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Showing posts from October, 2015

Fluency Tutor for Google

Why Fluency Tutor?Fluency Tutor for Google is free resource that provides a variety of great opportunities for students in building fluency.
It creates a nice clean version of a website that makes it easier for students to read without the distractions typical websites holdFluency Tutor will read the text aloud at an adjustable rateIntegrates with Google ClassroomAllows students to make a recording of the text that appears in the teacher's account Provides a dictionary through the highlighting of words (picture or text dictionary) Student Side I was introduced to Fluency Tutor by Kristin Sheets at Ryan Park Elementary. It can be accessed through the Chrome App or Google Classroom. When a student access an article or website posted in Fluency Tutor, the student receives a distraction-free version, the ability to hear the text read aloud, a readily available dictionary, and the option to make a recording. In this video, Mrs. Sheets had a student demonstrate how to use Fluency Tutor.…

Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast

Why Use NimbusNimbus Screenshot and Screencast is a free tool available in the Chrome Web Store. There are multiple uses for Nimbus that I'll go over in a bit, but students should use it for the mere fact that it is a simple tool to use in order to demonstrate knowledge as they can capture and label anything that is on their Chromebook screen. Why have students use it? It is a fun resource that can be used for both proof of knowledge as well as a creative outlet that can supply the students with the images needed for more extensive projects. 
Overview With Nimbus, users can capture the entire screen, selected regions, or even scroll an entire page. After the user creates a capture, they have the option to either download the image (check-mark) or go to the editor (pencil). Within the editor, the user can re-size, crop, draw, highlight, annotate, blur, and shadow over the image. The tools are very user-friendly and allow for quick expression of learning. For tablet users, the func…

Flip Your Classroom Book Study

Interested in Flipped Learning? On September 25th, MSD of Steuben County hosted an all day training and collaboration on the topic of using video to leverage learning at all grade levels. I left a survey for staff to indicate the level of learning that took place, and also an opportunity consider participating in a book study on Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. The response was incredible as we had over 50 percent of the staff vote that they were interested!
My dilemma is that I can't provide enough books for everyone at MSDSC to participate. I only have 20 books at the moment and have the hopes to be able to have more opportunities to run this book study again in the future. So please only indicate that you want to participate if you are going to read the entire book and participate in the discussion.

So if you are in the midst of a flipped model or are contemplating it, this book study is for you. For teachers that have students that are not ta…

Push to Students with the Share to Classroom Chrome Extension

Why Push to Students? Google Classroom already provided an awesome opportunity for teachers to share content with students and students to share work. However, much of it still required quite a bit of clicking. With the Share to Classroom Chrome Extension the teacher can have a website instantly pop up on the entire fleet of Chromebooks. It requires no clicking on the part of the students and very little time at all for the teacher. Here is the push feature in the Share to Classroom Chrome extension:




Please keep in mind that the students must have the chrome extension for the push feature to work. It also only works on a Chromebook, PC, or Mac running Google Chrome. 
Classroom Application Students also have the ability to push items to the teacher's device. It doesn't pop up automatically on the teacher's screen, but goes into a queue within the teacher's Share to Classroom extension. The teacher can open the queue, view the titles of web resources pushed, and who pus…

Bulk Renamer for Google Drive

If you have students that have a lot of image or video files that they need to rename, this tool is for you. I recently had a teacher contact me about the issue of working on the school yearbook. She has a ton of image files in a folder and needed to quickly rename these items so that she could better organize them into folders and better scan through her files. By using the Bulk Renamer for Google Drive, you can choose a part of a file's name and replace it with your own custom text.

There is a basic and advanced feature. I just used the basic function to replace portions of file names. You can get much more detailed with your bulk renaming with the advanced features, but this video should at least get you started.

Skitch for iPad

Skitch has been around for quite awhile. In fact, I blogged about using it on an iPod Touch several years ago when I had Kindergarten and first grade students using them instead of iPads. I was extremely focused on tools that functioned well on both devices. However, Skitch is one of those apps that changes so frequently, any videos or explanations you create pretty much become obsolete as soon as you make them. Just about like buying any new technology. 
I absolutely love apps that can be applied to almost any learning experience. Skitch is one of those apps. Students use it to describe objects, go on scavenger hunts in the school or class, label items, build authentic slideshows for a presentation, and the list can go on and on. Either way, it is an excellent tool for students to get started expressing their learning through a creative outlet that takes very little time at all. What measures the true value of Skitch is that by combining it with other apps (app smashing), the student…

Tiny Techies

Last week was exciting as I had the opportunity to participate and present in the Indiana Connected Educators conference. I did two presentations: Tiny Techies and An App Smashing Good Time. These two presentations really sum up the last four and a half years of my career in education as it has been focused upon elementary students utilizing technology in a meaningful manner that empowers learning. Students should be creating content and building their knowledge and understanding through creative outlets. Technology is only a means to provide more opportunities for students to do just that. This most certainly includes primary students.

