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!
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
As I was looking through my Wakelet of links I had saved over the last week and most seemed to be focused on STEM. So, after an initial list of upcoming PD, most of what I am sharing this week are STEM resources. Friends who teach bio are looking for ways to do the labs remotely, although the physics teachers at least have some online simulations to use. Hardest to find are activities for elementary science that do not presume that students have access to a bunch of different materials that they may well not have at home or any way to procure. Hopefully some of the various resources can help.
My inbox overflows with all sorts of professional development offerings. One that caught my eye is the interview with Ken Burns- happening on Wednesday- tomorrow 4/29. I can't go as I have prior commitments, but maybe you can.
As we look to the future, anarticle on Edsurge seemed to offer a way to start examining how we can remotely do PD for teachers who are now teaching remotely. Their solution seemed to be to use centralized repositories of information. "Instead of talking shop and sharing tips in person, Butts says he and his colleagues have organized and shared links to resources in Google Drive folders that they can all access." This is more or less what we are doing in our district. It's a process.
These are ongoing opportunities that you may want to check out.
EdTechTeacher has been offering a great variety of one hour webinars. I attended one this week on using AR in remote learning. They are offering a couple on using Google Applied Digtial Skills this week.
Mystery Doug & Mystery Science...
WWF brings Wild Classroom to classroom or to students home
"Connecting educators and parents with the tools and resources they need to help kids explore and understand the world around them. Together we can inspire the next generation to build a future where people and nature thrive!"
Seeds of STEM offers great ideas for the younger students. Aimed at early childhood, Seeds of STEM is a year-long problem-based STEM curriculum, developed in alignment with four sets of standards. They have some great weekly curriculum ideas to share as pdfs with your families.
This is an example from one of the Daily Do lessons called Why are Flowers do Different? You can see the whole lesson here.
The NSTA Daily Do
"are sensemaking tasks teachers and parents can use to engage their students in authentic, relevant science learning. Students actively try to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering) using the science and engineering practices.
One of my favorites, which I wrote a bit about this a few years ago, is the OK GO Sandbox. The video to the left is from the UPSIDE DOWN & INSIDE OUT lesson. "OK Go Sandbox is an online resource for educators that uses OK Go’s music videos as starting points for integrated guided inquiry challenges allowing students to explore various STEAM concepts."
STEM Learning Ecosystems has put together an excellent resource list as a spreadsheet and has also reached out to the various ecosystems for even more ideas.
"The STEM Ecosystems Initiative is built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations, and seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people."
It feels like I am attending anywhere from 1 to 3, 4, or more webinars a day lately. One presenter, aside from Greg and Avra at EdTechTeachers stands out this week, Leslie Fisher. I attended one of her webinars on using Merge Cubes last week, enjoyed that one, so I signed up for one of her book creator webinars this week. Now, I have used Book Creator with kids, and honestly, didn't think I would learn a whole lot. I was wrong. Not only have they added over 200 accessibility features to Book Creator, but Leslie came up with very cool ways to use it- for all ages, not just elementary. I plan on attending another one this coming Friday- Book Creator and Accessibility. You can register for it here. The one I liked the other day is still open "on demand" til Monday 4/20.
Resources to Share
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Commonsense Media has created an excellent resource for teachers, families, students. " Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. There is so much good happening, and we are here to gather great stuff and organize it so teachers and families can easily find it and plan each day. " It is divided up by educator or a family and then by age range and then by topic. Worth exploring by both teachers and families.
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"MIT FULL STEAM Ahead is a collection of resources that MIT is putting together for teaching and learning online. These are meant as a rapid response to the need for online resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will curate existing resources for K-12, higher education, and workforce learners, as well as provide a weekly package of relevant materials for K-12 students and teachers." Check out these great resources here. Don't forget about the Edgerton Center while you're in the neighborhood. They have great instructables here.
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Helperbird is a browser extension that gives you the features to make the web more accessible and make you more productive. By providing you with features such as dyslexia fonts, change the font & background color, text to speech, overlays, dyslexia ruler, immersive reader, reader mode and much more. Download the extension for chrome here. It is also available for Edge and Firefox.
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Choice Boards for all disciplines, for all ages seem to be making a comeback as we search for ways to make home learning work for all. Miguel Ghulin down in Texas does a nice job of going through some of the many possilbiities when using Google Slides as wlll as a basic how to. If you would rather read it than view it- click here
CoBUILD19 is the Facebook group associated with the folks at Infosys, but actually started by Adam Maltese. Here's part of the blurb for this one, "CoBuild19 - Sharing Activities for Kids and Families at Home was created by educators and researchers to help youth and their caregivers to spend quality time together building and creating'...'The activities are designed to be completed with free or low-cost materials, supplies, and tools found commonly in homes, around communities/neighborhoods, or readily accessible at local stores or ordered online."
