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Monday, July 28, 2014

Join the Edublogs Class List to Find Other Classroom Blogs

As I mentioned in Saturday's post about QuadBlogging, getting enough visits and comments on your students' blog posts is one of the biggest challenges to keeping students engaged in blogging. QuadBlogging matches classroom blogs to help generate comments on blogs. The Edublogs class list is another good place to find other classroom blogs.

The Edublogs class list is organized by grade level and subject area. Complete the form on this page to submit your own blog for inclusion in the list. You do not have to Edublogs in order to be included in the list.

Get Organized for Back-to-School with Trello

This is a guest post from Beth Holland of EdTechTeacher.org, an advertiser on this blog.

With Back-to-School ads starting to crop up all over the place, and summer hitting its blissful stride, that can only mean one thing: it’s time to start prepping for Fall. For years, a myriad of ideas, plans, and to-do lists plagued me for the entire month of August. I tried a number of different tools to keep track: iCal, Google Tasks, a paper planner….

However, a few things made each of these items completely ineffective for me:
  1. I needed to seamlessly access my to-do lists from anywhere and at any time - this ruled out paper as I often left my notebook on the kitchen counter, at my desk at school, on someone else’s desk, etc.
  2. Some items needed due dates and some didn’t. The old iCal let me use a combination of tasks and events, but I had to remember to sync devices.
  3. Google Tasks worked great - as long as I had Internet.
  4. Having never worked in isolation, I also needed a way to keep track of everything and share all of my tasks and ideas with colleagues.
Last spring, I discovered my solution: Trello! Not only does it work on all devices, allow me to choose whether or not I need due dates, permit me to collaborate with others, and let me work offline when on a mobile phone or tablet, but Trello also gives me a simple visual for organizing all of my tasks: 3 columns - To Do, Doing, and Done - as well as the ability to attach files from either my device or the cloud (Drive or Dropbox).

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 4.50.32 PM

Best part of all, with the iOS app, Android app, or Chrome Extension, Trello removes the need to email collaborators. Simply assign a colleague to a card in Trello and the system alerts members to new tasks.

While it’s still necessary to enjoy these last few weeks of summer, start adding cards to your Trello boards so that you won’t forget all of your ideas when it comes time to get back to school. Besides, you might even be able to use it to organize your students next fall.

Looking for last minute learning opportunities this summer? EdTechTeacher still has space available in their Austin and Los Angeles Summer Workshops in August.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MultCloud Provides a Single Dashboard for All of Your Cloud Storage Accounts

If you're like me you probably have accounts on more than one cloud storage service. I have accounts on Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, and SugarSync that I use regularly. MultCloud is a service that allows me to tie them all together in one place. MultCloud does more than just provide a single log-in for all of the cloud services that I use. It also allows me to move files between services with a simple drag-and-drop.

By connecting your cloud storage services through MultCloud you create a single dashboard page on which you can view and access the files within all of your cloud storage accounts. To move a file between the services you just select a file from one service and drag it to the other.

Applications for Education
If your school hasn't adopted a standard cloud storage platform for all teachers and students, MultCloud could be a great tool for organizing files strewn across multiple cloud storage services.

H/T to Lifehacker

Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders - A Practical Ed Tech Webinar Series

In a few weeks I am again offering my popular series of PracticalEdTech.com webinars about blogs and social media for teachers and school leaders. If you have been thinking about blogging or thinking about joining Twitter or another social network, then this course is for you. If you have tried blogging and social media in the past, but just didn't get into it, then this course is for you too.

Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. After learning about how each of the tools works we'll dive into developing strategies for implementation.
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a three week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned.  After establishing blogs we'll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities.

Blogging isn’t new and it isn’t as flashy as say iPads in the classroom, but it is a very valuable activity for students, teachers, and school leaders. In fact, I think that too often it is under-utilized by teachers and school leaders. One cause that under-utilization is due in part to not having a clear strategy for implementation. Another reason for under-utilization of blogs is a lack of understanding of just how many ways blogs can be used by students, teachers, and school leaders. I developed this course to address all of those issues and help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media to improve communication between school and home. 
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders will meet at 7pm Eastern Time on August 19, 26, and September 2. All sessions are recorded for participants to watch as many times as they like.

 Click here to register today!

Who is this webinar series for?
Teachers, school administrators, media specialists, and teacher-librarians who:
  • Have never created blogs... or…
  • Have have tried blogging but didn’t get the results they hoped for...or…
  • Have wondered what all the fuss is about Twitter and Google+...or...
  • Are planning to lead PD sessions about blogs and social media and want to learn how to structure their trainings as well as access hand-outs they can use in their own training sessions.
Cost:
  • This webinar series costs $97 per seat. (There is a $15 processing fee for registering with a purchase order. That fee is waived for those who register and pay online).
  • Click here to register today!
Participants receive:
  • Three hours of live instruction with Q&A opportunities.
  • Access to recordings of each session (recordings can be downloaded for unlimited personal use).
  • Digital hand-outs to download and re-use for personal use as well as re-use within their school districts.
  • A dedicated discussion forum to access throughout the three week course.
  • Certificate of completion.
Course Dates:
The live webinar sessions will be held at 7pm Eastern Time on August 19, 26, and September 2. 

Nice Things People Have Said About My Webinars and Presentations:
I am finding your GAFE webinar so helpful!! 
K. Sloan
Your keynotes were spot on and your professionalism was extremely appreciated.
Lindsay Bellino, Director of Online Communities, Pearson OLE
Your keynote was excellent and set a great tone for the whole conference.  
Gary Seastrand, Brigham Young University

About the costs and my decision to advertise these opportunities on my blog:
Sometimes when I advertise one of these webinars I get messages from people who are upset that I am advertising it here and or that I am charging for it. I understand why some people feel that way. I thought long and hard about how to offer these opportunities. In fact, I thought about it and talked about it with trusted advisors for a year before offering the first webinar series last year. The purpose of this blog and my goal for years has always been to help people use free technology in their classrooms. The tools and strategies featured in my webinars and at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp are free to use. However, my time for teaching isn't free. Further, I pay licensing fees to GoToTraining and to Wistia for hosting all of the media content of the courses.

The Week In Numbers Could Be a Good Way to Get Students to Ask About the News

Go Figure: The Week In Numbers is a weekly feature on the BBC News Magazine Monitor. Similar in nature to the Week in Pictures, Go Figure: The Week In Numbers highlights interesting statistics from news stories. The statistics are presented with interesting pictures or drawings as backgrounds. Each statistic is linked to a corresponding news article.

Applications for Education
Getting students interested in reading news articles is one of the challenges that social studies teachers often face. I have found that visual prompts like those found in The Week In Numbers and The Week In Pictures can often be good for sparking students' curiosities about news articles.

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