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...


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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Do people really still use apps on an iPad? It is 2013 and we are seriously still using apps?

photo by:  goofcitygoof
So you are still using apps and need a few (55) new ideas?  Take a look at this post I found on twitter the other day.  It lists 55 different apps and I hope these might spark you with some new ideas.

The 55 Best Free Education Apps For The iPad

Here are a few that jumped out at me.
Virtual Manipulatives!
TED - One of my favorites - Sugata Mitra: Build a school in the cloud  This will absolutely change you in a short 22 minutes.
Google Search - Try the voice search option.  It is out of this world.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

All these devices and what could I do with them?

We are so fortunate to have such a rich mixture of devices in our classrooms every day.  Some of them are brought from home while others are provided by the district.  Here are a few ideas to help you maximize these tools.

Here is one that I think really sticks out.
An easy way to open up a backchannel conversation during your class.  I have seen this used in elementary to high school.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Discovery Education - linking the resources to the kids

This web based resource provides many learning tools for you and your class.  This post will focus on how to create individual logins for your students giving them personal access to thousands of videos.

Visit Discovery Education
Enter your username and password
**Don't have an account?  Contact Sandy in technology or one of the LiNC team.

Hover over Classroom Manager
Click My Classes

Click Create a Class

Enter a Class Name
Click Save

Click Return to Previous Page

Click Edit on the class you just created.

Click Add New Student 

Click Add New Students once you have added all your students.
Click Save.
Note: It would be wise to keep the username and password the same as their district Google account.

That is it!
Now your students will have access to the Discovery Education resources.

What do the kids see?

They can use the same login page.

Have them start exploring the Resource Center.
This is where they can find Science Elementary and Streaming (video) clips.

Tweeting to IMPROVE grammar?

When working with Twitter, I have to remind myself that the cringe-worthy grammar and mechanics displayed by students are simply a result of the 140-character limit... check one one teacher's mission to use this social media tool to improve grammar with her elementary students.

The #Grammar911 Project

Travel the World with your Students-- FREE of CHARGE!

Google+ has recently launched its Connected Classroom, an awesome way to explore places like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Seattle Aquarium. Browse the calendar to see any upcoming events that may align with your learner outcomes. Keep informed by joining the Google+ community or signing up for newsletters and emails.

Monday, November 4, 2013

There has been a change... did you see it?

The amazing part of technology is that is it always updating with new features to help us out.  Here is the latest from Google.

There is a new sign in page.

No more black bar across the top of the screen.  
Look in the upper right corner for a series of small squares.

Click on the squares.  There will be a drop down menu of items to select.  
Click on your +NAME to access your Google+ account.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Evernote - Getting Started

I hear this is one of the best tools you can use in your daily life.  The one tiny little issue is this tool isn't initially easy to use.  Evernote has posted this resource to help you get up and running with this app/site/tool in a few short clicks.

I like to think of this as a Swiss Army Knife.  The knife is one single tool that can accomplish almost any task you face due to its flexibility.  Evernote is one app that can overcome many of your daily issues in one clean interface.

Tips for writers - an Evernote blog post.

Lots of new additions to the Windows desktop version.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It is Friday. Why not watch a movie? I have a great list here.

It is all about perspective and what you think of as a great movie.  This is a series about Google Apps For Education that was shot during a conference this summer.

Why not click and take a look?

Here are a few from the list that really standout.

Google Docs in the Classroom

Creative Ways to Use Google Presentations with Your Students

ISTE GAFE Videos - here are all the videos for you to take a look at.

Necessity pushed me to find a solution.

There was a time in my life where I was required to get my haircut every single week. During that time I was forced out of bed at 5:30, w...