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Showing posts from July, 2016

Making Snap Chat Filters

Recently at a conference the sponsoring company (Discovery Education) posted some fun snap chat filters. This lead to the "How did you do that?" question from many of the teachers in attendance. Lindsey Hopkins, the DE employee who created the filters on the above pictures, lead an unconference class on how she created them. It was very good! The discussion in the session also focused on how to use them in schools and there were a lot of good ideas -  Spirit Week - Homecoming - Prom - Back to School Nights - Professional Development Training or Seminars. People also make them for events like weddings and parties. NOTE - These aren't the crazy filters with rainbows coming out of your mouth and giant eyes these are more like branding and location filters. I went ahead and made a test filter for a meeting with my supervisor to discuss possibly using it at one of our summer institutes (and to see how easy or hard it was to set up). It takes about 2 days to be

Chrome Extension - CraftyText

I am currently at a conference specific to users of the Discovery Education website and I have been going to a number of classes. In yesterday's class, how to use green screen with DE resources, the instructor Dave. T. showed us this fun chrome extension. The extension basically lets you display text (in this case his website address) in a huge banner like format across your screen (see last picture). This is a great tool for directing students to websites that they normally couldn't see on your screen (in the past I just copied and pasted web addresses to a Word document and blew it up - this is much better!).  Below are screen shots on how to get the extension and how to use it. 

ISTE 2016 - Honorable Mentions or for Further Research

As always there is way too much information at tech conferences to the point of shutting down (that happened to me in Atlanta at my first ISTE conference). Focusing on trying to get a specific number of ideas/tools has really helped keep me grounded (make no mistake though... I am still overwhelmed but at least I come back with things to focus on). I have to prioritize my notes but there are always items that are left over that deserve an honorable mention...or at least a  blog note so I don't forget them. These are: -  A FREE web tool for teachers to create games to be used in the classroom You can create your own games or use premade ones. The site allows the teacher to associate their own voice with correct answers. - I heard Buncee mentioned enough times that I made a star next to it in my notes to explore when I have time. It looks like it is a place to make and store lessons to share. https:

ISTE Top 10 - #1 - Seesaw

There were several hot topics at ISTE this year (gamifying collaboration...coding...micro-credentialing ) but one tool that kept coming up (even before I got to ISTE) was Seesaw . So in all fairness it was on my radar prior to going to ISTE but it just seemed to pop up EVERYWHERE during the conference (which I'm hoping is the universes way of screaming TRY IT). Seesaw is a student driven digital portfolio website where students can upload pictures of their work, videos, add links, etc. To see an overview of the product CLICK HERE for a short YouTube video. It reminds me a lot of Easy Blogger Jr . which I had explored a couple of years ago, which at the time was free in the app store. I just checked today and it is now $5.99. Seesaw is FREE (there are some pricing options for more functionality) but I think the basic version is enough for simple classroom use. I like that it works over multiple platforms (we have tablets in our 6-12 classrooms with the po

ISTE Top 10 - #2 - Amazing Race Challenge Using MyMaps

I went to a ticketed session titled " Challenge Students (or Staff) to Google MyMaps Amazing Race ." (click on the link to view the presentation and resources). I was lucky to get into the session since I didn't have a ticket! They have a non-ticket line that I got into early so I was the first person they let in after everyone else. It was shockingly popular at 8:30 a.m. The presenters had us get into groups and we were given a series of challenges that made us use Google products in order to complete the various activities (we used MyMaps, Forms, Drawings, Tour Builder, Slides). I liked the team building aspect of it...we are currently doing Escape the Classroom for team building but this seemed a bit easier (not sure in terms of set up though...that seemed multi-layered with MyMaps and Forms but doable without buying locks and boxes that are needed for Escape the Classroom). This was another example of gamifying professional development. If I had to describ

ISTE Top 10 - #3 - Challenges and Badges

At ISTE they have a series of sessions known as Snap Shots. It is where you get two sessions in an hour verses one. I like the format mainly because you get more information and ideas for your hour of time. The ISTE organizers try to relate the two snap shots so they sort of match. For example, I presented a snapshot about ideas for using digital cameras in the classroom (look at the presenter notes to see an explanation of each project) along side a group of teachers presenting about movie making in the classroom. One snapshot session I went to featured ways to engage teacher learners using challenges and another focused on engaging learners using badges  (click on the links to be taken to their presentations). The idea was part of a larger concept of using the challenges and badges as a way of providing micro-credentials for teachers (to read an interesting article on the topic CLICK HERE ). To earn micro-credentials, teachers follow activities to demonstrate mastery in a

ISTE Top 10 - #4 - Zaption (?)

