Friday, March 20, 2015

Two Online Courses Starting Next Week - Graduate Credit Available

I have two Practical Ed Tech courses starting next week. On Monday evening we will start Getting Going With GAFE. On Tuesday evening we will start Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders. Through my partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute you can earn three graduate credits for each course.

More about Getting Going With GAFE:
Is your school transitioning to Google Apps for Education? If so, this course offers everything you need to know to take advantage of the great things that GAFE offers to teachers and students. Getting Going With GAFE is a Practical Ed Tech webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. Getting Going With  GAFE is a five week course covering everything you need to know to to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice.

Getting Going With GAFE costs $147. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments.

Course dates:
Spring section 1: March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20 - all classes meet at 7pm ET.

More about Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders:
Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is designed to help teachers and school leaders develop an understanding of the many ways they can use blogs and social media (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and more) to enhance communication between school and home. Blogs and Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders is a five week webinar series during which teachers and school administrators will learn the how to choose the best blogging platform for their situations, how to set-up a blog for classroom and school-wide use, and learn about strategies on how to manage blogs in classroom and school-wide settings. Participants will also learn how to avoid the mistakes that often lead to blogging endeavors being abandoned. After establishing blogs we’ll jump into using social networks like Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to reach out to parents, students, and other members of school communities.

This course costs $147. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments.

Course dates:
Spring section: March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21st. - all classes meet at 7pm ET.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to Sign Documents That Have Been Emailed to You Without Printing Them

In the course of the school year there are plenty of documents that we all have to sign for one reason or another. You could print those documents, sign them, then scan them. Or you could use HelloSign to sign them within your web browser and never have to print or scan them at all. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use HelloSign.

In addition to the method I featured in the video above you can also use HelloSign's Chrome app, Gmail plug-in, iPad app, or Android app.

Solar Eclipse Explained by SciShow Kids

Tomorrow (later today depending on where you live) there will be a solar eclipse over Europe, parts of Asia, and parts of Africa. SciShow Kids has produced a video explanation of solar eclipses. The video is the fifth on the new SciShow Kids YouTube channel. The channel is an off-shoot of the popular SciShow produced by Hank Green.

The Price of Freedom - A Visual History of American Conflicts

The Price of Freedom is a multimedia timeline of history of American wars. The timeline is hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Students navigate the timeline by selecting one of the conflicts highlighted on the timeline. After making a selection students are sent to an online exhibit that features a timeline of that conflict. Within the timeline of each conflict students will find the causes and outcomes of the conflict. Short videos, images, and primary source documents are included throughout the Price of Freedom timeline.

Applications for Education
The Price of Freedom timeline is the type of resource that I like to use as the starting place for a research assignment. After reviewing the information in the timelines I would have students try to fill in the gaps by finding their own resources. A printable version of the timeline's content is available. The printable version might make it a little easier for students to keep track of the information presented in the timeline.

Book Preview - Deeper Learning Through Technology

Ken Halla writes the US History Educators Blog. I've been following that blog for years so when Ken had his first book published I agreed to share the news here. Ken's book preview is posted below. On a related note, Ken and I are planning to offer an online course together this summer.

For the better part of 14 months I (Ken Halla) have devoted a great deal of time to my new book Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction. If you follow my blogs on content, pedagogy and technology (US history, economics, government and world history) you know that I have definite research based beliefs to change that needs to occur in our classrooms. My book discusses these needs, outline the technology needed for higher level thinking and for more personalized learning and then gives you step by step instructions for how to use it all. Some of the topics include:

  • How to expand your PLC at school to include a digital one using Twitter (both people to follow and hashtags), blogs, websites, etc and I give you lots and lots of examples you can use.
  • How to integrate Google Drive in your classroom and more importantly how to use it to help “return” work more quickly and how to use it for mastery learning.
  • How and why to flip your classroom and how to make sure your students are watching the videos.
  • How to change your classroom after the flipping is done using what I call “interactive” which allow for higher level thinking.
  • How to give your students more individual attention and even use free tests online tests to gauge their ability.

There is a lot more, but my favorite part of the book is that after giving you reasons why and then showing you how, I give you actual examples of how each is being implemented in the classroom. To ensure you follow through I give you and your PLC five action items to start doing in each chapter so you can change your classroom.

If you are interested, you can buy individual copies from Amazon or get group discounts by going straight to Corwin.