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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mobile Location Privacy in a Nutshell - A Lesson for Students

Planet Nutshell is a company that produces some excellent animated video lessons for students of all ages. They've produced great videos on Internet SafetyFinancial AidClimate ScienceHealthMathematics, and Physics. All of their videos are are now available on Vimeo as well as the Teacher Library section of Planet Nutshell.

One of the Planet Nutshell Internet Safety videos that should be shared with any student who has his or her own mobile phone is this video on mobile location privacy. The video explains the potential danger or giving out too much location information through your phone, particularly through images, and how to protect your location privacy.


NetSafe Episode 18: Mobile Location Privacy in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

ReadWorks Offers a New Selection of Social Studies Articles for All Grades

ReadWorks is a non-profit service that offers hundreds of lesson plans and thousands of non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. Additionally, each article is listed with a Lexile score and suggested grade level.

The latest batch of articles added to ReadWorks covers topics in social studies. The articles and lesson plans for K-5 primarily deal with topics in U.S. History and civics. Articles for grade six through twelve have a mix of U.S. and World History topics. Each article in the collection is accompanied by a set of reading comprehension questions. Those questions are a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions that you can use for group discussion or individual reflection.

Applications for Education
One of the aspects of ReadWorks that I like is that lexile scores are listed for each article along with grade levels and Common Core standards. So if Common Core standards are not relevant to your situation, ReadWorks still makes it easy to find fiction and non-fiction articles that are appropriate for your students.

With a free ReadWorks account you can search for lessons and reading passages by grade level, lexile score, reading skill, subject area, and text type (fiction or non-fiction). In your ReadWorks account you can create digital binders of the lesson plans and reading passages that you want to use.

5 Great Ways You Can Use Google Sites With Students

On Thursday afternoon I am conducting four free webinars sponsored by SimpleK12. The first of the four is about using Google Sites with students. This post is a preview of what will be covered in the webinar 5 Great Ways You Can Use Google Sites With Students.

1. As a wiki: Google Sites can be used as a wiki if you share your site with others and invite them to be editors. As a teacher you could start a site then add your students as owners or editors on the site. If you add them as owners they will be able to start new pages. If you add them as editors they will only be allowed to edit existing pages. You can also use the page-level permissions option to allow students to only edit the pages that you grant them access to.

2. As a digital portfolio: Google Sites can be used by students to create digital portfolios featuring their best works and accomplishments. I would encourage high school students to develop a digital portfolio that they can share with university admissions officers. Teachers should also consider developing a digital portfolio of their best lesson plans, credentials, and references to include when they apply for teaching positions.

3. As a digital file cabinet: If you have PDFs, Word files, or other documents that you want your students to be able to easily download, consider using the File Cabinet option in Google Sites. By creating a File Cabinet page you provide a place for those files to be easily accessed. You might also consider putting up a File Cabinet page for forms like permission slips that parents need to access.

4. As a blog: Use the Announcements template to create a blog page within your Google Sites. You can update the blog or make the blog page collaborative and let your students contribute to a class blog.

5. As a website: I left the most obvious option for last. If you need to create a place where parents and students can come to find important information about your course(s) or your school, Google Sites provides all of the tools for that. Incorporate a blog element (see #4 above) for posting updates and use the rest of the pages to house information that doesn't change that often. You can also incorporate a file cabinet (see #3 above) to post forms for parents to download. And if you're using Google Calendar, you can easily add a calendar of events to any page in your Google Site.

How to Quickly Create an MP3 Recording

On Saturday I wrote about using SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder to create short MP3 files. If you haven't tried it yet, take a look at the video embedded below to see just how easy it is to create an MP3 recording through SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder.


Applications for Education
SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder does not require you to register in order to create and download your audio recordings. The lack of a registration requirement makes it a good choice for students who don't have email addresses or for anyone else who simply doesn't want to have to keep track of yet another username and password.

Students could use SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder to record short audio interviews or to record short audio blog entries. Teachers could use SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder to record instructions for students to listen to in lieu of having a substitute teacher read instructions to their students.