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Showing posts from November, 2015

Build with Chrome

Why Build with Chrome? Looking for a fun way to incorporate building with Legos in your lessons? Try Build with Chrome as students can make creations with virtual Legos. What can be finer than kids making cool models or demonstrations of their learning with all the quietness of doing so on your class set of Chromebooks? It reminds me of my days starting out with 1:1 iPads when my teachers first discovered the geoboard app by Math Learning Center. Teachers were more excited about the fewer issues with the distraction of flipping rubberbands across the room rather than the functionality itself. Build with Chrome allows kids to build without all the distractions of kids rifling through Legos and is much more cost effective if you have a class set of Chrome enabled devices.

Sharing Your Legos What's also exciting is the ability to share your creations. When students sign into their Google account, they can share their creations on a map of the world. Users can view creations by other…

Chapter Four: How to Implement the Flipped Classroom

Chapter four delves into the nuts and bolts of flipping the classroom. First, the authors cover some of the equipment needs of the flipped classroom as well as the whole process of making a video. Most of these issues are actually questions that the MSD of Steuben County staff have addressed. Since we had a training day on utilizing video to leverage learning in September, many teachers are already using Screencastify to create videos and distribute them through Google Classroom, Google Drive, or Seesaw. If this chapter spurns some further questions, I can address those here. Feel free to ask. 
The rest of the chapter covers making videos interesting and also the suggestion that flipping the classroom will buy you time once it is set up. Select one or both of the following questions:  In what ways do you want to attempt to "make videos your students will love?"
Do you envision that flipping will save you class time? How do you see yourself using this hypothetical time?

Youtube Photo Slideshows

Youtube has Photo Slideshows?If you've ever uploaded a video into Youtube. You may have noticed a lineup of  tools available on the bottom-right corner of your screen. I've utilized the Youtube Video Editor numerous times. It happens to be my favorite for cutting video on a Chromebook. I've also used the Photo Slideshow on numerous occasions as it provides a super simple way to create a slideshow to post on your blog or website. (See post from June, 2014)
This week Kristin Sine, principal of Hendry Park Elementary, wanted to create an Animoto slideshow for the school board meeting that she was hosting. After she was all finished, she realized that the free version placed an Animoto watermark over her slideshow. So I offered her the Photo Slideshow option in Youtube that I'd used in the past. As it turns out, there was an Advanced Editor that I didn't even know about! I just happened to notice it as she was was weighing her options between Animoto and the basic Phot…

Google Forms has a New Look

Google Forms has a New Look? If you haven't noticed in your Google Drive, you might be prompted to try the "new" Google Forms. I made a quick overview of how to navigate around the new forms (see video below). For the most part, the functions are the same, but they merely redesigned it and controls are in different places. 


Overall, the new look is very sleek and smooth in design. I like how they separate the question choices from the other input types (images, videos, page breaks). I also noticed that you can create a prefilled form link so that entries are automatically selected. All of these features are outlined in my tutorial. 
The new summary reports are built right within the form so that the owner can quickly see response data. The old forms had this, but the new graph data is much more accessible and easy to read. 

Overview Feel free to try out the new Google Forms, but if you'd rather just see a glimpse of where things are, watch my video. You still have t…

Google My Maps

Why Google My Maps? Within Google Drive, students and teachers can create and save customized maps. It is a great resource for mathematics and measuring distances, adding details to a report on a specific location, or studying locations on various time periods. (By no means are individuals limited to these three ideas.)
My Maps Features In this post, I created a video to demonstrate how to add various features to your customized maps. We'll
first start with the features available.

Search  The first basic function is search a location. Google is notorious for search in all of their resources. Quickly search regions on the globe and it will more than likely pop up with a variety of options. Select the one you want; the map will zoom in on that region.

Points You'll also have the option to save specific points directly on your map. You can customize these points by adding color and selecting a shape/symbol to coincide with your specific location. Once you create your point, the …

Book Study: Flip Your Classroom Chapters 1-3

The first three chapters give mostly an overview and the reasoning behind the concept of "flipping" the classroom. As Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann delve into their reasoning, they also point out some poor reasons for wanting to flip the classroom. 
In the comments section below this post, think about reasons why you should and shouldn't consider flipping the classroom. After reading the first three chapters, do you feel that this model is something that will benefit your students? Is a full flip appropriate for your students, or are there just elements that you can take from this study? 
If you had something else in the forefront of your mind instead of the question I'm asking, feel free to post that instead. Please give a disclaimer that you are headed in a different direction if you choose to do so. Also, please feel free to reply to your colleagues' comments. Ask questions or throw in your two cents. Later this week I will likely throw out a reminder emai…

Seesaw Presidential Election

Allison Miller's Kindergarten was featured in my last post about utilizing Seesaw in the kindergarten classroom. I posted it to demonstrate Seesaw in action so that teachers could develop ideas for the implementation of this tool. Seesaw is an amazing opportunity for all learners, but it especially caters nicely to the needs of primary students with being icon based and simplistic. The simplicity does not diminish from the power it holds as students can quickly document/record their learning and communicate it to either the teacher or the entire class. In the past, I had used Google Drive in a similar manner to increase idea sharing and the excitement for learning. The opportunities Seesaw holds for primary students trumps my previous experiences with Google Drive. 
Last week, Mrs. Miller was ecstatic about what her kids were doing with Seesaw. To demonstrate their knowledge of the Indiana kindergarten standards K.2.2, students created a mock election for a stuffed animal. (No ins…

The Hour of Code - 2015

What is the Hour of Code? The Hour of Code is an event each year (December 7 - 13) to promote the field of computer science. All things electronic require someone to program it. From basic coding resources like Scratch to learning actual computer languages in Code Academy, the hour of code is designed to give students exposure to programming robotics and computers.
Why Participate in the Hour of Code? Ask a teacher what their ultimate goal is for their students. Most of them will say that it is to prepare their students for the future and to be successful lifelong learners. (At least something along those lines.) Computer science is a part of our world. Whether it is changing the radio station and seeing the frequency light up on the screen, or using your iPad to Facetime with family, you are utilizing the efforts of a software developer. 
The demand is great as the technology realm is changing so rapidly. With the launch of the iPhone and Android devices, the need for developers exp…

Seesaw in the Kindergarten Classroom

I have utmost respect for primary level teachers. If you've never had the experience of working with early learners, I highly recommend taking the time to observe or even assist in a Kindergarten classroom. It is eye opening for other grade levels to experience the rapidly changing learning experiences in order to meet the needs of young learners. It is much like watching a maestro leading and conducting an orchestra. 
Primary Needs With the pace of the classroom, technology must be able to keep up. Technology needs for primary students require that tools are time efficient and an effective means by which students can express their learning. One of the more difficult questions to answer is how to fit a learning management system (LMS) into the equation. Quite frankly, the majority of LMS options do not meet the needs of primary students or  teachers effectively. LMS options may effectively provide opportunities to distribute content, but the main problem lies in the ability for s…