Thursday, March 2, 2017

Brainstorming Warm-Up Exercises

On Wednesday morning I facilitated a workshop about blogging. One of the activities that we did was in that workshop was to brainstorm purposes and topics for blog posts. Doing that activity was based in part on a series of brainstorming warm-up activities that I learned about from an Ethos 3 presentation many years ago. That presentation is embedded below.

An explanation of the activities in the presentation above can be found here.

A comparison of online brainstorming tools can be found here.

Best of the Web 2017

This afternoon at the NCTIES conference I gave my popular best of the web presentation to a crowded ballroom full of enthusiastic teachers. The slides from the presentation are embedded below.

Come to the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp to learn how to use these tools in your classroom.

How to Insert Google Keep Notes Into Google Docs

A couple of days ago Google announced that Google Keep is becoming a core product of G Suite. With that announcement came a new integration of Google Keep into Google Docs. You can now insert your Google Keep notes and bookmarks into your Google Documents. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to insert Google Keep notes into Google Documents.

At the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp you can learn more about how to use Google Keep and Google Docs in your classroom. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Planning Your Video Project - A Guide for Students

Earlier today I published Rushton Hurley's blog post about using video to capture your current students' knowledge to be shared with your future students. Rushton included a sample video from a student explaining and illustrating onomatopoeia. While the final video is short, creating a good video requires planning. Over the years I've refined video planning process that I use with students. Lately, I've settled on the template that can be seen here as a Google Doc or as embedded below as a PDF. Feel free to download the PDF to use with your own students.

You will notice that this template has some checkpoints in it. Those checkpoints serve as places for me to give students feedback, make sure they're on track, and to have students give thought to their videos before using the video editing tools. Having a good plan in place ultimately makes completing the final editing of videos a more efficient process for students.

Developing video projects and creating videos will be one of the featured areas at the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp and the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp this summer. 

Collecting Students' Insights

This is a guest post from Rushton Hurley. He is the founder of Next Vista for Learning and the author of Making Your School Something Special.

What if once or twice every year your students made short videos that could help everyone in class prepare for their exams? What if these videos became a collection that students in future classes could use to become more comfortable with challenging ideas?

One high school English Language Arts teacher in San Jose, California, did just that by having students enter a video contest with an insight on some topic they'd covered over the year.

The videos cover writing, Hamlet, Frankenstein, poetry, word use, and much more. Here is an example of a video exploring the idea of onomatopoeia:

Demonstrating Onomatopoeia

This is one of over 130 videos her students have created which were posted to their collection at Find the full set here. If you teach high school English, hopefully it's a collection that will be useful to you and your students, too!

If interested in making this happen with your students, the folks at Next Vista for Learning can help. Contact them here.

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