Infosys has opened up their Pathfinders Institute to all. I took the MakerEd courses for a week the last 2 summers out in Indiana and it was worth the time. Looking forward to exploring what they have on offer for all. Just an FYI- it is not all tech, not all CS, not all art, but a great combination of all of these with low-tech, no-tech projects as well. Here's the official blurb: "This virtual classroom allows students, teachers and families to access computer science and maker education content from home in an interactive and engaging online environment. Below are video lessons, links to resources and activities, and opportunities to join live training sessions led by educators and professional development providers. Explore the content and get started today!"
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National Geographic Explorers offers a live Daily show every day at 2 pm EDT. These are really cool ways to explore from climate change to frogs to following the pathways of the first humans who migrated out of Africa in the Stone Age. Check out the upcoming discoveries just waiting for you here.
One of the many webinars I have attended over the last 2 weeks was the SEDTA webinar last night, Supporting Students with IEPs During eLearning Days. After registering, I , along with 8000 others tried to get onto the edweb system. Needless to say, it didn't work. Luckily there is a recording, which you can access at edweb. AEM is offering a series of webinars coming up to help teachers use UDL in their lessons to reach all of the learners.
Here is more info from their page:
The AEM Center is hosting a series of webinars, each providing a deeper dive into a specific topic related to accessibility. Visit our AEM Events page for full details about each webinar.
- Personalizing the Reading Experience: Week of 3/30
- Creating High-Quality and Accessible Video: Week of 4/6
- Creating Accessible Documents and Slide Decks: Week of 4/13
- Making Math Notation Accessible: Week of 4/20
- Tuesdays, 10 – 11:30 AM ET
- Thursdays, 4 – 5:30 PM ET
So what's next?
Ideas to Share
Peterson's Web Page Hyperdocs
This site has more hyperdocs than you can shake a stick at. Looking for a quick way to get students started on a topic? These can all be self-paced ways to explore topics. This page has them listed, but then sorted out by topic in the top navigation. Remember if you use a hyperdoc- first- File>make a copy, then go thru and make sure that all the links work- some may not be available to your students and you may have to make changes. Think about distribution- one view only, one for each student...etc.
So- what did I learn at #EdCampBoston?
My biggest take away by far was a session with Laura Beals D’Elia, one of the tribe of library goddesses on
Diversity in Picture Book Collections.
Laura is now over at Westborough and she has created an amazing padlet of diverse books. She led us through her discovery of how to assess a collection and how she is addressing diversity in her library. Not being a librarian, I hadn't a clue. I wish I lived closer so that I could take her course, sounds like an intense learning experience that we could all benefit from. So- what did she share? Here are the notes that Nancy et al took for the session. Here is the searchable database. One thing to note- this is a database- a list... not a list of recommended books- just a list. You can learn more about the way this came togetherhere. Laura's padlet has various categories, from family and friends to poetry to science. These are books that she has chosen to buy for her school library. Below is just a small sample of what you will find https://padlet.com/lauradelia11/tx9e8r7f2x0z
We started out with using QR codes for sign out sheets- bathroom, hall passes, etc. I have seen various versions of this over the last few years. Since not all classrooms allow student cell phone use- a simple way is to have a spare chromebook with a link for the qr code- or just to the google form for the hallway/bathroom/nurse pass. This will document who signs out- when and where. Joli had a blog post with examples a while back.
A lot of teachers were excited to share their success with ZipGrade and GradeCam- neither of which I have used ( nor anticipate using). If you have a lot of this kind of grading to do, these apps must be a godsend. https://www.zipgrade.com/ or https://gradecam.com/
Teachers seem to promote using the chrome add-on -Pear Deck for Google Slides This is a quick and easy way to change a static presentation into an engaging lesson.
But, you don't have to travel that far if you live in western Mass, because EdCamp North Quabbin is right around the corner. Check it out here: https://www.smore.com/dhv24-edcamp-north-quabbin-is-coming?
One last thing to share...
Are you celebrating Read Across America day Monday March 2nd? □Try some digital reading and creating with this multimedia text set- https://t.co/5uJ7AGLAVn Feel free to make a copy and edit to fit your needs! @TsGiveTs #HyperDocs #PUSDedu @GoogleForEdu pic.twitter.com/SCDPuEtKpJ— Lisa Highfill (@lhighfill) February 26, 2020
More Ideas for Black History Month
One of the resources referenced is a film kit -Selma/The Bridge to the Ballot. You can see the trailer here.
Ideas to Share
This was shared on Twitter. What a treasure trove of Google PD! The links to presentations just keep on coming. You can do a deep dive into Googley PD or just a refresh on the basics.
I was excited to see the post from Tinkercad about using the Smithsonian artifacts as 3D models. I can't wait to go through them and try printing some, or just using the Tinkecad app to display a 3D model.
Then I saw the post about Smithsonian Open Access and realized that this just keeps getting better! "Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo."
Great Hyperdocs Resources
I was in the first cohort to take the Hyperdocs course, back when the book was published. Since then I have been amazed at all of the wonderful resources freely shared online via hyperdocs.co and so much more. This is a resource shared by Nadine Glikison and teachers at FTCSC. Check it out! https://www.fttechtips.com/hyperdocs.html If you are looking for Middle School hyperdocs, one of my favorites is Heather Marshall who has great hyperdocs for novels and more.
