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Showing posts from 2018

Reflections of 2018 - Less iPads, Fortnite Dances, and No One is Safe #edtech

Well it is that time of year again. I will be taking some much needed time off during this holiday season. However, I will return on January 7, 2019 with new posts. Before I go here are some random thoughts and reflections on this year. Year 1.5 of 1:1 In my school district this is the second year our 1:1 deployment. K-12 we have Chromebooks with 6-12 taking their devices home. The summer was a huge learning experience with having to sort and process an entire district worth of devices (over 1600) on top of a deployment of new desktop computers. I know more than I did last year, but not as much as I'll know next year. Overall I am amazed at the impact this has had on student learning and can't wait to see what the future holds. No More PARCC, now IAR This was the last year of PARCC testing in the state of Illinois. This school year, we are moving to the Illinois Assessment of Readiness. I have heard from the state that although the test will start very similar to PARC

Helping Learners to be Kind Online (and Offline) #edtech I remember one of my first training lessons when I got promoted to a manager at my first job. They taught me about taking complaints over the phone. The biggest thing I remember is "the power behind the phone." People would not say some of things they would say over the phone, if they were talking to you face to face. Some of those things, they wouldn't even normally think. That has proved to be a very valuable lesson and one I believe has helped me in multiple facets of life. I believe that mentality can help those when communicating online as well.

Turn Google Slides into an Animated GIF #edtech #gsuite A potentially really useful tool. What are some of the create uses you could see for this tool in your classroom?

Top 10 K–12 Educational Technology Trends #edtech Personally I have seen a lot with 1:1, especially with Chrome Devices. However, as we prepare for the next 5 years, will there be a change in the type of devices we use. Thinking back 8 years, it seems easy to forget that there was no such thing as an iPad. Also, 6 years ago there was no such thing as a Chromebook. What will be the next device we can't do without? My guess is it will be some sort of wearable tech. I have already seen some examples of schools that use wearable tech to allow kids into the building or classrooms and so on.

November is Ideal for Teaching Geography and Immigration #edtech

Scroll through this article to find a very detailed list of resources for teaching about Geography and Immigration.

Tool to Brand Yourself or School with a Logo #edtech Branding is more important than you may think. Having a specific brand helps others identify your (or your school's) believes, values, and can help with recognition of achievements and success.

5 Ways to Embed Coding into Your Science Curriculum #edtech Why is Coding Important? Coding involves high level thinking such as creativity and troubleshooting. One obvious connection I can see to science is learning DNA sequencing and genetic traits. What traits will you end up if you have certain genes? That is very similar to, what product will I get if I input X? Teachers: Should I Even Try This If I'm not a Coder? Yes! Do not be intimidated by the words "coding" and "programming." Take a look at the resources in the article (linked at the top). You may already be a pro but don't know it.

Stop Google Slides from Auto-Advancing #gsuite #edtech Why is this useful?  Well, I use this function all the time when I create interactive Google Slides. This is a great way to make sure that kids don't accidentally move ahead when they are really trying to interact with the slide.

Cyber Monday I am surprised you are here today. If you are out shopping on Cyber Monday, check out deals for your classroom too. Technology is almost always discounted on Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

REVERSE DICTIONARY #edtech This is an interesting tool for learning vocabulary. "Sometimes, you try to think of a word but you can’t say it. Here is a website that will help you find the words that you’ve been thinking about all day long!"

6 MORE GREAT #Makerspace Practices #edtech Does your school have a Makerspace? Leave a comment and let me know what your doing. We have a couple of these spaces currently. One is a Gaming Lab at the high school level and the other is at the Elementary level. I would really like to see one like the Lego example that is pictured.

