Friday, May 26, 2017

How to Create a Progress Chart in Google Sheets - From the Archive

Due to an injury and some pressing personal matters requiring my attention, posts for the rest of the week will be favorites from the archive. New posts will resume on Monday.

Flippity provides a handful of great Google Sheets templates. I've featured their Random Name Picker, Flashcard, and Jeopardy templates in the past. The latest Flippity template that I've tried is their Progress Indicator template. With that template you can create a progress chart that will update whenever you update the data in the chart. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how to use Flippity's Progress Indicator template.

10 Ways to Use Adobe Spark in School - From the Archive

Due to an injury and some pressing personal matters requiring my attention, posts for the rest of the week will be favorites from the archive. New posts will return on Monday.

On Tuesday morning I published a video about how to use Adobe's new creative suite called Adobe Spark. That video was focused on how to use the three parts of Adobe Spark; post, page, and video. If you haven't seen the video, it is embedded below.


Now that we know how the tools work, let's take a look at some ways that teachers and students can use Adobe Spark.

Post:
Post is the part of the Adobe Spark that lets you create graphics like posters, announcements, and Internet memes.
  • Students and teachers can create simple posters to print and post in their schools to announce club meetings, campaigns for class elections, or to post encouraging messages to students.
  • To help students understand and show that they understand what propaganda messages look like, I have had them create simple early 20th Century-style propaganda posters of their own. Adobe Spark has built-in Creative Commons search that can help students find pictures to use for those posters. Students can also upload pictures they've found in the public domain.
  • Create a meme-style graphic to share on your classroom, library, or school website. The graphic could be intended to encourage students and parents to remind each other of an upcoming school event. You could also create a meme to encourage students to continue reading over the summer. 
Video:
As the name implies, this is the Adobe Spark tool for creating videos. Videos are created by adding text and images to slides. You can record yourself talking over each slide. A library of free music is available to layer under your narration or you can use that music in lieu of narration.

  • Create a short flipped-lesson with Adobe Spark. The recording tool makes it easy to precisely record your narration over the slides in your lesson. 
  • Have your students create video lessons. The slide aspect of Adobe Spark's video tool lends itself to students creating short Ken Burns-style documentary videos. Have them use Spark's search tool to find images to use in their videos or have them use a place Flickr's The Commons to find historical images. I've had students make this style of video to tell the stories of people moving west across the United States in the 19th Century. 
  • This is the time of year for end-of-school assemblies and celebrations. Use Adobe Spark's video creation tool to make a video of highlights of the school year. Rather than narrating the video you can use music from Adobe Spark's library. 
Page:
Page is the tool for creating simple web pages to showcase pictures, posters, videos, text, and links. 
  • Create an event invitation page. Create a page that outlines the highlights of an upcoming school event like a fundraiser or open house night. Include images of past events, images of prizes, or include a video about the event. Should you need people to register for your event, include a link to a Google Form. (Learn how to use Google Forms).
  • Create a digital portfolio. Spark pages provide a great format for digital portfolios. Students can organize their pages into sections to showcase videos they've made, documents they've written, and their reflections on what they've learned. 
  • Make a multimedia timeline. While it wasn't designed specifically for making timelines, Spark Page's formatting does lend itself to timelines. Ask your students to research a series of events, find media representative of those events, caption the events and media with dates, and then place them into the proper order.
  • Write an image-based story. Students can write a story about themselves by using pictures they've taken placed into a Spark Page. Another way to think about image-based stories is to have students search for images and use them as writing prompts. Ask them to choose five pictures and write a story that connects the images. 

Adobe Spark works in your web browser including on Chromebooks. Adobe Spark is also available as a series of iPad apps for Page, Video, and Post. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Practical Ed Tech Handbook 2017 - From the Archive

Due to an injury and some pressing personal matters requiring my attention, posts for the rest of the week will be favorites from the archive.

In 2015 and 2016 I published a 30 page PDF that I called the Practical Ed Tech Handbook. Those have been accessed more than 100,000 times. Today, I revised the Practical Ed Tech Handbook for 2017. Within the pages of the 30 page document you will find short reviews of my favorite tools for creating videos, the best tools communicating with parents including blogging and text messaging, and my favorite options for creating digital portfolios. The Practical Ed Tech Handbook also includes reviews of tools for recording and publishing audio files and tools for conducting formative assessments. Finally, the Practical Ed Tech Handbook includes resources for teaching digital citizenship and for helping students improve their web search skills.

The free Practical Ed Tech Handbook can be downloaded here or through the display embedded below.


The file is hosted on Box.com. If your school blocks Box.com you won't be able to see the embedded display. 

7 Good Tools for Creating Timelines - From the Archive

Due to an injury and some pressing personal matters requiring my attention, posts for the rest of the week will be favorites from the archive.

Timeline creation is a go-to project for many history teachers. When I made timelines as a student and in my first year or two of teaching, timelines were made on paper. Today, there are better ways to have students create timelines. In their web browsers and in stand-alone iPad and Android apps students can create multimedia timelines. In the chart embedded below I showcase the key features of seven multimedia timeline creation tools.



Join Teaching History With Technology to learn more about these tools including how to use my favorite timeline tools in the chart.

The Origin of Memorial Day

Due to an injury and some pressing personal matters requiring my attention, posts for the rest of the week will be favorites from the archive.

Memorial Day is on Monday. Here are a couple of quick resources that you may want to include in a lesson about Memorial Day.

The Meaning of Memorial Day is a two minute video covering the origin of the holiday in the United States. The video is embedded below.



The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers the following video overview of the history of Memorial Day.


For more resources for teaching about Memorial Day, visit Larry Ferlazzo's list of resources.