This WAS my favorite thing at ISTE but I just found out the company sold and is closing on September 30th. WHAT?!?!  It is a lot like EdPuzzle  (a site where you can embed questions in YouTube videos) with the exception that there is a "presentation mode". With EdPuzzle you can have students join your class and assign them YouTube videos, with questions to answer embedded in the video...this works well if YouTube isn't blocked and you don't have buffering issues. What I liked about Zaption is the presentation mode (which EdPuzzle doesn't have). Basically a teacher can show the YouTube video (with questions) on their interactive white board (in a lot of schools YouTube is not blocked for teachers). Students would join the presentation with their device. As soon as a question pops up within the video it gets pushed out to students to answer (so they aren't watching the video on their device just answering questions). The only reason why I am

ISTE Top 10 - #5 - More Google Extensions...for YouTube

I took a Straight Outta of YouTube class put on by the Google Education folks (click on the link to see the slides of extensions that were highlighted). The two extensions that I thought I would use is Floating For YouTube and the GIFit extension.  Floating for YouTube allows you to float a YouTube video on the screen and work within another program at the same time. I thought this would be good for students if you ask them to take notes on a video. They could "float" the it...while taking notes in Word or Google Docs.  The other extension, GIFit, allows users to make a GIFs from a section of a YouTube video. I was playing with the idea of students creating stories using GIF's. I used this site to get free GIFs  for my sample project but started running out of GIF's that would work. The idea of creating my own GIF's that I could use was appealing and something I plan to play with.

ISTE Top 10 - #6 - Google Tone Extension

In one session I learned that Google has a chrome extension called “Google Tone”. Once you add it to your computer you can go to any website that you want to send out to students. The extension then generates a “tone” from your computer that other computers pick up (they also have to have the extension). The tone will be “read” by the other computers and will automatically direct someone to the website you want.  It was pretty cool. Since students would also have to have Google tone there is an element of abuse potential with students sending out their own tones. I am not sure if that would be embraced by our teachers but it would be fun to highlight in a PD setting.

ISTE Top 10 - #7 - New Google Sites

One thing I got very excited about, when I heard about it at ISTE, is the fact that Google is launching a new streamlined Sites. Anyone familiar with the old Google Sites (it is their version of making a website) knows that is not very user friendly particularly with students. The new version looks very user friendly and some early adopters have posted videos on YouTube about the changes and how to use it (although I can't seem to find the launch date). In this short article you can learn about the new features that make it easier to use and how you can become an "early adopter". The teacher who highlighted it at ISTE said he had students make Roman Emperor dating sites with it which I thought was a pretty cool idea (what would Caligula's website look like?).  I plan to put in a request for early adoption in order to play with it prior to a full out launch. I would love to see our students making websites that could act as their portfolios through their

ISTE Top 10 - #8 - Google Quiz Feature in Forms

The big news this trip was the release of a quiz feature in Google Forms that launched June 27 th . This feature allows you to create quizzes within Google Forms where the answers will be graded without any extensions. I haven't played with it yet but I have saved a few videos on YouTube to watch later when I get home. I am thinking this might make a good back-to-school PD topic.  Another feature that I haven’t used in Google Forms, which I saw used on this trip, was the form or data validation feature (for a video overview CLICK HERE ). How I saw it order for students to move forward, let say working out a math question, they have to put in the correct answer as a type of form validation before they can submit the final form to the teacher or move on to the next section in the form. I liked this feature because if the student doesn't get the answer correct in the data validation area then they have to rework the problem before they can move on. A lot

ISTE Top 10 - #9 - Kahoot Additions

I am a big Kahoot and Quizizz user. I stopped by the Kahoot booth to see what was new (to me) for the coming year and I got to demo the new Team Mode and Bonus Streak features.  I love the Team Mode (you still have the option to do the regular familiar model)! I worked with a group of three teachers to answer a bunch of random questions. One person controlled the device so this feature is great if you don’t work in a 1:1 environment. The Team Mode features a question and answers that are on the screen what changes is that you can build in “discussion time” for the groups (up to 2 minutes…we were given 30 seconds). As soon as the time is up you're team is prompted for the answer. I found it a nice way to have people/students work collaboratively. My wish for this feature is that the Kahoot system would put the the students in groups ( like the Quizlet Live feature )  instead of either the teacher or students choosing the groups .  The Bonus Streak feature in Kahoot gives p

ISTE Top 10 - #10 - ClassFlow

I was very fortunate to attend ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) in Denver this year. Under normal circumstances I don't think I would have been able to go (particularly since I went to the conference in Philadelphia last year) but my proposal to present was picked up and my department approved the trip (Yay!). Last year, as a way to curate all the ideas I was getting, I blogged about my top 10 take-a-ways from the conference. I thought I would do the same this year. So here it goes...#10 - ClassFlow (the list is in no particular order): ClassFlow is one of my favorite classroom tools. They are part of the Promethean world but it looks like they are in the process of re-branding using the ClassFlow name instead of Promethean. In 2014 I wrote a blog post about  the product and I have pushed it heavily in our district since we have become 1:1.  At ISTE the ClassFlow folks had a large exhibit hall display that featured Ron Clark a