I recently revisited Learn Zillion, a platform that I thought had potential for teacher use a few years back, but found at the time that it wasn't really student friendly. They have made positive changes and you can now assign lessons via Google Classroom. (Students still need to be associated with your class). This time I tried to look at it through an OER lens and found it to be very well organized and easy to navigate. For example, teachers in Georgia have created their own ELA curriculum and have it all organized- and freely shared for use. Check out these Guidebooks "English Language Arts Guidebook Units Classroom-ready daily ELA lessons developed in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education. Units include daily lessons, assessments, texts, blank and completed handouts, and student writing examples." Note- the materials on the web site are free, but they use a lot of trade books. Here's an example of material for Because of Winn Dixie. They also have a robust math section. Check it out here. Teachers at HES who would like to try this out with students and need student accounts made up, just let me know.
NEXT.cc is a resource that is new to me. Here's part of the intro blurb from the site.
"NEXT.cc is an eco web that develops ethical imagination and environmental stewardship. NEXT.cc introduces what design is, what design does, and why design is important. It offers activities across nine scales – nano, pattern, object, space, architecture, neighborhood, urban, region, and world. NEXT.cc’s journeys introduce activities online, in the classroom, in the community and globally. ." It's a great site to pull together a lot of resources and show the connections between the disciplines. For example, I clicked on the "journey "Animals" and it brought me here. Looking for a new way to teach a topic, check it out.
Another New Tool from Brain Pop!
Math in Google Docs?
Texthelp, our friends who make Read and Write for Google Chrome- now have a new chrome extension for math. Alice Keeler wrote a great post about it today- entitled: And All Math Teachers Screamed with Excitement! ( all in caps!) "EquatIO, by Texthelp, is now available in the Chrome Webstore. EquatIO is a Chrome extension that will allow you and your students to create math equations in Google Apps…. and other places." Read more about it on Alice's blog, or check out what Texthelp has to say or read the press release here.
What. is. a. hyperdoc?
I've been hearing about, reading about teachers using hyperdocs for a couple of years, and to be honest, my first reaction was- really? Do we need more jargon? Can't they just be called documents with hyperlinks? Yet another buzz word... BUT, last week I participated in a GAFEchat on twitter and came away as, if not an evangelist- at least a convert and am excited to explore and see if this can be useful for you and your students. So, first things first.
Isn't this just a document with hyperlinks?
Lisa Highfill, one of the creators of Hyperdocs (along with Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis) at a 2015 TEDX conference defined hyperdocs as-
Karly Moura, an instructional coach in Concord, Ca created an excellent comparison chart.
What you will notice in the comparison is that the creation of hyperdocs helps teachers create UDL lessons- considering how the materials are presented to students, engaging the students in creative ways and allowing for multiple means of representation. Sarah Landis has created an excellent Template you can follow. Click to see in Google Docs. Karly Moura has also created a mashup of this original template and some new ideas. She has even created a "close reading template".
Who are these for? Elementary? Middle School? High School?
All of the above. The resources I collected on the GAFEchat are saved on the One tab qr code to the left, but there are many, many more collections- and more teachers are creating and sharing these every day. Check out @TsGiveTs! on Twitter- it is an amazing resource. Here is a link toKarly's shared hyperdoc folder to check out some of her resources for elementary age kids. Below you will find some amazing resources shared by fellow educators and collected on Padlets as well as inspiring and informational presentations Lisa Highfill gave recently at the CUE conference.
Want to learn more?
You can check out the Hyperdocs FaceBook group here.
Want to learn even more? Lisa, Kelly and Sarah have a book coming out soon.
This is a great addition to Google Slides. It doesn't appear to have rolled out to our district as yet, but you should see it relatively soon. Essentially it allows your audience to ask questions during the presentation. The video below will walk your through the steps. The other cool new feature on Google Slides is a built in laser pointer. Handy tool to have. You can probably see these new features on your personal Google account, but look for them in the upcoming week on your school accounts too.
You can find more VR videos from Discovery Education at http://www.discoveryvr.com/
I spent the day on Saturday over at #edcampGrafton. One of the sessions, which I did not attend was on Google Cardboard, and VR video. Google Cardboard has been out for at least 18 months, if not more. Click here to see the shared notes from that session. However, I did win a Google Cardboard set up in the door prize drawings. Have to say, I will probably never use it, and anyone who would like to borrow it to check it out- come see me. This fancy dancy new version of the old ViewMaster simply makes me seasick. It is very cool… but not only do I not own a smartphone, I quite literally cannot stand the 3D immersive view. I hated Second Life back when that was popular too. But- you may love it and find it incredibly useful… so here’s some info.
Check out the Google Plus community or look around on the Twitter hashtag... see embedded example below.
You can buy or make your cardboard viewer. There are also fancier Oculus Rift VR systems, pricey. Just to clarify- these are not just headsets for gamers- altho a lot of content is being developed for playing immersive games. Think of the possibilities- visit the jungles of Belize, walk along the Great Wall of China, check out models of Ancient Rome… The VR version can be very engaging for your students. There are lots of apps you can try out for both iOS and Android smartphones. There are good starter lists on the notes, as well as some of the links.
If you’re not really ready for all this- check out the VR or 360° videos on youtube- you can maneuver around just like you can when in street view on Google Maps.
Here’s a couple of examples: Remember- zoom in/out and move around with your mouse or arrow keys or use your google cardboard and your smartphone.
Looking for more ideas? VentureBeat had a nice write up a while back, Science Beyond the Boundaries has some great links and Ronnie Burt over at Edublogger recently posted about using it on a trip.
