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Showing posts from March, 2016

Online Badges in the Classroom

As a follow up to the benefit of badges article I posted before (see here), here is another article showing you places where you can make Digital Badges. Mozilla Open Badges is a free tool that you can create, issue and verify digital badges. With over 200 million combinations, it gives a lot of varieties to choose from. See more in the article.

Thank you for 4000 views!

With yesterday's post about Fight for Life , my blog reached over 4000 views! Thank you for your continued support. Here is a video that shows some of the humorous rules in the English language.

Congrats to Eureka School District #140 - Fight for Life!

Congratulations to Eureka School District and Student Council on surpassing their fundraising goal for Fight for Life! The amount of effort put forth by the faculty. staff, students, and this community to help the children of St. June is unparalleled! I truly grateful to be a part of this community! Watch the Reveal Ceremony For More information on Fight for Life District 140 and the Eureka community are teaming up to help support childhood cancer! Through a variety of events in March, Eureka High School's Student Council will lead all district schools in the fight for life. One hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Microsoft Office: 40 of the Best Add-ins for PowerPoint

Check out these Add-ins for PowerPoint!40-of-the-best-addins-plugins-and-apps-for-Microsoft-PowerPoint-free-or-not/biauv/56b62cf80cf26832893d6eb2 Now with the updated link. Add-ins, similar to Google's Apps for Education Add-ons, add more features to Microsoft Office products. These are usually developed by other parties rather than by Microsoft.

Google Sheets: Insert and Delete Cells (Like in Excel)

Where to get "Insert and Delete Cells"

Windows App: Classroom Management OneNote Add-in

This is a very neat tool for teachers looking for some classroom management help in a Windows Laptop setting. This OneNote add-in allows educators to better manage their class assignments, quizzes and more. How to Get Class Notebook This is mainly meant for environments where access to Google's Apps for Education may not be the best solution. Many of these features in this add-in can also be achieved on Chromebooks with different tools.

Apple's Press Conference (Spring 2016) New iPhone & iPad

Check out the verge's live blog coverage of the Apple Event from today (3/21/2016) via the link below. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on The Verge blog does necessarily not reflect the opinions of Mr. B. iPhone SE A 4 inch version of an iPhone 6s More Details: iPad Pro 9.7inch More Details: iOS 9.3 New Features Night Shift Mode Improved security for Notes Multi-user Support Enhanced 3D Plus Features More Details:

iPad: 7 Apps from the Math Learning Center Check out this article for seven great free apps for iPad math enrichment.

iPad App: Class Kick - Monitoring Student Work

Easy-to-use, real-time monitoring of student work for 1-to-1 PROS Flexible features give teachers and students tons of options for interaction and support. CONS The app works best with very steady Wi-Fi access; some teachers might dislike the limited options for uploading files. BOTTOM LINE Paperless workflow management is a crowded category, but Classkick's real-time monitoring and ease of use make it a neat tool for 1-to-1 iPad classrooms.

Students Using Social Media - Reason #3: Sharing Our Awesome

Link to article: I read this article the other day. This article has some very interesting ideas about using Social Media. "Using social media with students allows us to share with our schools, community, and the world with transparency, immediacy, and power. You want to know what goes on in my classroom?" (Check it out on Social Media...) What if every teacher tweeted one thing a day they did in their classroom to a school or district hashtag? Check out the other two reasons linked in the article as well on Community and Crowd sourcing and Connecting). 

7 Reasons Not to Swear Online This is something that I completely agree with. Educations, professionals, and ... well, just about everyone should refrain from using expletives online. I have consistently heard from educators and other industry professionals, that respect for a presenter was instantly lost at even the occasional use of expletives. This was true for both verbal and written presentations. Quote from the article "Don't get me wrong: I'm no saint. On the extremely rare occasions I have a go at building something then you can be sure the air will turn blue when I hit my thumb instead of the nail. Same thing happens when my computer crashes and I lose the last hour's work because I forgot to save. But I don't do it online." This statement does relate very well to me. The difference between using an expletive in speech vs. writing is that you have a chance to go back and edit your writing. You have the opportunity to choos

Google Apps: Set an Expiration Date when you Share Documents This is a great addition to Google Drive's sharing capabilities. Google released this feature on March 15th. It is expected to take 2-3 months for all users to get this feature.

A Search Engine for Kids, by Google

Kiddle is a new and a child-friendly search engine for kids that is supported by Google’s Custom search bar embedded in the website. Visit at: 60 Second Tour of Kiddle

GAFE Admin Podcast Episode 2

Are you an Admin of a Google Apps for Education environment? Check out this new podcast. Lots of great information.

iPads: A Tool to Help Classrooms Go Paperless - Handouts Pros : Simple navigation and easy setup make this approachable, searchable, and easy to use particularly for younger students. Cons : Student/teacher annotation limited to colored pencil writing tools and simple text features. Bottom Line : A useful tool for teachers, especially elementary teachers, looking to make worksheet workflow digital, but those looking for more comprehensive paperless solutions will need to look elsewhere.

