Man, the commenting options in Google Docs are sweet #google
Playing around with Microsoft Kodu. I think I might actually like this. Quite a bit. http://t.co/IAsF636lT3
Current Grade 6 writing topic: Convince Mr. Walter to keep Computer Lap open 24/7 to allow students to play MineCraft all day.
TIL that there are no rhombus in Africa. Thanks Grade 6 class!
AirPresnter: First in the list of apps I am going to look at is AirPresenter. As I am just pulling these from ... http://t.co/lgiFHiBcHA
@B_Sheridan @jutecht Nice. What was the time frame for the book? And could I perhaps have a link to one to read in the store?
@B_Sheridan @jutecht And you did it with Kindergarten students?!? Nice. How did they find the experience? And how did you find it?
@GlogsterEDU @kjarrett @Matt_Arguello Are you still working on a method to bulk delete students? Frustrating. Last update was 1 year ago.
RT @GeekDads: NEW GD Flickr Pix: Lego nomenclature survey: BlazerMan has added a photo to the pool: Please feel free to add ... http:/ ...
Learning this whole OSX/Macbook thing. Who knew installing an application could be so... weird?
Google, Inc.: DON'T REMOVE Calendar Appointment Slots - IMPROVE it! https://t.co/xcBzMH17 via @change
The number of times I have mis-typed "Satan" for "Santa" is getting problematic, especially as this is a children's musical
Holy crap, running Xubuntu on my Dell Mini 9 for the first month and realized that I am getting 7.5 hours of battery life!
That being said, still a huge step up from faxing the order.
My least favorite part of adding 362 items to the scholastic pre-paid reorder form was when it deleted all of them.
RT @marthamuzychka: .@MQPSchool The MQP Scouting Community is hosting a food drive on Sat. Dec. 8, 9am to 12pm. https://t.co/8C36djzc Pls RT
Ok, I had no idea educreations was this great.
Thought that I was going to be able to buy Windows 8 for 39.99, but Microsoft is telling its not available for download in my area (Canada)
Add videos and images to a google map
Looks like a good listing of Haiku deck presentations, which I REALLY enjoy.
Review of new scratch features
First in the list of apps I am going to look at is AirPresenter.
|In this case I was looking at my leg.|
So far, useless.
|Nothing too exciting, just a lot of colours and some size changes.|
Recently the my school district started grade level sharing sessions. Some subsection of the district will meet at grade level, such as all the Grade 6 teachers in one area, and for the day they will just share ideas and work with each other. I am not a grade anything teacher, but from what I hear from those who have participated they sound pretty great, and the overall feeling from those attending has been very positive. Teachers feel like they are getting something real and tangible from co-workers who have been dealing with the exact same ideas as them, plus gives them a chance to share their own ideas or just bounce them off others.
At the last set of sessions on of the major topics was a sharing of Ipad apps. In theory it was a great idea, but when I saw the way the apps were presented, I wasn't particularly excited. It was just a big list, with nothing to tell you what any of the apps did. It might have been ok for the those who were actually there but for anyone else it was just a big list of apps and a second note after it denoting if it was free, or if it had a cost, how much it was.
I am going to take these giant lists of apps and check through each of the free ones, and try and figure out if I personally find them useful. I can then at least share what they do with some of my collegues so they have more information to go on then just the name of the app. And while I know you could search for the app on the App Store, honestly, I find that one of the worst places to find information about apps as it usually ends up being nothing more than an advertisement created by the developer to make you want to buy your app. Reviews sometimes help, but I find quite often that some educational apps have few, if any reviews associated with them.
The vast majority of students I teach don't have cell phones, which is to be expected in a K-6 school. Today though, I was at the dentist and saw something that I thought was a little odd, and somewhat disquieting.
When I was sitting in the waiting room the only other people present were a mother and her two teenaged daughters, one being between 13-14 and the older 15-16 years old. They were chatting about something when I sat down, homework that had to be done, and an upcoming dance. The older girl was called in to the office for her work, and left her purse and other objects sitting in the chair between her mother and her sister. Within moments of the girl going beyond the doors her mother casually popped open her purse and pulled out her cell phone and prepared to start looking through it.
