One Small Step
My friend, Victor Tam, shared this online recently. As educators, we often don't realize how much we influence our students every day, helping them take that one small step. I didn't realize that this story was also nominated for an Oscar. Producer, Shaofu Zhang also hopes that One Small Step can help inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams in the STEM fields.
Merge cubes have been in the news for the last year or so. They recently won an Award of Excellence for Classroom at TCEA. I picked up a bunch of merge cubes when they went on sale last year, but have not had time to dig into how to integrate them into general ed classes. Also- all of the AR/VR stuff makes me seasick- instant vertigo. I've tried sitting, tried using the fancy Oculus goggles, etc., but I can't do it. Lucky for me, the art teacher next door, Ken Richards, took the materials I have on hand and started exploring to show his grad class. The HES students he has shown this to loved it. We don't have devices to fit into googles for all, and only have a few pairs of them anyway, but we do have ipads. Many of the apps are free. You can learn more about Merge Cubes here... and here. If you have a project you'd like to try out, or if you just want to test it out yourself, stop by and see me. We don't currently have a subscription to co-spaces, which is a topic for another day, but it is easy enough to get trial access.
One of the new free apps that is getting a lot of press and some rave reviews from folks who do AT and SEL is Moment AR. Here is a full demo of Moment AR, an evidence and research based tool using the Merge cube for Autism, Mental Health, Language, and Social Skills.
This was shared recently on twitter by Don Yerks. It is a nice little graphic to show a trackpad checklist with all the basic gestures you and your students can use on chromebooks. Click the image to see the shared gsheet with more info
Finding Images Online
This is probably the topic I get asked to help students with more than just about anything else. Yes, images must be cited. Yes, not all images online are available for you or your students to use. Jennifer Gonzales wrote about this recently and did a really nice job covering all the currently available options in this post. Although I have to say that when students are using Gsuite products the image search feature can be set and I think the default is CC or PD images. But, that said, students often just do a Google Image search and forget to use the filter dropdowns to target their search. I tend to use Pixabay and Unsplash when I am searching for my work.
Ideas to share
Technology ≠ Learning
I met Tom Murray at at Future Teachers conference in Albany a couple years ago. A dynamic teacher/leader, he has been pushing educators to examine their process via Future Ready Schools program. Recently he has been talking a lot about wasting time on low level learning in the name of using technology. What do you think?
Vicki Davis interviewed Tom Murray recently about Time Wasting with Low Level Tech. Tom talked about this in his blog post- Need to Stop.
George Couros wrote a post about this back in January called, As Technology Becomes Easier to Use, Our Depth of Learning Needs to Continue to Increase. I liked this quote, "Technology has removed many barriers, but thinking should not be one of them." You can read his whole blog post here.
Scott McLeod over in Colorado was singing the same tune in a recent interview with EdSurge: How to Move From Digital Substitution to ‘Deeper Learning. Interesting article, especially the conversation about SAMR. McLeod: " Well the challenge with SAMR, which is sort of the dominant framework for K-12 schools right now, is that it’s a technology continuum, not a learning continuum." Yup, he's right. Check out the whole article here, or listen to the podcast.
We've all seen phishing scams come through our email, phones, etc. Last week a friend in Oklahoma, Wes Fryer, shared this phishing quiz from Google. Take it yourself, have your students take it. See if you can identify the scammers.
I've used Wakelet as a consumer for a while, mostly as a way to catch up on twitter chats that I miss. The other day I saw something from Matt Miller about using it as an educational tool. He has a post with lots and lots of ideas here. I must have missed a guest post back in August from Paul West- with more curation ideas.
I hadn't even looked at this tool as a curation/collaboration tool. So far, with just a couple hiccups, I really really like it. I wanted to have it as a Google Chrome extension and as an iOS app. The extension appeared to work, but it also killed off my speeddial2 extension that I really rely upon. Wakelet support responded really quickly with an idea for a multitab new tab link, that works for me. They have also reached out to see if I want to have a Google Hangout and talk more about how to use this tool in the classroom.
They are starting to accumulate some ideas on their website and even have a newsletter that I found interesting. They have a how-to guide for educators ebook, and a blog post to walk you through the setup. All of these features are written up in The Wakelet Wave- a monthly newsletter. They also have aYouTube video channel with ideas, and tutorials.
Where to find PD?
Teachers often ask me where do I find all these webinars, etc., and then the second question is always, how to carve out the time. My go-to resource is EdWeb.net. There are new webinars almost every day, with learning communities formed around the major topics. The webinars are online; they are free; and they are recorded in case you cannot watch them live. Everyone learns differently; everyone has different tastes. I try to catch webinars live, if possible, but like knowing that the recording and the CE certificates are available to me. The variety of webinars offered through EdWeb is amazing. Try it, you may like it.
Odds 'n Ends to Share
Googly Activities for Primary Grades
Eric Curts shared a post recently with lots of wonderful ideas. Check out Eric's work here.
Paul Reynolds at FableVision shared this one.
TelepromtMe is a free online teleprompter. Check it out here.
Sharon LaPlante, a special educator with over 2 decades of experience, recently recorded a webinar for Innovate CT. She presented on Enhancing Notetaking and Executive Functions with Educational Technology. You can find more about Sharon's work on her website, including her podcast.
Aeon, Medium, EdSurge...etc.
As I was following links shared by my PLN on Twitter the other day I came across Aeon. I had never heard of this unique digital magazine. It is really interesting, providing 3 channels, Essays, Ideas, and Videos. It was one of the video links below that hooked me. The tweet was something along the lines of "Watch a single cell become a complete organism in six pulsing minutes of timelapse". Through this I also clicked around to find out more about the filmmaker, Jan van IJken. Jan has a vimeo channel, andhis own site- with gorgeous graphics and images. Check it out here.
I also try to check in with both Medium and Edsurge digital magazines. You can find interesting topics, alternative viewpoints and many new writers you may not have read yet. I love the recent article about the new Scratch 3.0 . Scratch just keeps on getting better and better... and it's free. Here's a real quick minute with Mitch Resnick on using Scratch with kids.
Edsurge had an article which seemed to be congratulating Massachusetts on how well the students fare on tests, although it was entitled 'In the Future, Today’s Education Will Look Like ‘19th-Century Medicine’, with an image similar to the one below and quoting Education Commissioner Riley: “But I think in a few years, this will start to look like 19th century medicine: Get your solder out, because the best we can do is amputate. Instead, we need scalpels.”
Interesting article, but have to say whenever someone starts talking data and testing I kind of drift back to this Alfie Kohn quote.
If you use Pear Deck, you have probably already seen these templates, but if not- here you go. Preview and Download the all new Pear Deck Math Templates
The 3-Act Tasks are really fun and a great way to teach/learn. If you want to learn more about them... check out Graham Fletcher's site here https://gfletchy.com/ But if you just want to go to a spreadsheet with a ton of great links...click here for K-12 ideas.
Not familiar with 3 Act Tasks? They came from Dan Meyer (link is to Dane Ehlert's site) and can be used across thegrade levels. Still unsure? Try one out... go over to Graham's list and pick one-like this. You can download the lesson, see the videos and the suggestions.
Black History Month
As we celebrate Black History Month, here are some of the many links that have come across my feeds lately. Please feel free to add more links to share in the comments.
You can find tons of resources for teachers at African American History Month including Library of Congress, National Archives, NEH, National Gallery of Art , and the National Park Serivce among others. https://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/for-teachers/