Wednesday, April 26, 2017

3 Tips and Tricks to Manage Tabs in Chrome

Do you use the Chrome Browser? If you do, here are three tips and tricks to help you with managing your tabs in Chrome.

Tip 1 - Pin Tab Feature

Do you have a tab or tabs that you are going to be using all day? I often use the Pin Tab feature when I make presentations so that I don't accidentally close out of a tab. Even if you close Chrome, your pinned tab will still be there if you reopen your browser. Just right click on the tab that you would like to pin and choose "Pin Tab."



Tip 2 -  Open a Recently Closed Tab

Have you ever accidentally closed out of a tab? Instead of searching through your browsing history or retyping the URL, use the following shortcut to open a recently closed tab:



Tip 3 - Open Specific Pages to Start

Do you want a specific set of pages to open up when you open up your Chrome browser? If you open up your Settings in Chrome, you can choose "Open a specific page or set of pages" in the "On startup" section in Settings. Choose Set pages and enter the URL of the pages you would like to visit upon startup.



Monday, April 24, 2017

SeeSaw + Google Drive = Awesome Possibilities

SeeSaw is a free digital portfolio too to give students the ability to express their knowledge in different ways through written text, drawings, images, video and web links.

 SeeSaw just launched a new feature to share files from Google Drive!

Here's how it works:

  • Step 1 - Click on the Add button and choose Add File. 
  • Step 2 - You can now choose to add files from Google Drive. 


  • Step 3 - Add your files from Google Drive. SeeSaw converts your file into a PDF copy, which can be shared with others and annotated! 


Want to watch it in action? Check out this quick video from SeeSaw!



Conclusion:

I must admit, I really like this feature because it allows parents to see how their students are using Google Tools to create and showcase learning without the hassle. Many of the teachers that I work with have been asking for this feature for a very long time. 





Thursday, April 13, 2017

You are NOT your...

It is hard to believe that I am on month five of my leadership to interview 50 leaders in one year.  As of today, I have interviewed 27 different leaders. Although some are in business, others in education, and others in the non-profit sector, they share many different similarities and themes. 

Know Who You Are

In every interview that I have had, each leader has stated the importance of knowing who you are.  Ironically, this lesson became quite clear to me while taking my eleven-year-old daughter out to breakfast during this past weekend. She and I talked about troubles that she was having at school. 

At one point in the conversation, I asked her to fill in the blank:


You are NOT your ___________.

How about you? How could you fill in the blank? You are NOT your job title...bad day...college degree....promotion....lack of promotion....divorce....difficulties. You are so much more! You were created to serve in a way that cannot be confined by a label. 

I recently heard a speaker, who stated "You are not what others do to you. You are what you do to yourself." How often do we allow the words, thoughts, and actions of others

Who Are You?

How do you typically introduce yourself to a new person? If you are like me, you introduce yourself by your job title, where you live. Is your value 

 How often do we tie our value to another's opinion of our value, performance, or potential? 

If you could never work again, who are you? If you could never earn another dollar, receive another promotion, earn another degree, or receive another compliment....who are you? This is an important aspect of effective leadership.

Effective leaders know who they are and they have outlets, support networks, and hobbies outside of work. They effectively balance the challenges of leadership with friendship, fellowship, and family. Take away their title or job and they will still thrive. 

Take-Away

So, I have to ask you, who are you? Who are you without all of the stuff? Who are you without the titles, the recognition, or qualifications? It's a very difficult, yet important, question to ask. 




Drawing to Learn through Google AutoDraw

Brain research is crystal clear that the way students learn is highly variable; however, have we started to make adjustments in our instructional style to address variability?

Drawing is an important and under-appreciated aspect of learning. How often do we restrict the ways students respond? In our highly digital classrooms, it can be difficult to find easy-to-use and free tools to help students draw content. Google AutoDraw is a new web-based tool available on any device that pairs artificial intelligence and drawings created by you. Here is how it works.


Step 1: Open Google AutoDraw

Visit Google AutoDraw on the web on any device!



