Teacher's Web Presence
On July 1st, 2014 the York School Department will pull the plug on its legacy email system, First Class. Like many school districts, York has made the leap over to Google Apps for Education. At the beginning of this year, York migrated all email over already, but there are a few things still left inside of First Class that need to be addressed, and migrated to Google before the new school year begins in the fall of 2014. Web pages...
District, building, team, student activities, and teacher web pages all need to be created, or recreated, if they are currently published in First Class or indirectly to First Class through iWeb services. These pages will no longer exist after the July 1st date. Luckily this still gives the staff 5 months to work on their new web presence.
When choosing an online tool to edit and publish web content, the possibilities are endless these days. It can be a little overwhelming, and yet if you think about it, there is good reason for all of these options. Each web page that is published generally has a specific audience that they web master is trying to reach. Forcing multiple web masters to use a single tool to publish content may not be the best method to convey their own personal content to their audience. The tool should represent the uniqueness of the individual publishing the content in the first place. Choice has it's rewards.
For this reason, I believe educators should be allowed to choose which web page editing tool they wish to present their information to their intended audience. A high school German teacher, a middle school drama coach, and a Kindergarten teacher should all have different content, audiences and therefore choice in the tool to best communicate their material.
The York School Department's tech team focused on providing an overview of web page tools in February, and now plans to offer open workshop days for the rest of the year to assist teachers in small groups and 1:1 scenarios to help build their online presence whether it be a full web page, team page, blog, podcast or video channel.
Again, the possibilities for tools are endless, so the tech team has offered a few examples of tools that may best fit some of our educators' needs.
Web Page Editor Options:
http://lawsonlabs.blogspot.com/ / http://lawsonlabs.wordpress.com/
No matter which tool an educator decides to use to (re)create their web presence, the tech team will support the choice and link it back to the school web pages which are being recreated using Google Sites and will appear live on the web after the July 1st, 2014 deadline. We only ask that all educational websites include the following criteria before they are published and linked back to the schools...
Each educator's site is expected to have these elements:
Links, resources, examples, video tutorials and even apps that will assist in (re)building your web presence.
Check back often for workshops, dates and times.
School Librarians are Rising School Leaders by Laura Devaney
School librarians are shaking off the decades-old stereotype that they are isolated from a school’s teachers, students, and classrooms. Today’s school librarians, according to a panel discussion that took place duringConnected Educator Month and onConnected Librarians Day, are being tapped as influential school leaders with the power to help support the digital transition.
James Aldridge, Chief Technology Officer for MSD of Warren Township in Indianapolis, Indiana, recently managed the transformation of 200,000 square feet of libraries and classrooms into creative learning spaces that encourage creativity and collaboration through open, interactive environments.
One of the most powerful capabilities of iPads is the capacity to collaborate asynchronously on multimedia creations. By combining a creation tool (Explain Everything) and a collaboration tool (Google Drive), students and educators across the country - and world - have the ability to create, share, combine, and publish collaborative projects entirely from iPad.
Digital learning has come a long way since the “Oregon Trail” boom of the late 80s. Or has it?
Beginning with a list of several hundred books that have earned stars throughout the year, SLJ‘s book review editors commenced the grand task of winnowing down the best of the best. The volume of outstanding novels for young adults continues to grow, yielding characters that are fully realized and stay with readers long after the last page. This year also saw a rise in the number of distinguished books for middle grade readers, and while a fair number of the selected titles deal with serious themes, there are also books on the list that will leave readers chuckling aloud.
Flexibility and personalized education: That’s what the learners of 2014 will expect from their libraries. We must be available everywhere, nimbly respond to students’ needs, and allow kids to learn in ways that suit them.
New Links for Teachers
On the Electric Circuits site your students can learn about the power sources used by common household products and then safely experiment with the creation of electric circuits. Electric Circuits presents students with a circuit to construct by using virtual power sources and switches.
