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Showing posts from February, 2016

You Wanna' Rock? Rock the Hyperdoc!

Let's Rock! Wanna rock a hyperdoc? Do you know what a hyperdoc is? ( Click here if you have never created a hyperdoc .) In short, a hyperdoc merely creates an organized space for students to respond or collaborate. It works much better than sending PDF files as worksheets or putting lines in a Google Doc as spaces for students to respond. It is nothing complicated, but it makes a big impact on the communication of learning expectations. To step things up a notch, I suggest we take advantage of the Google Drawings capability within a Google Doc. Why do this? Students need creative outlets for their learning, and they need to be able to do it collaboratively. By including a Google Drawing within a hyperdoc, students can see each other's drawings in a neat/easy to access format. Teachers could even include a separate column for students to comment/compliment on their group members' work. Here are some ways students can get creative with Googl

Simplify with Speech Recognition

Big report to type? Speech Recognition is a great asset if you are a Google Docs user. Students can dictate their sentences and speech recognition puts the text right into your doc. There is no separate app. There is no need to copy and paste text into your document. It works right within Google Docs as an add-on. This works well in scenarios where a student is at home working on a report or off in a quiet area of the room. If whole class attempts to use Speech Recognition simultaneously, the students might get some interesting sentences popping up with all of the commotion going on in the room.  Here is how to get started: Foreign language application Another practical application came about a few weeks ago as I was chatting with the French teacher at Angola High School, Deb Blaz . She wanted a tool that would type exactly what someone was saying in French. Not to shortcut the typing process, but for the purpose of pointing out when a student committed a mispron

High Tech Hangout - YouTube Video Editor

What is a High Tech Hangout? A few years ago, I began hosting Google Hangout sessions where we discuss a specific techie tool over a video conference. I called it, " PD in PJ's ." I thought it was a catchy title. It is so catchy that I've been noticing it popping up on the "Interwebz" quite a bit. Therefore, I decided to change the name of my online sessions. The whole point of using Hangouts was I wanted to provide a convenient manner for professional development.  Attending after school sessions is tough. People have things to do and places to go. A Google Hangout provides the convenience of learning from your own living room. For my MSD of Steuben County staff, Friday, February 19th was a perfect opportunity as the teachers were at home while the students completing their schoolwork virtually. This is the first Google Hangout on Air that has been run with staff at MSD of Steuben. For many of the attendees, it was the first Google Hangout peri

Bam! Radio Network

The commute I have a little commute on my way to work each day. It takes me roughly 30 minutes to get to work depending on where I start my day at MSD of Steuben County. Many teachers have a similar scenario as I. Just like most commuters, I listen to the radio to pass the time. It makes driving much more palatable. As of late, I've been contemplating the time that I travel. Am I making the most of it?  The most common complaint from educators is the issue of time. I hear a lot of comments regarding the amount of time it takes to learn new technology, the time to grade papers, the time to expand your PLN through social media, etc. We've all heard and shared in the groaning, and I'm just as guilty as everyone else . In an attempt to make the most of my time, I decided to substitute my music listening to educational podcasts through the BAM! Radio Network.  There is a great variety of topics ranging from technology integration to educational best practices. Th

Soundtrap Podcasts

So you want to make a Podcast on a Chromebook? Podcasting has been a popular activity in the educational technology realm for quite some time. Typically people using a Mac would use Garageband since it is part of the suite of productivity tools included on the device. A lot of PC users would utilize Audacity since it is free and simple to use. Where does that leave the Chromebook? Can students create their own Internet radio show from the web? Yes, with Mr. Birkenbuel/Ms. Naus' AP Literature Class The topic of podcasting came about through Mr. Birkenbuel's student teacher, Haley Naus. She wanted to utilize Audacity because she had researched about various podcasting activities students have completed using this free resource. Unfortunately, I had to break it to her that it wouldn't work on a Chromebook. So I did a little digging through my PLN and found that the most popular resource on the subject of podcasting on a Chromebook was Soundtrap. I


