons: Making your own ebooks is not intuitive, plus pricing likely will keep it out of students' hands at home. Bottom Line: Lifeliqe is a no-brainer for supplying clear, professional 3D models for deep investigation. App Link

A Brief History of Education Technology


Digital Peer Editing With Microsoft and Google

Collaboration is key to many learning experiences in the classroom and for life-long learners. Google's Gsuite has been geared toward collaborative projects from the beginning, however Microsoft office has been enhancing their collaborative features in Office 365 as well as Office 2016. Microsoft A common misconception when drafting and working with digital content is that a peer reviewer will change and update the original work if the author. By using the Review Ribbon in Microsoft Word, peer reviewers can use Track Changes to suggest updates such as word choice, sentence fluency, and grammar edits, which allows the author to accept or delete the suggestions. Peer editors can also leave comments and ask questions. Source: Google A common misconception when drafting and working with digital content in Google Docs is that a peer reviewer will change and update the original work of the author.  Using the &

Web App: Climate Kids - NASA's Eyes on the Earth

App Preview This is a Kid-friendly, expert site that explores key climate issues. Pros: This fun, fact-filled website invites students to explore and play while maintaining great depth in its content. Cons: Text-heavy information is often organized several layers deep; finding specific answers to climate questions can be challenging. Bottom Line: A great launching point for engaging in accurate and timely climate change information. Link to App

Guide for Setting Up a School Facebook Page

Article Preview For those of you looking to setup a Facebook page for your school (or district), check out this guide linked below. One bit of advice that I can offer is to make sure that you do NOT link your school page with any of your personal accounts. Always use your professional account(s) to manage your school page. Visit Select: Company, Organization, Institution Category: Education Email: Use the NYC DOE email (or other professional email) that you have set up for your school, institution, or program. Share website (optional) Upload photo that represents this page Complete about section In the admin panel invite at least one other person as an administrator using their professional email. Article Link

Four Tips for Effective Digital Leadership

Check out this great article offering great tips for those that want to become digital leaders. Article Preview As educators transition from being “sages on the stage” to “facilitators of learning,” the culture in our schools needs to be rich in digital learning. Educators must be open-minded and flexible learners, focused on continuous improvement and adjustment, in order to best engage students in digital learning. Educators who are honing skills around visioning, ongoing and differentiated professional development, anytime learning, and risk taking are well on their way to effective technology leadership. Be a Visionary Focus on Professional Development Create a Professional Learning Network (PLN) Model Risk-Taking Article Link

Election Technology

Today is Election Day here in the U.S. Here is a brief look at some of the tech behind elections. Election Technology Overview The next big issue in election administration in the U.S. will revolve around technology: voting equipment, electronic poll books, election management systems, and other hardware and software designed to serve voters and election administrators. Source: Video: New Election Tech Video:

Thank You for over 9,000 Views!!!

Thank you for your continued support of Mr. B Ed Tech Blog. Please feel free to share, like, and subscribe. Mr. B on Twitter Mr. B on Linkedin Mr. B on Facebook Mr. B's YouTube Channel According to Wikipeida, "9000 (nine thousand) is the natural number following 8999 and preceding 9001." Hmm, who would have thought? Source: Another interesting note, is the HAL 9000 computer that was the antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yes, you can follow the HAL 9000 on Twitter:

The Oregon Trail Returns: MS-DOS Online After posting my last article, I was curious enough to look for and find, The Oregon Trail that I grew up with in school. Sorry if this interrupts your work day. This is still a very useful tool for students. Also, as things that are "retro" are making a comeback, students may like the look and feel of 1990's computer graphics.

Run Older Computer Software Online: SimHealth

There are many older simulation games that many would like to use with their current hardware platforms. However, most of these games are too old or outdated to work on modern platforms, such as Windows 10, MacOS. and Chromebooks. However, within the last few years, an online solution has sprouted that allows users to emulate older computers within your web browser. Example of SimHealth The creators of SimCity were contracted out by the Markel Foundation to create a game to simulate a national healthcare system back in the 1990s. This software was still being used in healthcare training facilities until fairly recently. You can play this on your Chromebook, Mac, or PC by clicking "Play in Browser" on the link below. Anoither example is Theme Hospital

Plan It Green: City Simulation

In this simulation, students learn to create a green, energy-efficient city.

Student Letters to the President

There is less than a week left until most of America votes for the next President. Here is a resource that shows student written letters to the next President.

Graphic Novels in the Classroom (A Teacher Roundtable)

This article was very interesting to me. I have only met a few teachers who have used Graphic novels in their classroom (outside of the Art teachers). There are many interesting perspectives offered from the teacher discussions in the article. Is this something that can be implemented in your classroom? What are the benefits? There are also interactive graphic novels available online and as an app for tablets. CIA: Operation Ajax . Here is an interactive graphic novel that I have seen used.

Why you should scare your students

See the full article here: The idea that scaring students will help create teachable moments is presented in this article. Psychologists suggest that scary stories are a great way of helping children deal with fear and negative emotions. Maurice Sendak – beloved author of that gloriously monstrous romp Where The Wild Things Are – believed when he won the Caldecott Medal in 1964, saying, “It’s an awful fact of childhood. The fact of [a child’s] vulnerability to fear, anger, hate, frustration – all the emotions that are an ordinary part of their lives and that they can only perceive as dangerous, ungovernable forces. To master these forces, children turn to fantasy: that imaginary world where disturbing emotional situations are solved to their satisfaction.”

Web Resources: The Election Collection This website has numerous resources for teachers planning lessons for this year's election. Provided by PBS. The Librarian's List: 5 Resources for the Upcoming Presidential Election Also, here is another resource for elections.