During the shortest days of the year, hundreds of gray seals clamber onto Seal Island for an extraordinary mass breeding event. At this second largest of just four U.S. colonies, the seals come ashore for just a few weeks to give birth and feed their pups.
creativeLIVE has launched a 24/7 broadcast education network. The network will carry five free channels of original content, with expert instructors teaching creative skills.
EDpuzzle is a neat new educational site to help you better utilize video in your classroom for learning. You can find and crop video to use only what you need, add audio notes within the video or do some voice over work for a video, and you can embed questions throughout the video to track student understanding. EDpuzzle collects data as students watch and interact with the video. You can see if and when a student watched the video, and see the progress of all students through the answers to embedded questions.
Online collaborative interactive white board. Share thoughts, ideas and strategies online from any device.
Curriki's geometry course features six PBL projects. Each of the projects is aligned to Common Core Standards. The course is not a self-directed course for students. The course is designed to be taught by mathematics teachers who want to incorporate PBL. The projects in the course can be used in sequence or used as stand-alone units. All materials needed for leading the projects are included available on the Curriki site. You will have to create an account and sign-in in order to access the materials. Curriki accounts are free.
When their forces combine, science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) are a super group of essential subjects that lead to long lasting learning. Mix and match these picks to help students cultivate design sense and inventiveness, gain transferrable skills, and make cool, useful stuff.
This website posts articles about current events and worldwide news that are written for-- and in some cases, by --- children, and is often used in language arts, science, and social studies lesson plans.
Booksource provides the tools your school needs to organize your classroom library and bookroom.
Like all of the videos in the Planet Nutshell Math Shorts series, this video includes alignment to Common Core standards.
Hemingway is a free tool designed to help you analyze your writing. Hemingway offers a bunch of information about the passage you've written or copied and pasted into the site. Hemingway highlights the parts of your writing that use passive voice, adverbs, and overly complex sentences. All of those factors are accounted for in generating a general readability score for your passage.
New Google Links
In the new version of Google Maps you can quickly find Streetview imagery, videos, and panoramic imagery by opening the "Explore" tray at the bottom of the map. Simply click the "Explore" link in the bottom, right corner of the map to open a menu of imagery. Placing your cursor over one of the images will generate a line that shows you where that image was captured in relation to the center of your current view of the map. Clicking on an image in the Explore tray will put you into Streetview or showcase the image if it is not a Streetview image.
What if you could turn one of your passions into something that could change the world? That's just what thousands of teens have done since the first Google Science Fair in 2011. These students have tackled some of today’s greatest challenges, like an anti-flu medicine, more effective ways to beat cancer, an exoskeletal glove, a battery-free flashlight, banana bioplastics and more efficient ways of farming.
Before there was an airplane, there were doodles of cool flying machines. And before there was a submarine, there were doodles of magical underwater sea explorers. Since the beginning of time, ideas big and small, practical and playful, have started out as doodles. And we’re ready for more. One talented young artist (grades K-12) will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school.
Like many of you, when I was in middle school and high school we were taught to create index cards to organize our research. After creating the cards we sorted them into an order to support writing our research papers. That same concept can be applied to organizing research with Google Slides. In the video below I demonstrate how this is done.
Google Books is a great place to find books and old magazines, but if it is newspapers you're after then check out the Google News Newspaper Archive. In the archive you will find hundreds of newspapers that have been digitized for reading online. You can search for a specific newspaper by title or browse for articles by date and title.
As The Next Web reported yesterday, you can now simply type into Google search "set timer" followed by an amount of time and a countdown timer is displayed. An alarm beeps when time is up. You can make the timer appear full screen without advertisements by clicking a little box icon to the right of the timer. You can see this feature in action in the video below.
Students and educators have a wealth of learning and productivity tools available to them online. Google offers some of the highest-quality resources on the web to meet all your study and teaching needs, and all you need to access them is an internet connection.
Kaizena is a free tool that you can integrate with your Google Drive account to leave voice comments on the the documents that your students share with you. With Kaizena authorized to access your Google Drive account you can highlight portions of your students' work and add voice or text comments to it.