Step 2: Create

Use the drawing tools to draw, create shapes, or add text.  If you use the AutoDraw tool, Google will try to identify your object and provide you with suggested images that you can use instead.




Step 3: Download or Share

Google AutoDraw provides you with the option to download your image or share via a link or social media.



Conclusion

This tool provides you with so many possibilities in the classroom! Solve math problems, illustrate concepts, define vocabulary words, create timelines, etc. The possibilities are endless!



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

12 Things You May Not Know About Google Photos (and Cheat Sheet)

Google Photos is a popular way of backing up your images and videos; however, it offers many creative solutions as well. Here are 12 things you may not know about Google Photos:
  • Anything uploaded to Google Photos is automatically private as default. Items can be seen by others ONLY when shared. 
  • High Quality photos uploaded via Google Photos have unlimited storage space. 
  • You can search by a person's face, the location of your photos, or even a word - like "skyline."
  • Google Photos is available on multiple devices. Whether you are using the web or your favorite Android or iOS device. 
  • You can set up Automatic Sync (in Settings) on your device to automatically back up your photos to Google Photos. 
  • You can create albums, shared albums, animations, and collages on any device.
  • Google Photos can create movies with music on the mobile version (iOS and Android)
  • Items uploaded via Google Photos DO count against your Google Drive storage quota if they are stored in "Original Quality" or uploaded via Google Drive. 

  • The Assistant Feature is a helpful feature for creating new items. Google Photos even creates and offers suggestions for sample items. 
  • Albums can be shared with anyone. Share via a link or through social media account. Viewers do not need to have a Google account. 
  • You can collaborate with others to create a shared album. This is perfect for field trips, class projects, or showcasing sports team photos. 

    • Need to create a quick slide show? Create an album with your favorite pictures, then choose "Slideshow" in the top right-corner of your screen.



    Want to learn more? Here is a cheat sheet for using Google Photos:





    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Google Forms Cheat Sheet

    If you have never tried Google Forms, there are a variety of different things that you can do with it, such as creating:

    • Surveys
    • Quizzes
    • Sign-Ups
    • Documentation Logs
    Here is a cheat sheet that I developed for using Google Forms: 


    Click here if you would like a downloadable copy. 


    Monday, March 27, 2017

    7 Ways to Use Google Drawings in the Classroom

    Google Drawings is quickly becoming one of my favorite tools. How do you use it? How can you incorporate it into your classroom? Here are 7 ways to use Google Drawings in the classroom:



    Do you have other creative ways of using Google Drawings in the classroom? I would love to hear your ideas! Please comment below.

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    14 Things Siri Can Do

    Siri is a powerful tool that often gets overlooked; however, it has the power to help you stay organized, increase efficiency, quickly find information, and perform tasks with very little effort. Just when you learn one trick, there are new things added each day!

    Here are 14 things that you can do with Siri to increase your productivity inside and outside of the classroom:



    Click here to download the PDF version of the 14 Things Siri Can Do Cheat Sheet.

    If you are interested in seeing the full list of Siri commands, here is an excellent article from CNET that has even more!


    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Tell Your Story with Sutori

    How do you tell a story? Sutori is a free tool for telling your story in a unique, engaging, and interactive way.



    Here is how it works:

    Step 1: Create Your Title

    Create a short title to get your audience engaged and interested in your Sutori.


    Step 2: Use the Story Tool

    Creating your story begins with using the Story Tool. You can use the tool to add, move, or delete items. Not only can you add traditional text and multimedia components, you can also add assessment tools (i.e. multiple choice and drag and drop) and a discussion forum.



    Step 3: Collaboration

    Groups are a great way to collaborate with others on your story. Collaboration is free and unlimited, meaning you can add as many users as you want. The only limitation with the free version of Sutori is indeed with the number of groups you can create, limited to two per user.


    Step 4: Share the Love

    When you are finished with your story, add a conclusion and share with the world to see. There are a variety of different ways to share your Sutori with the world.