Teaching Vocabulary with Keyword Searches #gsuite #edtech

Teaching Vocabulary with Keyword Searches The original idea detailed in the link above, shows a method of teaching vocabulary words visually with Adobe Spark. However, if I were to use this method, I would most likely modify this to use Google Image search. Mainly because my school district does not have Adobe Spark. To accomplish this, I could use one of two image search tools from Google, #1) Go to  and have students search a vocabulary term. #2) Have students search for images directly within G suite using Google Docs image search. See how to search for an image with Google Docs at the following link : Example Activity Using this Tool Have students create a google doc and type out their Vocabulary words. I would lim

Copy and Paste Formatting in Google Slides #gsuite #edtech

Google released an update to Google Slides, allowing users to easily copy and past formatting between slides. Copy formatting to multiple objects in Google Slides  

Make Mondrain Art with Google Sheets #gsuite #EdTech

Find out how to make Mondrain Art with Google Sheets I am often thrilled to learn about something that people create in G suite that is not obviously intended. This is an fine example of something I never thought of for Google Slides. If you are familiar with Google Sheets, or most slide show programs, you are already knowledgeable and most likely already have the skills to do this.

Best of #Gsuite Updates October 2018 #EdTech

Hello Everyone! Google is constantly updating G-Suite's apps for education (GSFE). Through the month I will post about my favorite. Since I did not post last month, here are my favorite updates from October 2018. Vertical ruler improves table management in Google Docs (Finally!) Insert Images and Charts from Explore Docs and Slides Automatic REAL-TIME Captions in Google Slides Vertical ruler improves table management in Google Docs (Finally!) I know many who have been waiting for Google Docs to add the Vertical ruler, myself included. Now that it is here, finally those of us that want to make tables within Google Docs have more control over the rows and cells. Insert Images and Charts from Explore Docs and Slides If you've never clicked that "Explore

Choosing The Right Adaptive Learning Tool #edtech #education

Find out how adaptive learning solutions are helping teachers target instruction and use data more effectively—and how they’re helping students learn. This article shows the perspective of different educators and the learning tools they use in their classroom. I really appreciate the why's behind the tool separating this article from many other "click bait style" articles.

Add Buttons to your Google Site #edtech #gsuite #education #googlesites

Way to go Google. This was an often requested feature for teachers. Take a look at Google's latest update for Google Sites.

3 Ways to Simplify, Streamline, and Empower Your Lesson Design #EdTech #Education

See the Full Article I am going to focus on my favorite from this list, which is Leverage a Google Slide Template to Collect Student Work. I really like the idea of students creating a digital portfolio through Google Sites. This allows students to have a somewhat permanent record of what they accomplished in class. Many times at the end of the school year, I witnessed all I had taught them, quite literally get thrown in the garbage/recycling. This allows students access to their work after the fact as well as provides a snapshot of what was learned at the end of the year. See Example:

Let Students Create video with WeVideo! #EdTech #education

See the Full Article Recently I featured an article on Adobe Spark, an online video creation tool. However, in the past I have also recommended WeVideo, which is also an excellent tool. However, WeVideo does offer a premium version with more features for a price.  This article is not meant to compare WeVideo with Adobe Spark, but it is meant to show those of you who have seen Adobe Spark, what WeVideo can offer.

Learn your New Students' Faces, Names, and More with Google Slides #edtech #gsuite

I believe this is a really great alternative to the "student interest" survey's I used to do at the beginning of the year. One of the first things every teacher wants to do each year is memorize their students faces and names. This makes a personal connection to each of your students and helps them feel welcome and valued in your class. The last thing we want to do is call a student by the wrong name or have to resort to a "Hey you".

Mock It Up! Design, Blueprint, and Visualize Innovations #edtech #education This resource offers great apps available on a variety of platforms to help students visualize projects. STEAM Up Learning! Ideas to Inspire Inquiry, Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Spark Video Activities for Google Classroom #edtech #education

Are you using Google Classroom this school year? I love combining favorite tools! Spark Video is a fantastic, web-based and mobile movie-making tool for students. If your students are using Google Classroom, they can easily share their Spark Video creations with classmates before showing off their work to the world! Spark Video is a powerful, easy-to-use video creation tool from Adobe. It’s totally free for schools who can access all of the premium features at no cost. See the Full Article I personally have not used this app in the past. However, after playing with it for a little while, I was able to get to know the user interface without much difficulty. I liked being able to sign in with my Google Account, great for students as well. Look forward to seeing more about this app.

