Looking through my Wakelet for things to write about and once again either Google Slides has the most interesting articles out there or I just gravitate to them.
But, before I forget, last week was World Kindness Day. Rather than just being kind 1/365th of the time, why don't you check out some of the ideas on the Random Acts of Kindness site. They offer free curriculum ideas for K-5 and for 6-8 centered around the 6 core concepts of Respect, Caring, Inclusiveness, Integrity, Responsibility, and Courage.
Check it out here: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
Google Slides Add On
This one comes from Julie Smith, The Techie Teacher. It is a Google MarketPlace add-on that lets you slip additional slides into a slide presentation that you have assigned on Google Classroom. For example, if you have students working on an ongoing science journal in slides and you want to add a few explanatory slides to the assignment- this add-on lets you just slide them right in. Read more about it here and grab the Add-On here.
Google Slides as Narrated Storybooks
This is from a post that Greg has on Medium. It's a really nice simple, easy to do idea. Greg describes a 6 step process. He gives excellent examples of programs to use, where to find audio, etc. I will have to check out his suggestion of using 123apps.com to record audio on chromebooks. Do check out his article and follow his suggestions to create narrated storybooks in your classroom. We haven't yet gotten the magical add audio button on our chromebooks yet... but it's coming! I was thinking that this would be a really nice simple way to use Storyboardthat images/comics, download them as images, pop into a Google slide deck and then narrate. As soon as we get audio, I know the students will have lots of ideas.
Ideas to Share
Upcoming Free Workshops
Please share with your students too! This coming Saturday, Nov 23, will be a Maker Jam sponsored by Holyoke Codes over at the MGHPCC center in Holyoke. Check it out . https://holyokecodes.org/events/maker-jam/
Digital Storytelling Tools
I was asked recently about the best tools for video on chromebooks. I recommended Adobe Spark and Screencastify. We Video is OK, but the free version is limited. Then I remembered a couple of nice posts that Richard Byrne published about digital storytelling and thought I should pass that link along as well. Richard almost always gives you a nice little video tutorial, which I always find helpful.
Handwriting & Notetaking
I keep on hearing that students remember best when they physically write/draw than if they type it. I have also seen some really interesting articles about the benefits of teaching handwriting. Do you teach handwriting? Do you have students type notes or write them out? Do you see benefits one way or the other? This is an article from Edutopia called How to Teach Handwriting and Why It Matters.
This article from the Univ of California tells students to take notes by hand to get better grades. I wonder why the research they quote is almost 6 years old and if that makes a difference? I also wonder if sketchnoting is better or worse- more or less effective.
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.