Tuesday, December 1, 2015

g(Math), Assistive Tech, Boomerang, Starbucks Classroom, Disappearing Chargers, Test Your YouTube Videos, Discussion Boards, Hour of Code, Hacks for Teachers, AdmitSee, Holiday Reading, Water Photography, Tech Teethers

Did you know?
g(Math) for Forms will now allow you to use handwriting entries as multiple choice options. +John McGowan  recently made this update. Just click on the create handwriting entry icon in any part of the option and you can handwrite an entry. His post said it should automatically update for you if you already have g(Math) for Forms installed. He is working on rolling out hand writing entries as a question type in the next week or so.

There are several tools within Chrome to assist students “This can include students with vision or hearing impairments, or challenges with reading, writing, organization, and more”. Learn about these free tools with +Eric Curts in his recent video.  He goes into nice detail on how to get the tools and how to use them.  He covers several, but has even more in his resource material.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYEgxpTu-rI The video is about 1 hour long.  Below are some approximate timestamps in case you’re just interested in a few:
Chrome Web Apps, Extensions and Add-ons:
Text to Speech
  • Read Write for Google 13:59 - 19:48
  • Speak It 19:48 - 21:18
Speech to Text
  • Read Write for Google 21:40 - 22:19
  • Speech Recognition 22:19 - 23:54
Readability (removing distractions)
  • Clearly 25:22 - 27:53
  • BeeLine Reader 27:53 - 30:02 (Dyslexia font in gradient color to help students stay on the correct line)
  • ATbar 30:02 - 31:10 (color overlays to help readers see content)
  • Magic Scroll Web Reader 31:10 - 32:13 (makes a flippable ebook)
  • Pupil Pref 32:13 - 34:00 (change background color to enhance readability)
Reading Comprehension
  • TDLR 34:20 - 35:50 (creates a summary of articles)
  • Clipped 35:50 - 36:30 (creates a summary bullet list)
  • Google Dictionary 36:30 - 37:51
  • Newsela 37:51 - 39:42
  • Click Free Browsing 39:42 - 41:33 (for students who have trouble clicking a mouse)
  • Vimium 41:33 - 43:38 (keyboard shortcuts, if there’s trouble using a mouse)
  • Picto4Me 43:38 - 46:25

Chrome Features:
  • Keyboard Shortcuts 49:37 - 51:21
  • Font Face and Size 51:21 - 52:44

YouTube Features:
  • Closed Captions 46:25 - 49:37

Google Mobile Features:
  • Dictation 52:44 - 56:02
  • Google Play Books App 56:02 - 58:21 (use for having PDF’s read aloud)

What if?
Use Boomerang to send emails at a later date.
Boomerang for Gmail is a Chrome Extension making it possible to schedule an email to go out at a later date, have it repeat, schedule a reply, etc.  Other useful ways to use Boomerang: “For example, if you have travel plans, Boomerang can bring your flight itinerary and hotel confirmation to the top of your inbox the morning you depart. Boomerang can also help you keep track of projects, make sure deadlines don't slip through the cracks, and help you be more responsive.”

Why the 21st Century Classroom May Remind You of Starbucks
It’s been my dream to make my 2nd grade classroom look more like a “Starbucks for kids”, and less like, well, a classroom.
Take a look to see how this teacher changed the feel and seating of her classroom.  She includes pictures and FAQ’s to give you more information.

Extra chargers disappearing from your room?  Try an inexpensive baby proofing tool.  Here are three options.  For the third, zipties could be added tightly after cords have been placed inside to keep students from opening it.
11_24 option 1.png
11_24 cover 2.png
11_24 cover 3.png

Something to think about…
Just to make sure…
If you’re wanting to assign a YouTube video in Google Classroom for the students to watch on their devices, it would be good to test it out on one of your students’ chromebooks beforehand.  YouTube Safety Mode does block some educational and completely harmless videos.  

Discussion Board Rules - Short, sweet and oh so useful! This great resource by +Alice Keeler has the rules for Posting and for Responding that will generate more quality and thoughtfulness from your students. http://www.alicekeeler.com/teachertech/2015/02/15/discussion-board-rules/

Hour of Code...
Khan Academy offering multiple ways that your students can participate, all for free!
  • Hour of Drawing with Code:
    • Typing: keyboard-based coding (ages 10+)
    • Drag-and-drop: block-based coding for students with less typing experience and students on tablet devices (ages 8+)
  • Hour of Webpages: (ages 10+)
  • Hour of Databases: (ages 12+)

Minecraft tutorial now available for the Hour of Code!The tutorial introduces learners to basic coding and guides them to mine, build, and explore in a 2-D “Minecraft” world.” Anybody can participate. No experience needed. https://code.org/mc

Programming Apps for the iPad
Below are a few programming/coding apps for the iPad.  These are free and the ratings come from the Best Apps for Kids website.  The ratings are for Quality, Education, Entertainment, Value and being Child Friendly.

ScratchJr - ages 5 and up - 5 out of 5 stars
“In the process, children learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer.They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy. With ScratchJr, children don’t just learn to code, they code to learn.” https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Hopscotch - ages 8 and up - 5 out of 5 stars
“Learning to code has never been easier or more fun. Hopscotch offers free, super simple videos that let you to make your own versions of your favorite games (like Geometry Dash!), create drawing apps, and build tons of cool projects. “
** Does have in-app purchases available.
** Winner of the Children’s Technology Review: Best Educational Technology **
** Winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award **

Kodable - ages 5 and up - 4.5 out of 5 stars
“The furry aliens, known as Fuzzes were exploring space when their ship unexpectedly crashed on the maze-covered planet Smeeborg. The naturally curious fuzzes need kids to program them to explore all the colorful Technomazes on the planet’s surface.“
** Does have in-app purchases available.

5 Organizational Hacks for Teaching High School (LoveTeach edition) These can be used for more than just HS.  The pig latin countdown is pretty funny... I bet the students love it!  Thank you +WeAreTeachers  http://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/post/2015/05/18/my-top-5-organizational-hacks-for-teaching-high-school-(loveteach-edition)

AdmitSee launches its peer-to-peer college admissions source - college application essays and advice. This service pays college students to submit their successful college application, then charges high school students to see those and hopefully learn more successful strategies for answering the application questions.  The college students get paid for each view of their profile. Other services include paying for a college mentor to answer questions, review personal essays, etc. AdmitSee can also help “C” students discover which higher level schools may be more forgiving of grades. You can browse over $50,000 successful applications. Thank you @AmyCoupal  The @AdmitSee site: https://www.admitsee.com/   Article on the company: http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/06/admitsee-raises-1-8-million-in-seed-funding-from-silicon-valley-heavyweights/

For Fun…
10 Fantastic Suggestions You Can Add To Your Christmas Reading List from +Lifehack 


Water photography and your iPhone - a perfect match! For the adventurous photographer on your list: The Watershot® PRO - is a sturdy, professional camera housing for the iPhone allowing you to go underwater up to 195 feet.  Used professionally by Zak Noyle. Versions for the 5/5S and iPhone 6 are available on his website http://www.zaknoyle.com/products/watershot-housing?variant=935824575 and on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Watershot%C2%AE+PRO



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