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Showing posts from 2017

Why do I Teach? and Reflections

These are some random thoughts I have written down in my reflections throughout my teaching career about why I teach. This is a question I often asked myself, at the highs and lows of the teaching process. Here were some of my answers. Seeing someone go from "I CAN'T DO THIS! I'm just not smart enough." to "I did it!" Keep someone from making the same mistakes others did. (Written after a rather difficult student decided to drop out only a few weeks before graduation.) There are few moments of personal satisfaction greater than a lesson executed to perfection. ("I love it when a plan comes together!" - Col. Smith, The A-Team) A reflection from 3 weeks in to my teaching career I called on a student today. I said, "Josh can you answer this question?" After a brief awkward pause, the student next to him said, "You know his name is NOT Josh right?" I said, "It's not???" "I'm Zach,"

12 Days of #EdTech-mas: The gift of human connection

See the TedTalk by clicking here I have saved the best for last. In my final post of the 12 days of EdTech-mas, I take a look at what some would call, the most important part of the teaching process, building a connection/relationship with your students. Everyone of us have been impacted by a teacher because of the connection that was developed between teacher and student. "Students may forget the lessons, but they remember the teacher," I have often heard some say. Check out these resources below for tools to help develop connections with students. 5 Tips for Better Relationships with Your Students  - "Protect the Student’s Self-Esteem" 6 Tech Tools that Boost Teacher-Parent Communication Technology Ideas to Connect Students to the World - EdWeek

12 Days of #EdTech-mas: Making Interactive Videos

Since the invention of the film projector, videos have been a powerful learning tool in education. For the most part however, the learning experience was static, or one-way. The student sat and watched while the video presented the information or lesson. In modern times, with pushes for student centered learning, videos are still a useful tool but now have been adapted to be more interactive. Take a look at the resources below on making and presenting interactive videos. EdPuzzle Play Post It

12 Days of #EdTech-mas: Resources for #Education #Technology

Here are some resources for education technology. Department of Educational Technology: (U.S. Department of Education) Resources for STUDENTS/FAMILIES: Resources for TEACHERS : TeacherVision Top 10 Classroom Ed Tech Resources ISTE Resources

12 Days of #EdTech-Mas: Top 10 for PLNs What is a PLN? A PLN is a professional learning network, usually online where a person can go for help, tips, and advice in his or her professional field. For example, Mr. B Ed Tech ( ) is my PLN where I go to get help, tips, advice, and contribute my experience for other technology and education professionals. Out of my experience, my favorite tool by far has been Twitter. For those that I know personally or face-to-face, I use facebook, but I also have a Mr. B Ed Tech group on there as well. Pinterest is a great place for teacher resources, but I have not found it helpful to me personally. I do post some things on there, but I rarely find anything on there. The most helpful to me has been email list-serv(s). This is my first stop for tech issues that puzzle me. I usually post a question and within minutes someone posts back with the solution or a "me too" comment. Those "me to

12 Days of #Ed-Tech-Mas: Classroom Technology Rules Take advantage of these tips and tricks to share with your students digitally or print out. Another suggestion I would have for this is to make your technology rules into a lesson and have students create their own posters for your classroom technology rules.

12 Days of #EdTech-Mas #EdTech: Google Cardboard VR EDU

This article has 12 ways to use Google Cardboard in your class. 3D History In Google Cardboard Google Expeditions Lesson Plans Google Cardboard is very inexpensive. The only issue can be getting devices that you can use with it. This is mainly due to price. However there are avenues for getting devices for education with grants or through education pricing.

12 Days of #EdTech-Mas: 8 Tips for making Movies with #Google Photos #Gsuite

Check out the tips here:

12 Days of #EdTech-mas #EdTech: The Gift of Music

"The hills are alive with the sound of music." Be honest, some of you sang that in your head while reading. The Rules There are many ways of incorporating music into the classroom and the benefits of doing so are almost endless. There are simple rules to follow if one is going to implement music into the classroom. Be Consistent  Do Not Overuse It  Have a Purpose  Make Sure It Is School Appropriate  One may note the similarity of incorporating music to incorporating technology into the classroom. Most important, music must serve a purpose. For example, I used  music to prompt the bell ringer in my classroom. When students entered, I would already have the music playing. This would let students know to get to work as soon as they entered. When the music ended, students knew they had about 30 seconds before we would begin discussing the bell ringer activity. This was a daily use of music, following the consistency rule. However, this was the only activity I used