What an exciting day presenting about "Tiny Techies" as I love to get primary students using tech to empower learning. #iceindiana A video posted by Lance Yoder (@edgaged) on Oct 15, 2015 at 7:45pm PDT
Tech Fluency  When a kindergarten student first comes to school, there are a lot of basic skills (cutting with scissors, holding writing utens…

Annotate the Internet with Diigo

When I taught fourth grade, one of my favorite activities to do when teaching reading was to make use of sticky notes. (We are talking about the days when integrating technology was making use of the four to five desktop computers in the back of the classroom.) Whatever reading strategy we were using or story/text element we were discussing was marked in the students' books with sticky notes. If it was a copy of an article that was shared with the class, we would bust out the highlighters and write all over it to share our thinking. Now there's Diigo.

Diigo has actually been around since 2006. So we are not talking about anything new. However, one thing that has greatly changed is the access to it. In the Chrome Web Store, there is a Diigo Web Collector that allows you to quickly launch the service. Users can then highlight and post sticky-notes on any website. What is also really incredible is the ability to share a link to a users annotated page so that others can view your…

MSDSC "Nerd Herd"

Recognition Whether or not we as teachers like to admit it, it is nice to be recognized for working hard and finding success in new things. A lot of times, those ideas or tools we are implementing stay within the walls of our collaboration meetings with grade level partners. I got the idea of doing a MSDSC "Nerd Herd" from Amy Neal at DeKalb Central. She has a different name for it, but she has her teaching staff recognize each other for the accomplishments of being innovative with technology or even just "stepping out of your comfort zone" by trying something new with technology integration. I liked this idea because often times I do not know about the exciting things happening in classrooms. By having peers nominate each other for the MSDSC Nerd Herd, all staff can benefit. A teacher at Angola High School may be trying some things that an Angola Middle School teacher would want to know about. Using the Nerd Herd nomination can get those conversations going. 
How…

Screencastify Changes

New UpdateScreencastify recently went through an update. If your Google Chrome has not updated the app, you can do so by right-clicking on the Chrome extension, removing it from Chrome, and reinstalling it from the Chrome Web Store. This post is not so much about the use of Screencastify so much, but merely the changes that took place. So if you need a quick overview on those changes, here you go.


Previous Tutorials If you have never used Screencastify, my old tutorials are available as well. Those are listed below.  Reasons to Record Your TeachingScreencastifyScreencastify and Distributing VideoScreencastify Keyboard Shortcuts

Orange Slice Rubrics

Orange Slice: Teacher Rubric is a Google Docs Add-on created by Matt Buchanan, Teacher at Angola High School. It is a tool that actually inserts a rubric within a student's document. The teacher can select various preset or customizable categories, grade it, and give instant feedback to the student. This tool also works well with Google Classroom as the title of the student's document changes with the grade inserted into it. This allows the teacher to quickly see the results of the entire class without opening each document separately. Below is a quick tutorial on how to use Orange Slice: Teacher Rubric.



I recently contacted Matt to just ask, what caused him to develop this Google Add-on. Here he goes into great detail as to why he created the teacher rubric as well as his newest release of the student rubric. It is clear that creating easy tools for teachers to increase communication is a passion.. Matt also reveals that he has plans to develop a third Google Docs Add-on with…

Google Classroom and Dochub Update

In August, I posted about using Dochub with Google Classroom. With it, students on Chromebooks can type, write, and highlight over the top of a PDF document. This is especially handy if you have a document you want students to write on, but not change the original integrity of it.
Since then, updates have been made to classroom and the workflow is slightly different than it was previously. I created a couple videos for the purpose of launching Dochub in an elementary classroom. With these videos, you can see how to install the add-on in Google Drive as well as use it to manipulate a document from Google Classroom. 
Download Dochub

Dochub and Google Classroom

Classroom Implementation Thought One issue that teachers have is if it is a document that students will utilize over a period of time beyond a day. Documents save automatically in Dochub. If a student needs to access and manipulate a document again, they do not need to access the document from classroom a second time. They actual…