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Ed Tech topics that may be of interest to teachers.
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51 Free Tools for Making Infographics | Best Design Options

51 Free Tools for Making Infographics | Best Design Options | BHS Ed Tech |
Here are over 50 online software and applications for creating interesting infographics. These tools range from visualization tools to data sources, etc.
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Kathy Schrock's Online Tools

Kathy Schrock's Online Tools | BHS Ed Tech |
Web 2.0 tools and online utilities have become more full-featured and useful over the years. 

Here are some links to various online tools to help both teaching and learning. The online tools all work with laptops and Chromebooks unless stated otherwise. The ones that have Chrome apps available have a link to the Chrome Web Store link. 

Via Dennis T OConnor
Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, January 17, 1:07 PM

Kathy is a great Librarian, Media Specialist and content curator.  Let her insights be the filter for your cup of Online Tool Tea!

South Florida Guide's curator insight, January 19, 11:33 AM

I found some new tools here.

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Infographic: 7 Interesting Ways to Use Instagram in Classroom - Fedena Blog

Infographic: 7 Interesting Ways to Use Instagram in Classroom - Fedena Blog | BHS Ed Tech |
Use of social media in education have introduced new learning activities in classroom. Instagram can be a great tool in the classroom too! We suggest you 7 ways by which you can implement Instagram effectively in classroom.     Share…Read more ›

Via Ariana Amorim
Linda Buckmaster's curator insight, January 17, 1:36 AM

The use of mobiles and social media in education have introduced new learning activities in classroom. Students are already familiar with Instagram can be a great tool in the classroom too!

María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, January 27, 7:04 AM

Infographic: 7 Interesting Ways to Use Instagram in Classroom - Fedena Blog | @scoopit via @ArianaVAmorim

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22 Powerful Closure Activities

22 Powerful Closure Activities | BHS Ed Tech |
22 Powerful Closure Activities
DECEMBER 15, 2015

Photo credit: Stephen Luke via flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Too many university supervisors and administrators criticize the absence of lesson closure, a dubious assessment practice likely caused by the improper use of Madeline Hunter’s lesson plan model (PDF) as a de facto checklist of eight mandatory teaching practices -- anticipatory set, objective and purpose, input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided practice, independent practice, and closure -- a custom that Hunter decried in 1985 (PDF). Although it offers multiple benefits, please don't view closure as a professional must-do.

What Is Closure?
Closure is the activity that ends a lesson and creates a lasting impression, a phenomenon that Colorado State University professor Rod Lucero calls the recency effect.

Teachers use closure to:

Check for understanding and inform subsequent instruction
Emphasize key information
Tie up loose ends
Correct misunderstandings
Students find closure helpful for:

Summarizing, reviewing, and demonstrating their understanding of major points
Consolidating and internalizing key information
Linking lesson ideas to a conceptual framework and/or previously-learned knowledge
Transferring ideas to new situations
Like contracting your bicep at the top of a dumbbell curl, closure squeezes an extra oomph into a lesson. See my favorite closure strategies below!

Creative Closure Activities
1. Snowstorm
Students write down what they learned on a piece of scratch paper and wad it up. Given a signal, they throw their paper snowballs in the air. Then each learner picks up a nearby response and reads it aloud.

2. High-Five Hustle
Ask students to stand up, raise their hands and high-five a peer -- their short-term hustle buddy. When there are no hands left, ask a question for them to discuss. Solicit answers. Then play "Do the Hustle" as a signal for them to raise their hands and high-five a different partner for the next question. (Source: Gretchen Bridgers)

3. Parent Hotline
Give students an interesting question about the lesson without further discussion. Email their guardians the answer so that the topic can be discussed over dinner.

4. Two-Dollar Summary
Kids write a two-dollar (or more) summary of the lesson. Each word is worth ten cents. For extra scaffolding, ask students to include specific words in their statement. (Source (PDF): Ann Lewis and Aleta Thompson)

5. Paper Slide
On paper, small groups sketch and write what they learned. Then team representatives line up and, one and a time, slide their work under a video camera while quickly summarizing what was learned. The camera doesn't stop recording until each representative has completed his or her summary.

