Tag Archives: Educational Resources

How to bring visual learning into the classroom using infographics

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Infographics are a powerful way to synthesize data and information, making it easy to conceptualize a message with a glance. For this reason, they are becoming a popular medium in marketing and presentations because they are visually engaging and simultaneously informative.

INFOGRAPHICS AS ASSESSMENT

VenngageThis year for the first time, I asked my students to create an Infographic as their culminating project for our study of the Civil Rights movement. I wanted them to give a presentation, but also wanted to move away from the traditional PowerPoints or poster sessions that they have done in the past. I liked the idea of them learning to present content effectively in a creative medium, and infographics are perfect for that. For this, I elected to use my favorite tool for creating professional looking infographics, Venngage.

Venngage offers many powerful and free resources that students can use to build professional looking infographics, and I really like how the tools are simple to use. I was even more excited when I learned that they recently introduced a great resource for teachers – Venngage Education – which allows you to create class accounts where students can use the Premium Features to create infographics and share them privately or with the class. The cost is much lower than their premium subscription, and if you have a short project, you can sign up for the free, 2 week trial, which gives you 35 student/teacher accounts.

VISUALS IN ACTION: HOW IT WORKED

In order for my students to build their Civil Rights infographics, I divided them into small groups and then gave each group a topic to cover: Civil Rights Groups, the fight for Hispanic Civil Rights, the March on Washington, School Integration, and Racial Clashes & Violence. I intentionally left the topics broad so that students could explore and develop the projects based on their research. Students delved into key figures, dates, statistics and data, and more. As this was their first-go round, I was excited with the results. Students were allowed to be creative while engaging in research and developing a visual presentation for a broader audience as shown by some of these great examples: Civil Rights Groups, Racial Clashes & Violence, and March on Washington.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS THIS SUMMER!

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  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • Teaching History with Technology
  • Differentiating with Technology
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

Office 365 on the Web & On Your Chromebook!

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius. A special thanks to Jonathan Wylie and his Office 365 and Office Online expertise! I strongly encourage you to check out his blog here for helpful hints, tricks, and ideas on how to integrate technology in your classroom or school.

Chromebooks have quickly become an incredibly popular tool in schools. However, this has previously limited users to only Google’s productivity tools. One of the most common complaints that I hear about Google Apps for Education tools (Gmail, Docs, Slides, etc), is that they are not as robust as those you find in the Microsoft Office Suite. Now, with the recent upgrades of Office Online and Office 365, it is possible navigate to the full Office suite using a Chromebook – or any other device! Office Online and Office 365 offer ais the new, web-based version of Microsoft toolsOffice and allows users to create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more using only your browser. Another great feature of these toolsOffice 365 is that theyit allow you to collaborate with others (even if they don’t have a subscription). All of your Office 365 creations will be saved in your OneDrive account in the cloud, so no need to worry about saving it on your machine!

In order to use these new office tools, you will need to have either an Office 365 subscription ($99/year for a home and family edition) or sign up for a free Microsoft account at Office.com (note that if you have a hotmail account, those credentials will also work). An Office 365 subscription allows you to download the latest version of the software to your device as well as to use Mobile Apps for free. Recently, Microsoft extended its traditional educational license to include a subscription to Office 365 for Education. So if you have Office on your school computer, then you have the ability to create an Office 365 account and have access to more robust features in the Office 365 suite; speak to your IT manager to see what options may be available.

To access the Office Suite online, go to: login.microsoftonline.com and login with your person or school credentials (again, check with your IT manager). Once you are logged in, you will see the option to access all of your available Office tools and then select the tool that you want to use. If you are using an Office 365 Education account, much like with Google Apps, your administrator can determine which tools will be made available and which may not be turned on. As an example, in my domain, I cannot access Mail or Calendar because we use a different system and Sites and Tasks have been turned off completely. However, here are a few highlights of what is possible with Office 365 on any Chromebook or Computer.

Office 365 Start

MAIL

Not only can you now easily access your email via the web, there’s even aChrome app. Like Gmail, Outlook now threads conversations, keeping all messages and replies together. From the web, it is possible to read and reply to messages as well as to organize emails into folders. A particularly handy feature is the green “replied to” indicator to show when exactly you responded to a specific message.

