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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
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Speakers and sessions for Education on Air ~ Google for Education

Speakers and sessions for Education on Air ~ Google for Education | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Last month we announced Education on Air — our free online conference taking place May 8-9, 2015 — and asked what you wanted to hear about. Today we released the schedule of sessions, based largely on what we heard from you. We’ll emphasize innovation — 44% of you voted for this — as well as how to empower students and use Google tools effectively. It was clear from our second poll that you also want practical examples, so our speakers will go beyond theory and share their specific advice for enacting change.
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Free Technology for Teachers: Tools for Creating Animations in Your Browser or On Your Tablet ~ by Richard Byrne

Free Technology for Teachers: Tools for Creating Animations in Your Browser or On Your Tablet ~ by Richard Byrne | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Monday's post about Parapara Animation was quite popular and prompted questions from readers looking for similar tools that either work on tablets or offer more features than Parapara Animation. Here are some other sites and apps for creating animations.
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A Guide To Questioning In The Classroom

A Guide To Questioning In The Classroom | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
When teachers try to untangle this cognitive mess, they sacrifice personalization for efficiency. There are simply too many students, and too much content to cover, so they cut to the chase.

Which means then tend towards the universal over the individual–broad, sweeping questions intermingling with sharper, more concise questions that hopefully shed some light and cause some curiosity. In a class of 30 with an aggressively-paced curriculum map and the expectation that every student master the content regardless of background knowledge, literacy level, or interest in the material, this is the best most teachers can do.

This only a bottleneck, though, when the teacher asks the questions. When the student asks the question, the pattern is reversed. The individual student has little regard for the welfare of the class, especially when they’re forming questions. They’re on the clock to say something, anything. Which is great, because questions–when they’re authentic–are automatically personal because they came up with them. They’re not tricks, or guess-what-the-teacher’s-thinking.

A student couldn’t possibly capture the scale of confusion or curiosity of 30 other people; instead, they survey their own thinking, spot both gaps and fascinations, and form a question. This is the spring-loading of a Venus flytrap. The topic crawls around in the mind of the student innocently enough, and when the time is right–and the student is confident–the flower snaps shut. Once a student starts asking questions, that magic of learning can begin.

And the best part for a teacher? Questions reveal far more than answers ever might.

Via Miloš Bajčetić
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Teacher Voice: 8 Conditions That Are Harder Than You Think ~ by Peter DeWitt

Teacher Voice: 8 Conditions That Are Harder Than You Think ~ by Peter DeWitt | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
The 8 conditions that Quaglia believes are vital to every school climate are belonging, heroes, sense of accomplishment, fun and excitement, curiosity and creativity, spirit of adventure, leadership and responsibility, and confidence to take action. At first blush they sound as though they are easily addressed and accepted in schools. However, as the report shows, some conditions are easier to come by than others, and opinions often conflict with one anothe
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Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week - Create a Check In/ Out System in Google Forms ~ by Richard Byrne

Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week - Create a Check In/ Out System in Google Forms ~ by Richard Byrne | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
There are many uses for Google Forms in classrooms. I’ve used Google Forms to create review quizzes, surveys, and sign-up sheets. This week I discovered a new use for Google Forms. That is using Google Forms to create a check-in/ check-out system for items in a classroom library. You can do this with the help of a Google Forms add-on called CheckItOut. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use CheckItOut.
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Chrome Apps for Education

Chrome Apps for Education | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Chrome Web Apps are interactive webpages that run from within the Chrome Browser. Once added from the Web Store a shortcut is accessible from the New Tab Page and App Launcher. Many Apps link direc...


Via Jukka Kalliolehto, Mark E. Deschaine Ph.D.
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What's New in Notebook 15 - Mike's Tech Closet

Here is a short video highlighting the new features of Notebook 15 including the Lesson Activity Builder (LAB), Concept mapping and additional math tools.
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Jon Bergmann: Preparing Your Students for Flipped Learning #flipclass @coolcatteacher

Jon Bergmann: Preparing Your Students for Flipped Learning #flipclass @coolcatteacher | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Jon Bergmann talks with Vicki about flipped learning by which he means moving direct instruction to the individual space so the classroom space can be freed up for collaborative projects. Listen now to find out more about this pedagogical method.

