Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Register Early and Save $75 on Two Great Summer PD Events

This summer I will once again be hosting professional development events in Maine. This summer I will host the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp on July 11-12, 2016 and the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp on July 18-19, 2016.

Both events are hands-on explorations of how to use free technology tools in your classroom. These two day workshops are based on my framework for using technology to help students discover new information, discuss their ideas, and demonstrate their knowledge. Registration in each event is limited to 25 participants to ensure that every participant gets the attention he or she deserves. A healthy breakfast and lunch is included on both days.

The Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp on July 11th and 12th is for people who work in schools that have BYOD programs and 1:1 laptop programs (Mac or Windows), iPads, Android tablets, Windows tablets, or who have shared computers in a classroom or lab setting. Click here for registration information.

The Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp on July 18th and 19th is for people who work in schools that have 1:1 Chromebook programs or are interested in learning more about Chromebooks in education. This two day event is very similar to the BYOD event but is tailored to address the unique aspects of teaching with Chromebooks. As you might expect, there will be quite a bit of attention given to using Google Apps in the classroom. Click here for registration information.

Register early and save!
Register for either event by April 30th and you will save $50 compared to standard registration. If you are subscribed to the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter you can take an additional $25 discount when you register online by using the discount code "subscriber."

Quickly Dictate Notes in Multiple Languages on Dictation.io

Dictation.io is a good tool to add to yesterday's list of free tools for dictating notes. On Dictation.io you can simply click "start dictation" then start having your voice transcribed into a text document. No registration is required in order to use Dictation.io. More than two dozen languages are support on Dictation.io. The video embedded below provides a demonstration of Dictation.io.

Applications for Education
Dictation.io doesn't require students to register in order to use it. It also supports more than two dozen languages. Those two aspects of Dictation.io make it accessible to students who don't have Google Docs accounts and to those who don't speak English as their first language.

How to Make Copies of Google Docs That Aren't Directly Shared With You

On a fairly regular basis I share charts and other digital hand-outs that I have created in Google Documents. For example, I recently shared this chart comparing student blogging tools and this chart comparing multimedia timeline creation tools. When I share those charts I publish them as Google Documents marked as "view only." If you want to make copies of the charts you can do so by following the steps outlined in the short video embedded below.

On a related note, you can search for any publicly shared Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets by following the steps outlined in the video below.

Organize Your Projects with Trello

This is a guest post from Kate Wilson (@katewilson13) of EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

Getting and staying organized as an individual varies with each person’s learning style. Therefore, when it comes to getting a group of people to get organized to accomplish a project, finding the right organizational system can sometimes be the biggest struggle to accomplish the end goal. To cut down on the number of emails, meetings, and documents, you could use Trello, a free web-based tool and app. Trello is a collaborative, organizational tool that allows many people to view, add, edit, and track the multiple tasks that make up a project.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 11.10.05 AM
Trello requires a free account or just log in with your Google Account. There is a Trello Gold version that allows for bigger attachments and custom backgrounds, but the free version is just as capable. Trello itself is organized into Boards, Columns, and Cards. A Board is like an infinitely sized bulletin board that can be Private, Public, or Shared with Organizations. Organizations are groups you can set up within Trello with Members, or other Trello users, much like a Google Drive domain.

Each Board contains as many Columns you like, and they can be named differently such as “To Do”, “In Progress,” and “Done.” Cards are like the Post-Its all over your desk. You can add a card to any column, and drag and drop them between columns. Cards can have titles, descriptions, checklists, comments, categories, tags, attachments, and links to Google Drive or Dropbox. You can also assign members to cards as a way to keep track of who needs to be responsible for each aspect of a project.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 11.10.20 AM

For example, let’s say you that are the Yearbook advisor. You need a tool to get all of your student’s organized and to track the progress of the publication. Using Trello, create an Organization and add each yearbook staffer as a Member. Then, create a board for your Organization with columns for “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Done.” The Cards could be one for each page or section like “Girl’s Soccer” or “Honors Society.” Assign each card a custom label such as Sports, Seniors, or Clubs, and a Member to be in charge of that section. In an easy visual, as the advisor, you can have a snapshot of the status and activity of the Yearbook.

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The biggest challenge for any new organizational system is getting everyone to use the system. However, Trello is an intuitive tool that can be used on an iPad, iPhone, or the Web. Users can subscribe to receive email updates for specific cards. Therefore, it’s easy to stay connected to the project’s progress. Trello can cut down on the number of emails and hours in meetings, therefore increasing productive working time.

Want to learn more? EdTechTeacher will be offering over 18 different workshops in 7 cities this summer.

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