Celebrate World Oceans Day 2017
World Oceans Day 2017 is right around the corner, coming up on June 8th. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your students to explore and learn more about the oceans and the creatures that inhabit them. The theme of this year's World Oceans Day is "OUR OCEANS, OUR FUTURE", with the main conservation focus on plastic pollution prevention and cleaning the ocean of marine litter. Exploring By the Seat of Your Pants has lined up some excellent Google Hangouts with marine biologists, explorers and institutions around the world. The hangouts will take place on June 8th-between 8 am and 4 pm EST, lasting 20-30 minutes each. There are more being added all the time and if you act quickly, you may snag a camera spot. Remember these are streamed live on YouTube, so you and your class can simply watch them live or check back later for the recordings, if the times don't work for you. Snag one with the Google Form or an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the wonderful resources on World Ocean Day 2017 from the Octonauts. www.worldoceansday.org/octonauts and so much more... plastic pollution, media, etc. http://www.worldoceansday.org/resources
Spongelabs has put together a nice selection of resources for World Oceans Day. You can access the lesson with all the media resources here. Click on the lesson and the media listings will be on the left side.
The United Nations is also celebrating World Oceans Day by connecting it to the celebration of the Ocean Conference to be held from 5 to 9 June in United Nations headquarters in New York. You can check out even more resources here.
EdTech Team has a great pdf with 8 ways to celebrate World Oceans Day. You can read more about it on their blog here, and download the pdf here. One of the very cool exhibits to visit is the Ozeaneum. This is a display on the Google Cultural Institute site. Ozeaneum shows off the exhibit of rare original animals and plants.
and even more ...
Follow the hashtag #worldoceansday to find many other great resources.
Eduporium, one of my favorite STEM retailers, since they really try to help you find the best STEM products for your school, has been running a contest every night since May 1st. It's an educational trivia contest- with a $100 coupon prize to the person who has the right answer the fastest. I have been incredibly lucky and have won 5 times! However, they have decided to revise their rules and get more people involved- so if you win once, lucky you and then you are done. So, now that I am out of the running... here's the info you need. Sign up here and they will send you a reminder email at about 6:45 pm EST with the link for the contest which is at 7 sharp. Some of the questions are common knowledge... eg. the chemical formula for table salt, where others are not so easy- eg. the country completely surrounded by South Africa (Lesotho) and you have to google really fast! (Use OK Google voice search) So- it's fun and you can win a prize. Go for it, have your students go for it. Some questions are tough for a high school student, others are OK for elementary... and it's fun.
I spent some time today with one of the 6th grade classes, helping students use Google Slides for their yearbook pages. Using Google slides gives you way more flexibility than docs and the page size is easily adjusted to 8.5 by 11 (File>page setup>custom) and can be exported as a pdf. It reminded me that I wanted to share this Google Slide info, which I didn't know til this week. Alice Keeler and Matt Miller have created a new chrome extension called DriveSlides for Google Slides that allows you to take a folder of images and create a Google Slide show with a press of a button. The functionality reminds me of the ability to create a slideshow out of a folder in powerpoint. Quick and easy. Alice wrote more about it here. She also has a really cool screenshot to slideshow extension that she explained in a previous post. It automatically takes a screenshot every minute and saves it to a folder for a slideshow.
Looking for more ideas with Google Slides? Check out Matt's post here.
Summer PD- Google Drawings
I'm excited to take a class with Tony Vincent on Google Drawings this summer. Tony is an internationally known educator and speaker. His blog Learning in Hand has been a staple in the edtech world for years.
When I saw the notice about the class and went to sign up, I also learned something new...you can present a clutter-free image of a google doc by changing the url. Tony explained it here.
Last, but not least ReadWorks!
ReadWorks, as many of you know, is a fantastic resource for students and their teachers. Many teachers have tried their Article-A-Day series with great success. ReadWorks does a great job of pulling together text sets for you. Here's a couple of promo videos to give you some ideas.
