Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Learn How to Create CK-12 FlexBooks In a Free Summer Course

Yesterday, I shared the news that CK-12 is once again running a summer math and science program for students. This evening I learned that CK-12 is offering a summer program for teachers too.

CK-12's Jumpstart Your Curriculum is a six part course for teachers who want to learn how to create great CK-12 FlexBooks. FlexBooks are digital textbooks that you create and customize to meet the specific needs of your classroom. The course includes the option to join a community of other FlexBook creators and collaborate with them. The image below outlines the six parts of the course which begins on June 20th.

You can register now for CK-12 Jumpstart Your Curriculum. The registration process takes less than minute and is completely free.

ReadWorks Publishes Summer Reading Packs for K-12

ReadWorks has just released a new set of reading packs designed to help you keep your students reading through the summer. Like all ReadWorks units the articles within the reading packs are free to download and print. The ReadWorks Summer Reading Packs are arranged by grade level. Within each grade level you will find ten articles that are accompanied by lexile scores. You can download individual articles or print all of the articles in a grade level as one packet.

Applications for Education
The reading packs can provide you with some good material to send home with your students this summer. You can supplement the packs by adding more content from the ReadWorks library. With a free ReadWorks account you can search the library for lessons and reading passages by grade level, lexile score, reading skill, subject area, and text type (fiction or non-fiction). In your ReadWorks account you can create digital binders of the lesson plans and reading passages that you want to use.

How to Add Multimedia Elements to Buncee Slides

Last week I wrote a comparison of adding media to Buncee slides and adding media to Google Slides. Over the weekend a couple of people emailed me for more information about how to add media to Buncee slides. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to add animations and videos to Buncee slides.


Disclosure: Buncee is a client of MindRocket Media Group. I have a financial interest in MindRocket Media Group.

Monday, May 9, 2016

CK-12 Brainflex is Back for 2016 - Keep Math Skills Sharp This Summer

Last year the CK-12 Foundation introduced the CK-12 Brainflex Summer Challenge. The challenge is a free program that students can use to keep their math and science skills sharp through the summer while also learning some new knowledge and gaining new skills. Students register for the program then track their skills review through the CK-12 Brainflex website. The CK-12 Summer Challenge is self-paced and students choose the subjects that they want to review.

Applications for Education
Teachers can send invitations to students to participate in the CK-12 Summer Challenge. With those invitations teachers can include suggestions for subjects to review. CK-12 also provides a template for a letter to send home to parents with suggestions on subjects for their children to review over the summer. That letter could be sent to the parents of the students moving on from your classroom this summer or to the parents of the students you're expecting to see in the fall.

How to Create Recordings of Your iPad's Screen

This week's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week was about how to create screencast videos on an Android device. Shortly after posting that tip I had some people ask how to create a screencast of an iPad screen. There are a couple of ways that you can create a screencast video of your iPad's screen.

Method 1 - If you have a Mac computer:
Connect your iPad to your Mac by using the Lightning cable (the cable that came with your iPad). Then open QuickTime on your Mac. Next select "new movie recording" from the QuickTime menu. You can then choose the name of your iPad and click record. When you're done recording your new screencast will save to your computer as a video file that you can then edit in iMovie if you want to cut out portions of it or lay a music track under your narration.

Method 2 - If you have a Windows computer:
You will need a third-party service that allows you to mirror your iPad to the screen of your Windows computer. Air Server is the service that I recommend for mirroring an iPad to a Windows computer. Air Server includes a recording tool that  you can use to make a screencast video of your iPad's screen. With Air Server running you can just tap record and instantly start capturing your screen and your narration. The video will save on your Windows computer where you can then edit it and or upload it to your favorite video hosting service.

Whiteboard videos:
If you don't need to record your entire iPad screen and just want to make a whiteboard video there are plenty of options available in the App Store. ShowMe and Educreations are two of the most popular apps for that purpose.

Learn how to do things like this and many more practical ed tech tips at the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp in July. Just three tickets are left.