Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Google Classroom Tutorial Videos

Google Classroom

Educator/Instructional Guru Miguel Guhlin shared this informative resource: Klista Rader’s Google Classroom tutorial videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxqaiUvU_5BECwx7ERReiAFXkTkOExx6A

 

 

 

 

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For people who take their Gmail keyboard shortcuts seriously

Saw this picture on Miguel Guhlin and Chris Betcher’s Google+ Pages

takingGmailShortcutsSeriously

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eReader Comparison Chart

It is quite a challenge to find and purchase the best eReader for students and faculty. Durability and ease of use are criteria but paramount is cost: cost effectiveness, cost to benefit ration, and cost without up-charges that pummel the budget bottom line.

Miguel Guhlin at Around the Corner has practical and sagacious advice based on a commitment to economy and performance. His post called Revisiting eReaders in Schools has important information and something truly essential: Miguel provides a cost/specification/use comparison chart that can be easily downloaded and included in grant proposals and budget requests. Click here to see the chart and Miguel’s comments.

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Back to School~ QR Codes

BacktoSchool

qrcodesinclassroomhelenteague

As you return back to school, consider adding QR codes to your bag of tricks Teaching Strategies.

QR codes are the little boxy graphics popping up everywhere.* Originally used in Marketing for Business, they are fun for students, parents, and those who love them. The purple QR Code on the left represents this blog! Although some school filters block all mobile devices, even employee owned, QR Codes extend learning beyone the school day and your classroom.

Use QR codes as a type of shorthand for content, as a shortcut for link URLs, as a mystery prize, even a staff development tool.

 I recently delivered a professional development training session powered entirely by QR codes scattered on posters in the hallway leading to the training room and around the room. Using their BYOD of choice equipped with a free, downloaded QR reader app, educators could satiate their curiosity at will. (This also circumvented the disharmony of posting presentation links, waiting for inaccurate/slow typists and smiling through diatribes along the lines of “this internet proliferation equals an end to civilization as we know it.”)

Educators could also return later to the presentation with a click, negating the need for handouts. In my online courses, I created QR codes to represent our content chapters. Each week had a different QR code that relayed back to the online content. Next term, I am going to supply the codes and encourage students to save the resulting content in offline format.

* Complete QR Code Definition: QR codes, abbreviated from Quick Response Code, are the matrix barcodes readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones.

Here is a sample of More Classroom Uses for QR Codes:

—12 Ideas for Teaching with QR codes from our friends at Edutopia 

—Always on the techie edge, Miguel Guhlin writes this great post on Updating an Image in a QR Code

—50 ways to use QR codes in the classroom at this google docs link

—Encouraging our youngest writers, Frances used QR codes and iPads with Kindergarten students. The students created stories using an app like Educreations, created a QR code and then their parents access their work with their iPhones.

—Kudos to Scott Hagedorn for this easy-to-implement application of QR codes in the classroom. He places the scanable block patterns on any poster or wall artifact that he wants his students to inquire about. One favorite: an old-school Bo Jackson READ poster (what fifth grader knows what Bo Knows?). Students scan the QR codes using the handful of iPads that Mr. Hagedorn has available in his classroom and then explore the topic.

—High Five to Megan V. who is using QR codes to add book trailers to the books in the school library. Have students create a video instead of writing a book report and then link the video to the book through a QR code. Her blog post covers the basics http://www.mediacastblog.com/book-trailers/

—Mark B. labels equipment and trolleys with QR Codes – linked to a document of contents

—Link the answers to math, science, grammar problems to a QR code

—Attach a QR Code to your email signature, pointing back to your website, blog, school webpage, latest fundraiser, weather report, etc…

—Place a QR code on your website and/or blog for easy retrieval. This is the one on our website.

—Check out this resource: Lisa Mims has curated great ideas at her ScoopIt site called Engaging Students Using QR codes

—Jason Dixon Jr. Chief Learning Officer at Tequipment, Inc. said, “If one simply thinks of a QR code as a printable hyperlink it may help to expand the possibilities. Here is a quick video our team created to highlight using and creating QR codes.”

No tech options? No worries! With lesson comparisons to fingerprints, Students can also draw their own QR code and provide a caption deciphering it or where their code would lead.

