Sunday, December 30, 2012

Create Videos Online With WeVideo for Google Drive

This week I'm taking a few days off to ski, play with my dogs, visit with friends and family, and generally recharge my batteries. If you're on vacation this week too, I hope that you're having a great vacation. While I'm away I'm rerunning the most popular posts of the year. The selections are based on pageviews during 2012.

For the last six months I've been sharing WeVideo with anyone who has come to me searching for a good online video creation tool. I live WeVideo because it is cloud-based and collaborative. They released an Android app in March that makes mobile, collaborative video editing possible. Now they have a Google Drive app too. The WeVideo Google Drive app allows you to save all of your video projects in your Google Drive account. Learn more about it in the video below.

Web Search Lesson Plans from Google

This week I'm taking a few days off to ski, play with my dogs, visit with friends and family, and generally recharge my batteries. If you're on vacation this week too, I hope that you're having a great vacation. While I'm away I'm rerunning the most popular posts of the year. The selections are based on pageviews during 2012.

One of the big stories shared all over Twitter this week was Google's updated Search Education pages. I didn't get to check it out until this morning and I have to say that I am impressed with what the new pages offer. There are fifteen lesson plans aligned to ISTE NETS, Common Core, and American Association of School Librarians standards. The lesson plans are arranged according to skill level in five categories. Those categories are picking search terms, understanding results, narrowing results, searching for evidence, and evaluating credibility of sources.

Google's new search education promotional video is embedded below.


Applications for Education
Being able to use Google (and other search engines) effectively is a skill that all students need to develop as early as possible. The lesson plans available on Google Search Education might not fit every classroom situation, but at the very least they provide a great framework for teaching search strategies and evaluating information found on the web.

Nine Shel Silverstein Stories Animated

This week I'm taking a few days off to ski, play with my dogs, visit with friends and family, and generally recharge my batteries. If you're on vacation this week too, I hope that you're having a great vacation. While I'm away I'm rerunning the most popular posts of the year. The selections are based on pageviews during 2012.

Last year I shared an animated video of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Yesterday, through an Open Culture post, I discovered eight more short animated versions of Shel Silverstein's works. The videos can be found on the Shel Silverstein Books channel on YouTube. I've embedded Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too! below.


Provide Tech Help Remotely Through Chrome Remote Desktop

This week I'm taking a few days off to ski, play with my dogs, visit with friends and family, and generally recharge my batteries. If you're on vacation this week too, I hope that you're having a great vacation. While I'm away I'm rerunning the most popular posts of the year. The selections are based on pageviews during 2012.

Yesterday, I received an email with a question about how to remotely help students and teachers with the Chrome browser and with Chromebooks. Almost as if he was reading my mind, later in the day Fred Delvental shared a bookmark for the Chrome Remote Desktop App. Using the Chrome Remote Desktop App (still in beta) you can grant access to your computer to another person who also has the Chrome Remote Desktop App installed.

If you want to share your desktop just click "share now" and Chrome Remote Desktop will generate an access code to give to the person who will access your computer.

To access and control another person's computer you just need to enter the access code that they provide to you.

Applications for Education
The Chrome Remote Desktop app could be very helpful in aiding teachers and students when they get stuck trying to accomplish a task on their computers.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Three Questions to Consider Before Flipping Your Classroom

This week I'm taking a few days off to ski, play with my dogs, visit with friends and family, and generally recharge my batteries. If you're on vacation this week too, I hope that you're having a great vacation. While I'm away I'm rerunning the most popular posts of the year. The selections are based on pageviews during 2012.

Pedro Moura Pinheiro on Flickr
It seems like you can't open an education periodical these days without finding an article espousing the wonders of flipping the classroom. Like most initiatives in schools, flipping the classroom does have merit in the right situation. But also like most initiatives it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are three questions that I have to ask before flipping a classroom.

1. Do the majority of your students complete their homework assignments on time on a consistent basis? If not, there may be a larger issue of student engagement and motivation to investigate. Furthermore, if you flip the classroom and students come to class having not watched the video lessons, how do you spend your classroom time the next day? Do you let students watch the videos in class? Do you reteach the lesson that they should have watched for homework?

2. Do all of your students have access to the web at home? If not, how are you going to address that? Will you distribute copies of your video files to students before they leave your classroom? Do you all of your students have computers or tablets to use at home? If the answer is "no" to one or all of these questions, are you setting up an inequitable learning environment?

3. Do you have time to create quality videos? If not, will you create some and then source the rest of from the web?

For the record, I'm not against flipping the classroom in the right situation. I just don't want to rush into a model that might not be the best solution for all situations.