One Small Step
My friend, Victor Tam, shared this online recently. As educators, we often don't realize how much we influence our students every day, helping them take that one small step. I didn't realize that this story was also nominated for an Oscar. Producer, Shaofu Zhang also hopes that One Small Step can help inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams in the STEM fields.
Merge cubes have been in the news for the last year or so. They recently won an Award of Excellence for Classroom at TCEA. I picked up a bunch of merge cubes when they went on sale last year, but have not had time to dig into how to integrate them into general ed classes. Also- all of the AR/VR stuff makes me seasick- instant vertigo. I've tried sitting, tried using the fancy Oculus goggles, etc., but I can't do it. Lucky for me, the art teacher next door, Ken Richards, took the materials I have on hand and started exploring to show his grad class. The HES students he has shown this to loved it. We don't have devices to fit into googles for all, and only have a few pairs of them anyway, but we do have ipads. Many of the apps are free. You can learn more about Merge Cubes here... and here. If you have a project you'd like to try out, or if you just want to test it out yourself, stop by and see me. We don't currently have a subscription to co-spaces, which is a topic for another day, but it is easy enough to get trial access.
One of the new free apps that is getting a lot of press and some rave reviews from folks who do AT and SEL is Moment AR. Here is a full demo of Moment AR, an evidence and research based tool using the Merge cube for Autism, Mental Health, Language, and Social Skills.
This was shared recently on twitter by Don Yerks. It is a nice little graphic to show a trackpad checklist with all the basic gestures you and your students can use on chromebooks. Click the image to see the shared gsheet with more info
Finding Images Online
This is probably the topic I get asked to help students with more than just about anything else. Yes, images must be cited. Yes, not all images online are available for you or your students to use. Jennifer Gonzales wrote about this recently and did a really nice job covering all the currently available options in this post. Although I have to say that when students are using Gsuite products the image search feature can be set and I think the default is CC or PD images. But, that said, students often just do a Google Image search and forget to use the filter dropdowns to target their search. I tend to use Pixabay and Unsplash when I am searching for my work.
Ideas to share
How do you get unstuck?
With the new year many of us try to figure out new goals, and new ways to reach our goals in the new year. You may be interested in checking out the Innovator's Compass.
New Year- New Goals
Many of us have students do some sort of reflection or goal-setting for the new year. This can be #OneWord2019 or a word cloud to represent goals or more. I shared a hyperdoc last year for #oneword and for MLK Jr , and had students make bracelets with their word. This year I saw that Lisa Highfill posted some new hyperdocs for #oneword. Check them out.
One other idea, along these same lines came from Sarah Kiefer. Her class inspiration quilt idea is to use slides, with images, goals and quotes. Check it out here.
Although Google Docs has some great templates for education, I am always on the lookout for more. This week I was looking at Sarah Kiefer and Beth Kingsley's Templates for Teachers google site. What I like about the site, aside from currently displaying 44 cool templates, easy to sort through by age and format, is an additional page with links to other great template collections for educators. Start here and I'm sure you'll find something that you can use tomorrow.
I seem to be stuck on sharing templates of one sort or another. I saw a post by Heather Marshall, a reading teacher in California. In addition to being the author of some excellent hyperdocs, she was also chosen as one of the CLMS teachers of the year in 2016. Heather, on her blog, THE BOOK SOMMELIER, posted a great idea for students to try- a BookaKucha. She gives all the directions for this Pecha-Kucha style book talk. "The lesson is from Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern's book Eduprotocols."
She goes on to give great examples, and some slide templates to try and leaves us with a quote:
"The impact of a good book cannot be measured through one-dimensional, cardboard cutouts of a single scene from a narrative. Something this big can not fit in a shoebox, but it may fit into a BookaKucha."
This is a student example she shared: About 2 minutes long
Yet one more opinion on ScreenTime
NPR put out an article featuring Jordan Shapiro. "In his new book, The New Childhood, his argument is that we're not spending enough screen time with our kids." You can read the whole article here.