12 Days of #EdTech-mas: Happy Computer Science Education Week

A bit belated, but still much appreciated. Happy Computer Science Education Week! Computer science skills are not supposed to be limited to the computer science classroom anymore. With the increasing importance of digital literacy for both work and personal use, computer science skills should be integrated with lessons in every classroom. Example: Computer Science Hits the Basketball Court Coding is evolving and influencing how we think about all industries, including fashion, music and art. Check out this link below about Computer Science First: Sports Code your Own Google Doodle This resource comes complete with teacher guides and resources to help kids code their own Google Doodle. Edu in 90

National Remembrance Day: Pearl Harbor

A very special thank you to those who have sacrificed for our country. Please take some time today to remember those who have lost their lives in defense of their country. From Wikipedia National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day, is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 citizens of the United States who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. More Info: 

12 Days of #EdTech-mas #EdTech: The Gift of Video

Video is still one the the most power learning tools that teachers use. Now that each student has a device, this offers various possibilities in offering individualized instruction through video through differentiation . Students can view the video at their own pace . If they need something repeated or need to pause the video, they can do so. Students can be watching different videos from each other at the same time. For example, I can even edit my videos or make a new video for students by ability level. How to get started? Make your Video (WeVideo) Publish your Video (YouTube Channel) Present your Video to Students (EdPuzzle) WeVideo - Tutorial - How to Make and Edit Videos on a Chromebook From Teachers.Tech on YouTube How to Create a YouTube Channel From Teachers.Tech on YouTube Make your Videos Interactive with EdPuzzle From Flipped Classroom Tutorials on YouTube

12 Days of #EdTech-mas #EdTech: Which tech device should I gift?

There are many options to consider when purchasing a device for a gift. Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself before purchasing any device. What will the device's primary purpose be? What will the user need to access on the device? Will this device need to be used for work/school? Notice, I didn't ask any questions about the technical specs. When buying a computer, as well as integrating technology into the classroom, you should focus on the purpose, not the device. What will the device's primary purpose be? There are some common answers for this question. Your answer will narrow it down quite a bit. Web-Browsing (Social Media, Email, and Google), School Work... Some will use a computer primarily for social media / e-mail. I recently posted an article about over 70% of global web traffic is routed through either Google or Facebook. However, if this is all you are doing, you don't need a top of the line machine. For example, using a MacBook

12 Days of #EdTech-mas #EdTech

Over the next 12 school days (until my school lets out for Christmas), I will be posting a series of articles about different devices and their various educational uses in the classrooms or at home. Some will have techie information as well as teacher information. I will also post about device gift options.

Using an LMS for Blended Learning #EdTech, PD, and Online Teaching

Check out the Article here What a Learning Management System (LMS) can do for you (or your district). The LMS platform becomes the one stop shop for resources and curriculum in your school or district, from an online textbook to teacher professional development (PD). From my experience, this is an essential item for all schools to have to promote 21st century learning. See some of these tools below if you'd like to get started. LMS Resources As with everything I post, I should let you know that this is NOT a paid endorsement for any of these tools. Schoology - A great cloud based tool to implement as your LMS. Moodle - If you want a free on site hosted option as your LMS Google Sites - You can create your own Content Management System (CMS) in Google sites, combine with Google Classroom to make it your LMS as well.

RE: Add a site-wide footer in the new Google Sites

Many websites, especially those created for business purposes, require a consistent footer across all of their pages. These footers often house crucial information, like an organization’s contact information, privacy policy, and more. Google's New Sites is getting closer and closer to being a great web building platform. I really wish they would add the ability to have Twitter or RSS feeds show up on the page, that is holding me back from switching everything over.

RE: 5 Essential Media Literacy ?s for Kids #EdTech

RE: New Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorial #EdTech #Coding

Check out this resource from Microsoft on their new hour of code tutorial from Microsoft.

Black Thursday

As Black Friday no longer seems an appropriate term, I am reporting on some things to beware of on Black Thursday. ONLINE Black Friday Safety Tips

#HappyThanksgiving - What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving! This year, I have a lot to be thankful for, including, but not limited to My New niece, who is going to turn 1 in about a month. Friends and family, Job and amazing co-workers Wonderful PLC community between Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and this blog, which this month hit over 20,000 views! and more! What are you thankful for this year?

RE: Digital Citizens Guide for Educators #EdTech

Check out this infographic below to use as a resource for educators. Click the image to enlarge.