TRY IT... You might like it!
Or.. you may enjoy the April Fools Version, which works so much better for me.
Google introduced voice typing over the summer and has made some big improvements. If you haven’t tried it out, it’s worth the time to check. Located right in Google Docs- top navigation bar- Tools, you can now use your voice to format your document. Is it perfect? No… but it can be very helpful for both teachers and students to quickly get some notes down, as well as for students who are articulate, but struggle to put their pen to paper. Even though it’s still a blank white space, I have seen it help kids who think they “can’t write”.
These are the basic punctuation commands, but you can access the full list here, including lots of ways to format your document simply using your voice.
· Exclamation point
· Question mark
· New line
· New paragraph
Google Forms for Quizzes
I spent Saturday morning over at Mahar in Orange, at edcamp North Quabbin. I was really impressed with how well the teachers at Mahar are integrating technology into their day to day work with students and how much they love using Google Forms with flubaroo, integrated into Google Classroom. If you 've never tried flubaroo, here's the quick overview.
If you are not using Google Forms for multiple choice or short answer quizzes, you’re missing out on a quick and easy way to collect student data, to teach and give formative assessments and more. Google Forms has changed recently, so it may look different to you. The icon- accessed from your google drive> more> forms is now purple.
Here’s an overview video for the new version of Google Forms:
Forms to Teach and Assess
Tom Mullaney recently posted about using google forms for remediation and review, featuring his Impossible to Fail Quiz. What, pray tell, is an impossible to fail quiz? Here are 2 examples- Tom’s French Revolution Quiz and a Quiz on Google Classroom. Essentially, if you get the question wrong you are directed to a video or website or document to help you, then you get to answer the question again.
If you want to give this a try yourself.. check out his tutorial here
By the way he also embedded this into a Thinglink… pretty cool idea. We have a thinglink account that can be used at the elementary school for HES classes.
Welcome back to school!
Looking for a way to spice up your lessons in 2016? Try using one of the free interactive video tools to flip your classroom, use blended learning, to help chunk materials, promote discussions and insert formative assessment into the videos you are already using.
Zaption has made a lot of changes of late. One new offering is the Zaption presenter, which allows teachers to broadcast directly to student devices, while allowing students to interact and ask questions as the video plays. So, what is this tool? It is a way to make videos more interactive right in the classroom, by adding text, images and questions.
Here's a quick video to give you a better idea. There are free and paid options, but the free options give you a lot of options.
Educanon offers another resource to create interactive videos. You can add "any of seven interactive question types and rich media into the video's timeline".
Here's what they say about themselves on their website.
Backed by AT&T and Stanford's startX, eduCanon is an online learning environment to create and share interactive video lessons. Teachers begin with any online video (screencasts, Khan Academy, TED, etc.) and transform what is traditionally passive content into an active experience for students, with time-embedded activities.
Edpuzzle is yet another system to create interactive videos and track student engagement, assess their understanding. You can choose videos from a variety of sources, trim the video, add audio narration and questions and then track student progress. Easy to use and you can upload your own videos to their servers to avoid any youtube blocks for your students, or simply assign it as homework.
There are many ways to use video in the classroom as an interactive, engaging tool.
What tools do you use? YouTube has some quick and easy tools that I will show you another time...
Use Ted-Ed lessons to amplify your great lessons!
TED talks have been around for years and offer engaging talks about technology, education and design. TED-Ed takes this one step further and now offers an amazing array of excellent lessons that you can use in your class as is, or modify to suit your curriculum. You can use the lesson creator and make your own lessons too. You can even take any educational video, modify it and submit it to the review panel to be animated and added to the site. "TED-Ed's mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. "
These videos can help engage your learners and serve as an introduction to a lesson, a springboard for discussion, or just a way to differentiate and add choices for your students.
You can sort prepared lessons in various ways, including- content, student, duration. Another way to find interesting videos is to use the Series option. Students from elementary grades through higher ed can all benefit.
Each lesson has 4 parts: Watch, Think, Discuss, and Dig Deeper.
Here's a couple ideas for elementary age students: Sponge Bob math lesson and a lesson on heros from Matthew Winkler
Looking for Writing or Grammar videos?
Check out How misused modifiers can hurt your writing
Richard Byrne has compiled an excellent playlist of TED-Ed videos on the Human Body
There are some great Social Studies and History choices too!
Check out the TED-Ed blog for more great ideas!
Make history by recording it with StoryCorps
"Everyone has a story. What’s yours? What about your parents and teachers? Your elders and mentors? Now is a great time to add all of these stories to the largest living archive of human voices on the planet: StoryCorps."
Over the weekend I was listening to several SimpleK12 webinars on Google Tools. One presenter showed a Jeopardy like game, made with Flippity.net. Now if you've ever used the online templates, PowerPoint, etc. to make Jeopardy quiz games for your students, you know that can be a pain in the neck. This looked easy.
So, I checked it out, and not only was it easy to do, but their flashcard maker would be a great way for you/your students to collaboratively study for exams. Just download the templates, open in Google Sheets and follow the step by step instructions.
The quiz show game..
Here's a short video from Richard Byrne to show you how to do it and there are also complete directions on the site as well.
The Flash Card Generator
What I really like about this
1. You can add images
2. You can add video
3. It can be collaborative! Because it is made from a Google Sheet, you can share the sheet to your entire class, assign each student/group of students one section and they make the cards for the group...remember to update the link when adding to the published card deck
4. Options- card, list, cloud, quiz
Follow Ups to October PD