    Conclusion:

    Sutori is an excellent tool for creating engaging and interactive stories that will solidify learning. Need more information on how to use Sutori? Check out Sutori's How to Create a Story guide.

    Need help being inspired? It may be helpful to explore what users have created.





    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Encouragement: The Breath of Our Soul

    I recently met Karen on my leadership journey to interview 50 leaders in one year. She is one of the most positive and encouraging people that I have ever met. Whether it is thanking a veteran for their service or offering a kind word to a stranger, she makes it a point to encourage others on a daily basis. In fact, she regularly distributes pre-printed cards with encouraging quotes to others on a regular basis.

    I was intrigued when she handed me a business card containing the word "encourager" as her title. In a world full of negativity, her job title stood out to me like an oasis in the desert.  Her journey to encouragement began fifty years earlier, when a kind-hearted little girl offered Karen the most valuable commodity - friendship and encouragement.

    What is Encouragement? 

    To encourage means to notice, find value, appreciate, and care for the needs of others. Leaders must encourage others to inspire greatness because encouragement is like breathe to our soul. In our fast-paced and ultra-competitive world can forget to see the needs of other people. We can intentionally or unintentionally alienate colleagues, annihilate the competition, and dehumanize others to meet the bottom line. Is our need to get ahead distracting us from encouraging others?

    One Small Action

    Encouraging others may be uncomfortable, unnatural, or overwhelming; however, it can be as simple as a kind gesture or action. I recently came across a great illustration in a video of a teacher who encouraged a student to finish a race. The student, named Matt, has significant physical challenges which make running tough; however, he wanted to run a 400-meter race (or one lap around the track).  At one point in the race, Matt was overcome with fatigue and discouragement, but his teacher quickly reacted and inspired an entire school.


    Conclusion

    The number one job of a leader is to encourage others to reach the impossible. Great leaders and organizations inspire greatness in others. Encouragement is the currency used to achieve the impossible.

    One action, one kind word, one note, one smile, or one text can breathe encouragement and inspiration into another person's life. When was the last time you encouraged another person? When was the last time that you offered a kind word, note, or email?  Take a moment to encourage another person today. You never know how powerful your words or actions will be.


    NOTE:

    Encouraging others is something that I need to work on. In order to challenge myself, I decided to take a page out of Karen's book and created personalized postcards from Vistaprint. I am using the cards as a tool to inspire and encourage others.








    Monday, March 13, 2017

    NEW! Quizlet Learn Adapts to Your Student's Needs

    How do you typically prepare your students to take a quiz? Do you help them create a study plan? Does your approach customize and adapt to your student's individual needs? Quizlet launched a new tool called Quizlet Learn, which does exactly that.

    How Does it Work? 

    Tell Quizlet what materials you need to master and when you need to learn them by. Quizlet Learn develops an individual study plan that adapts to your needs.

    The program identifies patterns and makes adjustments to increase or decrease difficulty while you are studying. Quizlet Learn provides you with up-to-date information on your progress to keep you focused and motivated. Quizlet Learn is currently available on iOS, but an Android version will be coming soon.

    Conclusion:

    Quizlet Learn is an excellent tool to increase student engagement and motivation. Students have the ability to set due dates and measure their progress to see how close they are to reaching their goal. Quizlet customizes review materials to provide the appropriate rigor and relevance to challenge students to learn material more effectively.

    Want to learn more? Check out this brief video:





    Sunday, March 12, 2017

    Good?


    The word good can take on many different connotations. It can provoke a sense a feeling of peace and generate positive emotions. When life is good, we feel good. The word good can rise the cynic within us. We scroll through social media posts and grow cynical by the good life our friends and family have.

    The truth is that life is good, but it can be hard to see in the midst of adversity, challenge, and heartache. When our world is falling apart, it can be difficult to see anything good. Seeing the good in any situation is essential to growing as a leader. Whether you are leading students, teachers, soldiers, or a sales staff, there will be times that you have to find the good in a situation. The people who rely on you are counting on you. If you are trapped within a world of darkness, how can you lead others to the light?