—My tech mentor, Linda Uhrenholt says: “As the Nike ads say “Just do it!” I started by exploring what others had accomplished. Heck, the first time I captured a QR code it led to a free cup of coffee at a new coffee shop. This was several years ago. The second time I captured one from a ketchup bottle!!! That led to a short video about a local community college! It’s fun not only to view QR codes but create them! “

Here are  more great sites to use to create your QR Codes:

Create QR Code http://createqrcode.appspot.com/

Kaywa: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

Creating QR Codes from the NYTimes

How to Create a QR Code in 4 Quick Steps

Enoy!

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What does it mean to go post-digital?

What does it mean to go post-digital? by Miguel Guhlin

Post-Digital actually is the end of the beginning. It marks the transition from the era where we’re excited by the shiny new digital toys that we have, and start to become excited by the changes that these shiny not-so-new toys are making in the way we live, in the objects we have around us.

Click here to read more

chart-of-the-day-ipad-usage-july-2012

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-ipad-usage-2012-7

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Tech BFF: Digital Collages with CollageIt

happinesspoem by Helen Teague

 

Digital collages are a fun way to integrate art into a lesson plan. They can be an authentic assessment option since many students think visually. Before CollageIt, the tools to create digital collages were cumbersome and/or blocked by school filter.

CollageIt by Pearl Mountain Software is an easy download with no Active-X or other bothersome add-ins to combat. In three easy steps, a digital collage can be created. Aesthetic touches include multiple layout and rotation options.

I received CollageIt as a prize in Miguel Guhlin’s Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org blog contest. My previous attempts at online collaging involved sites with only four picture uploads for the free version and/or rendering and then retrieval of a link with huge pressure to purchase the finished project. Both options provided little in the way of classroom activity ease and integration.

Some fun uses for digital collages:
Digital essays: “What I did over summer vacation”, “My favorite book”, “My family tree”
Rebus Writings
Pictorial Timelines: chronicling sequences in Civil War battles, WW I & II battles, steps in an experiment, plot progression in a novel, lifecycles of cells, plants and animals,
Pictorial Summaries: Summaries of field trips, football season, band camp, chorus trip,
Visual Poetry: This is the one I like since many students have difficulty or perceive themselves as having difficulty with poetry.

Choose a poem, or let students self-select and read the poem. In teaching through the Bloom’s taxonomy of Knowledge and Application, students can also “list” words such as those from parts of speech and use them in a sentence. Unfamiliar words may be accompanied by a definition.

For this example I choose the poem “Happiness Will Sleep” by Miranda Claudius.

Happiness will sleep
in the still places:
in cups of tea, picture frames
and the smell of hope
that wraps around walls.

Next, students highlight the words that convey the meaning or symbols of a poem. To teach this skill in a basic form, ask students to highlight any nouns or adjectives and then choose which ones they think are the most important. In MS Word, you can use the highlighter tool or highlighters on standard hardcopy notebook paper. In teaching through the Bloom’s taxonomy, choosing the words applies to Analysis and Evaluation.

Next search visual representations for the words from pictures, uploaded pictures, or choose from a teacher-selected photo gallery as mentioned previously. Use the “Add” feature in CollageIt to include these pictures. Next, the fun of generating and choosing layout options begins. This coorelates to the Bloom’s taxonomy of Synthesis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

NOTE: Students need to understand where to find the files to use for their collages. For young learners, a folder on the desktop or in My Documents simplifies this. (For techs and techno-geeks, please do not over-react to the mention of saving folders on desktops)

Here is a sample of one layout:

As a criteria, you may want to assign the number of pictures that may be included. This curtails, “Johnny one-shot” from submitting too early just to be done. You may also choose to assign a caption for students to write of the key phrases they are highlighting. To differentiate the assignment up a notch set a vocabulary criteria inclusion. For example, in this poem, “Tone” “Symbols” and “mood” could be criterion reference points.

Assessment with rubrics is highly recommended.
Your grading rubric could have these criteria points:

Number of Photographs to include: _____ (10 points)
Poem Choice Name and Text (20 points)
Collage Caption (50 points)
Number of Vocabulary words to include
Number of curricular concepts to include
Timeliness and Completeness submission (20 points)

CollageIt! Super duper fun and educational too!

BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!

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