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Showing posts from January, 2015

eLearning Days: Google Voice

With eLearning, it is important that a teacher is available to all students. Therefore, it is important that there are multiple avenues by which you can be contacted if necessary. Not all students have Internet access. Not all families know how to connect a school issued device to Wi-Fi. However, the majority do know how to make a phone call. If they do not have a phone, they can at least find a way to make a phone call.

With all that said, Google Voice is a free service that can be accessed from: http://www.google.com/voice. However, I'm not for certain it is available on organizational accounts (school email addresses). I discussed it with my technology department, and they did not see a place to add it to our accounts. Since that is the case, I am using a personal gmail accountthat is also signed into Chrome. (Here is how to have both your organization account and personal account on Chrome at the same time.) The service does email you to notify you that there are voicemails/t…

Project Image Bank for Students

One question I frequently get is how to quickly provide legal images for students really quickly. Some teachers show their students how to use Bing or Google image search and change the search settings for images that are "free to use". Depending upon the grade level and the comfort level of the teacher, this may not be a viable option for the class. Using Google Drive, a teacher can create an image bank for projects. With a shared folder, students can pick and choose images quickly without the concern of inappropriate images popping up. The teacher could even categorize the image bank into folders. For example: a folder for animals, a folder for plants, a folder for cars, etc. This video covers how to create the folder in Google Drive, share it with students, and save the images to the folder. It also demonstrates how the students can access it from an iOS device and save the images to their camera roll.

A Collection of Book Reviews

Sharing within a classroom is powerful. It is powerful for the student delivering the message. It is also powerful for the classroom community to hear from their peers. This is as true today, with all the capabilities of a 1:1 technology classroom, as it was when the chalkboard was the latest technology.

To take advantage of the technology rich classrooms that exist today, Rome City first grade teachers wanted a better way for students to share book reviews so that all students can have access whenever necessary. Using Shadow Puppet and Google Drive, this became an easy reality.

I first kicked things off by motivating the students to be expressive when they are sharing! We want lots of energy and great intonation when students make a recording. To help the students grasp this, I made reference to Fred Grote (local automotive dealer) as almost every student at Rome City has witnessed one of his commercials. In fact, here is a great example:


Next step was to have the students practice …

eLearning and Kindergarten

eLearning has been a heavy focus of mine lately. There is quite a bit of training and planning to put into place to get my teachers and students to the point where they can fluently prepare for and accomplish an eLearning day due to severe weather circumstances.

One goal to improve upon is the quality of instruction that is being given during an eLearning day. One thing we want to avoid is just providing busy work for the students to complete. If severe weather comes along, we need to provide actual instruction during this day. (Hence the need for my post about Snagit and Google Drive.)

This week I'm working with Kindergarten students at Wayne Center to help prepare them for eLearning. Accomplishing this task required a lot of prep:
Sign each student into their Google Drive account. (Kindergarten students accurately typing an email address would be quite the challenge.)Create a document with all the students' email addresses with comma's and spaces separating them so that…

Family Tech Night

"Family Tech Night" came to mind  with the vision of families connecting with their children and experiencing the exciting opportunities a 1:1 technology initiative has to offer. My goal is to have family members leaving realizing the value of technology in education.

Holding family meetings is not something new to my schools. Previous to this school year, the meetings I've held have been strictly informational and mostly covered digital citizenship topics. Though the informational meetings are important, I often left those meeting feeling like the parents did not benefit a whole lot from the experience.



To start off the evening, I give a five-minute ordeal about digital footprint. This part is essential as we talk about how permanent our behavior is online. When I ask for a show of hands of people that were aware that everything they do online is traceable, less than half of the audience responds. So that begs me to question: how can we expect our children to behave on…

QRStuff.com

QR codes provide a fun way for students to interact with their learning. They have been around for quite awhile, and I've done quite a few activities with them.

Mrs. Huelsenbeck, media specialist at Rome City, has been QR code crazy the last few weeks. She has been doing QR activities with all of the Rome City technology classes grades K-6.

Since next week is Martin Luther King Jr. day, she asked about QR activities specifically on that topic. We decided to start having students create their own QR codes. To help her out, I created a quick video on how to use www.qrstuff.com that she can show the students. They will then do a little research and create QR codes over their fun facts.

If you are interested in making your own QR Code activities, the video I created might be of help to you. Have fun!



Extra Information:
If you are looking for a free QR code reader on iOS, I highly recommend QR Reader by ScanIf you are looking for extensive information about QR Codes, Kathy Schrock's…

eLearning Days: Snag-It and Google Drive

I'm pretty excited about this post as I get to chat about two tools that I use on a daily basis. Snag-It is a powerful resource as it allows the user to capture images or video on their screen. It also includes some nifty photo editing and annotating tools and a basic video clipper so that it can meet all your eLearning needs. Then finally, it has a direct upload to your Google Drive. So if you get the alert that we may have an eLearning day due to some upcoming weather alerts, you really just need Snag-It and Google Drive to quickly capture and distribute that content efficiently and effectively.

If you are interested in using Snag-It, there is a free trial download. If you are one of my colleagues, please contact me first as East Noble already has a site license for Snag-It and is available to download to your school computer at no cost to you.

(Google Drive works well for eLearning in an elementary environment as students using iOS devices, Chromebooks, or laptop computers can …

eLearning Days: Assignment Turn-In

Managing eLearning can be very stressful. Last week, I posted about how teachers can utilize Google Drive to streamline the process of distributing content to students. You can also use Google Drive to have students turn in content to you. In this post, I'll cover how to setup a turn-in folder/assignment dropbox, how students submit images and documents, and how to submit from Type on PDF. 
Create the Dropbox/Submission Folder
One tidbit I didn't include very well in this video is the naming of the folders for the students. Since this folder will actually be shared with the student in their drive, you are going to want to be specific about the intent of the folder along with the student's identification. (Example: elearning dropbox 1/13 username.) The username would really need to be last as that piece of information is really intended for you more than the student. If you ever intend to use Google Drive for students to submit other items of content, this is a very import…

eLearning Days: The Basics

During the 2013-2014 school year, many days were missed due to dangerous road conditions during the numerous blasts of snow we had in Noble County, Indiana. An advantage of being a 1:1 technology school district is that the state allows for eLearning days where teachers can assign materials for students to study throughout the day. This works great and all, but one of the issues we frequently have is having offline access to the content for our students without Internet access.

One solution (that is free) is to use Google Drive. In this blog post, I'm organizing materials specifically for East Noble School corporation teachers so that they can use Drive to more efficiently distribute eLearning content (videos, pictures, or documents) and allow for offline use. This is just the basics for the distribution and access of those items for eLearning as there are many other ways that Google Drive can be of great use to every teacher.

Before we get too far into the business of setting up…