Via Dennis T OConnor
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, March 14, 7:44 PM

Sometimes we miss the obvious. Bergman reminds us that students have to be taught how to watch instructional videos. 


A simple tip with a powerful punch.

Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, March 24, 11:58 AM

Sometimes we miss the obvious. Bergman reminds us that students have to be taught how to watch instructional videos. 


A simple tip with a powerful punch.

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Case Study: 21CIF Scoop.it Magazine

Case Study: 21CIF Scoop.it Magazine | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Teaching Information Fluency describes the skills and dispositions of information fluency adept searchers. Readers will receive in-depth information on what it takes to locate, evaluate, and ethically use digital information. The book realistically examines the abilities of Internet searchers today in terms of their efficiency and effectiveness in finding online information, evaluating it and using it ethically. Since the majority of people develop these skills on their own, rather than being taught, the strategies they invent may suffice for simple searches, but for more complex tasks, such as those required by academic and professional work, the average person’s performance is adequate only about 50% of the time. The book is laid out in five parts: an introduction to the problem and how search engine improvements are not sufficient to be of real help, speculative searching, investigative searching, ethical use and applications of information fluency. The intent of the book is to provide readers ways to improve their performance as consumers of digital information and to help teachers devise useful ways to integrate information fluency instruction into their teaching, since deliberate instruction is needed to develop fluency. Since it is unlikely that dedicated class time will be available for such instruction, the approach taken embeds information fluency activities into classroom instruction in language arts, history and science. Numerous model lessons and resources are woven into the fabric of the text, including think-alouds, individual and group search challenges, discussions, assessments and curation, all targeted to Common Core State Standards as well as information fluency competencies.

Via Dennis T OConnor
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, March 23, 10:07 PM

This link leads you Google Books where you can read specifically about how to use our Scoop.it magazine dedicated to 21st century information fluency. 

Brenda Vargas's curator insight, March 23, 10:32 PM

It is and interesting tool to get useful information to learn and teach

Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, March 24, 11:56 AM

Understanding curation by creating and using a Scoop.it magazine is one of the projects in EDUC 760: E-Learning for Educators.  Constructing knowledge by skillfully tagging, annotating, and sharing information is a way to filter and use the ocean of information we live and teach with. 8-) 

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How To Design The Googleplex Of Schools ~ Fast Company ~ by John Brownlee

How To Design The Googleplex Of Schools ~ Fast Company ~ by John Brownlee | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
When the city of Alexandria, Minnesota, asked community members what they wanted in their new high school to be like, they replied, "like the Google campus." So they hired John Pfluger of Cuningham Group Architecture to make that a reality. Something that might not be the same size, or even necessarily have the exact design considerations, but that represents the same sense of possibility—the feeling of being adaptable to the future, whatever might come of it. The result is a state-of-the-art facility for more than 1,400 students where the word "classroom" is verboten, and where an hour in algebra class might be indiscernible from kicking back in the quad.
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How to Verify if That Port Is Indeed a USB 3.0 ~ Personal Tech, NY Times ~ J.D. Biersdorfer

How to Verify if That Port Is Indeed a USB 3.0 ~ Personal Tech, NY Times ~ J.D. Biersdorfer | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Q. I have a fairly recent laptop, bought last year, running Windows 8.1. How do I tell if any of the three USB ports on there might be USB 3.0?


3.0 port is on the right above. -JL

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17 Different Ways to Start Playing Minecraft ~ Fractus Learning ~ by Wade Gegan

17 Different Ways to Start Playing Minecraft ~ Fractus Learning ~ by Wade Gegan | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Minecraft is one of those rare games that both educators endorse and kids love to play. Maybe it’s the cubic heads, the flying pigs, or just the ability to create anything you want, it has hit the sweet spot between education and fun.

