Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Didn't mean to send that email?!

Gmail has some great, experimental add-ons to your emailing services... one really useful one is the UNDO button for sending an email prematurely! You only have 30 seconds to nab it back, but if you're like me, you usually wish for it back the second you hit send! 

You can explore the tons of cool options available under SETTINGS > LAB.

When I used to send messages, it would just say this:

Then, I went to:

And I scrolled down to Undo Send:


After I clicked Enable and Saved the changes, now I get THIS message when I send emails:




Let it (rigorously) SNOW!

Looking for ways to add some academic reason to the season as we wind down 2013? Here are some great resources to engage students in relevant and rigorous tasks.

Explore Snowflakes: Science-themed lessons on shapes, weather, and even valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory.... 


Year End Reflections and New Year's Resolutions offer a great opportunity to introduce CCSS-style writing tasks such as range and/or production of writing: 
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Consider turning content-related data into a seasonal opportunity to visually display statistics with easel.ly or infogr.am. Below is a climate-related example from Visual.ly. You can also use infographics as a great way to encourage the integration of knowledge and facts (also a CCSS skill), as well as critical consumption of content.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Your new limit is 2,000,000.

I hated the days when I was limited by 256 columns and 400,000 cells.  Who can work within those confines?  Seriously!  It was a nightmare.  Now you can create 2,000,000 columns and an unlimited number of cells.  That really will allow me to finally create a comprehensive spreadsheet.

Google has updated Sheets to include many amazing new features.  Check this highlight video out.



Harry McCracken wrote a great article in Time about some of the changes and new additions to this tool.  I am really excited about the new filter view.  It seems like it might make finding and viewing student data much more efficient. The official post from Google lists some additional information that you may find useful.  

What about using sheets for peer review and grading?  Here is an article the came across the twitter feed today.  

What do you think?  Is sheets the right solution for you?  (I say yes.)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Afternoon at Truman

Dr. Sparks invited LINC to share information on GoogleForms during two sessions during today's half-day. This is what we intend to cover (plus posting on our Blog means the resources are there when you need them)!
________________________________________________________________________
FORMS:
Google Forms is a useful tool to help you plan events, send a survey, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way.


A Google form can be connected to a Google spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is linked to the form, responses will automatically be sent to the spreadsheet. Otherwise, users can view them on the “Summary of Responses” page accessible from the Responses menu.

Google Forms - official Google help page.  Look on the right side of the page for additional form topics.




Possible Roles in the Classroom
      - Formative Assessment, HW assignments, WS alternatives
      - Data Collection (Science, stats, Math) to graph (especially for class-wide experiments)
      - Self/Peer Assessment (checklists), Performance Critiques

      - Student Goal-setting
      - Opinion Polls/Surveys
      - Sign-up sheets

Let's Build a Homework/Bellringer Piece:
1. Create a Form.
2. Choose how students will identify themselves.
3. Create several questions (question types).
4. Embed support materials (such as images or YouTube videos).
5. Share it with a buddy and take the quiz.

A tour of Google Forms - this will show you how to create a form to the collection of the results.

What's the Data Look Like (and where'd it go)?:
1. From within the form, find "View Responses" and choose to open with a new spreadsheet.
2. Now, you have two connected documents: the form itself and the spreadsheet that shows data collected.
3. View the pretty charts by clicking Summary View.
4. Managing your data by filtering and conditional responses.
5. Color coding (conditional formatting) and formulas can help flex grouping/grading.

  • Summary View - overview of responses
  • Spreadsheet - in depth review of responses

New features in Spreadsheets- just out TODAY!

Taking it Further:

  • Adaptive Quizzes using page breaks and MC questions to allow a wrong answer to take you to support materials (images, YouTube videos).

*
Flubaroo - Grading Made Easy
Flubaroo is a free tool that helps you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments. This was designed by a teacher for classroom teachers.


Watch the demo video of how Flubaroo works.  Pay close attention to how easily it shares the results with your students.


Follow these steps to create an assignment for you class.



The Secret Code is...

THE WORLD'S BIGGEST CODEATHON: Computer Science Education Week started Monday. Check out who's urging Americans everywhere to look into coding (the language behind what makes our amazingly digital tools work. 

Interesting in joining 30,000 other schools in taking part in the HOUR of CODEEdSurge's Teaching Kids to Code includes some awesome resources. Code.org also provides some quick lessons that show students all the ins-and-outs of a basic function with some cool graphics.


Not ready to take on the challenge with your students? How about a little coding on your own? Check out this opinion piece that stresses the role of teachers as coders and how France and Italy are taking on the coding challenge... and of course, the counter-argument...


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Want to make history?

The White House is hosting its first FILM FESTIVAL and your kids could be part of it! The goal is to spotlight innovations in learning and, particularly, how technology is used to support learning--all from the point of view of students.

The competition is open to all U.S. students grades K-12 in the U.S. Videos should be no more than three minutes long and should focus on either:
  1. How technology is currently used in your classroom or school;
  2. The role technology will play in education in the future.
Deadline for submissions is January 29, 2014. All the details on how to apply are at the White House site here.