"We're excited to announce our third Library 2.019 mini-conference: "Emerging Technology," which will be held online (and for free) on Wednesday, October 30th, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time (click for your own time zone).
Tomorrow’s technologies are shaping our world today, revolutionizing the way we live and learn. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Drones, Personalization, the Quantified Self. Libraries can and should be the epicenter of exploring, building and promoting these emerging techs, assuring the better futures and opportunities they offer are accessible to everyone. Learn what libraries are doing right now with these cutting-edge technologies, what they’re planning next and how you can implement these ideas in your own organization.
This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded.
Aimed at secondary school teachers and students, I found a nice mix of material- some for students, other for professional development for teachers. You can check out their recent course (microcredentials offered), Teaching with Current Events: Practicing Media Literacy and Understanding Human Behavior by clicking on this link. They also offer a lending library of materials, as well as a large section on teaching strategies. I like the database, which sorts by subject, media, lesson, featured collection and much more.
So, for example there are courses in finance for K-12, courses focused on wellness, on SEL, etc. It's free. A teacher I met from central MA, really likes it and demo'd it for all. It is worth checking out. The one unit I am particularly interested in for K-6 age is The Compassion Project- aimed at grades 2-4. They even have a financial literacy course for grades 4-6. If you teach middle or high school there is a far greater selection of courses to choose from. Whether you use some of this for bell work, or an intro to a subject or as a mini course on its own, it is worth your time to check it out.
I also got to test out the NICERC curriculum for microbits. I love using microbits in the STEAM lab. They are inexpensive, versatile, easy to use and can be integrated into the curriculum. I hadn't tried out the NICERC curriculum (it's free) and found it easy to follow. It is an NGSS based curriculum, and is phenomena driven. Here's their blurb. "We’re the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC). We offer grant-funded cyber, STEM, and computer science curricula and professional development to K-12 educators at no cost. Our goal is to empower educators as they prepare the next generation to succeed in the cyber workforce of tomorrow." The focus is 3 fold- STEM, computer science and cyber science.
I spent most of the time working in the STEAM fundamentals program: "STEAM Fundamentals is a project-based, hands-on curriculum designed to engage students in real-world applications. In each module, students study natural phenomena and investigate fundamental concepts while developing social, observational, descriptive, and higher-order thinking skills. Each module develops concepts in a logical and practical manner that students can relate to and teachers can easily implement." Right now they have units for 2nd and 3rd grade, with 4th and 5th coming soon. We played around with the force and motion for 3rd grade. We also spent time with the STEM EDA curriculum. This one is aimed at middle school, grades 6-8. The modules are well-developed- and fun. Did I mention that it's free?
Want to check it out? You do have to sign up to request access.
I just attended a Digital Promise webinar yesterday on micro-credentials. They have a pretty amazing platform of micro-credentials to choose from. Most are free, but sometimes the issuing agency will have a fee. Check with your school or licensing authority to be sure that they will accept micro-credentials.
Then I read the Washington Post article which was referenced- "Want to read fast and well? Ignore the rules of the speed-reading gurus" A quote from Seidenberg rang true, “A look at the science reveals that the methods commonly used to teach children are inconsistent with basic facts about human cognition and development and so make learning to read more difficult than it should be. They inadvertently place many children at risk for reading failure. They discriminate against poorer children. They discourage children who could have become more successful readers.”
Finally I went back to the other articles referenced and chose " Hard Words Why aren't kids being taught to read? This was really interesting and kind of terrifying.
Look at the graph below-(You get more info on the interactive graph online). The author then goes on to talk about "balanced literacy" and concludes that it does not reflect the current brain/learning science. Really interesting article. Check it out: https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/hard-words-why-american-kids-arent-being-taught-to-read
Ideas to Share
I had never looked at this very cool tool to manipulate data. I started to play around with it, but ran out of time. I plan to go back to it and learn more. It looks like a relatively easy way to display data. This is the link... with tutorials to get you started https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/navigation/reporting. Jen also shared their short slide deck . To be honest- I found it to be a bit overwhleming. I need to sit with it and play around to get a better handle on it. But, if you are a math geek, a data nerd.... this may be right up your alley.
Yup, Another share from Jen Giffen's blog. This presentation slide deck, originally shared by Robin Holtie has some great ideas to incorporate making in your classroom. Not just for "littles", Robin is the lead of the SciTech Regional Learning Program and a Grade 7 core teacher at his district in Ontario, Canada.
STEAM LITERACY LINKS
This one is from Mike Creed, a tech coach down in Pennsylvania. He travels between 7 different buildings K-12... His stash of STEAM related books and activities is phenomenal. Love them and plan on stealing as many as our teachers would like to try. Thanks Mike! Check out his work here. He has a great collection of activities for Dr. Seuss books, for fairy tale engineering and more.
Eric Curts: Best Links from April
As always, Eric Curts has supplied another great curated list of links to check out for ELA, ELL, Math, Science and STEM and Social Studies. Check them out here: https://www.controlaltachieve.com/2019/05/links-april2019.html