So, what is the best way to start playing Minecraft and take advantage of this wonderful exception to the ‘edutainment’ rule? Well, lucky for you there are a LOT of different options! Here are 17 of the most popular:
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Sandra Carswell's curator insight, April 7, 10:37 PM

Technology Club ideas?

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The Top 50 Best Books for Teachers ~ Fractus Learning ~ Wade Gegan

The Top 50 Best Books for Teachers ~ Fractus Learning ~ Wade Gegan | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
There are a LOT of great books for teachers out there. Picking just fifty is no easy feat but we’ve done our best to cover the best books for teachers from five different angles. Now all of these are exceptional reads. They are in no particular order. Number one is just as great a resource as number fifty. So take a browse through the list or jump direct to your area of interest.

Inspiration
Leadership
Educational Psychology
Learning Culture
Practice
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50 great apps for teachers ~ Washington Post ~ by Valerie Strauss

50 great apps for teachers ~ Washington Post ~ by Valerie Strauss | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
For a change of pace, here’s a list of “awesome” apps for teachers from Scholastic Instructor magazine offering activities for a wide range of subjects. These  were chosen through crowdsourcing on Scholastic’s Facebook page for teachers as well as with help from the magazine’s teacher advisers and education bloggers. They were published  in a recent edition of the magazine,, and I am republishing them with permission.
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9 Free Video Conferencing Web Apps — No Registration Required

9 Free Video Conferencing Web Apps — No Registration Required | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
There's a problem with traditional video conferencing clients. Though they are in abundance, they're only remotely useful if all parties are collectively using the same client. Popular services such as VoxOX, ooVoo, IMO and, of course, Skype and Google Hangouts all have this problem, thus putting a damper on quick collaboration. One "solution" to this is…

Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Miloš Bajčetić, Jim Lerman
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Jarrod Johnson's curator insight, April 14, 6:50 PM

Good collaborative  tools for small groups

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Only Few Know about These Good Classroom Tools ~ Ed Tech & Mobile Learning ~ by Med Kharbach

Only Few Know about These Good Classroom Tools ~ Ed Tech & Mobile Learning ~ by Med Kharbach | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"Looking for a utility you can deploy and use at the district, school, or classroom levels? Here are a set of useful tools that can use to make your lives, and the lives of other teachers, a little bit easier."

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Free Technology for Teachers: Office Lens - Digitize Handwritten Notes and Diagrams ~ by Richard Byrne

Free Technology for Teachers: Office Lens - Digitize Handwritten Notes and Diagrams ~ by Richard Byrne | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Office Lens is a new app for iOS and Android (still in limited beta) designed for converting pictures of notes on whiteboards and paper into notes that can be edited in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. If you don't need to edit the notes that your take pictures of, you can simply export the file created by Office Lens to JPEG or PDF. Probably the neatest aspect of Office Lens is that hand-drawn images and figures captured through the app can be separated from the text to move and manipulate as individual objects in PowerPoint slides. See the video below for an overview of Office Lens.
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Free Technology for Teachers: How to Create a Multimedia Timeline on HSTRY ~ by Richard Byrne

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Create a Multimedia Timeline on HSTRY ~ by Richard Byrne | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Last fall I reviewed HSTRY when it was still in beta. Recently, it lost the beta album and opened to everyone that wants to use it to create multimedia timelines. One of the features of HSTRY that I love is the option to insert quiz questions throughout your timelines. HSTRY supports the inclusion of video, audio, and pictures throughout your timelines. The video embedded [above] provides a short overview of how to create a HSTRY timeline. The video is from HSTRY's extensive student guide.

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Personalizing Social Emotional Learning with Google Forms (EdSurge News)

Personalizing Social Emotional Learning with Google Forms (EdSurge News) | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
When I was a classroom teacher, the best “tech” I had access to was a shared VCR/DVD player and a cracked overhead projector. As a result, I was unable to leverage technology for better “personalization” in my classroom, and so I leveraged relationships, instead.I “personalized” by getting to know m

Via Steve Whitmore, Mark E. Deschaine Ph.D.
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Steve Whitmore's curator insight, April 12, 1:29 PM

Google Forms continues to be a great asset for schools.  Look at how it is being used in this school to teach SEL. 

