Is PowerPoint a useful teaching tool? A few days ago on the Teaching English - British Council Facebook page there was a discussion about PowerPoint - Do you love it or hate it? The discussion linked to an article by Rob Lewis who talked about ways PowerPoint could be used in class. In an earlier post he…
There’s no doubt about it, humans have reshaped the earth more in the last two hundred years than at any other time in our history… and the last 25 years are no different.
Google has released a new “interactive map experience” allowing users to view archived satellite data over the last quarter century, giving us perhaps the most clear and valuable view of our recent impact on earth.
"Learn to build your own Lightsaber just like young Jedi do! Along the way, learn about electronics, basic machining, assembly, and the ways of the Jedi. By the end of the lab, you will have built a functioning, battle-ready Lightsaber that you can wield like a master Jedi. This class is highly engaging and will have you anxious to build! This course also makes for a great parent-child project to do over the weekend or as an enrichment activity for your son/daughter. The online delivery of the course makes it a perfect option for home schooled children as well. What will I learn?"
TED is another wonderful source of educational and inspirational videos to use in your class and for your professional development. A few days ago TED released its annual list of the most popular talks of the year featuring a number of interesting presentations covering different topics (e.g ). However, the list we have curated for you below goes beyond’s TED official collection to embed some wonderful talks directly relevant for us in education. We invite you to check it out below and as always share with us your feedback. Enjoy
Hello from Alabama! Last year, our 4th grade Alabama history class Mystery Skyped with classes from all 50 states. We now have a new 4th grade class and we are ready to do it again! To set up a Mystery Skype with us, please complete the form below.
"For this year’s contest, students can create a doodle that tells the world “What makes me…me.” Kids have all kinds of things that make them unique, so they can use all kinds of materials to create their doodles, from crayons, to clay, to graphic design, even food and video games.
Students in grades K-12 are invited to take part in the 2015 Doodle 4 Google contest. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The contest is open for entries from October 19, 2015 to December 7, 2015."
"“Show What You Know With Media” is a book series and website created by Dr. Wesley Fryer to serve as a menu, handbook, andmap for teacher-leaders and learners in the twenty-first century who seek to develop digital literacies as multimedia communicators and help students “show what they know with media.” * Mapping Media to the Curriculum (Volume I) explores the first six products in the framework: Interactive Writing, Narrated Art, Radio Shows, 5 Photo Stories, Visual Notetaking, and Narrated Slideshows / Screencasts. Videos in each chapter (hosted on YouTube) are directly linked for compatible eReaders and also linked via QR codes, so readers can optionally use a smartphone to view them."
Rewordify.com is powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching. This site can: - Intelligently simplify difficult English, for faster comprehension - Effectively teach words, for building a better vocabulary - Help teachers save time and produce engaging lessons - Help improve learning outcomes
A Step By Step Guide On How to Create Assignments in Google Classroom
September 22, 2015 Google Classroom allows you to easily create, share and collect assignments with your students paperlessly. Being integrated with other services such as Gmail, Drive and Google Docs, Classroom provides teachers with an intuitive platform preeminently geared towards enhancing the assignment flow between teachers and students.
As a teacher, you have access to several features related to your assignments. You can, for example, use the same assignment in different classes. You can also choose whether you want your students to work on individual copies of the assignment or work on the same copy. Moreover, Classroom lets you share individualized feedback with your students and track how they are faring on their assignments.
Here is an illustrative visual from Google Class help page explaining the assignment flow between teachers and students:
To create an assignment on Google Classroom, follow these instructions as stated in Help page:
1- Sign in to Classroom at classroom.google.com. 2- Select a class. 3- Click at the bottom, and click Create assignment. 4- Enter the title of the assignment. 5- Enter any additional instructions if needed. 6- (Optional) Click Due date to select a date from the calendar. By default, the assignment is due the next day. To create an assignment with no due date, click . 7- (Optional) Click Time to select a time from the drop-down list or enter a custom time. 8- Click Save. 9- (Optional) To upload a file, click , select the file and click Upload. 10- (Optional) To attach a Google Drive item, such as a Google Doc, a Slides presentation, or another file from Drive:
Click . Locate and select the relevant item and click Add.
11- (Optional) If you attach a Drive item, choose how students can interact with the item. Click Students can view file next to the attached item to set the appropriate option:
Select Students can view file if you want all students to read the same file, but not change it. Select Students can edit file if you want all students to make changes in the same file. Select Make a copy for each student if you want each student to have an individual copy of the file that they can change as needed.
12- (Optional) To attach a YouTube video, click and choose one of these options: To attach a video link:
Click URL. Enter the link for the YouTube video and click Add.
To search for a video to attach:
Click Video search. Enter keywords in the YouTube search bar. Click the video that you want to attach and click Add.
13- To attach a link, enter the relevant link text and click Add. 14- If you decide that you don't need the attachment, click X next to the attachment. 15- (Optional) To give the assignment to another class as well, click the class name next to the attachment icons and select any additional classes. 16- Do one of the following options:
If you want to post the assignment immediately, click Assign. If you want to save the assignment for a later date, click the arrow next to Assign and select Save draft.
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Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem solving that begins with developing empathy for those facing a particular challenge. It serves as a framework that helps to define problems, empathize with others, develop prototypes of possible solutions, and hone those prototypes through multiple iterations until they have generated a viable solution to the challenge at hand. Design thinking encourages a bias toward action and, because of its reliance on rapid prototyping, frees practitioners to embrace the notion of failing forward because it's OK to make mistakes -- that's where breakthrough ideas are born.
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This week I had the pleasure of presenting a sneak peek of my Librarian’s Guide to littleBits through a webinar with School Library Journal. (You should be able to access the archived webinar soon!) The guide itself will be published on SLJ and the littleBits website for you at no cost and should be up in about two weeks. You can be sure I’ll let you know as soon as it is live!
The webinar coincided with the end of a design challenge I’d held in my library makerspace for the last couple of weeks. One of the things I’d mentioned during the webinar is that free tinkering time is awesome and necessary. However, you eventually have to guide students with a Design Challenge to introduce the concept of long term projects. To quote myself from the Librarian’s Guide to littleBits, “A design challenge will give your makers a time limit, test their abilities, and most importantly give them a chance to show off their work.”
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