6. DJ Summary
Learners write what they learned in the form of a favorite song. Offer extra praise if they sing.

7. Gallery Walk
On chart paper, small groups of students write and draw what they learned. After the completed works are attached to the classroom walls, others students affix Stickies to the posters to extend on the ideas, add questions, or offer praise.

8. Sequence It
Students can quickly create timelines with Timetoast to represent the sequence of a plot or historical events.

9. Low-Stakes Quizzes
Give a short quiz using technologies like Socrative, BubbleSheet, GoSoapBox, or Google Forms. Alternatively, have students write down three quiz questions (to ask at the beginning of the next class).

10. Cover It
Have kids sketch a book cover. The title is the class topic. The author is the student. A short celebrity endorsement or blurb should summarize and articulate the lesson's benefits.

11. Question Stems
Have students write questions about the lesson on cards, using question stems framed around Bloom's Taxonomy. Have students exchange cards and answer the question they have acquired.

12. So What?
Kids answer the following prompts:

What takeaways from the lesson will be important to know three years from now?
13. Dramatize It
Have students dramatize a real-life application of a skill.

14. Beat the Clock
Ask a question. Give students ten seconds to confer with peers before you call on a random student to answer. Repeat.

15. Find a First-Grade Student
Have kids orally describe a concept, procedure, or skill in terms so simple that a child in first grade would get it.

16. Review It
Direct kids to raise their hands if they can answer your questions. Classmates agree (thumbs up) or disagree (thumbs down) with the response.

17. CliffsNotes, Jr.
Have kids create a cheat sheet of information that would be useful for a quiz on the day's topic. (Source (PDF): Ann Sipe, "40 Ways to Leave a Lesson")

18. Students I Learned From the Most
Kids write notes to peers describing what they learned from them during class discussions.

19. Elevator Pitch
Ask students to summarize the main idea in under 60 seconds to another student acting as a well-known personality who works in your discipline. After summarizing, students should identify why the famous person might find the idea significant.

20. Simile Me
Have students complete the following sentence: "The [concept, skill, word] is like _______ because _______."

21. Exit Ticket Folder
Ask students to write their name, what they learned, and any lingering questions on a blank card or "ticket." Before they leave class, direct them to deposit their exit tickets in a folder or bin labeled either "Got It," "More Practice, Please," or "I Need Some Help!" -- whichever label best represents their relationship to the day's content. (Source: Erika Savage)

22. Out-the-Door Activity
After writing down the learning outcome, ask students to take a card, circle one of the following options, and return the card to you before they leave:

Stop (I'm totally confused.)
Go (I'm ready to move on.)
Proceed with caution (I could use some clarification on . . .)
Download the PDF cards for this exercise. (Source: Eduscapes)

These 22 strategies can be effectively altered or blended. And they are great opportunities to correct, clarify, and celebrate.

Do you use a closure activity that's not on this list? Please share it in the comments.
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The Best Free Google Chrome Extensions

The Best Free Google Chrome Extensions | BHS Ed Tech |
Picking the best from so many great browser add-ons was hard, but we did it. These are 90 of the greatest extensions you can and should add to your Google browser.
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20 Top Pinterest Tips

20 Top Pinterest Tips | BHS Ed Tech |
20 Top Pinterest Tips
FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Are you Pinteresting? Well, lots of educators are. The PEW Research Center has found that 28 percent of online users are using Pinterest (compared to only 23 percent using Twitter). Women dominate Pinterest with 42 percent of women online using the site. With over 80 percent of teachers being women (PDF, 1.5MB), it makes sense that teachers are all over Pinterest sharing ideas for lesson plans, centers, and resources.

