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Showing posts from 2019

Re: Inside the School Where Every Student Gets Their Own Teacher Olivia is currently enrolled part-time in one of the most unique high school models in the country. Where many schools struggle with ever-expanding student-teacher ratios, Futures Academy, a California network of private schools serving middle- and high schoolers, follows a distinctly personalized model: Every class in every subject has one teacher and only one student. The model takes an eyebrow-raising twist on one-to-one instruction, which in many education circles has come to refer to one computer for every student. This sounds like a discussion I have had many times with other educators when talking about school models and how to improve schools. "What if every student had their own teacher?" It is an intriguing idea that, on the surface, sounds like the ideal learning environment. However, most times I have discussed this, the conversation usually ends up saying t

Lockdown Google Forms Quizzes #edtech #gsuite #gsfe

Earlier this year, Google rolled out the "LOCKDOWN" feature on Google Quizzes. According to Google, this feature will block students from being able to open new tabs, thus preventing them from cheating. I do find this tool useful for those that use this type of assessment. However, one question I would ask, Is this type of assessment the best way to assess what students have learned. I find myself moving away from question and answer based assessments and moving toward project based assessments. This philosophy is summed up by saying that I am moving away from having students tell me what they learned to having students show me what they learned, putting the skills to actual use. Though I still see where the old style Q&A assessments can be valid, I am not sure that I would utilize this function often. I would encourage those using technology for assessments to think how to transform their instruct

How Tech can Improve Physical Safety in Schools There are many elements of making schools safe physically for students. However, this article identifies some of the key technologies that can greatly improve school safety. It is comforting to know that many schools that I have visited, including my own, use many of these technologies.

How Tech Can Improve Digital Citizenship in K-12 #edtech This is a good article with a lot of resources for teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom. One philosophy I endorse is to integrate Digital Citizenship into class lessons, not teaching these skills as a lesson in itself. Students learn better with a purpose. For example, students are told to demonstrate digital citizenship in an online discussion forum related to subject matter taught in the class. If you haven't yet checked out Google's "Be Internet Awesome" I would highly recommend it. This is a great resource to help guide students and staff to not only promote digital citizenship, but get everyone on the same page with terminology and meanings. It is a great way to get parents involved as well.

6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2019 #edtech This is an old post, but one I keep coming back to for new tools to try in the classroom. The Google Tour creator can also be adapted to work on chromebooks. That is one I have wanted to try out for a while as it will put students in the location being talked about. It also encourages self-exploration, allowing students to find things that are meaningful to them. GeoGuesser is another tool I could see being a great help to the classroom. I know some people who do this for fun in their spare time.

Google Docs: More like Word Everyday - Section Breaks #edtech #gsuite #gsfe

Now you can add section headers to your Google Docs. This feature has been in MS Word for quite some time, but it was not built in to Google Docs, until now. This should be available to everyone by the time school starts back up in August. :) More Info

Putting the T in STEM #edtech One of the best things about teaching very young learners is that they are super excited to learn! They also love technology, but we must ensure that children learn early on balance and digital safety. When a child begins to use technology, especially technology connected to the Internet, they must also learn how to protect themselves and learn wellness...

Social storytelling site helps kids create, publish storybooks #edtech It's easy to imagine using Storybird as a free-write station, to prompt various writing tasks, or as a platform for peer workshopping. With a bit of creativity, storytelling can also be linked to a variety of school subjects, including history, science, and even math...

What’s the BEST Model to Support Technology Integration? #edtech Make no bones about it…Technology is a gift with a tail. It’s predicted that schools will spend $19 Billion dollars on technology in schools. This can range from a variety of devices, apps, software and various “STEM” tools but not necessarily servers, wires, and all that stuff in the closet.  Despite this large amount of money invested in technology, the amount of money to support and integrate these tools dwarfs the amount spent on the hardware and software...

How to Design an Effective K–12 Technology Evaluation Program #edtech Superintendents and technology directors should take a holistic approach to data analysis to accurately measure the impact of digital integrations.

How K-12 Schools Should Define and Act on Digital Learning #edtech A more student-centered learning approach blends the best of the traditional classroom with more modern, digital learning environment tools and tactics.

Work smarter in Sheets, New Features #edtech #GSuite New features include: Selecting objects like in slides, being able to select multiple objects at once, move, and resize. Copy and Paste an image into a CELL! (Finally!!!) Guides and more...

RE: Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people #edtech PowerPoint was once a powerful, transformative tool in education. In more recent years, this tool has been criticized as being overused, improperly used, and causing disinterest and disengagement from learning. In this example, PowerPoint was used as a tool that lead to the death of 7 astronauts. How did this happen? Learning how to use a presentation assist tool is not always a life and death matter. Making sure your presentation connects with your audience is important. Otherwise, what is the point of doing the presentation? One of the keys to keeping an audience engaged is audience participation and interaction. These interactive components have to relate to the topic and be meaningful, not just ice breakers. Resources on effective slide presentations

What is Google Currents? #edtech #gsuite

Google announced a new app for Gsuite called, Currents. This app is directly replacing Google+, which Google is phasing out. "All of your organization’s existing Google+ content will automatically transfer to Currents once you are enrolled in the beta," Google released in their statement. At this moment, I am uncertain if this app will be available to personal Google accounts or if this is exclusively for Gsuite. For More Information

Posting Like A Role Model in Social Media #edtech #education More and more district and school staff are catching on to the advice of superintendents like Joe Sanfelippo who encourage staff to take every opportunity to say good things about their school. For those that think the best strategy for social media is to avoid it, you might want to re-think that strategy. Some advice I came across a few years ago was, "If you don't tell your story, someone else will. What will they say about you?" For that reason I do encourage those of you that are doing great things in your school(s) to "not keep that a secret." Share it.

