Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why We Feel Attached to Our Stuff - A TED-Ed Lesson

A few years ago I realized that somewhere along the line I started to collect coffee mugs. I never set out to collect coffee mugs, it just kind of happened. Now I have a few favorite mugs that I won't part with even as I start packing my house (I sold it last month) and have to whittle down my collection. Why do I feel connected to these coffee mugs when plenty of others would hold my morning brew just as well? The answer to that question can be found in the TED-Ed lesson Why Are We So Attached To Our Things?

In this lesson students can learn how Piaget discovered that our feelings of attachment to objects happens at an early age. Students will also learn about the role that culture plays in forming attachments to objects. The video is embedded below and the complete lesson can be found here.

How to Use Pixiclip to Create Instructional Videos

Pixiclip is a free tool for creating simple instructional videos. I featured it in the Practical Ed Tech newsletter a couple of weeks ago and a handful of people replied to me with questions about it. To answer those questions I recorded the video that is embedded below.

A few things to note about Pixiclip before you start using it. First, it seems to have some problems recording correctly on Surface Pro tablets. Second, make sure that you enable access to your computer's microphone before you start recording or you will have to re-record. Third, there is not an option to edit your video within Pixiclip.

Applications for Education
Pixiclip could be a good tool to use to create short instructional videos to share with your students. I like that it has a five minute time limit. Any whiteboard-style instructional video is likely to becoming boring after five minutes. It's better to have three short videos than one long video.

Your students can use Pixiclip to create videos to demonstrate that they understand how to solve a math problem. Have them explain the process while showing it on the screen. They can then share the links to their videos with you through a number of channels including Google Classroom.

Pixiclip is the tenth tool that I'm adding to my list of good tools for creating videos on Chromebooks.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Launching Innovation in Schools - An edX Course

Launching Innovation in Schools is a free edX course that is starting next week. It grabbed my attention because one of the instructors is Dr. Justin Reich who I had the opportunity to work with six summers ago at an EdTechTeacher.org event. This six week course is designed for teacher-leaders and school administrators. The course is designed to help you launch an instructional improvement initiative in your school. An emphasis is placed on fostering collaboration and building partnerships with stakeholders in your school. Learn more about the course in the introductory video below.

How to Quickly Access Ten Google Sheets Templates for Teachers

Flippity is a great resource for G Suite users that I have been sharing with readers for a couple of years now. Flippity provides teachers with handy Google Sheets templates for creating things like quiz games, audio flashcards, and progress trackers. Recently, Flippity released a Google Sheets Add-on that makes all of their templates available with just a couple of clicks in any of your Google Sheets. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to install and use Flippity's Google Sheets Add-on.

Thanks to Eileen Fernandez-Parker for the inspiration for this post.

Track Progress Toward Goals With This Google Sheets Template

This morning I received an email from a subscriber to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter. She had read my tip of the week about using Google Keep to set goal reminders, but she needed something that would be easier to manage with a large group of students. My suggestion was to try Flippity's Progress Indicator template for Google Sheets. The template makes it easy to create a progress chart that will update whenever you update the data in your spreadsheet. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use Flippity's Progress Indicator template.