CALENDARS

Much like with Google Calendars, through Office Online and Office 365 you can now also access any personal or shared calendars. Students can subscribe to class calendars and even create shared calendars for specific courses or groups. A really nice feature is the ability to view different calendars as tabs. This way, you can view everything or only the events on specific calendars. If your school uses a lot of shared calendars, then this could be extremely helpful for scheduling purposes.

Collaborating with Office Online and Office 365

A great, new feature of the Office Online tools in Office 365 is the ability to add collaborators to any Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file! Simply click the Share icon in the top right corner. A new window will pop up giving you the option to share with view or editing privileges. You can share by email or via a link (no need for a subscription)!

Once the document is shared, you can collaborate in real time, from any device (including your Chromebook)! All of the Office tools have robust online features and sharing capabilities. You can even collaborate on a PowerPoint Presentation, include the fancy transitions, and even present directly from the cloud!

Expanding Office beyond a hard drive and into the cloud gives Chromebook users greater options, more collaborative abilities, and access to a more robust suite of tools to expand their learning environment. Look for more information about these tools in coming posts.

COME COLLABORATE THIS SUMMER!

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  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • The iPad Classroom
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

Game-Based Digital Literacy with Digital Compass

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers

Common Sense Media has released Digital Compass, a new tool to teach students about navigating the digital world. The game is targeted at middle school students, an age when most children are getting cell phones and social media accounts (like Facebook and Instagram).

Through playing this digital, “choose your own adventure” game, students explore topics like: cyberbullying & “digital drama,” self-image & identity, internet safety & privacy, creative credit & copyright, as well as relationships & communication. The game is currently available online with iOS, Android, and edmodo apps coming soon.

Common Sense Media also provides…

read the remainder of the article here.

Ideas for using Peardeck & Google Drive in Your Classroom

This is reblogged from my post on FreeTech4Teachers

As more schools go 1:1, teachers often feel challenged to make their traditional lessons and activities more interactive. One of my favorite tools is Pear Deck because it allows a teacher to take a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF and incorporate various student activities to check for understanding and engagement. Pear Deck is free for students and teachers (with a higher end, paid premium model) and it fully integrates with Google Apps for Education.

When you sign in to your Pear Deck account, create a new interactive lesson by selecting “New Deck.” You can then create a slideshow from scratch or import a PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or PDF…

You can the complete article here.

How to enhance your lessons with Google Art Project

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

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Google Art Project is one of my favorite tools available online. It is a repository of high resolution images and 3D “museum view” virtual art gallery tours. Since its inception in 2011, Google Art Project has grown from its initial collaboration of 17 international museums to more than 151 and is now available in 18 languages.

This is a great tool for introducing students to Art from around the world. Here are a few ideas for lesson plans that you can use in conjunction with Google Art Project.

CREATE & CURATE A GALLERY

Google Art Project will allow you to create and curate your own gallery. You can have students build a project thematically (styles, emotional experiences, etc), chronologically, culturally, and more. Students select the pieces that they want to add to their gallery, move them around (just as a museum curators places art pieces in an exhibit), and then share them privately or publicly. This could be a great way for a student to showcase their understanding of a particular artist or style as a project for an Art History, History, Social Studies, or Humanities course.

COMPARE WORKS OF ART SIDE BY SIDE

Using the “Compare” model, you can put two works of art side by side and perform an in depth analysis of the works. Here is one of my favorite exercises:

google art project

You will see that I have selected A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Seurat (Chicago Institute of Art) andBreakfast by Signac (Kröller-Müller Museum); both of these artists were masters of pointillism. I have students examine the pieces in high definition, side-by-side, and explore the different techniques between these two artists.

Students write up their comparative analysis in their Art History notebook and present on the stylistic differences in class. This can also help students understand how styles and techniques evolve over time (Seurat and Signac developed pointillism out of the styles of impressionism). You can assign specific works of art to students (like I do above) or you can have students choose and compare pieces on their own.

This is a great way to teach students to engage the content in depth and perform comparative analysis.

STUDENTS STUDY & “FORGE” THE MASTERS

A common practice in Art courses is to study the work of master artists by reproducing their work. A fun way to do this is to ask students to “create a forgery.”

Students could select an artist and study their life, style, work, and technique; the high definition, zoomable figures on Google Art Project allows them to study numerous works of art that are held in collections around the world. After they have done this, ask them to create a fake!

