Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Grade Items in G Suite Side-by-Side With Otus Rubrics

Otus is a fantastic learning management system that is steadily growing in popularity in large part because of its easy of use and flexibility. Proof of that flexibility can be found in a forthcoming update that will let you view, comment, and grade any G Suite item (Docs, Slides, Sheets) on the same screen that you view a rubric in Otus. A short video of this feature be watched here.

Thursday at 1pm Central Time Otus is hosting a short, free webinar about how you can use Otus and G Suite together. Register here.

More about Otus:
Otus is designed to be a complete LMS (learning management system) for teachers. In addition to the gradebook you have options for sharing assignments and delivering quizzes directly to your students' inboxes. Otus provides teachers with a library of instructional resources (videos, texts, interactive review activities) that they can share with their students. Third-party resource providers are integrated into the Otus LMS. A couple of notable third party applications are Khan Academy and OpenEd. OpenEd offers thousands of math and language arts practice assessments aligned to Common Core standards. Otus is free for individual teachers to use. Otus can also be purchased for district-wide implementation which includes additional reporting tools for administrators.

The Kid's Guide To How the Internet Works

Our students have never known a world without the Internet. Before they use the Internet, it's a good idea to teach them what the Internet is and how it works.

The Kid's Guide To How the Internet Works is a free ebook designed for early elementary school students. The book is not comprehensive, but could be used as a supplement to a larger lesson about how the Internet works. The free ebook includes a few passages followed by review questions for students to answer. You can either print the ebook to give to students or have them view it and answer questions online.

Take a look at the videos from Planet Nutshell for more lessons about how the Internet works and Internet safety. Planet Nutshell produces short animated videos to explain products, services, and concepts. One of their series of videos is all about Internet safety for K-12 students. The series is called NetSafe and it has eighteen episodes covering topics like protecting personal information, responsible posting of pictures, and mobile location privacy. The videos are labeled with grade levels so that students in high school don't watch videos designed for K-3 students. A video for K-3 students and a video for high school students are embedded below.

Join Me Tomorrow for Practical Ed Tech Live

After taking last week off to deal with an injury and some pressing personal matters, I'm now ready to host another edition of Practical Ed Tech Live. Join me on my YouTube channel tomorrow at 3:30pm EDT. You can join me on my YouTube channel or on the Practical Ed Tech Facebook page. I'll answer your questions live as they appear. I'll also answer questions that are sent to me in advance via email or Facebook.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on alerts to be notified when the broadcast starts.

May's Most Popular Posts on Free Technology for Teachers

Good evening from Maine where we're having our first thunderstorm of the year on the eve of June. Earlier today I hosted Teaching History With Technology and I'm looking forward to teaching more professional development classes throughout the summer. You can learn more about those course offerings on this Practical Ed Tech page.

As I do every month at this time I have assembled a list of the most popular posts of the previous 30 days.

Here are the most popular posts in 2017:
1. 5 Handy Chrome Extensions for Teachers
2. Two Ways to Visually Show Classroom Noise
3. 6000+ Children's Books Available for Free
4. 5 More Overlooked Google Slides Features Students Should Know
5. 7 Ways to Use Google Keep in Your Classroom
6. Saying Goodbye to a Great Friend
7. 5 Tools Students Can Use to Create Music Online
8. Great Ideas for Using Scratch in Elementary Math
9. 10 Ways to Use Google Earth in Your Classroom
10. 5 Google Calendar Tips for New Users

Looking for a keynote or workshop? Click here to learn about my professional development services.

I am currently offering five online courses:
Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
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.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

Teaching History With Technology Begins Today

Now that summer is here in the northern hemisphere many of us have time for the things that we couldn't do during the school year. That's why summer can be a good time to take an online course. I'm offering a handful of online courses over the summer. One of those courses is Teaching History With Technology.

In Teaching History With Technology you will learn how to develop engaging and challenging learning activities through the use of tools like Google Earth and Maps, video production tools, primary source databases, and how to help your students become better researchers. This course features three interactive online meetings along with a discussion forum in which you can further interact with me and your classmates. The cost of the course is $97 including access to the live sessions, recordings of the webinars, handouts, and PD certificate. The next course begins today at 3pm EDT. Register here.