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ISTE SIGLib Webinar With Laura Fleming ~ MakerBridge ~ by Kristin Fontichiaro

ISTE SIGLib Webinar With Laura Fleming ~ MakerBridge ~ by Kristin Fontichiaro | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Our future school and youth librarians at the University of Michigan are big fans of Laura Fleming, the librarian at New Jersey’s New Milford High School. From her work with transmedia storytelling to her current work nurturing maker culture, she brings thoughtfulness and depth to her work with her students.

We thought you’d enjoy this archived conversation between ISTE school library special interest group chair Elissa Malespina and Laura Fleming. As many conversations between school librarians go, the conversation covers a range of topics, with the conversation on making beginning about 14 minutes in.
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35 Educators You Should Follow on Pinterest

35 Educators You Should Follow on Pinterest | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
35 Educational Pinners You MUST Check out! I love Pinterest! It’s kind of hard to believe this is my first post about this wonderful curation tool. Pinterest is NOT just for crafts and recipes, and...

Via Dennis T OConnor
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Cristina Reyes's curator insight, April 4, 2:03 AM

I agree , it´s a great curation tool. Intuitive interface and a variety of topics for educators 

Lee Hall's curator insight, April 6, 3:48 PM

Are you just getting started using Pinterest? Check some of these people for ideas.

Mark Rasi's curator insight, April 13, 8:56 PM

A wealth of info out there!

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3 Minute Teaching With Tech Tutorial - Create a Flipped Video Lesson with TedEd - YouTube

This entry in the "3 Minute Teaching With Tech Tip" video series shows how easy it is to 'flip' any YouTube video with the structured tool set provided at ed.ted.com. These lessons can be public or private, and the easy to use tools let teachers add associated content, a brief quiz, and online discussions associate with the video that is the focus point of the lesson. TedEd is totally free, and teachers get summary feedback on lesson views, quiz results, discussions, etc.

Via Dennis T OConnor, Maggie McGuirk Veres
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Maggie McGuirk Veres's curator insight, April 4, 6:49 PM

I love this!

Bibhya Sharma's curator insight, April 5, 1:06 AM

Lets try out TedEd

Carmen Ramos's curator insight, April 10, 12:29 PM

Schnell und einfach Videos für den Unterricht aufbereiten.

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FIRST Robotics | Programs | DPTV

FIRST Robotics | Programs | DPTV | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Detroit Public Television is once again in 2015 proud to showcase the ingenuity and expertise of young engineers as part of our award-winning coverage of the FIRST In Michigan Robotics State Championship.


Not only is the whole championship being streamed all day, starting at 9 am EDT, but the entirety of last year's event is also archived on the same page. -JL

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Add Assessment to Video Using eduCanon ~ Fractus Learning ~ by Lisa Blessington

Add Assessment to Video Using eduCanon ~ Fractus Learning ~ by Lisa Blessington | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Flipping the classroom can come in any number of forms. Some forms involve technology. Some forms do not. But one aspect that many educators favor in making the flip, is online video. EduCanon takes the use of online video to the next level by letting educators simply and quickly integrate questions and assessment into video content. Not only does this create an engaging experience for students, it can save time in marking and make reporting a whole lot easier....


"Put simply, eduCanon allows you to place specific questions at certain time points in a video. Perhaps the best way to get a feel for what eduCanon can do is to see some examples:"


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    7 Apps the Best Teachers Are Using ~ Fractus Learning ~ by Wade Gegan

    7 Apps the Best Teachers Are Using ~ Fractus Learning ~ by Wade Gegan | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
    How do you find the best apps for your classroom? How about taking about taking the recommendations of these seven teachers who really know their apps.
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