Monday, April 27, 2015

Search Better on Google

The Google Search Education web site wants to help you and your students become better searchers. As we all know getting information off of the Internet can be like drinking through a fire hose; too much information to sort through.
This site provides teachers will lesson plans and activities, a Power Searching online course they can take, A Google a Day Challenges (some of these are really hard!), and video trainings from the experts at Google. Make sure to check it out.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Digital Citizenship

A great article by Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) titled "What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship" was on the Edutopia site last year. Not sure how I missed it.

In the article, Vicki shared the "9 Key Ps" she uses with students learning digital citizenship.
1. Passwords
2. Privacy
3. Personal Information
4. Photographs
5. Property
6. Permission
7. Protection
8. Professionalism
9. Personal Brand

A great list and an article worth reading. Take a look 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Another Word Cloud Generator

I love word clouds and have talked about Wordle previously.

Another one recently brought to my attention that I had forgotten about is Tagul

Tagul requires a free account to be created which can be created your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account or just an email address.

Teachers or students can create their own word cloud by typing in words to be added or importing a list of word. In Wordle to get the words to show up larger you would just type them in multiple times, which is great with importing text like a speech. However, if you are just wanting some of your words bigger Tagul allows you to designate the size of the word. Users can also set the color of each word, the angle, and the font. Tagul also allows users to create their word cloud as a certain shape.

Tagul also allows for a variety of ways to share your word cloud, including email, links, downloads, and embed codes.

Teacher can enter all of the student's names into the word cloud for graphics to use during the school year or a class shirt. Teachers can enter text, like to the Gettysburg address above, and have students guess the speech or event or speaker. Students can enter their paragraph they have written to see which words stand out the most in their summary or story.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stop Animation Creation

From Mozilla comes a fun little website for younger students to learn the basics of stop animation.

On the site students can select their colored crayon and size of the tip to use. Students draw their image on the screen. Then students click the frame at the top with the plus sign. A new frame will appear with a shaded image of their first frame to be used for reference. Students then draw their image on the second frame. Continue this process until the stop animation is complete. Press the orange play button to see the images come to life. If animation is to the students liking, they click the OK button at the bottom right corner. They can add a Title to their animation and their name (take care with student information!) and click the send button. This apparently uploads the animation to Mozilla's website.

Students can then email the link to a person of their choosing, scan or save the QR code linked to the video, or just copy and paste the link into a browser to see their animation play out. 

While not the most feature rich program, this does give a good introduction to how stop motion videos are made. Give it a try. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tap Into Your Inner Creativity

Sir Ken Robertson is one of the leading experts on creativity and it's role in education. But, this TED talk from Kermit the Frog is really good. If you have an extra 20 minutes, I think you would enjoy it.
(How did he drink that iced tea?)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chromebook Tutorials

I really like my Chromebook. I use it almost exclusively during meetings and travel. I can access pretty much everything I need to access on the web including my various work and personal email, my work and personal Google Drive, and my Microsoft account for my OneNote notebook where I do the majority of my note taking. Yes, you pretty much have to have Wi-Fi to use the Chromebook, but at work, at home, and traveling that doesn't seem to be to much on an issue.

More and more of our campuses are purchasing Chromebooks for student use. I recently came across the following blog post with videos of basic things you should know how to do to use your Chromebook. Some good stuff. Take a look.

You can also access these from their YouTube channel.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute is one of those hidden gems from Google that needs to be shared. From their site, "Discover exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world. Explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail, from hidden gems to masterpieces."

Recently the site has offered 3d scans of objects found at some of the museums. For example a scan of Emperor Augustus.

Just remember this when using the site with students. This is art. Some art should be looked at with older and/or more mature students.

Take a look around and take your students to places they may never get to visit.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Microsoft Office Lens

There are several document scanners out there for the iOS devices and now Microsoft gets in the game with the release of Office Lens.

Lens works in conjunction with your free Microsoft account and works very nicely with the iOS apps that are now free.

Lens will scan a picture, a document, or a whiteboard from  from a variety of angles, resize, straighten, and sharpen the image and convert the image to text. You can then export it to OneNote, Word, PowerPoint, or a PDF document. Right now it is for the iPhone, but it did work on my iPad mini as well. Looks like an Android app will be coming soon.