    Good:

    A few months ago, a colleague recommended that I view the following clip by former Navy Seal, Jocko Willink. In the video, Jocko talks about his philosophy in dealing with adverse situations. Although I am not as intense as Jocko, it was a great reminder that I have to learn how to see the good in life. Cynical and negative leaders tend to have a short shelf life.




    I challenge you to say the word "good" when things are falling apart. I challenge you to see the "good" when things appear bad. There is a great saying in scripture that says "what you meant for evil, God meant for good."

    Where can you begin? Where can you start small?

    Things didn't go your way? Good...a chance to find another way.

    Struggling with others? Good...a chance to grow stronger and more meaningful relationships.

    Fell on your face once again? Good....a chance to redeem yourself.

    It is not easy, but the people in your life are counting on you to master this. We must master ourselves before we can master our piece of the world. What is your struggle?

    How can you learn to own it, appreciate it, and see the good?


    4 iPad Accessibility Features You May Not Know About

    If you have an iPad, you may be aware of the many free accessibility tools designed to increase access and remove barriers. You can access the accessibility features on your iPad by going to Settings and choosing Accessibility.  

    I have created the following iBook with 10 iPad Accessibility Features for Students. The book contains information about each tool, cheat sheets, and links to video tutorials. Here are four free accessibility tools you may not know about. 


    1. The Zoom Feature


    The Zoom Feature is helpful for magnifying the display of your iPad. This tool can be used with students with visual difficulties or as a way to enlarge content to project on your teacher iPad. Once this feature is turned on in the Accessibility menu, simply tap three fingers on your screen to activate. 



    2. Magnifier

    Have you ever had difficulty reading the fine print on a sign or need a little extra help seeing a particular object? The Magnifier feature on your iPad uses your camera to zoom in on objects. Not only can you adjust the brightness and contrast, you can also apply filters, such as white/blue, yellow/blue, grayscale, yellow/black, and red/black. 

    Check out a brief video tutorial below: 



    3. Speech

    The Speech feature is a text to voice feature, which is helpful for providing assistance to struggling readers or auditory learners. Once the feature is activated, you can highlight specific text and press the speech button to hear the passage read aloud. Want to customize the speed and voice type? You can do that too! Check out a brief tutorial video below:


    4. Guided Access

    We all have had those students who are distracted and need a little extra support staying on task. Guided Access is a helpful accessibility tool, which restricts student access to only one App. Students cannot leave the app until the passcode is entered OR time is up.

    Check out this brief tutorial below:



    Conclusion:

    If you would like more ideas, I have created the following iBook with 10 iPad Accessibility Features for Students. The book contains information about each tool, cheat sheets, and links to video tutorials. 


    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    8 Ways the Post-It Plus App Can Be Used in the Classroom

    I have grown to love the Post-It Plus iOS App because it provides numerous options for engaging students in the classroom. I would like to share eight ways it can be used in the classroom.

    1. Word Practice

    Just the other day, I was in a 1st-grade classroom to practice making compound words. Instead of writing words on paper, students used the App to practice putting together post-it notes to make compound words.

    You may even want to consider have students practice recognizing patterns in words, such as synonyms, antonyms, and parts of speech.

    2. Vocabulary Practice

    Provide students with a list post-it notes containing words and definitions. Have students match the vocabulary word with the meaning. Take it a step further and have students draw an example of the vocabulary word using the editing tools on Post-It Plus.

    3. Sequencing the Parts of a Story

    Elementary students often need practice sequencing the events in a story. After students read a passage, have key events from the story listed on post-it notes. Have students position the events in the order they occur as a quick way to check for understanding.

    4. Solve Math Problems

    Write down a math problem on post-it notes, then have students address the problem using the editing tools on Post-It Plus. Recently, I worked with a group of students to practice determining whether a value was greater than or less than another. Students used the editing tools on Post-It Plus to write their answers.