I haven't been able to find the summer packets collection on the new site, but will write and ask them if they are offering this again- or something similar. This is last year's page. www.readworks.org/rw/beat-summer-reading-slump
Windows 10 updates
This may not apply to everyone, but I stopped to check out the updates coming in Windows 10. The one that caught my eye was the Story ReMix. It looks like it is easy to use, kind of reminds me of Animoto. If you haven't used Animoto for quick and easy videos... the free educator version info page is here. Back to Windows 10 Story ReMix... more info here and in video below.
I saw an article recently which basically said that teachers are doing DOK wrong. Now, since I still remember having to look up what DOK meant (not coming from a teacher prep program I am easily confused by edu acronyms), I was interested in knowing more about this. Robert Kaplinksy has a great matrix about this here and he also sent me an email today about DOK and referenced his blog post here. So go read more about what educators need to know about DOK- below is one of Robert's graphics to get you started..
I saw a couple of great ideas to have fun with math (I know, coming from me that's kind of an oxymoronic phrase).
Google Keep (again)
I tend to use Google Keep every day. Steve WIcks posted a hyperdoc today to help put all the Google Keep info in one place. He wrote about it on his blog Recharge Learning. Try it- you may like it. Click here to access the doc- To keep your own copy: File>Make a copy.
Some of you may remember that I wrote about this about ayear and a half ago. To be honest, my opinion has not changed... still think it's a buzzword. However, recently when doing a breakoutedu session in second grade I was talking with them about grit, persistence... and the students called it their growth mindset- so it looks like the lingo is sticking. I saw a blog post by Lee Araoz, who made this pretty spectacular collection of growth mindset materials. So- here you go:
Every time I hear about problems around digital citizenship at our school or others, I wonder how, we as educators can possibly think that kids magically know how to use all this emerging tech as tools. We are hard pressed to find examples of civil discourse and good use of social media in the news. Of course students will make mistakes, they are kids. Of course we could/should help them figure it all out, just like we help with all the other facets of education. But we don't. Is it because we think that this is "outside of school"? It isn't. We have seen this in both schools in our district. These actions affect our school communities. Is it because we think that the kids know more about the tools than we do? Yes, in some cases. I'm quite sure that a typical high school student knows way more about snapchat and some of the nasty places online that teens go to pick on one another than I do. But, that's not an excuse not to have a comprehensive digital citizenship program in place. Commonsense media has one... it's free. Mary Alice Curran created digcitkids and ran her own digital citizenship conference down at St. Joe's in CT. Wes Fryer and Marcia Moore created this drawing, showing how all encompassing digital citizenship in today's educational world actually is. EdSurge has an excellent article with some great resources here. Yes, it's one more thing. Yes, it's important. We can see what happens when we don't have a comprehensive program.
More Google Earth
I've been seeing more and more about the new version of Google Earth- almost all positive. I went to the EdTechTeam Geo webinar tonight and they shared the slides and lots of information. You can get thelink to the recording in the slides. If you're really into geography, apply to the Google Geo Institute- this summer- in California and it's free. Google has a new site to help you learn all the ins and outs and how best to use this tool in class. Check it out here.
Simple K12 is offering a free day of workshops on Google Tools- coming up on Saturday May 20. Learn more about it here.
Google Drawings doesn't get the attention it deserves. You can use drawings for so many things! Recently I was reading about HyperDrawings! You've heard me talk about hyperdocs... well- now there's hyperdrawings. Joli Boucher recently wrote about this on her blog. Here's a screenshot of one of the many examples she shared. Click on the image to see Joli's work.
You can also even embed streaming video right in a Google Drawing!
Google Quick Draw and now AutoDraw
If you haven't taken the time to check out Google's AI drawing program, take a few minutes ( caution, may be addictive) to see the latest in machine learning. This AI experiment has now evolved into a new tool called AutoDraw. Eric Curts has written about it here.
Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers
Amy Roediger ( A Lever and a Place to Stand) recently posted about using Google Drawings for text structure work. She has an excellent blog post here. She also made a bunch that she is willing to share (File>make a copy), that you can find here.
The image below is from Amy's blog.
Pattern Blocks with Google Drawing
Last, but not least, another H/T to Eric Curts for his great explanation of how to use Google Drawings for Pattern Block work. He even shares templates. Check it out here.