Into the Driver's Seat
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9 Of The Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives To Microsoft Office | makeuseof

9 Of The Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives To Microsoft Office | makeuseof | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

By Aaron Couch

 

"Microsoft Office has dominated the market of text documents, spreadsheets and slide shows for years, and for good reason – it’s one of the very best. However, there’s one drawback and that is the price. Sure, it’s a relatively good investment, but for one reason or another you choose to not pay for it. What do you do?

 

"Thankfully, there are other options – and good ones. These range from web-based apps and local software to free and paid. Although some do cost, all have free options and the price you pay for the paid software is a fraction of what you would pay for Microsoft Office. Through this article I will touch upon any unique features such as mobile capability, cost, user interface and compatibility with Microsoft Office files."

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Donna Browne's curator insight, February 5, 2013 9:28 AM

I have been using Open Office for many years with good results.  Also try

the Ipad app OnLive Desktop which provides access to Office programs free of charge.  It is available free at the App Store. 

Into the Driver's Seat
Building the independence of learners through thoughtful uses of technology
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week - Create, Share, & Print Thematic Maps

Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week - Create, Share, & Print Thematic Maps | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Google’s My Maps and Google Earth tools can provide a great way to create thematic maps. Unfortunately, those tools are quite limited if your students don’t have Google Accounts to use at school. National Geographic’s Mapmaker Interactive is a free map creation tool that doesn’t require students to have any kind of registered account in order to make great thematic maps. Some of the excellent tools offered in Mapmaker Interactive include measuring distances, adding placemarks, layering information, and switching between base map layers. All maps created in Mapmaker Interactive can be printed. They can also be shared online. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of the features in National Geographic’s Mapmaker Interactive.
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MiddleWeb

MiddleWeb | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Description by The Scout Report

 

"For the middle school educator looking for new ways to improve classroom instruction, MiddleWeb may be a welcome find. Since 1996, the MiddleWeb team has pulled together web resources, book reviews, and interesting blog posts to share with educators, parents, youth workers and others engaged with teaching and learning in grades four through eight. The goal? To create a community space where the voices and insights of educators are easily shared. In addition to five categories of original content (Resource Roundups, Themed Blogs, Guest Articles, Book Reviews, and Interviews), MiddleWeb also offers SmartBriefs as a way to keep readers up-to-date on educational news and practices. These email newsletters, which are delivered three times each week, feature sources from around the web, including the New York Times, Edutopia, and Education Week."

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New Google Sites: Double Click - Teacher Tech

New Google Sites: Double Click - Teacher Tech | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Google Sites has had a major update. You possibly do not have access yet to the new Sites (sites.google.com/new) unless your Apps administrator signed up for the preview. Be patient, it will roll out to everyone eventually (If you want to know when it comes out, follow @jrochelle).

When designing pages in Google Sites you do not have to use the toolbar on the right-hand side. Double clicking on the page brings up this attractive wheel with the option to insert a text box, upload a file, embed a URL, or insert an image.
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Here’s why you’re overlooking how much VR actually matters – The Startup – Medium

Here’s why you’re overlooking how much VR actually matters – The Startup – Medium | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

“If you think about the internet as a place that made it easier to index all the information and consume them faster, VR is a place that indexes experiences and lets you consume them faster.”

 

"Of all the industries poised for disruption by virtual reality, education seems the most likely and powerful. VR experiences can teach us practical skills, immersing us not just in a lesson but in the task itself.

 

"Want to learn how to fix your toilet? Head into a VR plumbing tutorial with your exact model and see how it’s done.

 

"Want to learn photography? Load a VR experience with your camera model and practice scenes to learn perfect settings."

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Using the flipped classroom to enhance EFL learning

Using the flipped classroom to enhance EFL learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Instruction in English is a priority around the globe, but instructional methodologies have not always kept pace with the changing needs of students. To explore the benefits of the flipped classroom model for learners of English as a Foreign Language, the researchers used flipped learning and Wen's Output-driven/Input-enabled model to design a holistic oral training course that included extensive online written and verbal communication for the learning of a wide range of English idioms. The participants were 48 sophomore English majors in two required English oral training classes. A within-subjects research design exposed all participants to learning English idioms by flipped learning, using the LINE smartphone app, and by conventional instruction. A mixed research method was employed, using multiple sources of data collection, including pre- and post-tests on idioms, two questionnaires (“Perception of Flipped Learning Experience” and “Technology Acceptance Model”), the teachers' in-class observations, and semi-structured focus-group interviews. The results revealed that the theory-based flipped instruction using online written and oral interaction not only enhanced the participants' motivation, making them more active in using idioms in class, but also significantly improved their idiomatic knowledge, indicating that the flipped learning was successful in achieving the instructional goals of the class. The authors present insights into the impact of theory-based flipped learning on motivation and idiomatic acquisition; student impressions of the online platform used, LINE; and offer recommendations for practice.
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How to Create Your Social Media Strategy

How to Create Your Social Media Strategy | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Create your social media strategy! 7 tips to equip you with the tools and information you need to take advantage of all social media has to offer.
Via David W. Deeds
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David W. Deeds's curator insight, September 18, 6:15 PM

Some handy tips here! 