Pinterest is different from other sites. When you pin something, people will be looking at and repinning it years later. Pinterest may be the secret powerhouse of educational sharing. Here are 20 power tips that you can use in many areas of schools and your classroom.

Tip 1: Follow Boards or People

Tip 1: Click image to enlarge.
Pinterest has a useful feature that lets you just follow just one board. Here's an example. If I look at super-teacher Laura Candler's Pinterest, I can click at the top right and follow everything she pins, or I can click "Follow" under her boards that interest me the most. So a math teacher can just follow Laura's math boards, and a curriculum director can just follow her Common Core board.
Tip 2: Find Your Friends
One of the fastest ways to build your PLN on a site is to find the friends you already email or follow. If you log into Pinterest's homepage, you'll see the "find your friends" button (or you can go here). Just click their names to follow them.

Tip 3: Make a Board When You Need It
Make boards as you find a reason to use them. That way you won't end up with empty boards. As you can see below, if you don't have a board, you can create it right there.


Tip 4: Make a Group Board

Tip 4: Click image to enlarge.
Curate with others when you go to a conference or when you're brainstorming about a topic. Just add them to the board by clicking the "invite others" button. Below, you can see how the OETC15 conference has presenters and participants pinning resources to a group board.
Tip 5: Make Private Boards
When planning for prom several years ago, my students and I had a private Pinterest board where we shared ideas. I've seen administrators invite staff members to share ideas for building plans, makerspace ideas, or school improvements. The only people who can see these boards are those who you add.

You can find a spot for up to three private boards if you scroll down below your other boards. I'm using this to pin ideas for my graphic designer as we develop my third book cover.

Tip 6: Bulk Move or Copy Pins
Now that you know about these exciting features, you may want to reorganize your pins. If you've tried this before and found that you had to do it one pin at a time, you're in luck! A new Pinterest feature lets you copy and move (or delete) pins in bulk. I do this when I have a new board and want to quickly add items that I've already pinned.

Here’s a video to help you with this:

Tip 7: Rename Boards, Don't Delete Them
If you decide that you want to remove a board, reconsider. People are following that board and may wish to use those resources. Rename your board instead. The followers will still follow it, but it will be titled in a more useful way.

Tip 8: Use the Search Categories

Tip 8: Click image to enlarge.
The Pinterest search is fast, easy to use, and produces excellent results. I think this is why so many teachers love it. If you have just a minute to find a craft or idea, go here. The search box is on the top of every Pinterest page.
Tip 9: Add a Pin Plugin to Your Browser
You can add the Pinterest button to your favorite web browser. This way, almost every picture and video on the web becomes pinnable.

Tip 10: Add Pins to a Website
There are many options for adding Pinterest boards to a site using Pinterest widgets. Widgets are a great way to display photos if you're taking students on a trip. Coaches can add the pins to their websites so that teachers can quickly see resources, even if they haven't joined Pinterest.

Tip 11: Organize Videos
Organize and curate videos that you may want to use in your curriculum. With many teachers using the flipped classroom model, Pinterest is a perfect way of collecting videos to gather ideas or to use with students.

Tip 12: Share Through Other Media
Pinterest has an option to tweet out or share your pins on Facebook or Twitter. It's fine to do this when you have an excellent resource, but I don't recommend doing it all the time. I like it when other teachers do this sometimes so that I can follow them on Pinterest.

Tip 13: Edit the Pinterest Comments
You can add a comment under a pin. Just remember that it's copied over from the previous commenter. For this reason, you'll want to read the comment and make it your own. If you have a private board, this is also a wonderful way to converse about the things on the board.

Tip 14 (Advanced): See What People Are Pinning From a Website
Track your website's content on Pinterest at by editing the part at the end which reads "yourwebsite" and substituting it with your URL. For example, shows you what's hot from my site. This tip is useful for quickly finding great images from your favorite sites.