RE: Great #Thanksgiving Listen #EdTech

This resource includes ideas for using Adobe Spark, but if you don't have access to this program, these ideas could easily be used with another program. Check out the resource from Class Tech Tips here:

Creating Interactive #Google Slides #EdTech

Thanks to all of those who attended my IETC (Illinois Education Technology Conference) presentation on Friday. For those that missed it or were otherwise unable to attend, here are the resources I shared for creating your own interactive Google Slides. This presentation was created utilizing best practices in classroom instruction including Teachers now are the facilitators of knowledge instead of the sole source Students take an active role in learning (student-centered activities) and Students use higher level thinking skills through CREATING.

RE: Google Sheets for Beginners 2017 #Gsuite #EdTech

A great tutorial for those wanting to get started with Google Sheets. If you haven't been in Google sheets in the past few months, you may want to check it out. Google has made some great changes to make Google Sheets function more like other spreadsheet programs you may be familiar with. My favorite feature is the "Explore" data button. This allows you to "Ask a Question" about your data and, Google Sheets will provide the answer and the formula used to get the answer. It really makes the spreadsheet much more user friendly.

RE: Insert images more easily in #Gsuite #Edtech

Now when you go into Google Docs, Drawings, or Slides, you will can insert images directly from a search bar that appears on the right side of the screen. If you go to Insert, then Images, If you select “Search the web,” “Drive,” or “Photos,” you’ll be taken to a menu on the righthand side of your screen that is easier to navigate and more intuitive to use. You can also drag and drop images directly from this menu into your document. For More Info

Introducing Hangouts Meet for Gsuite #edtech Hangouts Meet hardware is a cost-effective way to bring high-quality video meetings to your business. The hardware kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speakermic, 4K-sensor Ultra HD camera and ASUS Chromebox. While this hardware is intended to increase efficiency of business meetings, I do see applications for this device in the Education sector as well. One use could be for setting up distance learning classrooms or for recording lessons. Another use could be for public meeting places to have video conferences with students or staff.

Google Hangouts now Can be Saved to Google Drive\ Now you can record and archive Google Hangout meetings to Google Drive. This makes Google Hangouts more competitive in the webinar/web conferencing market, competing with tools like Adobe Connect and GoToMeeting.

Veterans Day: Wall of Peace - 2017

In honor of Veterans Day here in the United States, check out our "Wall of Peace" blog featuring students answering questions about Veterans, patriotism, and honoring those who sacrifice all in service of their country.

RE:25 GSuite Add-ons & Chrome Extentions for Teachers #EdTech

Check out this resource for some great Google Add-Ons and Extensions for teachers.

RE: When Classroom Technology Impedes Student Learning #EdTech Link to Education Next Article on the Study Those that know me best better believe that I have a strong opinion about this article. After doing some research on this study here are some of the details of the study and conclusions I have based on the findings. The Study - Question: Does technology impede learning? The People - College Sophomores Enrolled in Economics The Place - West Point Time Frame - 2014–15 academic year and the fall semester of the 2015–16 academic year The Experiment - 3 different classes used differing levels of technology and were compared by test score on how much they learned. Conclusion -  ...we do not claim that all computer use in the classroom is harmful. Exercises where computers or tablets are deliberately use

RE: Six Things Principals Are Thinking with #Edtech

Not having an administrator background, I cannot say if this is accurate. Perhaps my administrator colleagues can either affirm or deny the claims in this article. I can attest to the fact that these "Six Things" go through my head when I'm being pitched Ed Tech. It all comes down to cost I can relate to the first point in the article above, "Which of my million problems does this solve?" This is rarely the first point raised by administrators in my experience. First and foremost is cost. If it is not feasible to purchase, then it is hard to get invested in the technology being presented. A prominent example of this was a demonstration I attended on a 3D/VR interactive learning system. My personal opinion on this device was it was probably going to be $1,000 to $1,500 per device. With this in mind I thought maybe we could purchase a small set of these

Google Docs Table Formatter

In this video, I show you an add-on that will format tables in Google Docs, like those available in Microsoft Word.

RE: #EdTech - 5 ways educational games improve learning

A new study cites impressive learning gains and increased classroom engagement when educational games are incorporated into existing instruction. This article (linked below) is yet another example of the benefit of adding gaming elements to classroom instruction. As with any learning method, this adds to the learning experience, with or without technology. However, technology enhances and adds many more possibilities to this instructional style. 5 benefits of educational games, straight from teachers

RE: Why are Schools Still Using Rules From 1893?