Happy Birthday (to me) #education

Another year passes for me today. I am a little older, a little wiser, and still feel like I have so much to learn. I am reminded of my blessings and reflect upon my goals in life. As I've gotten older, I've noticed that a lot of people either don't get their birthday emphasized / don't take the time to say Happy Birthday to someone. See this example from one of my favorite Simpsons episodes from one of their first seasons.      Both scenes are from Lisa's birthday. One where it seems everyone has forgotten her birthday (except Maggie). The other is Bart (and "Michael Jackson") signing a personally written Happy Birthday Song. See the difference? Although not a birthday story, I will share a personal example. When I graduated High School I received a card from a grade school teacher, congratulating me and telling me how proud she was of me. That meant a lot to me. I could hardly believe that she would remember me after so many years as I had n

8 Must-See Hidden Gems from ISTE 2018 #edtech #education

ISTE 2018 was held in Chicago at the end of June 2018. At this conference, educators, vendors, and industry professionals met to collaborate and discuss the latest and greatest in education technology. Common Sense Education published this list of 8 hidden gems from this conference. See the Full Article

25 Cool Hacks for Google Docs #edtech #education #google #gsuite

In this article are 25 different uses for Google Docs in the Classroom.

Ever Heard of Makey Makey #edtech #education #technology

So I have to admit, my curiosity is peaked. Here is an article showing some excellent ways to incorporate this device into learning. 5 Meaningful Ways to Leverage the "MakeyMakey" in Your Teaching

Welcome Back to School Teachers #edtech #education Many of us in the Education Technology world are working year round, but to my teacher colleagues, I sympathize.

A Process for Implementing Student Digital Projects #EdTech #education

Lately, I’ve been busy grading my students’ digital products. Each year my students accomplish so much with technology, such as brainstorming, collaboration, annotation, editing, research, and so forth. My students also create several digital products throughout my courses, such as mind maps, infographics, posters, presentations, video commercials, audio interviews, comics, ebooks, portfolios, visual prompts, speaking avatars, etc.  See the full process

What Is on the Horizon for Education Technology? #edtech #education

What Is on the Horizon for Education Technology? Report outlines important tech issues facing school districts. Is there anything more exciting today in schools than the marriage of technology and pedagogy? Educators are finding new ways to connect with students, using students’ individual needs and wants to guide their instruction. A deeper connection forms between teacher and student when technology is used to enhance their relationship. Read the Article What is interesting to me is that this article was written two years ago (2016) and some of the points made were and still are accurate. Schools are redesigning classroom spaces for more-hands on learning and incorporating technology education to prepare the next generation to become part of a technology-based workforce. Wide open spaces make room for colloboration “As the number of computer science jobs are expected to prolifera

5 Awesome Google Docs Add-ons #edtech #gsuite #google #education

See the Full Article Add-ons are apps that you can "add-on" to Google's G-Suite apps. These often add much needed features that are currently lacking in Google Docs. Check out a few listed in the article above to see if you can use some of these features. Also check out more in their add-on's section. Do you have an add-on for Google Docs that you can't live without? Post it in the comments.

Oculus Go: First Impressions #EdTech #education #vr

You can run virtual reality software, purchase new experiences, and connect to the web all from inside the headset. It's really the first headset that you can describe with ”no fuss, no muss.” Check out the article Check out more VR keeps circling around the education technology scene, however from my experience it has been slow to catch on. VR for the most part is expensive and not typically affordable for school districts with the assistance of grant funding. However, it is easy to see that there are educational opportunities with VR. Still I feel that most easy access to VR has to be Google Cardboard.

ISTE Problem Solvers #edtech #education

#ISTEProblemSolvers is a hashtag developed by designed to to be a social media hub for teachers in regards to education technology. There are many great posts from teachers, vendors, and industry professionals.