What is CaptureCast? Cattura CaptureCast is another great screencasting tool that is available in the Chrome Web Store. You can create a video recording of your screen or even from a webcam/document camera. Want students to record audio only? The user can select just the microphone without the display or webcam to only record the audio portion. All captures are able to be uploaded straight from the Chrome extension. Files that you want to be stored in the cloud (Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, etc.) can be downloaded to your device and uploaded by visiting your destinations site.  Video Editing The video format for CaptureCast is the .webm format. This is significant for those that want to edit their videos. The format is not always friendly to video editors (Camtasia). To edit your videos, you'll have to convert the video file to another version. If you want to do this for free, uploading your videos to Youtube and downloading them will put them in the .MP4 format

Hyperdocs with Mrs. Knox

Hyperdoc...what's that? A hyperdoc, simply put, is an organized workspace for individuals or collaborative groups. Have you ever tried to give students a response sheet in Google Docs that looked like this?  What always happens? Students tend to move, delete, and destroy any ounce of organization within your document. Ever share one of these documents with a group of students so that they can work on it collaboratively? Any shred of organization is out the window, and frustrations between students begin to rise.  A simple solution to the "sloppy doc" issue is to put your existing documents in a hyperdoc format. Making a hyperdoc is not rocket science. It also doesn't take that much time. All you need to do is make use of the table feature within Google Docs. Once you do that, you are well on your way to creating an organized space for digital learning. (Please keep in mind that students can still change information in the cells you create in a tab

Drive Ya Nuts!

Game Time! Ever play the game pictured above (Drive Ya Nuts)? My grandmother had this game. I recall hours of playing Drive Ya Nuts whenever I visited. I don't know if I ever solved it. I remember the game living up to its name! It was one of those things that I had found memories of regardless of how frustrating it was. When my grandparents both passed, it was one of the things I wanted most. At first, it was one of my classroom games. When I took on the role as a technology integration coordinator, it went on a shelf in my house for my kids to enjoy. (The real key is figuring out which nut needs to be in the middle. It is smooth sailing from there.)  Screencastify, Google Drive, and Youtube...Oh, My! Regardless of how frustrating something can be, knowing that we are making the right choice for the students is enough to pull a teacher, though. When our heads start to spin and we come out victorious, that's a great feeling. I know my iPad teachers are feeling this

Virtual Learning Chromebook Edition

Teacher Training Time! Earlier in the month of January, much time was dedicated to training MSD of Steuben County's kindergarten through second-grade teachers on how to provide quality virtual learning experiences for students using iOS devices . Last week, I had the pleasure of working with third through fifth-grade teachers on their Chromebooks. Much of this training was due to this being the first year these teachers have had these devices (iPads or Chromebooks). With the extra time spent and energy focused on this group, I'm confident that MSD of Steuben will provide virtual learning days that are of great quality and meaningful. All my resources are posted in the slideshow presentation below. Here I go into detail and provide links to video resources on how to utilize Screencastify, make items available offline on a Chromebook from Google Classroom, and utilizing "hyperdocs" to organize lessons. Overall, these training days were a great success


Using Youtube? Youtube is probably one of the most valuable educational resources on the planet. You can find videos on any topic one can think of. I don't know how many times this unhandy man has been bailed out because I was able to fix something through a video found on Youtube. This is not groundbreaking, earth-shattering news. Just reiterating a commonly known truth.  Can You Trim a Youtube Video? I recently was asked if it was possible to trim a Youtube video. A teacher only needed a small portion of a very long video. Using Safeshare.TV , a teacher can easily select a portion of a Youtube video and have a shareable link to send to students via Seesaw or Google Classroom (insert your learning management system here.) By doing so, you have a trimmed version of the Youtube video, and you have eliminated all suggested videos after the video or off to the right side of the screen. This gives you and your students a nice embarrassment-free version of the content.