A very informative blog post about how the current organization of education came about. This article parallels the talks by Sir Ken Robinson about how our current system of education was designed during the age of enlightenment and during the economics of the industrial revolution. Schools are made in the image of a factory, students grouped by "date of manufacture," and so on... Probably one of the key documents for K–12 education is the NEA’s Committee of Ten report from 1893. It’s often credited with giving us the alphabetic arrangement of high-school science courses—biology, chemistry, and physics. Check out the blog post here: Check out the Talk by Sir Ken Robinson here

Geographia - Explore the World #EdTech

This resource was recently passed along to me recently and I thought I would share with you. Geographia is a website that offers resources on many different countries. This tool uses a dated, but engaging layout and offers images, descriptions, and information of many foreign countries. As a Social Studies teacher, I view this site as a content rich resource for students.

Students Should Teach Others #EdTech

This article, Every Student Should Be Given the Opportunity to Teach Others , presents excellent reasons for students being able to teach. Thinking back to my own learning experiences, I best remember the lessons I was taught when I was able to present/teach others. Platforms for Students Teaching Students Screen-casting Screencastify - There are limited features in the free version, but there is enough to successfully create and present a screen-cast. Videos Record and post videos through Google Drive or YouTube. The app ShowMe , for tablets can also be a good way to create a presentation while explaining concepts. An interesting concept that you might want to try is using the Vine video time limit in having students create videos. The time limit really makes the student think about what is most important. Check out this resource. 3 Ways to Use Vine in the Classroom . Blogs Students can create a blog post for certain topics and subjects online. This can be done in a

RE: The web began dying in 2014, Here's How

For those that are interested in the field of tech, this article offers some perspective on the web and internet over the past 10 years. Mind-blowing facts from this article: Facebook and Google account for over 70% of all internet traffic! Amazon does not focus on profit (see their revenue vs net income chart) Mobile devices are now accessing the internet more than desktops as of last year.

4-H Club featuring Wearable Tech

Interesting video about the 4-H National Youth Science Day. For More Information

New Google Sites - Setup Custom Domain #EdTech

A very useful tutorial for those wanting to setup a custom web address name for your Google Site. For example. I changed my website. to the much more user friendly I did this so my students could easily get to my class website so they didn't have to type out the looooong web address. At the moment, mine is setup as a re-direct link, but after viewing this tutorial I'll have to get to work on getting that changed.

RE: 5 Ways to Use Video in the Classroom #edtech

This is a great article showcasing some of the uses of video in the classroom. Topics include flipping classroom instruction, student assessments, as well as video for professional development and parent communication. Check out the Article Here

RE: What teachers say the need to use #EdTech Effectively

Check out this article,  What Teachers Say They Need to Use Technology Effectively , for some insight into how teachers view Education Technology in their classrooms. Article Preview Based on those surveyed, 68 percent of teachers in blended learning classrooms report that with the use of technology they’re better able to differentiate instruction for their students. Teachers who have experienced online and blended classes for their own professional learning use advanced technology with their students, value the role of technology in learning more highly, and have higher aspirations for leveraging technology to transform learning environments.

RE: What's New: #EdTech Tools for Schools

Have a look at this resource list for teachers to use in their classrooms. This list includes new tools as well as updates to existing tools.

Grade sync Google Classroom To Skyward #edtech

I am often asked if Google Classroom and Skyward, our Student Information System, have a way to sync grades between each other. Well, at this point, there is nothing offered that will sync grades. It is possible for teachers to mass copy grades from Google Classroom into Skyward. It is a lengthy process that gets easier with experience. Take a look at the resources below. 5 Minute Tech Tips - Transfer Grades from Google Classroom to Skyward Google Doc, Migrating Grades from Classroom Into Skyward

Halloween in the Classroom #EdTech

Holidays mean a lot for many students. Adding holiday themed/deigned activities into classroom lessons can increase student engagement and class morale. Here are some resources for classroom teachers on Halloween, from decorating to integrating the holiday into course curriculum. Pinterest - 222 of the Best Halloween Images/Activities Education World - Halloween Lesson Ideas NEA - Halloween Lessons, Activities, and Resources K-5 Scholastic Halloween Resources Pre-K to 8 Teacher Vision - Halloween Worksheets and Resources TeachHub - Halloween Activities for Any Grade While Holiday lessons are engaging for most students, there are some that do not celebrate holidays as they may not fit with their beliefs. However, these students do not need to be excluded from these lessons. Here is a resource for providing alternative lessons that can still encourage participation and engagement without infringing on the students' beliefs. This falls along the same lines as different

