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Showing posts from September, 2015

Screencastify Keyboard Shortcuts

Over the last several posts, I've been focusing on creating screencasts for instructional purposes. I've looked at why teachers should consider making screencasts along with examples, how to create a screencast with Screencastify , and how to manage/distribute your video content to students. These resources are by no means exhaustive as there are many means by which a teacher can create video content for students, but it at least scratches the surface. However, one part I left out is how students can use Screencastify.  Students could create instructional videos much like the teacher. Another way a student can use Screencastify is to record a presentation they create for a project. By using the Chrome extension, students will have to click on the extension to launch the recording and then press the "present" button on whichever presentation tool that they use. In this post, I demonstrate how the user can use the "keyboard shortcuts" (I like to ca

Screencastify and Distributing Video

Google Drive In my two previous posts, I have information regarding why teachers should make videos with some examples as well as how to use Screencastify to create those videos. So the next question should do I distribute the content? The answer to that question is actually quite overwhelming due to the numerous options. So I will throw several options out there because it really depends upon what device the students are using, what grade level, and the teacher/student comfort level. LMS (Learning Management System) There are a ton of learning management systems out there (Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo, Canvas, etc). I'm only going to focus on Google Classroom as the majority of teachers at MSD of Steuben County have made this L.M.S. their choice. Either way, a learning management system provides a great way to distribute and receive content. I made a couple videos on inserting videos into Google Classroom from Google Drive and Youtube. By insertin


Quality teaching is an art form. Being a technology coach of sorts, I get to visit a variety of teachers and see them in their finest moments. Often, I think about how much I wish I had started recording these moments right from the beginning. Watching master teachers work their magic is an awesome experience. So how can we better capture those moments? Screencastify (click to download)  is a free Chrome extension. There are premium features that can be purchased. With the free version a teacher can record their screen, webcam, or document camera for up to ten minutes. These videos could be recorded when the students are present or during prep time. Either way, teachers have an incredible opportunity to essentially multiply the number of teachers in the classroom by having video resources available. ( Here are four reasons teachers should record their teaching. ) For more information in regard to Screencastify, feel free to visit their website at

Four Reasons to Record Your Teaching

"Flipping the classroom" has been a great means for instruction that has become very popular in the last decade. Students watch a video of instruction at home, perform an activity in class while the teacher facilitates collaboration and conversation, and students master skills at their own pace. It is extremely powerful, but flipping the classroom isn't the only reason to make video of your instruction. Students can also watch videos of instruction during class while you work with individuals or groups of students. Four Reasons to Record Your Teaching Personalizing learning is a buzz word right now amongst teachers. Making a video of yourself teaching allows you to do just that. One of the most difficult things about making learning "personalized" is the fact that there is only one of you amongst the whole class of students. You are certainly outnumbered. By making an instructional video, you are freeing up class time to work with individuals

Slides in Sites

Flipped PD This year, I'm attempting to streamline my "flipped" professional development opportunities. I ultimately want to be more efficient with not only my own time, but the teachers' time as well. Flipped PD opportunities also lend itself to more possibilities for personalization. I have more opportunity to analyze specific needs as a group of teachers come ready to communicate their thoughts and opinions.   Here is a rundown of my format:   Teachers are to attend a session with a prerequisite for participation. I typically have a blogpost that I want them to look over that has a video of some sort.   Then when we have our training session, they have a lot of the legwork out of the way. The bulk of our actual meeting time can be on discussion and specific needs that need addressed in relation to the topic. Here, we way may just chat about practical applications of a piece of technology, or specific questions that they need addressed.

Chromebook Games

https;// I'm not typically a fan of posting about skill n' drill gaming apps/websites. However, I get quite a few requests for these types of tools. So when I go on a rampage attempting to find a bunch of tools to fill a void for teachers, I'll go ahead and post about it for a couple reasons. First, it makes it easier if I can just send a few blog post links to teachers when they need them. Second, I'm very forgetful. Just like students, I have to create to lock something in my memory permanently (that's secretly why I make so many videos).  So here we go with some fun learning games available on Chromebook in the Chrome Webstore... (Click the titles to go to the link of the chrome app.) Sumon Sumon is a free math puzzle game where the user attempts to add two or more digits to equal a target number. The user has a limited amount of time to select a correct combination of numbers to equal the target numbe

Read and Write for Google

Read & Write for Google Chrome is a great asset to students and teachers as you can take any website or document and have it read aloud. It also has a lot of premium features available (highlighters, picture dictionary, fact finder, etc.), but I'm just looking at the value of the free version and the needs of our students.  Having the text read aloud gives teachers a method by which they can better differentiate their instruction. Struggling readers can take advantage of the text being read aloud when a teacher provides content that is just too difficult. It allows them to not only hear the text read aloud, but highlights the words as it is reading. I also like the idea of using this tool for when a student is revising their own writing. Hearing the text read aloud helps the students listen for mistakes or possible revisions that need to take place. It is easy for students (and adults) to miss revisions that need to be made when left to reading the text with the

VoiceNote II

Image from Chrome Web Store At MSD of Steuben County schools, the elementary teachers are going through quite a transition as third through fifth grade teachers are moving from iPads to Chromebooks, and my Kindergarten through second grade teachers are getting devices (iPads 1:1) for the first time. Due to this change, I often get questions about tools that worked on the iPad and compatibility on the Chromebook. Today was one of those days as a teacher was asking for a substitute for Dragon Dictation  so that students could speak their writing instead of type. VoiceNote II is the tool that I came across in the Chrome Web Store. This Chrome app is easy to use as it accurately dictates your speech. When recording, I found it to be helpful to press on the microphone for pausing between sentences to collect my thoughts and/or decrease mistakes. Also, the user can correct mistakes one sentence at a time as they dictate instead of going through the entire set of text later. If you k