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Showing posts from October, 2016

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.

The Google Sheets Gradebook

Many educators use a school provided online gradebook of some sort, usually provided with the school Student Information System (SIS). Some popular programs include Skyward, Schoolmaster, and PowerSchool. However, some may not have this option or they want another place to create a personal backup of all the gradebook information. Google Sheets Gradebook Add-on This add-on for Google sheets is free for those that want to track grades. One feature that may be worth the price tag are the reporting features. With this add-on teachers can create and email individual student progress reports or create whole class reports. This is an incredibly powerful tool that can make managing grades and tracking student progress easier. Instructions for Gradebook Add-on Google Apps (G-Suite) Other Gradebook Templates https://drive.go

Twitterfeed to Shutdown this Halloween

To help automate my posts to social media, I have linked my blog with my various social media sites with This app automatically forwards my blog posts to Twitter, Facebook, and, most recently, Linkedin. However, is set to shutdown on October 31, 2016. Now, when users visit, they are greeted with a message about two other apps that will help with automating social media posts. I have included links to those apps below along with my initial impressions. **************** 1) This is the app that I have chosen. This app is capable of positng to Facebook, Linkedin, Pintrest, Google+, Tumblr, and a few other social media sites. Setup was easy, but the free version is limited. I was able to set up everything I need except for Pinterest, which requires a paid subscription for the service. As I like to stay with what is free, I will stick to manually posting to Pinterest. 2) can post to every site that

G Suite: Google Docs now has Page Numbers in Table of Contents

It is often the little things in life that add up to make life great. That statement may sound like an overreaction to something as simple as having page numbers in your Table of Contents, however this is a feature I have long since hoped for. I have created many documents that are published to the web. Since some of these documents over 40 pages in length, I really like adding a Table of Contents to my documents. This tool automatically creates a link to each one of my document headers (or bookmarks) and puts it a the top of my document. This makes it easier for readers to scan and find information in the document. However, if I print (or save as a PDF), it is great to have page numbers to go along with the header as a reference. How to Create a Table of Contents in Google Docs Google's Support Article: For more information on the update:

Apple's October Conference (10/27/16) Apple's September conference focused almost exclusively on the new Apple Watch and iPhone 7. This time around, apple is expected to release details about the next generation of the device that started it all, the computer. There is much speculation about what Apple will unveil, but nothing in official until the conference (October 27, 2016). The conference starts at 10am Pacific Time (1pm Eastern). You can stream the event using the link above, or follow live via numerous tech blog coverage on blogs or Twitter. What will Apple reveal? (Speculation and Rumors) Requirements to stream the conference (From Apple's Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live

Re: 12 Alternatives To Letter Grades In Education

Challenging Traditional Grades Looks like it is time to ruffle a few feathers on a Monday morning. This is an older article, but one that still has a large amount of relevance in what is currently being discussed in education. A lot of research is being done on the antiquated grading system almost every school has been using for over 100+ years. The earliest record of a letter-grade system comes from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts in 1897. (There is a passing reference in the Harvard archives to a student receiving a B grade in 1883, but no evidence of a complete A-through-F system.) (Quote from The struggle to change this grading system with something far superior in measuring student learning is very similar to converting Luddites to education technology. However, more parents, teachers, and students seem more willing to adopt technology rather than a new grading system. The letter grade system is easy to understand for parents, as this method was used in ho

Web App: YouTube Kids

PROS: Catchy sounds and easy navigation make for an engrossing, endlessly engaging viewing experience. CONS: The content is uneven, and kids could come across inappropriate videos or ads. BOTTOM LINE: With adult guidance, this is a fun way for young kids to browse online videos. Read More at:

Android comes to Chrome OS (Beta)

Chrome (Version 53) included a large amount of updates. Some of these caused some havoc in our enterprise environments, but for the most part, those bugs were quickly resolved. One of the "hidden" features in this update is the ability to access and install apps from the Google Play store on Chromebooks. Although this ability is currently in Beta and is only available on a select few Chromebooks, google has plans How to install Android apps on Chrome OS : List of Compatible Devices: In Education, this may help bridge the gap between two competing platforms. Schools have largely bought into either iPads or Chromebooks. With this new ability, those that need a more tactile interface (such as early education PreK - 2, will be able to use education apps previousl

Minecraft Education Edition coming to the Windows 10 Store

See the full article here: Why Minecraft in Education? Student Engagement Students live in a digital world already. Minecraft: Education Edition is a way to bring the classroom and curriculum to them. Minecraft: Education Edition is the same game many students enjoy and play, but with some additional capabilities to enable student collaboration in the classroom, and support educators to deliver lessons and learning activities. Collaboration Minecraft: Education Edition is designed for students to play together – whether that’s working in teams to solve a problem, or collaborating as an entire class to go through learning activities and master challenges within the game. Having students engage in collaborative work teams and learning environments that foster cooperation in the classroom will help prepare them for their futures. Creative Exploration Children learn naturally through