The younger sister let out a startled, "MOM!" and immediately told her mother to stop. Her mother said she was just looking at it for a moment, and then asked for help unlocking it. The youngest daughter replied that she wasn't helping her and politely, and firmly, asked her mother for the phone. She was quite insistent persistent, and within a minute or two she had the phone from her mother and placed in her own purse.
I had never even considered the idea that some of these students might have issues of privacy like that. As far as I know I had never had anything like this happen to me when I was that young, but when I was that young there was no digital footprint or tracks to leave. Everything was over the phone, and unless someone was listening in to your phone conversation there was nothing to see. For these kids, text messages, facebook, twitter, instagram, emails, all leave a trail that almost impossible to hide from it.
I don't know what the educational implications of this are, I just hadn't really considered it before.
I have always been a big fan of Google Earth. It has so much information, and presents it such an interesting manner. I have used it before for a couple of lessons, in particular for a Grade 4 scavenger virtual scavenger hunt where they had to tour the city looking for the answers to the clues. It was fun, but just involved looking at information that was already present in Google.
On Friday a Grade 5 teacher wanted to an activity involving Google Earth where the students would search around the Nile River for a variety of landforms. They would mostly rely on the pictures found on Google Earth as well the natural features you can see there. I told her it sound alright, and made the arrangements to do it with the students.
Looking closer at Google Earth though, I remembered a recent post I had seen detailing the fact that more tours had been added to Google Earth. I checked them out, and they were pretty interesting, but I had no idea that it was so easy to actually create your own tours!
After a bit of a hiatus with Glogster we are using it with a Grade 6 class tomorrow. I really like the concept of Glogster, but I had in the recent past found it slightly difficult to work with. The interface was slightly kludgy, and occasionally it was also really slow. It did sometimes take too long to upload images as well, which made it essentially unusable too.
This was an awesome video. The shuttle only moved at 2 miles an hour! Just look at how slow they had to go to avoiding hitting trees and houses, and the cherry pickers that were driving around it to ensure it had clearance to miss everything.
Time-lapse video: Space shuttle Endeavour’s trek across L.A.
The Grade 4's did a quick audio activity yesterday. Students selected a poem from two sites that had Halloween Poems for children. They then needed to select two Halloween sounds from the bank that I had downloaded from Sound Bible. One sound was for the introduction of the poem, and the second was for the closing. After they found their two sounds, students then needed to use Audacity to add their first sound, record themselves reading their poem, and add their last sound.
The finished product wasn't too bad, although I didn't remember to tell the students to name the poem or give credit to the author after they finished. They worked in partners too, which gave me half as many computers to deal with plus I think it really increased the success rate of the students. I sometimes forget in my zeal to have each student seated in front of a computer that sometimes individual work isn't the best method of getting something done.
So at least a half days work wasted, because I forgot about it... Sigh, always more work to do tomorrow I suppose.
I find a lot of the time when working with students we simply look at the information they are learning or studying in text form, ignoring all the other myriad ways there exists for presenting facts. That is partly because people don't know about other ways to represent their work, and partly because most of us are slaves to the ways we have always done things.
One thing I have really wanted to finish for this year was getting the Grades 4's and 5's very familiar with their Google Apps for Education accounts. The accounts, with their email, docs, sites, and some other tools, offer some really flexible tools for school use.
My hope is that I have will have the Grade 4 and Grade 5 students competent in using it, so that next year when they are in 5 and 6 we will be able to jump right into using them well. Also, then I will just need to teach the Grade 4's each year how to use it, making it easier for me as well!
I really liked the first part of the book. It is about Kayla's thoughts on the tattoo, and its effects on her family and friends. She even joins a group at her school that is anti-code, called DeCode. The second half of the book though, it gets a little strange, especially the last several chapters, going in a completely unexpected direction.
Normally I would be ok with this, as it would make for an exciting end to the book. Instead I just found it to be a little bizarre, and such a strange turn of events that it made the book feel somewhat disjointed. It made me less satisfied with the ending of the book. It also set itself up for a sequel, but based on how the first book ended, I am not completely sure I want to read the next one, which is odd for me, as I always want to finish the story.