They can host a gallery opening where visitors compare their reproduction to the original works of the artist.

PARTICIPATE IN AN ART TALK

Google hosts regular Hangouts on Air with prominent curators. They announce the schedule on theirGoogle+ page and post the recordings on theirYouTube page. Students can prepare for the announced topic and submit questions to professionals. It’s a great way to engage students with modern Art curation.

Google has also posted some different lesson ideashere. With more and more expansions to the Google Art Project (the most recent being its Street Art Collection), there will be more opportunities for students to explore the world of Art.

This resource continues to grow and provides students with the ability to explore art in new and interesting ways, outside of a textbook, or more in-depth than they could at a museum.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRINGING GOOGLE INTO YOUR CLASSROOM!

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  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • Google & Chromebooks
  • The Chromebook Classroom
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View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

10 Ways to Drive GAFE Adoption at your School

My next session is 10 Ways to Drive GAFE Adoption at your School by Peter Henrie of AmplifiedIT. I have done a little work with the guys at AmplifiedIT (they facilitated our adoption of Cloudlock), so I know I will get some great information from them. Peter tells us that his objective is for us to go back to our schools equipped with a few ideas of how to drive adoption of Google Apps at our schools.

1. Plan your school’s adoption: map out what, who, when where and Identify areas which would benefit from Google Tools. Set milestones, like going paperless or increase docs use by 50% by next semester.

2. When you reach milestones, celebrate them publicly. How do you know if people are using Google Apps or if you have hit your milestones, use the Reports Tab in the Control Panel. Here is a document that can help you navigate the reporting tools.

App Usage report in the Audit Log.

App Usage report in the Audit Log.

3. Help staff transform their current lessons with GAFE, not simply use the technology for technology sake. Focus on curriculum delivery, create champions of various tools, deliver key outcomes, and have department/subject specialization. I think this idea is especially important. Science teachers and History teachers have different needs, as do elementary and high school teachers.

4. Explore external/online training solutions like Synergyse Google Apps Training. These tools (often paid) can allow people to train on their own schedule and on their own topics. Its reporting tools give you up to date information on who has completed professional development. As these tools only focus on PD, so their content is always up to date.

5. Create & Publicize Templates. Templates are kind of hidden away, so you will need to direct people to them. You can create templates for things like course websites, forms, agendas, etc. Teachers can create and add their own templates, which is a great way to sure lessons and other tools. You can learn how to create and submit a template here.

6. Get people to use other services in GAFE: Calendar, Groups, Sites, and Drive. To get people to use these tools, create resources in them. For example, if you want them to use Calendar create a  Test Calendar or a Resources Calendar. For Groups, you can create discussion groups. For sites, use them for course websites or digital portfolios. Drive is a great way to have people share robust files that are too large for email (video).

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.03.39 PM7. Browse the EDU sections of Chrome Webstore and Google Apps Marketplaces. The Chrome Webstore allows you to add extension or add-ons to Chrome and has an education extension. The benefit of using these add-ons is that you can not only access a myriad of tools (paid and free) and automatically have single sign-on. The Google Apps Marektplace is a feature that your administrator will need to enable and tends to include more robust tools that are often tied to third party tools (like an LMS).

8. Remove Obstacles: Don’t make it hard for people to use these tools. Make sure that GAFE is configured correctly, create a browser policy (to facilitate Chrome adoption), delegate admin rights, and use Groups for easy sharing.

9. Create a Teacher Dashboard. Peter recommends Hapara. If the cost is prohibitive, try Google Classroom (which has fewer functions). The dashboard makes GAFE more usable and easier to navigate.

10. Lead by Example: Model effective integration of GAFE by using Google Docs, default to Chrome, and practicing what you preach. If you draft the minutes of a faculty meeting on a Google doc and share it out with faculty to revise or view, then it not only forces them to log in to that Google Doc, but demonstrates application and learning.

AmplifiedIT has also drafted a couple of ebooks on Google Apps adoption: 14 Ways to Increase Google Apps Adoption at your School and 9 Expert Pieces of Advice for Adopting Google Apps for Education at Your School.

Primary Source Materials for Your iPad

Primary sources are vital resources for educators. iTunes has collected various primary sources, including: historic film, documents, and oral histories. Many of their posted resources are free! Check it out here.

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