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Showing posts from March, 2017

Jump! A Game of Numbers

Title: Jump! A Game of Numbers
Summary: Save the Snortles! Build multiplication skills in silly, fun math game
Pros: Kids are so excited about saving the Snortles that they don't realize they're building core addition and multiplication skills along the way.
Cons: Students can skip the hard thinking by using the Hint button.
Bottom Line: Absorbing gameplay helps students hone their addition and skip-counting skills.

Easy Digital Tools for Modeling in the Science Classroom

The technique of modeling is one of the focal points of the Next Generation Science Standards, so I’ve been looking for more opportunities for my 10th and 11th grade chemistry students to create their own models. I’ve found two programs that are great for engaging students and allowing me to record their models digitally. See the Full Article Herehttps://ww2.kqed.org/learning/2017/03/07/easy-digital-tools-for-modeling-in-the-science-classroom/

5 Classroom Ideas for How To Videos (Class Tech Tips)

Toxic culture of education: Joshua Katz at TEDxUniversityofAkron

Wow, a very powerful message about what the current state of public education has become. This video is 3 years old, but still rings true with how state legislatures and accountability measures emphasize on state assessments such as PARCC.

Grafio: Mind Map & Shapes App

Title: Grafio 3 - Diagrams & ideas
Summary: Flexible app transforms sketches into pro-level designs and diagrams
Pros: Customizable features tidy up drawings and serve a wealth of uses.
Cons: Precise movements can be hard with fingers or stylus, and files are only editable within the app.
Bottom Line: A terrific choice for creating simple diagrams or presentations on iOS.
For More Informationhttps://www.commonsense.org/education/app/grafio-3-diagrams-ideas


RE: Paperless No More - 3 Reasons I'm Using More Paper...

Article Summary A blogger that I follow recently posted an article titled, Paperless No More:3 Reasons I'm Using Paper in my Classroom this year. In this article, the author outlines three major reasons why he uses paper instead of technology for certain tasks.


Technology Distracts FreshmanTechnology Takes Too Much TimePaper Demonstrates more learning
...digital tools help us do more than paper ever could. They provide a permanence to our work and lets learning exist everywhere at once through sharing and collaboration. But it’s important to teach students how to demonstrate their learning in new ways and to manage these tools.

Most of my challenges here aren’t really technology issues, they’re management issues. 


Here is my response to the author's questions at the end of the article. How can I improve classroom management with these students to improve their efficiency and accountability when working online?  Restricted Web Access I know of a few ways to do this. First, Having…

Spring Break Post: Creating a Resume (CV) in Google Drawings

This is not what many people usually think of, when it comes to using Google Drawings. However, in this example, take a look how someone created a resume using nothing but Google Drawings.

Spring Break Post: A Useful Rule of Technology

I was at a transitioning to 1:1 teaching conference earlier this month. At that conference I had the opportunity to speak with educators outside of our area. One of the teachers said something to me that I still think about sometimes. "If I had to make a back-up plan to every lesson, I am essentially doubling the amount of work I have to do each lesson and I don't have time for that."

That comment struck me by surprise as, since my first education course in college, I was taught to always have a contingency plan. In some ways, I get it. We as teachers have become reliant on technology always being there. Often my backup plans as a teacher involved a different tech tool, but did not anticipate a total network outage or power failure, and so on. What do you do if the technology does not work?
Article PreviewIf you're going to teach trainee teachers or colleagues just one rule about technology, it should be this:

It's not a question of if the technology goes wrong, …

Spring Break Post: Formative: Real Time Assessment in 1:1

Title: Formative
Summary: Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for BYOD, 1-to-1
Pros: Appealing design, flexible features make it easy to create simple or detailed assessments.
Cons: Assignments are tailored to individual use without collaboration options
Bottom Line: Cleverly designed for teachers, Formative offers a flexible and attractive solution for gathering a variety of student response types and offering individualized feedback.

For more information https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/formative

Spring Break Post: Teaching Kids about Fake News

This has been a big topic in classrooms around the country. How can educators teach kids how to spot "Fake" news?

This is a follow up to an article I posted, Top 10 Sites to Help Students Check Their Facts
Article Preview ...the last several months in the U.S. has meant an onslaught of news stories around our election and the political aftermath that followed a Trump presidency. As someone who works closely with students and teachers, I’ve been traveling to various schools both in and out of my district to talk about a great many things surrounding social media. Lately, many of these talks have turned towards “fake news” and the premise of what is real and what isn’t.
For more informationhttp://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/11745

Spring Break Post: Google Teacher Tip: Easy Image Search

Whether you are using Google Docs or Google Slides both teachers and students can easily insert images into their work. Instead of sending students out on a Google Image Search or uploading pictures from another device, students can stay within their documents to find media that adds to their creation.
For more informationhttp://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/11736

Teaching History: Zinn Education Project

Title: Zinn Education Project
Summary: Resources, lessons help teach a more inclusive version of U.S. history
Pros: The lessons address a complex view of history, emphasizing the significant roles of the working class, women, and people of color.
Cons: Many of the text-based lessons would need to be adapted to offer access to English Language Learners and struggling readers.
Bottom Line: Free downloadable resources encourage critical thinking and active learning in search of a more accurate picture of American history.
For more informationhttps://www.commonsense.org/education/website/zinn-education-project

Story Telling App: Toontastic 3D

Title: Toontastic 3D
Summary: Flexible tool hands kids the reins for creative animated storytelling
Pros: Learn the basics of storytelling while easily creating fun animated stories.
Cons: Not as much graphic variety or learning support as the original version.
Bottom Line: Despite some lack of variety and simple drawing tools, Toontastic 3D remains a terrific, versatile storytelling tool.

