Friday, January 19, 2018

3 Ways to Use for Students to Use Webcams or Selfie Cams in Learning

Marshall McLuhan once said that the "median is the message." Today's classrooms are filled with infinite possibilities and media, which can change the way that students process information, demonstrate understanding, and engage in learning.

Sometimes we think that we have to find the latest and greatest app to create powerful learning experiences for students. Remember, it's not what tool you use, but how you use it. Here are three ways that you can use the power of a webcam or your iPad's camera.


1. About the Author or Artist

I was working with a kindergarten teacher today, who wanted to infuse technology into an art project.  She will have her students paint pictures of pandas to enter in a school art show. We are working together to use the selfie camera on their iPads, so that they can talk about their paints and share interesting facts about pandas. We are going to publish the videos online and create a QR code to place on the painting, so that parents will be able to hear their child talking about their painting.



2. Vlogging

It is important for students to have the opportunity to reflect on learning. In a sense, it helps them connect the dots and make connections, but not all students like to write. Instead of downloading another app, why not use your iPad camera or iPad camera to develop a video?

Make sure that you give students a format and limits to follow. Some students may need to have a template for structuring their conversation. For example, "Hi my name is ____. I am going to tell you three things I learned today about _____. First....Next....Finally." You may want to also restrict students to speaking for 30 to 120 seconds. Anything more may not be very effective.


3. Jigsaw / Test Review

It's the end of a chapter or unit, how do you usually review content for a test? We turn to our handy review worksheet, review games, and our Jeopardy PowerPoint. This may be helpful, but brain research has found that students remember 90% of what they taught others. Why not give students a chance to reteach information?

It may be helpful to develop a collaborative Google Slides Presentation with specific questions or concepts that you want to review. Assign a specific slide to individual or small groups of students. Have students use their webcam or selfie cam to record a 1 - 2 minute video of reteaching a specific concept. Then, have students upload their content to Google Drive and embed into your Google Slides presentation. Now you have an interactive slideshow presentation. Students can add links to external websites or documents for review. Now you have a living an breathing review!





Thursday, January 18, 2018

5 Time Saving Google Forms Tips

Here are 5 ways to save yourself time in creating a Google Form!

1. Use Templates

Many people don't realize that Google Forms has a Template Gallery, where you can access already created templates for signups, collecting contact information, etc. Check out my blog post on templates for more information. 


2. Duplicate Questions

Do you have a question that occurs more than once? You might want to use the duplicate question feature in Google Forms. Perhaps you want to recycle some of the answers in a multiple choice question. Simply choose your question and select the duplicate question icon. 




3. Use Preferences

Do you want to make all questions required by default? It will take you less time setting defaults than having to click on every question. Do you want to set a default value for quizzes? Use Preferences to set the default settings in Google Forms. 

Click on the three vertical dots icon in the top-right corner of your screen. Choose Preferences. 


4. What's Your Rule of Thumb for Sharing?

I get a lot of questions about how you should share your Google Forms. Choose the Send icon in the top-right corner of your screen to share your Google Form. You have several different options for sharing. Most people choose to email their form to others or share the link.

I usually use the email function to share with 1 to 10 people. If I am going to share with more than 10 people, I usually share the link instead. It saves time from having to enter everyone's email addresses in the email section. You could save yourself some time by creating a distribution list for large groups of people too; however, I don't have that option in my organization. 


5. Add Collaborators

Sometimes you need more than one person to help develop a Form. You can do this easily by adding collaborators. Choose the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of your screen and choose Add Collaborators. Now you have the ability to work with someone else on designing a Form. 












Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Save Time with Templates Gallery in Google Forms

If you love Google Forms (like me), then you are constantly looking for ways to use the tool to increase learning and productivity; however, it can be time consuming to build new Forms on a regular basis. Templates are a great way to save time when you are working in Google Forms.

Many people don't realize that Google Forms has a Template Gallery, where you can access already created templates for signups, collecting contact information, etc.

How can you access the Template Gallery? Here are a few different ways to do this in Google Forms:


1. Visit forms.google.com and you will see a list of templates appear at the top of your screen. 




2. Visit Google Drive > choose New > choose More > choose Forms





Thursday, January 4, 2018

With g(Math) Gone, Turn to EquatIO Instead

Today marks the end of an era. If you are a user of the g(Math) add-on for Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms, you are no longer able to use it.

If you are a math teacher, then you might want to take a look at the EquatIO Chrome Extension, which is very similar to the g(Math) Add-On. What is EquatIO? Check out this short video below:


Monday, November 20, 2017

Blackboard by Boogie Board: Liquid Crystal Paper

Technology is a wonderful tool to help students learn, but there are often when we need to hand-write or draw something to solidly its meaning. Writing on a tablet can feel awkward and unnatural.

What if there was a way to use technology and write naturally? Blackboard by boogie board is an excellent solution to write naturally, erase like a pencil, and save your notes electronically.  I recently received a Blackboard and had to check it out.

