Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to Schedule Posts in Blogger and Kidblog

The option to schedule blog posts is one that it often overlooked and underutilized by teachers. Scheduling posts allows you to time your posts to appear exactly when you want students to see them for the first time. In the video below I give the example of scheduling my end-of-day student survey to appear at 3:15pm. Scheduling posts is a great option for those who don't think that they have time to write a blog post every day.  You can  take advantage of scheduling by writing posts in blocks and then spreading them throughout the week.


Learn more Blogger and Kidblog tips and tricks along with strategies for using blogs in your classroom in my Practical Ed Tech course, Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders.

Help Students Explore the U.S. Constitution With This Interactive Site

The Constitution Center's website is a great resources for U.S. History teachers that I learned about from Ken Halla. The Constitution Center's website features the U.S. Constitution divided into easily searchable sections. From the main page you can select and jump to a specific article or amendment. What I really like about the site is that you can choose an issue like privacy, civil rights, or health care and see how those issues are connected to the Constitution.

Applications for Education
The Constitution Center offers an extensive list of lesson plans for each of the Constitution's articles and amendments. Select an article or amendment then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the lesson plans. Alternatively, you can find all of the lesson plans listed here.

If you find this resource useful, consider participating in the course Teaching History on the Web that Ken and I will be teaching later this month. 

The NY Times Replica Edition - Free for K-12 Classrooms

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo I just learned that The New York Times provides K-12 classrooms (in the U.S.) with free subscriptions to the Replica Edition NY Times. The Replica Edition is different from NYTimes.com as it does not offer all of additional features of NYTimes.com. The Replica Edition contains all of the articles found in the daily editions of The New York Times.

With the free subscription to The New York Times Replica Edition you can read and search the last 30 days of newspapers, listen to the articles, and print the articles. Click here to learn more and to apply for the free subscription.

Kaizena Adds Built-in Notifications for Voice Comments on Google Docs and Presentations

Kaizena is a fantastic tool for adding voice comments to Google Documents and Google Presentations. The latest update to Kaizena streamlines feedback notifications.

Beginning today whenever a student responds to or acts upon your feedback, you will receive a notification in your Kaizena dashboard. You will also receive an email (you can turn off the email option). Along with new notifications for you, students now receive notifications when you post new feedback for them.

Kaizena notifications are now integrated into the comments section of Google Documents and Google Presentations. When you leave feedback for students through Kaizena a link to that voice comment is added to the comments section of the document or presentation.

Applications for Education
To learn more about how you can use Kaizena in your classroom, check out this great post from Greg Kulowiec.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Five Good Resources for Teaching Digital Citizenship to Middle School and High School Students

In response to yesterday's post about digital citizenship lesson materials for elementary school students I received requests for middle school and high school resources. Here are five of my favorite resources for teaching digital safety and digital citizenship to middle and high school students.

Cyber Streetwise is a site developed for the purpose of sharing tips and techniques for protecting your identity and your electronic devices. The site is set-up as digital street that you walk along to learn about protecting your electronic devices, your identity, and digital footprint. Much of the content is geared toward businesses, but there is some good content for students and teachers too. Some of the content that applies to students and teachers includes crafting strong passwords, protecting mobile devices from malware, and responsible use of social media. Much of what you'll find through Cyber Streetwise is hosted on other sites, but the Streetwise setting provides a good way to find that information in one place.

A Thin Line is a digital safety education resource produced by MTV in collaboration with other media partners. The purpose of the site is to educate teenagers and young adults about the possible repercussions of their digital activities. A Thin Line offers a series of fact sheets about topics like sexting, digital spying, and excessive text messaging and instant messaging. A Thin Line gives students advice on how to recognize those behaviors, the dangers of those behaviors, and how to protect your digital identity. Students can also take a short quiz to practice identifying risky digital behaviors.

Own Your Space is a free ebook designed to educate tweens and teens about protecting themselves and their stuff online. This ebook isn't a fluffy, general overview book. Each chapter goes into great detail explaining the technical threats that students' computers face online as well as the personal threats to data that students can face online. For example, in the first chapter students learn about different types of malware and the importance of installing security patches to prevent malware infections. The fourteenth chapter explains the differences between secured and unsecured wireless networks, the potential dangers of an unsecured network, and how to lock-down a network.

Google has a good set of lesson plans on digital citizenship and digital literacy that middle school teachers should take a look at. The lesson plans are divided into three sections; becoming a digital sleuth, managing digital footprints, and identifying online tricks and scams. These digital citizenship lessons are part of Google's Good to Know site. Good to Know is an excellent site on which you can find good and clear explanations of web basics. The detailed lesson plans can be saved in your Google Drive account. Even if you don't use the entire lessons as they were written, they're still worth saving in Google Drive to refer to as you build your own digital citizenship lesson plans.

ThinkB4U is a series of web safety videos and tutorials from Google and its partners. Using the "choose your own adventure" aspect of YouTube video editing, ThinkB4U offers interactive videos to educate viewers about things like protecting online reputations, avoiding scams, research and critical thinking, and responsible text messaging. ThinkB4U is divided into three basic sections; students, parents, and educators. Each section addresses nine different topics related to safe and responsible use of the Internet and cell phones. The sections include short videos about the topics, a short written lesson, and some interactive games on the topics of responsible use of the Internet and of cell phones. The Educators' section of ThinkB4U offers lesson plans from Common Sense Media and the National Consumer League. There are lesson plans designed for elementary school, middle school, and high school use.