Chrome/Web App: iCivics Win the White House Happy Primary Day to those of us voting today! Win the White House focuses on what it takes to become a United States President. Through the activities in the game, students learn about the Presidential election process. This game was forwarded to me today from a co-worker. If you have not been to , I would definitely take a look as there are many educational games to play. was created in cooperation with Justice Sandra Day O'Conner. I had the privilege of watching Sandra Day O'Conner speak at Eureka College's Campus as she received an honorary doctorate a few years back. President Ronald Reagan, an alum of Eureka College, appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court. She voiced her dedication to teaching the nation's youth to participate in government. Win the White House Trailer Sandra Day O'Conner Speech at Eureka College

iPad App: U.S. Geography by MindSnacks PROS Fast-paced app draws kids into fact memorization and recall through eight games and distinctive visuals. CONS Some quiz questions are obscure and not generally useful to students. BOTTOM LINE Fun, demanding game-style quizzes include more than 1,000 facts.

Badges, Not Just for Kids Anymore

Badges in the Classroom There are many benefits of using badges in the classroom. Some of the benefits of digital badges are: Autonomy - Giving students a sense of customizing their course and choosing what they want to learn. Not all badges need be required The ability to try again  - If a student does not earn the badge the first time, they can keep trying until they do, as opposed to some traditional summative assessments. New Forms of Assessments Increased motivation and engagement  Improved Retention Recognition of Prior Learning Source(s):  (Page 11-14) Badges in Professional Development All of the aforementioned benefits can also be transferred to adult learners. Many adult learning providers use badges as a way to visually display a learner's progres

Move Over Flair | This and That

From the Movie Office Space Move Over Flair Article The education field is all abuzz with collecting and sending digital badges. This tool is considered an essential for those employing game-based learning activities or even in gamified lessons. This article by blogger Jon Castelhano gives some advice on providing meaninful professional development, including giving badges to teachers. This and That Blog If you like this article, you will want to check out more of these posts here.

How to Give A Killer Presentation | Tech Learning

How to Give A Killer Presentation | Tech Learning This article by author Lisa Nielsen offers some great tips on how to get (and keep) students engaged in teacher presentations.

Google Docs: New Templates Designed by Experts See the article link above for information about new templates in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides that were designed by field experts to help us out. Reading Rainbow was on this list as they helped to create a lesson plan template as well as a book report template. Reading Rainbow Theme

What Comes First, Education or Technology? This is a good article about putting education technology in perspective. "What has happened is that the existence of the technology has enabled you to reconsider some of your teaching methods." Technology has sparked a critical change in education. When integrating technology in education, for the most part of the 20th century, the focus was on adding technology to already existing teaching practices. “I want to get people to start from the notion that there are educational things that they want to do, or educational processes that they would like to engage with, and then - and only then - talk about the technology.”— The death of the digital native... Technology is inspiring us to change what we are doing in our classrooms and how students are learning. Here is an example of how technology can inspire a change in teaching practice: 1990s Tech Example: VCR usa

YouTube: Watch Videos without the Distractions

There are various tools that can help you view YouTube videos in your classroom safely, without embarrassing ads or inappropriate suggested videos. ViewPure SafeShare (Also works with Vimeo) How it Works Simply copy the URL (link) of the YouTube video you desire to show/share with your students and paste into the web app. You will get a brand new page to view the video without ads and other distractions. Original Source:

Coding: Learning to Code, From Scratch

I have come across a variety of educators that have adopted the Scratch coding platform. Coding teaches valuable troubleshooting and problem-solving skills at the highest levels of thinking. This article below gives some information about Scratch and why it is valuable in classrooms. Link to Article "Much like learning to write, we believe coding is a type of literacy that’s valuable for all children." - Sascha Zuger How to get to Scratch Scratch: Scratch Jr: Online Forum for Eductators Scratch Ed:

Online Charter Schools Tested by Setbacks

Online Charter Schools Tested by Setbacks and Self-Inflicted Blows Saw this in the news the other day about the performance of an online charter school. The popularity of online schools is growing. There is a lot of evidence showing that this growth is caused by the increasing ease of access to online courses. However, as this article notes, the performance of students in at least this online carter school, has increasingly suffered each year.

Solving Student Log In Problems Among the advice offered in this article, teachers can: Keep details of the student's log-ins yourself, for for when a student forgets their login or password. Keep a list of spare usernames and passwords. Label each computer, laptop, and tablet with a label stating what the guest log-in details are for that device, a log-in that will give the person access to all the standard programs.

Chrome App: Edit Videos on Chromebooks with WeVideo

This Web 2.0 works on almost any device. If you are looking for a decent video editor for your Chromebook WeVideo has almost everything you need. WeVideo has a similar look and operation to most other simple video editors on the market. While using it, I personally compared it to a more advanced "Windows Movie Maker." I enjoy that all of my work is instantly saved. Unlike in Windows Movie Maker, I have yet to lose a project I was working on due to a crash or forgetting to save. Where to get WeVideo Website Chrome App Google Play (Android) App iTunes App What is WeVideo? How to use WeVideo

What Will the Classroom of Tomorrow Look Like?

50 Must Read K-12 I.T. Blogs 2015

Sadly I did not make this list this year. :) However, if you wonder where I get some of the information I post to this blog, many of my sources are included in this list. Here are some of the EdTech Blogs I frequently read: 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning Alice Keeler Dangerously Irrelevant Lisa Nielsen  - The Innovative Educator Shake Up Learning TeachThought and I have added some more from the list.

Help Girls Become NERDs

How to Help Girls Become NERDs: Nurtured Engineering-Ready Daughters There is another article I am reminded of with this as well: Why Women Make Gifted Coders