Friday, December 6, 2013

One Click Is All You Need



Today is a snow day so I am sure you are taking a look at your blog and wondering how you can make it 56% easier for the kids and parents to navigate.

You have a lot of great information to share but it can get a bit lost from time to time.  This video show you how some of our teachers have used pages and labels to allow students to click one button and relavent information fast.


Friday, November 22, 2013

"But I only have 6 Devices"-- that's all you need!


If you've been struggling with how to roll out incredibly profound digital learning in your classroom because of limited devices, check out how this teacher leverages 6 laptops to modernize how her students learn

Interested in learning more about PBL (project- or problem-based learning)? I've linked a few great resources below. Let Colin or me know if you'd like any help getting a project going for your students!




Ready to take on the challenge? Check out Edutopia's resources!





Who DOESN'T love a delicious, blended...

BLENDED LEARNING EXPERIENCE!

Check out this video on the power of creating blended learning opportunities within your classroom... blended learning is the current fashion in edtech, focused on integrating powerful teaching and digital experiences. Some of my favorite phrases from this video--

"harness the power to personalize student learning"

"the democratization of education"

and "students can choose their own pathway to find success in life".


What is Blended Learning? from The Learning Accelerator on Vimeo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Google-rific Stuff I Learned Today!

Participated in a Webinar hosted by Google and Del Mar Union School District in California. Here is some of the COOLER stuff I learned today!

- Seven out of eight Ivy League schools use Google Apps for Education (GAFE). 75% of the top 100 colleges/universities in the US use GAFE! Puts a new perspective on Lindbergh's competent graduates mission!

Resources that are AMAZING!

  • Google Art Project- Can't fund a trip to Greece for all your students? Virtually visit the Acropolis, the MoMA and a ton of other culturally relevant sites through the Google Cultural Institute. Check it out here!
  • Google Map Engine LITE: Create your own map for a Lit Trip, a geography lesson, or biomes/environments in Science. You can create maps and share them, just like any other Google Doc-- oh, and they are editable as a collaborative document. 
  • Inside Google Search- The algorithms that make the search work... awesome infographic, even more awesome? Developers at Google are using the Scientific Method/experimentation (plus some ridiculous math) every day!
  • Google Politics/Election Toolkit: Great resource for all things political... the resources available for Campaign Managers are pretty cool, for anyone thinking about including activism in their curriculum this year! Another cool Social Science tool for HS: The Transparency Report- shares which governments have requested content blocks from Google or where services have been cut because of political uprisings.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What makes a question good? (Answer: John Fortney and the number 5)




We have been taking a look at how teachers compose questions during our past ELITE sessions.  John sent this Edutopia article that helps sum it all up in five simple (powerful) questions you can ask.  Last Friday the LiNC team was given a small ring of epic question stems that could be used with students to help them think about their own learning.  It all started to come together in this post to help give some shape to this idea.

What types of answers would these five question inspire?
  1. What do you think?
  2. Why do you think that?
  3. How do you know this?
  4. Can you tell me more?
  5. What questions might (do) you still have? (Change DO to MIGHT and you will get many more open responses.  Real honest research went into that.)


I used number four with my 4th grade daughter while studying for a test.  Sam was a bit stuck with my line of questioning at first but then as I probed a bit more.  It was amazing to hear what she was learning just poured out.  One simple question and our study session changed into a fun conversation.  (I am not saying that a study session isn't fun but if you have school aged kids at home you know what I mean!)

TED - This is where the explosion of WOW happened.

What about using the Gran model of questioning?  Watch Sugata Mitra and the experiment he conducted in India.  The one twist I think was powerful is how he used this Gran idea of getting kids to think deeper about their own learning, one tiny question asked pushed kids to go deeper.  I wasn't too sure how this would work in the real world until I saw my son working with educreations.  My wife was asking him some of the questions listed above.  The answers Aidan was giving were pretty interesting.  After about five minutes I knew his understanding was pretty deep.  The Gran model really works!  Simple questions to keep Aidan engaged and talking really taught me a lot about questioning.



Saturday, November 16, 2013

National Geography Awareness Week-- Starts MONDAY!

Kick off National Geography Awareness Week with some COOL resources from National Geographic, like this GeoJobs poster and this video on who uses Geography in their jobs.

You can share some awesome resources with your students, like GeoBee Apps and a favorite of mine (WARNING: this is super addictive), GeoGuessr. You and your students can also share your OWN location by participating in GeoSetter

Classroom PLAY? Sneaking in RIGOR (your kids won't suspect a thing)!

Check out this charter school whose mission is framed around gaming in the learning process. Part of their Board is made up of game designers! They are Grades 6-9 and share some basic descriptions on immersion themes they cover with students, from how to use Mathematics to save a trapped professor to the example below, where they play Law and Order producers to illustrate their understanding of the Bill of Rights...

Power and Perspective in History: Grade 7 Exploration

Parking your car somewhere soon? Check out this app.

Parking ramps can be a little sketchy. I didn't want to park here anymore. I was on my way downtown for the NCTE conference and was...