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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New Things Coming Soon from eduClipper

This week at the ISTE conference I recorded a few video segments with app developers. The first of those segments features Adam Bellow, the developer of eduClipper. eduClipper is coming out with some new features later this month. Adam talks about those features in the video embedded below.


If you can't or didn't watch the video, here's what you need to know.
1. eduClipper will soon have a new start-up tutorial for users. I saw the wireframes for those tutorials and can tell you it will be easier than ever to save and share content on eduClipper.

2. eduClipper is going to start featuring the most popular content and content contributors on the site.

3. Subject category tags are being added to eduClipper. The tags will make it easier to organize and find shared resources.

4. You will soon be able to share content from eduClipper to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

Disclosure: I have a small advisory role with eduClipper.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Month in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Philadelphia where I have been attending the ISTE conference for the last few days. I've met some great people and had a good time learning about new apps and new ideas here. Many of those things will appear in blog posts over the next few days. In the meantime it is time to take a look back at the most popular posts of the last month.

Here are the most popular posts in June 2015:
1. 10 Important Google Search Strategies for Students - A PDF Handout
2. 11 Helpful Hints for Combining Google Drive With Symbaloo
3. Three Helpful Gmail Settings for Students and Teachers
4. Using Google Apps in a Math Classroom
5. 7 Tools for Building Review Games
6. Use Your Phone to Control Google Slides Remotely
7. 5 Online Tools for Creating Picture Books
8. 10 Good Apps & Sites for Creative Writing Projects
9. Chromebook Rollout Through Teacher Leadership
10. 20 Good Map Creation Tools for Students

Summer PD Opportunities With Me.
Teaching History With Technology begins in two weeks.
Getting Going With GAFE starts on Thursday.
Blogs & Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders begins next week.

Would you like to have me visit your school? Click here to learn about my PD services.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.

Google Classroom Gets a Share Button and More New Features

This week Google Classroom received updates that teachers and administrators should note.

A new "share to Google Classroom" button is starting to appear on popular sites and services including Quizlet, Discovery Education, PBS, and Duolingo. The share button will enable teachers to quickly send resources from sites displaying the Classroom share button to their Google Classroom streams where they can be used as announcements or assignments.


Administrators and teachers will benefit from a new Google Classroom API that will allow developers to publish apps that can integrate with Google Classroom. An example of this is found in the new rosterSync for Sheets Add-on. rosterSync enables administrators to sync information from any student information system with Google Classroom. Watch the video below to learn more about rosterSync.


Thanks to Frank Franz and Ken Halla for the tips about the updates. 

81Dash Offers a Revamped Tool for Backchannels and More

Last summer at ISTE 2014 I learned about 81Dash. One year later 81Dash is still going strong and has launched a revamped user interface. All of the same great features of 81Dash are still there, they're just a bit easier to find and use than before.

At its most basic level 81Dash provides teachers with a place to host a chat or backchannel conversation that is moderated. Teachers can create and manage multiple chatrooms within their 81Dash accounts. In addition to chat teachers can post notes and task lists that are separate from the chat. Students can see those notes and task lists by selecting "notes" or "tasks" within an 81Dash room.

Students join your 81Dash room by going to the URL that is assigned to your room. When they arrive at your room for the first time they will be asked to register. There are two registration options. Registering as a "guest user" does not require students to enter email addresses. Students can also sign into 81Dash with their Google Accounts or Microsoft accounts.

Applications for Education
81Dash resolves the complaint that teachers have about many backchannel tools. That complaint is not having a way to delete messages or delete a room if students write inappropriate things in the backchannel. 81Dash's notes and tasks features could be helpful to students in keeping track of assignments for your class.

5 Takeaways from Redefining Professional Development

On Monday afternoon at the ISTE conference I was one of four people on a panel discussion titled Redefining Professional Development for the Curriculum of the Future. Unfortunately, I didn't get as much time to speak as I had hoped for. Throughout the discussion I was taking notes on what the other panelists were saying. These are my big takeaways from those panelists along with two points that I tried to make.

1. Nobody wants more for kids than parents. - Rob Burggraaf was talking about organizing parent night to show parents the benefits of their children using technology.

2. Saying no to technology is saying no to advancing student learning. - Linda Cole talking about getting teachers on board with technology integration programs.

3. Technology centers (in a classroom) aren't just for Kindergarten classrooms. - Ashley Hays talking about using technology throughout the school day.

4. Plan your technology goals to be a positive influence in students' lives beyond the time they are in your school. - Me talking about designing technology integration programs.

5. Celebrate the technology innovators in your school. Encourage them to their good work to with other teachers. - Me talking about getting teachers excited about using technology.

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