The description from the site itself states that, "The Story Map interactive includes a set of graphic organizers designed to assist teachers and students in prewriting and postreading activities. The organizers are intended to focus on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution development. Students can develop multiple characters, for example, in preparation for writing their own fiction, or they may reflect on and further develop characters from stories they have read. After completing individual sections or the entire organizer, students have the ability to print out their final versions for feedback and assessment. The versatility of this tool allows it to be used in multiple contexts."
Story Map Interactive
What do you love? http://www.wdyl.com by Google is a neat search site. Instead of just searching text, or just searching images it gives you an intersesting result that searches all of their available offerings, meaning you can see text results, blog results, youtube results, and even recent news results. Not all of them will be relevant or needed, for example, there is a patent section, but overall you can get a large variety of information from one search.
Try it out with a nice search of your own, or look at my miniature schnauzers search.
Did a nice activity with Grade 6's and graphing today. All because i could not find the change in moose population in NL for the last 20 years.
We used this site to do our graphing:
Excellent little site. Just play around with it too see how it works. Best thing about it is that you can preview everything before you print it. Especially important for soemthing simple such as making sure your x and y access are labeled correctly.
As for data to graph, on stats Canada you can create your own population data sheet.
You can select and mix province, gender, and even ages over a period of time. Nice to show kids the population change in NL of 10-14 year olds over the last 20 years.
Once you "retrieve as Table" then ask for it to output format as "HTML table, time as rows" Then
click retireve now.
Population of 10-14 year olds, NL, 1990-2010
That is the 10-14 year olds in NL from 1990-2010. Interesting looking data set?
Finally, if you just want some random interesting data about Canadian kids try this link:
Stats Canada Summary Results
Has everything from average wrist circumfernce, to travel time by bus to school, to average foot length. 35 different data sets that you can discuss and graph about kids in Canada.
Large number of activities and games formated for IWB's. They are ordered by what appears to be the British educatoional system, so it may take a little effort to determine exactly what you need, but it really isn't all that bad. And the activities are good, full screen interactive activities.
Here is one for measuring capacity
There are dozens, if not hundreds, similar to that in quallity.
Google Green Scrapbook seems like a nice idea. It presents you with a series of questions you answer, and in the end you are given a nicely laid out scrapbook with all kinds of environmental information. From the site:
2011 Green Scrapbook
The EduBlog awards are done in December, with readers voting on their favorite educational blogs. Whether you agree with the the concept of voting on blogs, (it is somewhat like grading them) it is a great list of blogs to look at. You might find something there to add to your reading list that interests you.
Ipads have become very popular lately, due to their ease of use, large screens, and great interactivity. Below is a link to a Google Spreadsheet that has a large list of apps that many have used with students who have autism. They are sorted by topics such as advocacy, communication, and art. Take a look and see what others have contributed.
|iPad Apps & Resources for People With Autism : Reviews, Links, Prices|
Did a nice lesson on digital literacy last week.
I told students we were going to start a research project, placed them in groups, and told them that they were going to view different sites to gather information. The information was going to be placed in a shared google presentation, but I had lots of issues with that, so I would reccommend sticking with word or paper for recording the info. Also stress to the students that it does not matter if they have the same information as they will be comparing it later.
These are the sites that they visited:
Save the Rennets/
Save the Guinea Worm Foundation
Help Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
The Burmese Mountain Dog
After doing research for 15-20 minutes they had to watch a short video from Google about research:
Only the first minute is really relevant. It stresses 3 main points of research online.
• Be a skeptic
• Check the source of the site
• Always compare a site with at least 3 other sites to confirm that it is true
Then students to copy/paste their search topic from the site into google and do some searching.
It becomes evident pretty quick what is going on as many of the sites that come up on the search show that they are all hoaxes.
After several angry outbursts from students who weren't happy about being tricked we looked at the sites in more detail, in particular the URL's for some of the sites, and checking further into the foundations that created the sites.
Lesson went well, and you could tell that it was going to stick with some of the students when one said they weren't going to waste 20 minutes of their life researching a topic that wasn't true.
Also, I don't think they quite trust me anymore.