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The Learning Network

The Learning Network | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Description by The New York Times

 

"The Learning Network turns 18 this month, and we’re celebrating with a brand-new site. Not only does it organize our many offerings better than we could on the blog, but it’s also mobile-friendly, so you and your students can access it on any device. Have a look around and let us know what you think -Teaching and Learning With The New York Times"

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Genius Hour Digital Resources

Genius Hour Digital Resources | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
In my never-ending quest to refine Genius Hour for my students and make it meaningful, I have created a few new digital resources that I intend to use this year with my 3rd-5th grade students.  We will be using Google Classroom, so I decided to design some Google Slides presentations that the students can use for collecting research and keeping track of what needs to be completed.  Here is the link to the folder of resources, which you can copy and edit to suit your needs.
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Web Tools for Video and Audio Feedback on Essays and Projects | Tech Learning

Web Tools for Video and Audio Feedback on Essays and Projects | Tech Learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
This year I am teaching college English language learners reading and writing.  My students submit their work on Canvas. My students are language learners and pointing out their grammar errors for them to improve upon is important, especially if they continue studying in an American college. Providing specific feedback on a learning management system (LMS) can be time-consuming. Adding comments through Word or Google Docs is time consuming and rarely do students check these comments. Rubrics are time-consuming even with features like repeat comments. Rubrics don’t really help learners see their specific errors. I believe highlighting areas in their work with my feedback is the most helpful for students. That is why I still like providing feedback through screencasting. I first learnt about this method some years ago from Russell Stannard. Below is a helpful video followed by some recommended web tools to help get you started providing video and audio feedback.
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10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED

10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Want to make a great slidedeck? A TED staffer shares some big-picture things to think about, and some helpful tactical tips.

Via Nik Peachey, Yashy Tohsaku
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Nik Peachey's curator insight, September 22, 1:44 AM

Some really useful tips and advice.

a-virtual - Claudia M Pagano's curator insight, September 22, 7:36 AM

Some really useful tips and advice.

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Columns: You Asked, You Got It - Teacher Tech

Columns: You Asked, You Got It - Teacher Tech | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Google just announced that you can now do two or three column layouts in Google Docs. I think this is one of the questions that I receive most often when I’m working with teachers on using Google apps, so this is a welcome new feature!
Jim Lerman's insight:

Tutorial on how to use this new feature. Very simple.

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The Beginner's Guide to Artificial Intelligence For Educators - A.J. JULIANI

The Beginner's Guide to Artificial Intelligence For Educators - A.J. JULIANI | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
This is the second in a 7-part series on the Future of Learning. You can read the first post here, and join the discussion on our Facebook page: The Future

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Vladimir Kukharenko, Marc Wachtfogel, Ph.D., Jim Lerman
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The Best Teacher Tools for Taking Screenshots and Annotating Pictures ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

The Best Teacher Tools for Taking Screenshots and Annotating Pictures ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Creating tutorials and explanatory guides is best done through the help of screenshots. These are pictures we take of our screens to share with others or include in a visual demonstration of how, for example, a process works. As teachers and educators we often find ourselves in need of such visual annotations and cues to enhance our students comprehensibility. There are several web tools that we can use to create screenshots and we have already reviewed some of them in past publications here. Today, we are introducing you to what we consider to be the best 4 web tools for creating screenshots. Besides being free, these tools are very simple to use and are also student friendly. They will allow you to  capture your screen, crop and annotate your pictures using  arrows, colours, shapes, text and many more.

Via John Evans, David Smart
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Mayra.Loves.Books's curator insight, January 31, 2015 11:48 AM

Four apps for annotating screenshots are discussed here. I like Snagit, where it is possible to save annotated screenshots to one's Google drive.

flea palmer's curator insight, February 3, 2015 5:38 AM

These all look good - much easier than using a combination of tools! Remember copyright though!

Filipe Cálix's curator insight, February 22, 2015 10:57 AM

Para capturas sobre páginas web (além de edição e anotações sobre as capturas) a extensão Fireshot (browsers Chrome e Firefox) é, para já, imbatível.

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Soft Skills?

Soft Skills? | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

via Brad Gustafson

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