Create Interactive Worksheets with Google Docs #EdTech

It is great when teachers can find PDF documents that students can fill out. However, on Chromebooks these are quite a challenge. Some have the ability to use apps like Kami. Annotating and Filling out PDFs on Chromebooks Kami allows students and teachers to annotate over PDFs within a web browser. This is one solution for getting students to fill out worksheets on Chromebooks. However, it is one that will cost money if you want all of your students to be able to use it. However, a potentially better solution would be to create your own Fillable Worksheet in Google. You can use Google Docs or Google Sheets for this method. Check out my Google Docs example below. Sample Fillable Worksheet  (Blank) Sample Fillable Worksheet with Sample Answers The key to creating fillable worksheets on Google Docs is to create every question into a table. Always have your question and answer blanks separated so students will type you you intend them to answer. I also highlight these a

RE: Developing Global Citizens #EdTech

Global Citizenship and Intercultural Exchanges from Shelly Sanchez Terrell Teaching citizenship to students is not confined to one subject, grade level, or even just at school. This goal is one that every educator shares with the community, creating students to be productive global citizens. More than ever we need our learners to be global citizens who help make the world a better place. For more Information

RE: 3 Ways Students Build Empathy Using #EdTech

Can your students build empathy skills even while using technology?Yes! This article and video from Common Sense Education has some great tips on how to help students build empathy using technology.  For More Information

RE: Periodic Table of Tech #EdTech

This is a very valuable resource for those that teach and learn the Periodic Table of Elements. This Period Table of Tech details the real-world uses of elements, some of which are rarely encountered outside the chemistry classroom.

RE: Jeopardy Rocks! #EdTech

I still have my Classroom Jeopardy buzzer set that I used in my classroom for review games and for Scholastic Bowl Practice. This system was great, as I was able to get it from a school district that bought one for every classroom. However, the Kindergarten teachers of that district, never used it. So I was able this brand new for a fraction of the cost.  These units were costly when they were new and, to my knowledge, may not be produced anymore.  This tool is an online alternative that can be easily used in your classroom. If you enjoy playing Jeopardy games in your class with your students, here is an easy to use tool that you can use in all levels.

(A) Most Famous Virus in History #EdTech

The (computer) virus Jerusalem (AKA Friday the 13th) was created in Israel in 1988 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Jewish state. To activate the virus, the computer calendar only had to hit Friday the 13th and all the programs and files that were being used would be infected and eliminated. For more information: Also checkout these articles on antivirus software. The Best Anti-Virus Software of 2017 U.S. government must stop using Kaspersky Lab antivirus software. Should you switch too? The Limits of Antivirus Software

RE: Great Serious Coding Instruction #EdTech

The best description I've heard for describing computer coding / programming to children is "Computer programming is learning how to talk the computer and teaching the computer how to talk to you."  - Unknown Here is an interesting coding tool for grades 4-8. This tool is available across multiple platforms. Check out the links below for more information. And what's life without a little humor thrown in....we must be getting closer to Halloween...

Thar B Pirates in Dem Waters #EdTech has several resources and games for teachers and students. Check out this resource about the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

3 Options for Presentation Screens in Schools #edtech

  One tech tool that most schools all have is a projector and screen in each classroom. This technology dates back to the 1960s with overhead projectors and can go back even further with filmstrip projectors. Today schools are using multimedia projectors to display from Computers, DVD Players (and yes some still use VCRs), along with other equipment such as document cameras. Projectors and screens are often quite costly and require bulb maintenance and replacements. Here are a few suggestions on how to curb the cost of presentation solutions in the classroom. #1) LED Projectors In my district, we have started to phase out projectors that use bulbs with projectors that are lamp-less and use LED technology. There are many advantages to these projectors such as: 20,000+ hour life (compared to an average of 3,000 hour bulb life) Instant on (no waiting for the bulb to warm up) Bright vibrant colors (no need to dim the room) Similar price point to other projectors The specif

Google's New Products Announcement

Earlier this week, Google announced new products to be released later this year. Google Home Mini $49 / Max $399 Google's answer to the Apple Home Pod is the Google home models. One feature was featured is the "Broadcast" feature. If you have multiple "Homes" around your house, you can ask Google to Broadcast a message to the other devices. You can use this model with any Chromecast in your home as well. Google Pixelbook $999 Google unveiled a new 12.3" touchscreen convertible chromebook that can come with Intel i5/i7 processors, 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB solid state hard drives. This device will be released on October 31st. An additional accessory for the Pixelbook was also announced called the Pixelbook Pen. These products are unmistakable allusions to Apples iPad Pro and Pen. Pixel 2 (Price) Googles new phone comes with a high-end camera and has new AR (augmented reality) features. However, Google has also "cut the cord" so t