When Students Get Creative with Tech Tools, Teachers Focus on Skills

Mindshift recently published an article of mine entitled “When Students Get Creative with Tech Tools, Teacher Focus on Skills.” In the article, I focus on how to infused digital tools into your curriculum. I hope you will read more on KQED’s website!

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California passes “landmark bill” to protect students’ personal data

Jennifer Carey:

This is an important step in ensuring that we protect students’ rights and data.

Originally posted on Naked Security:

Classroom. Image courtesy of ShutterstockCalifornia’s state legislature last month unanimously passed the nation’s toughest bill yet to protect the personal data of kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) students.

California Governor Brown hasn’t taken a public stance on this and a related bill that addresses contracts with tech vendors. But if he doesn’t sign, they automatically become law at the end of the month.

The senate bill would stop online services from selling or disclosing data they’re now chowing down like kids in a candy store.

There’s a lot at stake: think student records that cover attendance, grades, discipline, health, academics, intimate details about family members, parent and student contact information, biometrics, and sometimes even a child’s geolocation.

In some high school cafeterias in Georgia, for example, students can pay for lunch by scanning their palms at the checkout line.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to student data being amassed…

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Explore the Pyramids on Google Maps

Google Maps now offers street views of the monuments of Egypt, including panoramas and street view access of the Pyramids.

This an addition to Google’s “Treks,” which includes streetview access of the world’s natural and man-made wonders, including Mt. Everest, the Grand Canyon,  the Eiffel Tower, and more.

 

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Free Copies of iAnnotate (Normally $9.99)

iAnnotate by Branchfire has given me 30 codes to distribute to educators. It’s an amazing PDF editing and annotation tools for the iPad. Send me a tweet or leave me a comment about how you would use it for education and score one of these codes!

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Teaching Tolerance Releases Robust Common Core Curricular Content

Teaching Tolerance has just announced its new Common Core aligned curriculum, “Perspectives for a Diverse America.” This is a literacy based curriculum that teachers students to read text deeply and meaningfully while incorporating the experiences of a diverse set of Americans.

The Curriculum is entirely free and can be found here.

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Instantly Create Vocab Lists with Vocabulist

ba93c3ece4403f880520dd6b914bd866One of our Juniors at Ransom Everglades just showed me a new web tool that he has been developing, Vocabulist. It allows you to upload a PDF, Word, or Text Document of Vocabulary Words, defines them using Merriam-Webster, and then generates a fully defined list of terms that you can use to study. It will even let you export to Quizlet. This is a great way to quickly generate term definitions for study or a quick Quiz.

The App is still in development, so please send your feedback and suggestions here.

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Track & Rate Skills Inside Google Docs

I posted earlier about Kaizena’s new “tags” feature that allows you to tag, rate, and track student skills. Here is a great video that highlights how to do this!

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Google Hangouts is now part of the Google Apps Suite

I was so excited to open my email and discover that Google Hangouts (GHO) is now part of the Google Apps enterprise suite and therefore covered under its contract and policies. It no longer requires a Google+ account! You can read the full announcement here.

If you are interested in learning different ways to use Google Hangouts in your class, check out my post: “4 Ways to Enhance your Class with Google Hangouts.”

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21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This Year

Jennifer Carey:

As always, some great tips from the esteemed Carl Hooker!

Originally posted on Hooked On Innovation:

The Past mixing with the Future #selfie

The Past mixing with the Future #selfie

A new school year always brings about new ideas and hopeful ambition for teachers. However, it’s almost 2015.  Gone are the days when we can use the excuse that “we don’t do technology”.  Part of being a teacher in the 21st century is being creative in integrating academics and learning into student’s digital lives. With access to content being ubiquitous and instant in student’s out of school lives, we can either reject their world for our more traditional one, or embrace it.

While some of the ideas that follow may seem a bit trendy, it’s never hurts to model ways to interact with all this new media as a covert way of teaching digital literacy and citizenship.   The great news is, you don’t need every student to have a device to make these happen. Heck, in most cases all you would need is a single smart…

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There’s no app for good teaching

Jennifer Carey:

Love the ideas here. There is no magic app. Technology in the classroom is only as good as the teacher.

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

8 ways to think about tech in ways that actually improve the classroom.

Bringing technology into the classroom often winds up an awkward mash-up between the laws of Murphy and Moore: What can go wrong, will — only faster.

It’s a multi-headed challenge: Teachers need to connect with classrooms filled with distinct individuals. We all want learning to be intrinsically motivated and mindful, yet we want kids to test well and respond to bribes (er, extrinsic rewards). Meanwhile, there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, in the US alone, hoping to sell apps and tech tools to school boards.

There’s no app for that.

But there are touchstones for bringing technology into the classroom. With educational goals as the starting point, not an afterthought, teachers can help students use — and then transcend — technology as they learn.

Children as early as Pre Kindergarten at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park, Georgia have access to the iPad to reinforce techniques taught in the classroom. Starting in pre-kindergarten, children at Love T. Nolan Elementary School in College Park, Georgia, have access to an iPad to reinforce techniques taught in the classroom. Photo by Amanda…

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