Tip 15: A Tip When Pinning From Blogs
To prevent a common beginner's mistake, make sure that you're pinning from the individual blog post, not the site's homepage. Homepages frequently change, and you might click a pin and not get to the original article. The easiest way to link to the original blog post is to click on that post's title and make sure that just the post shows on the page. Then pin your button.

Tip 16: If You Write or Share, Be Pinnable
Every blog post, article, or event should have pinnable images. These pictures should include a graphic, event name, blog post title, or your organization. Some bloggers and schools are putting a watermark on their graphics and photos -- a pale marking with the name of the organization on it. Pinnable pictures are promotion. I even pin my shows from Every Classroom Matters onto a Pinterest Board. The repins of a podcast shows the power of Pinterest. People collect everything -- images, video, and even audio.

Tip 17: Like Any Pin That Catches Your Eye
Sometimes you're just rushing through Pinterest and don't have time to decide whether something is worth pinning. You can like the Pin and then go back through your likes to determine if you want to pin them later.

Tip 18: Make a Pinterest Board to Spark Ideas
Curate a Pinterest board with student-friendly ideas. When students finish work early, let them explore the board of items that you've curated for their curiosity.

Tip 19: Find Awesome Boards
Use Pingroupie to find large groups of people curating boards together. An excellent way to find good boards is by searching (see #8 above) and watching for repeating pinners. You can also go to excellent pinners like Edutopia or Laura Candler and click on "following" to see who they're following -- or just type /following/ after any user's name.

Tip 20: Typical Collections
Some ideas for Pinterest boards include:

Portfolio of student work
"Hall of Fame" featuring best work
Inspiration or "Things That Make Me Laugh" board
Lesson plan ideas by season, theme, or month
Classroom decorations
Ideas for personal learning
Awesome infographics
Favorite books or movies.
The list goes on. There are so many great things you can do with Pinterest -- so get out there and be Pinteresting!
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Welcome to Quick Rubric – Free, Fast, and Easy to Use! :)

Quick Rubric – FREE, fast and simple rubric creator
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Free Technology for Teachers: 3 Good Tools for Creating Rubrics

Free Technology for Teachers: 3 Good Tools for Creating Rubrics | BHS Ed Tech |

A good rubric can help students understand what is expected of them and it can help teachers score students' assignments consistently. Over the years I've tried a variety of tools for crafting rubrics. These are the tools that I now recommend for generating rubrics.

8 things every teacher can do to create an innovative classroom

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Super Quiz Add-on - Mr Trussell Auto Feedback

I'm very excited that Super Quiz will now be available as an 'Add-on' in the new Google Sheets. To install it, simply click 'Add-ons' > 'Get add-ons...' > 'Super Quiz'.

Here is a full video guide of how to set-up, install and run: 
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Wheel Decide

Wheel Decide | BHS Ed Tech |
Can't decide? Wheel Decide for you! Set your own custom choices and then spin the wheel to make the random decision of lunch, movie, or anything! Make your own wheel of dinner or whatever now!
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Google Classroom: Self Evaluation Rubric

Google Classroom: Self Evaluation Rubric | BHS Ed Tech |
When assigning students projects that have a rubric, I recommend having students self-evaluate against the rubric. This helps students to make sure they have addressed the project requirements and …
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Group Maker: Automatically Make Groups with Google Sheets

Group Maker: Automatically Make Groups with Google Sheets | BHS Ed Tech |
This template allows you to copy and paste your roster of students and have them randomly divided up into groups. The Template Paste Roster After creating a copy of the t…
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Google Classroom: Feedback Faster with Chrome Extension Open Side by Side

Google Classroom: Feedback Faster with Chrome Extension Open Side by Side | BHS Ed Tech |
Alice Keeler
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50+ Awesome Resources to Create Visual Notes, Graphic Recordings & Sketchnotes

50+ Awesome Resources to Create Visual Notes, Graphic Recordings & Sketchnotes | BHS Ed Tech |

You've probably seen them around every time a creative conference ends: beautifully hand drawn notes that summarize big ideas using simple visuals. If you're anything like me, you've wondered how on Earth anyone can create such a detailed graphic during the few minutes that the speaker spilled knowledge into the world. As it turns out, this form of note-taking only comes "naturally" to you after cultivating a strong visual library and some essential drawing skills.