    5. Sequence Steps of a Math Problem

    Why not write down the steps needed to solve a math problem? Have students reposition the post-it notes in the proper order. To take it a step further, give students the steps for solving a problem and an actual problem to solve.  Have students position the steps for solving the problem and then show their work for each step on each post-it note.

    6. Create a Timeline

    Write down the names and descriptions of historical events on post-it notes and have students develop a timeline as a visual and hands-on way to practice sequencing events.

    7. Diving Deeper into Content 

    Provide students with characteristics of an object, topic, or life form. For example, perhaps you are a Science teacher who has created post-it notes with the characteristics of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Students can use the Post-It Plus app to create three separate boards for each type of creature.

    Students can label the board with the name of the life form and drag and drop each characteristic on each board. Students can even create their own post-it notes to list additional characteristics.

    8. Collect Exit Tickets

    If you are like me, then you may like to use post-it notes as a way to create "Exit Tickets" out the door. As a secondary teacher, I used to hurry to collect and read all of the post-it notes from my previous class before my next class arrived. The Post-It Plus App allows you to scan the post-it notes at the end of the class and read, write notes on, or discuss with students the next day. No more worrying if a post-it note got lost, thrown out, or fell off of the wall!






    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Google Drawings Cheat Sheet and Ideas

    Google Drawings is an amazing tool that teachers can use to create interactive worksheets, graphic organizers, virtual manipulatives, and more! If you are not familiar with how to use this tool, I have created the following cheat sheet to help you learn how to use this amazing tool.

    Click here to access a PDF copy of the Cheat Sheet.


    Ideas for Using Google Drawings in the Classroom

    If you have never used Google Drawings, it might be helpful to see examples of how others use them in the classrooms. See below for a presentation that I developed:





    Monday, February 27, 2017

    4 Ways Tech Will Excite Students on Read Across America Day



    As we approach Read Across America Day (March 2, 2017), I want to share with you four activities to increase your student' passion for reading!




    1. Retell Your Story with Shadow Puppets EDU

    We remember 90% of what we teach others. Why not use technology to have your students retell or summarize a story? A teacher that I work with uses Shadow Puppets EDU to have her students retell the major points of the story using first, next, then, and finally.




    2. Sequencing Practice with Post-It Plus 


    Sequencing can be a major challenge for students. Why not write down the major details of a story on post-it notes? Place the post-it notes on a table. Have students use the Post-It Plus App to scan, re-organize, and write/draw/type additional information on the virtual post-it notes.




    3. Create Book Trailers!

    Why should students only be excited for 1 week? Why not have students create book trailers of their  favorite books using iMovie. Each trailer can contain exciting information, powerful quotations, and reasons for reading the book.

    One librarian that I know, posts the videos online (YouTube or Google Drive are great options) and creates QR Codes for students to access trailers online! You can put your QR code on posters, walls, and even the books!


    4. Skype or Do a Google Hangout

    It is becoming increasingly more difficult to have guests come into schools. Why not open your classroom up via Google Hangouts or Skype? One teacher that I know is having an adult read to her first grade class through Skype.


    Conclusion:

    What are you doing for Read Across America Day? I would love to hear your creative and innovative ideas!

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Stoplight Technique for Technology

    Classroom management is extremely important when using technology; however, many teachers are looking for new ways to communicate, reduce behavioral issues, and share expectations. I recently came across an excellent idea from @edtechwunder on the stoplight technique.

    How it Works:

    Create a stoplight sign, where each light communicates a different message to students about how tech will be used that day.

    For instance, green means that students should have devices open to start the beginning of class. Yellow means that students will be using technology later in the class period, but devices should be closed to start class. Red means that students will not be using technology that day in class.

    Conclusion:

    Place your sign outside of your classroom or another visible area inside of your classroom. Then use a binder clip to signify how technology will or will not be used in your classroom. This is a great tool to help students stay on task, understand the day's expectations, and reduce the number of questions students have.

    Do you have any other cool classroom management ideas? Reply below and tell me about them!