For more informationhttps://www.commonsense.org/education/app/toontastic-3d

Top 10 Sites to Help Students Check Their Facts

Article Preview In a political climate where sharing fake news has become commonplace, it’s more important than ever to rely on trustworthy and dogged fact-checking services to vet information.

See the Full Article Herehttps://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=916&category=In-the-classroom&article=



Don’t confuse educational technology that helps kids learn...

Article Preview
Good educational technology, implemented at the appropriate time, can enhance math learning. Here are a few things to look for when examining technology to support mathematics learning:
Exploration.Multiple Solution Strategies.Connections between concepts and procedures. 
See the Full Article Herehttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/03/01/silicon-valley-teacher-dont-confuse-educational-technology-that-helps-kids-learn-and-doesnt/?utm_term=.3a1b57ff3fab

Apple’s Devices Lose Luster in American Classrooms

I came across this interesting article about Apple's market share in U.S. Classrooms. To me this does not seem surprising. Regardless of what some hardware manufacturers (and die hard fans) would like people to think, research shows that it does not matter which device you use. What matters is what you use the device for.

When comparing iPads to chromebooks, the main advantage is price. Chromebooks are well under the price of an iPad. Combine that with what schools uses these devices for and the Chromebook wins. Both devices serve the same functions such as

Accessing school materials online through online gradebook and CMS/LMSWord Processing, Presentation Building, and Spreadsheet creationAudio/Visual learning toolsRecord and edit audio/videoComplete online/state assessmentsand more Both of these can be accomplished with the both devices. Why pay more for the device as well as maintance and repairs?
Article Preview
Apple is losing its grip on American classrooms, which technology c…

Best Practices for Social Media Safety

Take a look at this article for some tips on social media safety.
Article Preview
With the emergence of new technologies and the access students now have to the Internet, it’s no surprise that social media safety has become a more pressing issue, both in and out of schools. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, 3 in 5 responding students reported being harassed on a social media platform, 1 in 4 witnessed someone being physically threatened, and 1 in 11 were stalked on social media. Most students have no idea what their online rights are and are reticent to let a teacher or parent know when they’re facing challenges online.

What steps can we take to help protect students when they’re using social media?

See the full article herehttp://www.techlearning.com/resources/0003/best-practices-around-social-media-safety/70449

Phone App: Harnesses Power of Smartphones

Title: Lab4Physics
Summary: Bring physics to life using lab sensors built right into your smartphone
Pros: A dynamic low-cost way for students to gather and analyze physical science data.
Cons: Students may get stuck initially, but by following the tips they'll figure out this innovative tool.
Bottom Line: Use your smartphone to gather data and study speed, gravity, waves, and other physics concepts.
See more about this app herehttps://www.commonsense.org/education/app/lab4physics

Students’ worry about education technology

Education technology programs have made it easier for teachers to analyze student performance data and set reasonable (and reachable) learning targets on an individual student basis. However, as seen in the article below, some students worry about the tech teachers use in how it predicts student achievement. It is great to see this perspective from students as I do not always get see things from their point of view.

In my opinion, good teachers can see beyond the data used for predictions. Students, especially as they get older, constantly worry about failure. Learning is so often NOT limited to a pass/fail system. This is where concepts, such as formative assessments, scaffolding, and differentiated learning are key. Students should be given opportunities to fail. Moreover, teachers should mold the classroom environment so that failure is not the end of learning, but part of the learning process.
Article PreviewPredictive software is marketed as a way to help students before they f…

Create a Virtual Training Hub in Google

From the G-Suite Show, here is a brief tutorial on how to create a Virtual Training hub using nothing but G Suite apps.


Google Slides: Add Narration to Google Slides

For a long time it was not entirely possible to get pre-recorded narration into a Google Slides presentation. As you can see in the video, it is in fact possible due to a recent update with Google Slides.

Using the technique outlined in the video, I was able to re-create a review game in the style of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"

Review Game

Google Tour Builder - Send your Students

Have you used Tour Builder? It is simple to create a Tour; you and your students will be touring around the world in no time!

See the Full Article Herehttp://talktechwithme.com/2017/01/30/connecting-students-to-curriculum-through-google-tour-builder/

Create Google Docs from Templates

In this video, I show how to create a Google Doc from the built in templates in Google Drive.

5 Innovative Ways To Create Positive Classroom Culture

Classroom technology is, by far, not the only means of success in the classroom. Another key to success is to have and maintain a positive classroom culture.

The author in the article linked below suggests five ways to grow a positive culture in the classroom.

Teaching three years in a public primary school and the previous two years in a private middle school, I’ve gotten the chance to spend time in two very different classroom environments. I noticed that the main thing that really affected the ability for students to connect not only with the class content, but with each other and with me, was the culture that was developed in the classroom.
Ask different questionsDo mindful breathing exercisesHigh-five FridaysStart a class InsagramWeekly Check-in One characteristic that stands out to me, as it involves technology, is the class Instagram. When great things happen in your classroom, share it. Doing this simple task will spread positivity. Also, when students look back on what has hap…

Google Sheets: Link to Cell Ranges

This feature was recently released to Google Sheets.

With this new functionality, you can create a “table of contents” for your spreadsheet, direct others to specific content within your spreadsheet, and retain links to cells when you import spreadsheets from other applications.

To link to cells in your spreadsheet, simply go to "Insert link" > "Select a range of cells to link" and type or highlight the desired range. For more details, visit the Help Center.


For more Informationhttps://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com/2017/02/link-to-cell-ranges-in-google-sheets.html