How does it Work?

First, you will need to purchase a Blackboard by boogie board, which includes everything you need. Each board is accompanied by a pen with eraser and four writing templates. Whether you want to use lines, dotted grids, a planner, or a blank sheet of paper, there is a template for you.

This inkless pen on paperless paper, which requires nothing to charge, plugin or turn on. Merely use Blackboard to plan, sketch, or draw. Blackboard allows you to write comfortably by hand, whether you are writing, editing, or erasing. The free Blackboard app helps you save, organize, and search for your writings, drawings, or plans.

The board is easy to use and transport, which makes it ideal for any situation. Check out this video for more information!




CLICKS FOR A CAUSE MONTH! 

Ava was diagnosed with stage 4 Hepatoblastoma in March of 2016 at 9 months of age. Hepatoblastoma is a cancer so rare, that only 1 in 1.2 million kids are affected. Ava’s numbers have fluctuated over the past several months, but her family is hopeful that she will fully recover. Although Ava will face a lifetime of lasting effects from the chemo, she looks like a happy little 2 year old. Currently she is getting adjusted to wearing hearing aids, and they have already greatly improved her speech! Her family is looking forward to watching her life return to normal and seeing her be able to enjoy just being a child.


During the month of November, I need your help to make a difference for Ava and her family! Here is how!

  • Visit and share blog posts - I will be personally donating 1 cent to her family’s medical fund for every blog visit for the entire month of November.

  • Make a donation - for the price of coffee or lunch, make a donation to Addison’s fund via credit or debit card. Make a contribution to Ada's PayPal account or contact Matt to send check/cash. At the end of the month, all funds will be directly sent to the family.

  • Show your support with a Like - ​  “Like” Ava’s Facebook page and share words of encouragement!

Clicks for a Cause has been helping children in need since 2013! For more information, check out my Clicks for a Cause Page!


Saturday, November 18, 2017

When Math Happens!

Many students struggle with learning Math because it can be difficult to understand for some of our students. Some students struggle to make real-world connections to Math concepts.

 Dan Meyer has created a highly engaging site called When Math Happens. The website contains a variety of real-life math problems, which Dan uses the power of technology and Math to solve. Problems are available for students in grade 3 through Calculus.


Conclusion

Each problem is aligned to the Common Core Standard and are based on real-life situations. The problems are structured with a real-life scenario, a video preview, guiding questions, and silent solution videos to help guide students to the answer.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Google Slides + PearDeck Add-On = Highly Engaging Presentations

As more classrooms become 1:1 and BYOD, there is a need for interactive and engaging tools to stimulate learning. One of my favorites is PearDeck, which is very similar to NearPod.

PearDeck has recently added an Add-On, which converts your Google Slides presentations into interactive presentations. You can design a presentation that contains interactive components, such as warm-up questions, multiple choice questions, exit tickets, temperature checks, and reflection questions. You can choose the pace, whether teacher-paced or student-paced.

How does it work? 

First, you will want to create your Google Slide presentation. Visit the Add-Ons menu, visit Get Add-Ons, and install the PearDeck Add-On. You will want to make sure that you create a PearDeck account to use this tool.



Then, visit the Add-Ons menu and use the PearDeck Add-On to add interactive components to your presentation.



Finally, you will want to visit the Add-Ons menu and Present with PearDeck. Your presentation will convert from Google Slides into a PearDeck presentation. Have your students visit peardeck.com/join to join your presentation. Students will need to login using their Google account to access the presentation.



Conclusion

One of the best things about this tool is that it creates an interactive environment for students. Students have multiple ways to interact with the presentation. I also like that you can change the pace of the presentation, whether self-paced or teacher-paced. Students need different options for demonstrating their knowledge and the PearDeck Add-On provides this!


CLICKS FOR A CAUSE MONTH! 

Ava was diagnosed with stage 4 Hepatoblastoma in March of 2016 at 9 months of age. Hepatoblastoma is a cancer so rare, that only 1 in 1.2 million kids are affected. Ava’s numbers have fluctuated over the past several months, but her family is hopeful that she will fully recover. Although Ava will face a lifetime of lasting effects from the chemo, she looks like a happy little 2 year old. Currently she is getting adjusted to wearing hearing aids, and they have already greatly improved her speech! Her family is looking forward to watching her life return to normal and seeing her be able to enjoy just being a child.



During the month of November, I need your help to make a difference for Ava and her family! Here is how!

  • Visit and share blog posts - I will be personally donating 1 cent to her family’s medical fund for every blog visit for the entire month of November.

  • Make a donation - for the price of coffee or lunch, make a donation to Addison’s fund via credit or debit card. Make a contribution to Ada's PayPal account or contact Matt to send check/cash. At the end of the month, all funds will be directly sent to the family.

  • Show your support with a Like - ​  “Like” Ava’s Facebook page and share words of encouragement!

Clicks for a Cause has been helping children in need since 2013! For more information, check out my Clicks for a Cause Page!