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    How Do You Recap? A Great Way to Use Formative Assessment in the Classroom

    Formative assessments are a great way of helping gauge student understanding and there are a variety of tools available to help teachers. I was recently made aware of a really great tool while in a Twitter chat with Karen (@Teach4SpclNeeds). She told me about Recap, a video formative assessment tool that can be used on a multitude of devices.

    Getting Started 

    To begin, teachers have to sign up for a Recap account and create a class. When you create a class, you will have to enter in the names of students much like SeeSaw.

    Once you have your roster set up, students can access your class by going to the following link. You can choose how you want your students to sign into the App, whether using a PIN or email account (for older students). When students login to the course, they will need to choose their name from the list of students.

    Creating Your First Assignment

    Assignments are known as Recaps. You can create your first Recap by signing into your account and accessing your class. Once you are in your class, you can develop a Recap with a question (or questions) and / or a video explanation.

    There are also ways to customize the way your students respond. For instance, you can choose the maximum recording time (15 seconds to 2 minutes), due date, and adding an assess yourself poll question.

    Student Responses

    Students can access the assignment by using the following link to log into their accounts and entering the PIN (or email address) associated with the class.



    Students choose their name from the class roster and open up the Recap assignment in their dashboard. Once they access the question, they can record their video response.


    Increasing Engagement

    Once a video has been posted to Recap, teachers can use a variety of tools and features to check understanding, showcase learning to parents, or automatically combine all Recaps into a class video called the Daily Review Reel.  Videos can easily be shared with parents or other educators through a link or Twitter.



    Conclusion

    When I think of formative assessment, I am sometimes reminded of an episode of The Office. The main character, Michael and his sidekick Dwight, drives into a lake while using a GPS. Why? They did not have an understanding of where they were going.  I am a firm believe that when we don't understand where our students are going, we can end up with a sinking lesson or unit.

    Our students can end up in a similar predicament if we are unsure where instruction is headed. Are students understanding material? What misconceptions do they have? What are they struggling with? This is why formative assessment is a great tool for gauging student understanding.

    Recap is an excellent tool to help students develop a deeper understanding of content, so that can articulate where they are going and where they have been.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    NEW Quizziz App for iOS

    If you are a fan of Kahoot, then you should check out Quizziz because it offers another way to assess your students.

    Now is the time to check it out because Quizziz just announced a new student iOS app and several great features!

    • These app functions like the web version, but much smoother on the iPad.

    • The new Read Aloud feature reads questions aloud for each quiz. This is an excellent resource for students of all abilities and backgrounds.

    • You still have access to all of the memes, avatars and leader boards that make the web version engaging to students of all grade levels.

    This is a great tool to have in your teacher toolbox, especially if you are looking for quick ways to engage students and quickly assess understanding. Not only is it easy to use, but it is device agnostic - meaning you can use it on any device.

    What are some of your favorite formative assessment tools? Leave a comment! I'd love to hear your ideas.

    Saturday, February 11, 2017

    Don't You Forget About Me....SafeShareTV

    Video is an important aspect of many blended classrooms; however, have you thought about where you have your students access videos? Questionable suggested videos have prevented many educators from using YouTube, but have you considered using SafeShare TV?

    This has been a tool that has been around for quite some time, but I have found that many teachers have forgotten about it!  This is a great tool for removing the distractions that could appear when using YouTube or Vimeo without needing to download and convert videos. Simply copy and paste your video's URL and SafeShare TV does the rest. 

    What does SafeShare do?

    • Removes advertisements from videos
    • Customize the start and end times of videos
    • No more advertisements for related or suggested videos! 
    • Share your video safely

    Don't forget about SafeShare TV! It is such an important tool.


    Friday, February 10, 2017

    Video Tutorial on Using Numbers to Create Interactive Worksheets and Timelines

    Thanks for the great feedback that I received about one of my latest posts titled More Than a Speadsheet: 3 Ways to Use Numbers in the Classroom. You spoke and I listened!