Google Encourages Girls to Code

The push for more female participation in STEM is not new. That push extends into coding, an increasingly useful fluency that is dominated by males. Made With Code: A Project by Google to Encourage Girls to Code

Web App: Capitalization Invasion

Web Tool: Capitalization Invasion Grade/Subject: For Kindergarten (ELA) Where to find:

Mr. B Now on Linkedin

In my effort to reach out to my many EdTech brethren, I am pleased to announce that Mr. B Ed Tech Blog posts will now be posted on Linkedin. Also, if anyone is interested in becoming a contributor to Mr. B Ed Tech Blog, please feel free to reach out to me. Mr. B Ed Tech Blog is currently on: Blogger Google + Twitter Facebook Linkedin (NEW!) and YouTube You can follow posts on Pinterest . However, the Pinterest page is not updated daily.

iPad App: CheckThis - Create Posters

"Checkthis makes it easy to create colorful posts with multiple images. Transform an image of the ocean into the story of your day at the beach — and it looks cool when shared..." For More Information:

Mac OS: Run MacOS on Windows???

In my previous two articles, I mentioned ways to get Windows to run on a Mac. These methods are supported with Windows and MacOS, but the following method has no official support. The following article shows how to run MacOS on Windows. However, this is not for the novice user. There is a lot that needs to be done to get this accomplished, and even then, it may not work or it may work and then quit working. See the full article here: How to Run Mac OS on Windows Watch Video on YouTube:

Mac OS: Windows in Virtual Box

I mentioned in my previous article that another way to run Windows on MacBooks was to use a program called Virtual Box. Virtual Box is a program that emulates a computer so you can install an Operating System (like Windows) in its own contained environment within another Operating System. The reason why I recommend Virtual Box is because it is free. There are other solutions like Parallels or VMWare, but for the casual user, Virtual Box will work great. Where to get Virtual Box: Where to get Windows 10: How to Install Windows 10 on Mac with Virtual Box

Mac OS: Windows Bootcamp

Lately I have been spending a lot of time working with Boot Camp on MacBooks. Boot Camp comes free with any MacBook and allows you to install Windows OS on your MacBook (provided you have a full genuine copy of Windows). You can then choose to boot your MacBook with either MacOS or Windows OS. However, you can only run one or the other. With MacOS Sierra, Apple is recommending Windows 10 with Boot Camp. Just recently I was still able to install Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit on a MacBook Pro (2012). This can be useful for applications that are not available for Mac or for legacy software support. For example, a teacher wants to allow students to get certified in Microsoft Office, however the testing apps are only available for Windows. An alternative to Boot Camp could be to run Windows via Virtual Box. However, your system should have at least 8GB of RAM to accomplish this. I personally recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM, as your computer will be running 2 computers at once (your Mac an

Finding Google's Hidden Games

Google's Hidden Games See the Full Article Here: If you have Chromebooks in your district, chances are you have had at least one instance when the Chromebook would not connect to the network and you are greeted with the "dinosaur" page. What some do not know is that the dinosaur page is actually a hidden game, built within Google Chrome. Google's sense of humor has some in the education technology industry a little annoyed at times. Case in point, I have had students that will intentionally turn the WiFi off on a device to play the "Dinosaur game". However, I was surprised to find that this is NOT the only hidden game in google. Check out the article linked above to learn more.

Education and government suffer most from ransomware

This article shows some interesting information about Ransomware. Ransomeware is a virus that keeps users from accessing the information stored on their hard drives (documents, name it!). The only way to regain access is to pay a fee to the entity responsible (hence the ransom part of the name). See the Full Article Here:

Education will shift away from classrooms in the future

This is an interesting article from BetaNews about research done by Polycom on what the classroom of the future will be like in 2025. See the Full Article Here:

How Music Affects Your Productivity

iTunes, Google Play, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube Music...and more. I consistently see students listening to music while working on assignments or during independent learning. How does listening to music actually affect productivity of students? Take a look at the article below for some perspective. See the full article here:

Web App: Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures - Predator Protector

This is a great interactive game that allows players to guide three different threatened shark species to food and away from danger. At the same time, players can learn about the behaviors and habitats of these three species. See the App here:

Blog Post #300: Reasons That Ed Tech Research Is Reported Inaccurately

First, an acknowledgement of this being the 300th post to Mr B Ed Tech Blog. Thank you for your continued support of this blog. Reasons That Ed Tech Research Is Reported Inaccurately The industry of ed tech has been booming since the start of this decade. With the introduction of affordable mobile devices as well as mandated online testing, schools are investing heavily in ed tech. As a result, there has been a lot of time and resources spent researching ed tech. However, this article shows that some ed tech research may be inaccurate or misleading.