Well, this year has certainly not gone as expected. Unless something drastic happens, this is the last TechTuesday for the year. Things will continue to change at a dizzying rate, our new normal will somehow emerge, but...we can all catch up on that after a pause to catch our breaths. I usually have a long list of PD things that I will be attending this summer. I may or may not do a few virtually, but face to face, hands-on PD is what I actually find most useful, so my gardens will get more attention.
Ideas to Share
Interactive Google Slides
There has been so many posts, tweets, etc on using bitmojis, etc that it seems that everyone must have way more time to play around with slides, etc. than I have. I saw this video the other day and it looks interesting, but, honestly, I have not tried it. Maybe this summer. The one way I have tried to make slides interactive is using Pear Deck, which I can recommend. This video has lots of other ideas to try. One thing to keep in mind, however, is EF. If your students struggle with executive function, how many steps are involved in the actions on the slides? Is this helping or discouraging those kids? I was talking with a friend who teaches special ed classes and wondering how we could streamline what we do even more and she brought this to my attention. As we try to consolidate info, we need to be sure that it is accessible by all.
NetsBlox was shared in one of the online groups I follow as a way for kids to collaborate online to code games. It looks like a pretty well developed program, based on SNAP, with lots of options and levels. My real caveat is the same as any online collaborative site- who are the kids talking with and how is it monitored? I know the folks at Scratch and have faith that there are real people monitoring the site. Other sites- teach your kids, your students to be wary.
Steve Hargadon has pulled together a daily edu conference- for the next couple of months! This is an historic and unique event. Sessions are being held daily over the course of two months, all free to attend live. You simply sign up to access the schedule. All sessions are recorded. https://learningrevolution.com/
This morning I saw the email come through about the national parks session... which I cannot attend, but have added to my watch later list. Check out some of the other things for the week, and sign up to get access- every day for a couple months- and they are recorded.
New Podcast for the New Normal
Tom Daccord, founder of EdTechTeacher, has a new podcast series which you may find useful as we move forward into unknown educational territory, "Schooling, Accelerations & Innovation". He speaks to the challenges of the new normal. I liked his first foray and look forward to more.
In episode one, Tom tackles both the challenges and opportunity presented by our new learning environment:
"While the threat of coronavirus looms, students are stuck at home and educators are left rethinking the role of technology in teaching and learning. A silver lining of this global pandemic is the huge opportunity it provides to rethink the student learning process. Yet, teachers can’t be expected to change without a galvanizing vision of what beneficial change actually looks like. Right now, we need leadership in formulating tech-infused and student-centric learning environments."
Listen on Anchor, Spotify and all major podcasting outlets.
Books for STEAM/STEM
I've mentioned this site before- Heyworth Elementary Leap Labs Books and Mentor Texts. They have an excellent collection for reading to kids, or as jumping off points for STEM projects and more.
I wanted to add a couple of other sites to also check-STEM Read and STEM Storytime FlipGrid
STEM Read is offering read alouds with some lesson plan ideas. "During social distancing and school closures, STEM Read is releasing Canned Goods: non-perishable e-learning activities teachers can drop into lessons and parents can use to keep kids engaged. Look for the Canned Goods posts to find quick, fun, stemtastic activities that adhere to state standards. As always, you can find more ideas in our other posts and full lesson plans and videos on our Book and Educator pages. "
STEM STORYTIME FLIPGRID This is a great idea. So far there are 41 topics. Some have a ton of student videos, others only a few. You can steal these ideas and make up your own Stem Storytime or if you're comfortable with your students adding to these, go for it. You could even combine some of the ideas from LEAP lab, and STEM Read to make up your own STEM Storytime FlipGrid.
New from Prezi
This is from a recent email from Prezi CEO, Péter Árvai
Prezi Video - Unlike screen-sharing apps that toggle between you and your content, this video maker shows you alongside your graphics in real time (like a TV newscaster), so you don’t lose your face-to-face connection. Use it live with your video conference app of choice or record to share later with a simple link.
Prezi Design - Our new design tool helps you create interactive infographics, social media posts, charts, maps, and reports that add meaning to your message when you can’t be there to explain it in person. Realizing it would be useful to you now, we’ve released it ahead of its scheduled launch date.
Greg Kulowiec shares a short video to point out some of the new features of Google Earth.
"Google Earth allows educators and students to create projects that can be shared with anyone on the web. Educators can use this tool to create custom global tours in Google Earth that point students to specific locations around the world."
