Friday, December 13, 2013

Video - Three Ways Students Can Search for Creative Commons Licensed Images

Whenever students start searching on the web for pictures to use in their slideshows, videos, or infographics I have them search first for public domain and Creative Commons licensed images. Using public domain images and Creative Commons licensed images (with proper attribution) ensures that students don't accidentally infringe on someone's copyright rights. In the video below I demonstrate three ways for students to search for Creative Commons licensed images.

The CC Attribution Helper mentioned in the video can be found here.

Professional Development with Discovery Education, Steve Dembo, Dean Shareski, and Kathy Schrock

Sponsored post: Discovery Education and Wilkes University are long-term supporters of Free Technology for Teachers. I've worked with Discovery Education on a number of occasions. Discovery Education is staffed with fantastic people who have classroom experience.

Discovery Education and Wilkes University have once again joined forces to launch a new 12-credit program designed to prepare educators to meet the challenges and opportunities of the ever-changing digital classroom. Called the EDGE Letter of Endorsement, this program provides another pathway to expertise in emerging technologies and allows participating teachers to stay on the cutting edge of digital technology and instruction.

The EDGE program (Emerging trends and technologies, Digital transition, Graduate level, Endorsed skill set) is a unique professional development opportunity that combines a forward-thinking curriculum with existing and proven pedagogy.  The EDGE program's coursework focuses on exploring critical topics such as mobile learning, digital literacy, inquiry-based learning, and internet tools for teaching.

EDGE courses are offered fully online for added convenience and affordability, and access to Discovery Education¹s full suite of services, including Discovery Education Streaming, Discovery Education Streaming Plus, Discovery Education Science Techbook, and Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook are included in the tuition.

Want to learn more about the program?  On Monday, December 16th at 7pm ET, you can join Kathy Schrock, and course designers Dean Shareski and Steve Dembo, for a discussion about the changing state of professional development including the EDGE Letter of Endorsement.

Requirements for ongoing professional development are shifting within schools, and the options for learning are increasing rapidly. Between degree programs, conferences, workshops, and e-learning events, there have never been more options for extending your own professional growth. Schrock and her panel of experts will guide you through some of the best options out there, and share insights into the new courses that they have recently created.

If you’d like to attend the Hangout, you can RSVP here!

Need Google Product Use Tips? Visit Google Tips

Thanks to Peter Vogel sharing examples on Google+, this morning I learned about the Google's new Tips website. Google Tips is collection of Google product use examples and tips. You can select a specific product to learn about or scroll through the whole gallery of tips for all products. Most of the tips are things that I would categorize as "beginner" tips. Beginner tips are great for schools that are just getting started with Google Apps for Education, Chromebooks, and or Android tablets.

When you need a little more information about a Google product or you encounter an unexpected error, the Google Products Forum is a good place to search for help from other Google Apps users. For example, I turned to the Google Drive Forum to find out if other users were encountering unexpected errors with the Google Docs Template Gallery this morning.

PBS Diorama - Short Videos About Natural History and Life

Diorama is a new site from PBS station WNET in New York. Diorama features short videos, infographics, and pictures about the dioramas on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Diorama currently features information about moose and termites. New content is coming soon.

PixiClip - A Great New Tool for Creating and Narrating Drawings

PixiClip is a great new tool tool for creating, narrating, and sharing drawings. PixiClip provides a whiteboard space on which you can draw, upload images to mark-up, and type. While adding elements to your PixiClip whiteboard you can talk and or record a video of yourself talking. In fact, you can't use the whiteboard without at least recording your voice at the same time. Recordings can be shared via social media and or embedded into your blog posts.

PixiClip does not require you to create an account in order to use the service. However, if you want to save your recording to re-visit and edit you will need to create an account. Accounts are free and take less than thirty seconds to create.

Applications for Education 
PixiClip could be a great little tool for creating short flipped lessons. You could use the whiteboard to explain how to solve a math problem. You could also upload a map and draw on a map for a short geography lesson. Or you might have students use PixiClip to create short stories based on pictures they took during a field trip.

Check Out This Award-Winning Android App Developed By Students

(Cross-posted from one of my other blogs,

Yesterday, on the Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page I shared a post about MIT App Inventor 2. In response to that post Christina Winsor DiMicelli shared an app that her students at Hampstead Academy in New Hampshire built using MIT App Inventor.

Chow Checker was developed by students was developed by students at Hampstead Academy. The app was submitted to and won Verizon's Innovative App Challenge.

Chow Checker is a free Android app that anyone can use to search for foods and discover which allergens may be in them. Chow Checker users can create profiles of their own allergens to help them keep track of the foods that contain allergens that can affect them. You don't have to create a profile in order to use the app. You can simply enter a food's name or part of the name ("trail" instead of "trail mix" for example) and view the common allergens that it contains.

Applications for Education
Chow Checker is a fantastic example of a real-world project for students. If you would like your students to try a similar project, the MIT App Inventor is a fantastic tool. App Inventor does not require you to have any prior coding or app development skill in order to create a working Android app. MIT provides excellent support documentation and curriculum for classroom use for new users of App Inventor.