    Here is a video clip describing how to create an interactive worksheet and interactive timeline. Enjoy!






    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Customize and Add Videos from Drive to Slides


    Google Slides is an amazing collaborative tool for students and teachers. In addition to adding YouTube videos, you can now add videos from Google Drive! How does it work?

    STEP 1: Insert a Video

    Insert your video by going to the Insert menu and choose Video. You can also use the video icon on your toolbar.

    STEP 2: Choose Google Drive

    Instead of inserting a YouTube video, you can now select Google Drive.

    STEP 3: Choose Your Video

    Choose your video from Google Drive. Once your video is embedded, you can right-click on your video and choose Video Options.





    Video options will allow you to choose when to start and end your video, whether it should autoplay when presenting, loop your video, or  whether it should be muted or play with audio.


    Conclusion

    Not only is this a great tool for teachers, it can be helpful for students too. This is a great way to have students (especially under the age of 13), create and embed videos into your Google Slides presentation without needing to publish to YouTube. 



    Wednesday, February 8, 2017

    More Than a Spreadsheet: 3 Ways to Use Numbers in the Classroom

    I recently sat down to learn about how to use Numbers in student learning. If you are not familiar with Numbers, this is Apple's spreadsheet software, similar to Excel and Google Sheets, which comes with your Macbook or iPad.

    Here are three ideas to use Numbers in your classroom.

    1. Manipulatives 

    Vocabulary is an important component of any class regardless of your content area. Numbers can be used to create a variety of interactive vocabulary exercises to allow hands-on learners to interact with content.

    The activity on the right is something that I developed for a teacher in my school to allow students to drag and drop vocabulary (blue boxes) words into the right positions.


    ***BONUS IDEA!

    Because you can add video clips into your spreadsheet, why not record yourself giving instructions, doing a sample problem, or sharing resources? This helpful strategy provides students with the scaffolds and supports that may be necessary to complete the task successfully. 




    2. Create a Timeline

    Timelines are useful tools to visualize the order of historical events, understand the parts of a story, or understand a process.

    Numbers is a great tool to create an interactive timeline with text boxes, hyperlinks, images, and video files.

    As an example, I created a sample timeline of important events in my life.










    3.  The Perfect PBL, STEM, or Design Thinking Tool 

    PBL, STEM and Design Thinking have become an important part of today's classrooms. Instead of using separate programs to compose your project, Numbers gives you the ability to create, store, and showcase various types of media in one place.

    During my time exploring Numbers, I saw an example of how students used an iPad to complete a Circuit Training lesson.  To complete the activity, students were asked to do the following:
    • STEP 1:  Access a Numbers spreadsheet, containing a map and detailed instructions of the circuit tasks they needed to complete. 
    • STEP 2:  Students were asked to use an iPad to record themselves doing each circuit exercise. As they completed each exercise, they were asked to embed the video from their iPad into the spreadsheet. I love the fact that you can watch the video in Numbers! 
    • STEP 3: Students were asked to use an App called Cardiio to analyze their pulse after each activity. Students input the data into Numbers to see the impact of each activity on their body. 
    • STEP 4: Students used Numbers to create a chart to analyze and visualize their data.
    • STEP 5: Students used the "selfie cam" on their iPads to record a video analysis explaining the results. 
    Conclusion:

    Do you use Numbers? If you are a Mac or iOS user, you may want to seriously consider learning how to use this valuable and under utilized program. Why? This amazing spreadsheet tool can offer so many possibilities and modalities for students to learn more effectively. 


    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Cheat Sheet for NEW Google Sites

    Have you tried to use the NEW Google Sites?  If you haven't had the opportunity, I would highly recommend that you check it out. The drag and drop interface makes it easy for anyone to design a webpage, regardless of past experiences or abilities. If you have ever used Weebly or Wix, the interface and design is very similar. It is easier than ever to add your favorite Google Tools, YouTube videos, and calendars to your site.

    If you are new to using Google Sites, I have created the following cheat sheet to get started. Click here if would like to download your own copy of my infographic.