PECS AT Conference
This virtual conference is happening tomorrow!- May 20th.
PECS-AT Conference 2020 Join us May 20, 2020 for our Virtual Event! With funding support provided by the New Hampshire Department of Education, Inclusive Technology Solutions is proud to announce this exciting day long virtual event. The event runs from 10:00am – 3:00pm eastern. This event brings together New Hampshire based practitioners and organizations; national AT presenters and vendors. The day is comprised of 25 minute Assistive Technology presentations; 25 minute Edcamp-style conversations; and, 25 minute vendor presentations. Over 40 sessions will be available throughout the day and the best part of all – the event is FREE! To register for the event and explore the on-line schedule, visit bit.ly/atexpo520
Fun PD from Lesson Pix
Coming up Wednesday and Thursday. Learn to leverage Lesson Pix for all your students. Streaming on YouTube and FB. Check it out.
New England ISTE is offering a free webinar this Thursday to learn how to use Equatio- for digital math. Register here.
Science is Cool- Virtual Unconference
This unconference is happening this Friday- May 22, from 12-8pm. It is kind of vendor driven, but interesting nonetheless. http://www.scic-conference.com/
KEYNOTE EVENT NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON HOSTS A LIVE STARTALK: COSMIC QUERIES PODCAST
Edgenuity via NYSCATE (free to join) is offering a free SEL workshop on June 17th. Learning how to support students, staff, and families through social-emotional learning (SEL). Take a deeper look at the impact on mental health, learning and teaching, and how SEL frameworks can support and engage all stakeholders back to a healthy learning environment."Click here for more info.
Recorded webinars for STEM
Eduporium recently sent out an email with lists of STEM webinars to check out. I have checked out the Hummingbird ones, as well as some of the MakeyMakey webinars. Worth the time.
Learning from Home- Book Creator Webinars
This is an excellent series of webinars from Dr. Monica Burns to get you up and going with Book Creator. This is a diverse tool with a robust set of accessible features. Highly recommended!
I have included a Wakelet, after the "Just for Fun" section, with articles and sites focused on Social Emotional Learning. Currently there are about 30 articles/links; just click load more to see all articles. Some are informational, while others have activities to try with students. If you have links which you would like included, just let me know. If you would like to be a collaborator on the Wakelet, contact me.
Just for Fun- More Bitmoji Ideas
Thank yous from Google
New Or Interesting from Google
The much anticipated Present in Chrome tab has finally appeared in Google Meet in our district. You can read more about it here. "What’s changing: You can now share higher-quality video with audio content in a Meet video call. You can do this through a new present a Chrome tab feature. Now, when you use this feature with video content playing, everyone in the meeting will see and hear the video and audio being shared. This means you can confidently use videos, gifs, animations, and other media in your meetings."
Another Google update is the addition of an announcement banner for Google sites. Although the example they gave, of using it for assignments doesn't make sense to me, I thought maybe the folks at HA could use it to showcase the new counseling site that Lauren put up. "It provides clinical resources and activities/ideas/videos regarding: Covid-19, Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Emotion Regulation... So, if you want to include it on your google classroom page as a resource link, go for it! " The link is in your HA email.
Transcripts of Google Meets
I had never heard of Tactiq before last week. It is a super simple chrome extension for Google Meet that gives you a transcript of your meeting- in minutes! After you install the extension, open a meeting and turn on captions. When you are done, click the button and literally in minutes you have a transcript. Is it perfect? No. It is actually kind of funny to see what the captioning software thinks you said, but it is usually close and can provide a much needed note-taking service- for free. Check it out here.
If you haven't checked out Slidesmania for great Google Slides or PowerPoint templates, you're missing out. I love Slides Carnival and Slidesgo, but hadn't checked out Slidesmania. I saw a post about using Google colors for a template, but then started clicking around. Check out the nice designs for Remote Learning Templates. I think some of these may be really useful going forward. I liked the organization of this one, but I liked the color scheme of this one.
Holly Clark teamed up with Matt Miller to produce a great blog post with some fun activities to try at your next class meeting. Check it out here .
Just for Fun
A virtual gallery for student work or change up your Google Classroom banner. Actually I can picture a 6th grade classroom with a banner with bitmojis. You can even try it with Google Drawings or make an animated bitmoji banner.
Want more new ideas to check out?
Upcoming PD Opportunities