Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Week in Review - It's About Being Connected

Good evening from an airplane somewhere over Massachusetts. I'm currently flying home from an awesome conference in Delaware. On Friday afternoon I spent some time with teachers in the Colonial School district and I was impressed by how connected and collaborative they are. Then I spent today with nearly 300 other teachers at the Colonial Tech Conference who were just as connected through Twitter, Voxer, and other networks. As this is Connected Educator Month, it was great to see so many connected teachers in one place.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Write Music in Google Documents
2. Create a Thematic Picture Story On Thematic
3. Depression Quest - An Interactive Lesson About Depression
4. Three Examples of Using Instagram in K-12 Settings
5. How to Create Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional People, Places, and Events
6. How to Use Padlet - My Most Popular Tutorial Video
7. Turn-o-Phrase - A Fun Way to Learn Colloquial Phrases

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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.
HelloTalk is a mobile community for learning a new language.
MasteryConnect offers a series of apps for identifying standards. 
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.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers.
PortfolioGen is a professional portfolio tool for teachers.  
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

Tools & Strategies for Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration

The third presentation that I gave today at the Colonial Tech Conference was titled Discovery, Discussion, and Demonstration. For this short presentation I did not use slides. Instead, I demonstrated a handful of my favorite educational technology tools and strategies for using them. Here's what I shared:

We looked at using interesting images as the basis of search challenges that we give to students. The idea here being to get students to consider information visible to them before starting to search. We then looked at tools that students (and some teachers) overlook when conducting searches. Those tools were Google Scholar, Google Books, and searching by file type and domain.

In this section we tried out Dotstorming, Padlet, and Formative.

On Dotstorming you can create a space for people to post digital sticky notes. Those notes can contain text and or images. That part of Dotstorming is just like Padlet. What makes Dotstorming different is that once the notes are posted, you can have people vote for their favorite notes. As the creator of a Dotstorming space you can restrict the number of votes that each person can cast. For example, you could say that each person gets two votes and once those votes are cast they're prevented from casting any more votes. After the voting is completed, you can sort the notes according to the number of votes they received.

Formative is a tool for gathering feedback from students in real-time. One of the best features of Formative is the option to have students sketch responses to questions. They can sketch on their tablets, Chromebooks, or laptops and submit those sketches to you in realtime. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how the draw responses function works in Formative.

Padlet is a tool that I've been recommending for years. You can use it as a micro-blogging platform, as an exit ticket tool, as a brainstorming space, or as a KWL chart. Learn all about Padlet in the videos below.

In this section we looked at the idea of using video blog entries. We also looked at the digital portfolio tool, SeeSaw.

Slides from Colonial Tech Conference #techcsd #delachat

Today, I had the privilege of speaking to an enthusiastic group of nearly 300 educators at the Colonial Tech Conference in New Castle, Delaware. If you live in that area, put the conference on your PD schedule for next fall.  A bunch of people asked me to share the slides that I used in a couple of my presentations. Those slides are embedded below.

How to Add Annotations to YouTube Videos

This morning at the Colonial Tech Conference in New Castle, Delaware I gave a short presentation on video projects for students. Judging by the audience's feedback, one of the most popular elements of the presentation was a demonstration on how to use YouTube's video annotation tool to create a choose-your-own-adventure series of videos. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to do that.

The following videos provide a great example of using annotations to create a choose-your-own-adventure video story for students.

What Causes Chapped Lips - A Short Science Lesson

The temperature is supposed to dip well below freezing at my house tonight. There is even the possibility of snow flurries in the forecast. I welcome the cold and snow because I like to ski. I'm not so crazy about the chapped lips that I get every winter. Perhaps you and your students feel the same way.

What causes chapped lips? What can you do to prevent your lips from chapping, besides using lip balm? The answers to those questions and more are found in a new Brain Stuff video titled What Causes Chapped Lips? The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
I appreciate videos like this one because they address questions that many students are naturally curious about. This video can be brought into part of a larger health lesson on the importance of hydration.