Live at ICE 2019 #edtech #iceconference #ice19

Hello everyone, I am at the Illinois Computing Educator's Conference 2019 Today through Thursday. I will post a live feed of my notable conferences and experiences to Twitter throughout the day. Feel free to check it out Twitter:

The Reason for Rubrics #education #edtech Rubrics help students clearly understand the scope of the assignment and see how each facet of the assignment will be valued when it is assessed.  Rubrics can be an invaluable tool for both students and teachers to assess student knowledge. Take a look at these resources provided in the article above.

Google Tools and Music Activities for #Education #edtech #gsuite

See the full list This is a follow up to another article, posted by the same blogger. You can find that post also linked in my blog. This time transition from Art to Music. These are engaging activities and great resources to use in Music or in other subjects that integrate music.

Innovative Educators Don’t Recommend Screen Time Limits #edtech #education

See the full article What recommendations should we be giving parents and youth when it comes to screen time?  In past limiting some types of screen time made sense. A time when the American Pediatric Association (AAP) made long-standing screen time limits recommendations. However, those were based on research around passive television viewing and violent video games. Since then the AAP has backtracked. This is a very informative article on the merits of limiting screen time. I am not a medical expert and have relied heavily on my own experiences and others' research to form my own opinion on the matter. However, whenever I engage in a debate on the merits of children's screen time, more often than not, people have told me that screen time with children should be limited.  "Kids spend too much time on their screens." "Its making them (kids) antisocial"

Google Tools and Art Activities for #education #edtech #gsuite

See the full list here: I am always on the lookout for creative or non conventional uses Google's apps. This list shows some very creative uses for integrating Art activities into G suite.

Blended Learning/Keys to Academic Achievement #edtech

This article is a great resource for exploring more about Blended Learning. This teaching style allows for much greater learning experiences and has been treading more and more in education. I myself am a proponent of blended learning and have been researching it for a while now. See the full article Research tells us that personalized, collaborative, and connected learning experiences enhance student engagement, in turn, driving student success. The best mix of instructional practices take into account the learners’ requirements, levels of understanding, competencies at stake, and the nature and location of the audience and resources available. 

Google Activities for Primary Students #gsuite #edtech #elementary

See the full article: Are you a Primary teacher looking for some activities to do in Google? Do you want to build a snowman? Seriously, this article has some very creative uses for Google's G Suite for use in primary grade levels. Some of my favorites include: Building a snowman Disguise a Turkey Red Fish, Blue Fish sorting My Pickup Has Hiccups Pixel Drawings with Google Sheets and many more on this list. Pixel Drawings with Google Sheets

What's New in Google? - January 2019 #edtech #gsuite #gsfe

Google is constantly updating, whether we want them to or not. :) A few of these updates have been geared toward google's G-Suite (Docs, Slides, Sheets...). Some of my favorite are listed below. See the article for more updates Google has made this past month. Assign unique colors to chart elements in Google Sheets Option to embed Google Drawings in Docs Google Classroom updates include drag-and-drop topics and items, and new look and themes See the full article here:

Mr. B Presenting at ICE Conference 2019 #edtech

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Take your class on a Virtual Field Trip #edtech

I recently had a colleague explain to me that due to a change in policy, a field trip she used to take with her class has been altered and much of it had to be eliminated. I have also been on the field trip and I sympathized with the learning opportunity that has been lost. Then I thought, if I can bring the students to the location, how would I bring the location to the students? Apps/Devices Google Earth VR You can take your students to anywhere in the world if you are able to use Google Earth VR. Students can use Google Earth to visit locations anywhere in the world, fully modeled in 3D. This would require an Oculus Rift (and capable PC) OR an HTC VIVE VR System. Oculus Rift : HTC Vive : Nearpod VR Don't have VR headsets? Don't worry, they are not required for this one. Students can explore 360 degree

How to Differentiate Questions with Google Forms This article does a great job at explaining how to differentiate questions using Google Forms. Learning to do this can also apply to other apps such as making assessments in Google Slides. Each of these use a method this author calls "branching." Basically when looking at your test, you need to ask your self a question each time you the student clicks on something. For example, what should happen if the student clicks the wrong answer? Should the test continue on to the next question as normal? Should it go to a different question? OR should it go to another resource so the student can review the topic?

Passwords and Positive Self-Talk #edtech This is an interesting idea that I would not have thought of. It is good to combine the idea of creating passwords and having a purpose behind the password. That idea would be reinforced each time the password is entered.

Make Story Cubes with Google Drawings #edtech Welcome 2019! That year still sounds far off into the future to me. :) Again, another creative educational use for a tool that is underutilized or overlooked.