While most experts say that pretty much anyone can learn this technique, it will require some effort and preparation on your part. In this article, I'll share 50 of the best resources that I've found in my own path to learn about visual note-taking, graphic recording and sketchnoting — which are all somewhat related.

Via Ariana Amorim
malek's curator insight, January 15, 7:59 AM

Another handy guide

Marco Favero's curator insight, January 15, 9:14 AM

aggiungere la vostra comprensione ...

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Google Classroom: Create Group Documents

Google Classroom: Create Group Documents | BHS Ed Tech |
One request I am often asked about Google Classroom is how to create documents for small groups. If you create a copy of a document for each student then each group member receives a copy, which ca…
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10 Chrome Extensions That Make Your Life Easier | The Gooru

10 Chrome Extensions That Make Your Life Easier | The Gooru | BHS Ed Tech |
The Chrome browser is a blank canvas and Chrome Extensions are the paint that can make it into a work of art. Much like shades of paint, there are tens of thousands of Chrome Extensions to choose from, making it hard ..more ›
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5 Important Tips on How to Better Annotate YouTube Videos to Use with Your Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

5 Important Tips on How to Better Annotate YouTube Videos to Use with Your Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | BHS Ed Tech |

YouTube video editor is absolutely a powerful video editing platform to use in your instruction to create and edit videos. It provides almost all the pro features you normally find in a premium video software and all for free. Our YouTube for Teachers series here in EdTech and mLearning attempts to help teachers make the best of YouTube in their teaching by providing them with educational channels designed specifically to tend to teachers educational video content as well as resources featuring  tips and tricks on how to create and edit  instructional videos on Youtube. In today’s post we are introducing you to a very important feature called annotations.

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Free Technology for Teachers: How to Create and Edit Rubrics on Quick Rubric

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Create and Edit Rubrics on Quick Rubric | BHS Ed Tech |

A short screencast of how Quick Rubric works.

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MoocNote - Take notes on videos

MoocNote - Take notes on videos | BHS Ed Tech |

Take notes that link back to the appropriate place in the videos and are collected into one central place.

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Free Technology for Teachers: My 5 Favorite Google Sheets Add-ons & How to Use Them

Free Technology for Teachers: My 5 Favorite Google Sheets Add-ons & How to Use Them | BHS Ed Tech |

The addition of Add-ons to Google Sheets has made it easier than ever before to take advantage of the flexibility of spreadsheets. Even people, like me, who have struggled with spreadsheets in the past can accomplish a lot with the help of Google Sheets Add-ons. The following are my favorite Google Sheets Add-ons. 

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The new way to create flipped video in 60 seconds without adding software

The new way to create flipped video in 60 seconds without adding software | BHS Ed Tech |

Time strapped teachers need support—we all know this. Now there is a quick and easy way to create even more flexible video tutorials for your blended or flipped learning classes. The tutorials can then be watched over and over. Best of all, this solution uses PowerPoint, which many teachers are already comfortable with.


Previously I’ve outlined how to create Khan Academy-style video tutorials quickly and easily (using Office Snip) in a recent article. Those tutorials had a static background. “Active” (changing) backgrounds are also possible as they allow the teacher to record anything that is visible on a computer screen.

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Create a List of Rubrics – Automagically

Create a List of Rubrics – Automagically | BHS Ed Tech |
Previously I had created a template for creating rubrics to assess students. you may use rubrics for multiple assignments, I created ListRubrics to make this process easier. RubricTab RubricTab is …
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Google Classroom: Add and Create

Google Classroom: Add and Create | BHS Ed Tech |
I was really excited to see yesterday that Google Classroom put the Add and Create options back to being separate. When a students clicks on OPEN they have the option to add additional files or to …
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