How# EdTech Needs To Get Back To School #education My role ... taught me how incredibly complex EdTech is. You have this fundamental conflict between a really innovative group of technology entrepreneurs and a schooling system that dates back to the first industrial revolution. You don’t make a quick buck in EdTech. Everything we do has to be built on a foundation of sound educational research. Educating a child is a process that takes place over many years, so why do we expect EdTech to deliver learning outcomes instantly? Those are the words of Vikas Pota, Chief Executive of Tmrw Digital which invests in EdTech startups. I believe that these are two important points to grasp of anyone who invests in either the business of EdTech or the products of EdTech. Schools are looking for tools that will enhance student learning. If the method and reasoning behind the tool are not deeply rooted in sound educational research, then the product

"Teachers Talk Technology" #edtech #education

"Teachers Talk Technology" Report Creates Snapshot of Classroom Technology Use While 1:1 computing and bring your own device (BYOD) programs may get news coverage, only 12 percent of teachers reported that their students are equipped with technology both at school and at home, and just 6 percent reported that their students are allowed to use their own devices in the classroom. Read the article 4,400 Teachers participated in a nationwide survey to share what devices, apps, sites, and tech tools they use in their classrooms.

Upcoming Changes to Google Classroom #edtech #gsuite #google #education

See more details There are several updates coming to Google Classroom this August. Teachers wishing to take advantage of these updates early can sign up in the article linked above. New Features (Launching August 2018) New Classwork Page (Top Picture) Create and reuse assignments and questions in one location! Organize the assignments and questions by grouping them into modules and units.  Teachers can plan their curriculum for the semester by reordering work to match their class sequence. This is an update that I (and many) have been waiting for in Google Classroom. With this update, teachers have the potential pre-build up a course and re-use it in future years without starting over. I am very excited to see how this update works. Improved Stream Page Stream is now the conversation center between students and teachers. This makes a lot of sense, as I've long considered the stream to be

Top 7 Trends in #EdTech in the last 7 Years

I have been in the field of Education Technology for 4 years, and officially in Education for 7 years. For those that have been in this field with me during this time, it may go without saying that the landscape has changed a lot. This is NOT a ranked list. These are just 7 general observations of some of the big trends I have seen that mainly started or gained popularity during the time I have been in Education. 1:1 - A Device for Every Student iPads Gamification Blended & Flipped Learning Personalized Learning Online Learning & MOOCs School as a Service 1:1 Device Initiatives When I was teaching in 2011, using computers meant reserving a lab (well in advance) and planning the lesson around the technology we would be using. The very next year, I had a classroom set of iPads available all the time. This allowed planning lessons without the need to schedule it well in advance or even plan around the technology. Technology started to fit into the lessons I wa

Apple Event in Review, What's New for Apple Devices?

While Apple already had an event focused toward education, the June Apple Event was geared more for Developers. This event showcased the new features coming to new and old Apple Devices. iOS (iPhone & iPad) New OS will not exclude any more devices. (If your device could run iOS 11, it can run iOS 12) iOS 12 will support the most devices (all the way back to 2013). Apps should load faster and be more responsive New AR Kit, basically more features coming for Augmented Reality Siri can now be proactive about making suggestions, Example, when your in a movie theater, Siri can suggest to silence your phone. Do Not Disturb - Choose not to receive notifications at night, they will appear the next morning in a group. Timer for kids, can prompt you when you set a time limit for apps. Customizable Animojis, similar to BitMoji Group FaceTime Calls (up to 32 people can be in one call) MacOS (MacBook & iMac) No More Mountains, new OS is called Mojave New "Dark

RE: Why do schools take Summer Vacation?

Warren Sullivan of Hermitage provided the most popular answer while visiting Pittsburgh last month: “I think it was agriculture wasn’t it? I mean, it’s probably the season … a few generations ago anyway.” There is a kernel of truth to that idea, but it’s not exactly right... Check out more in this blog post:

Student Data Privacy in Peril #EdTech

RE: 34+ Nonsense Apps to Wake Up the Brain Cells! #EdTech

Steps for a Successful Virtual Learning Initiative #EdTech Here at Dalat International School, we believe that online learning is a vital component of a student’s education—so much so that, before our students can graduate, they must take at least one of their high-school courses online.