Thursday, June 1, 2017

Practical Ed Tech Live - Episode 7

Earlier today I hosted the seventh episode of Practical Ed Tech Live. In today's episode I answered five questions from readers and put out a call for help with one question. The video of today's episode of Practical Ed Tech Live is embedded below. The list of questions answered in the episode can be seen here.

12 Lessons About Inventions That Kind of Changed the World

TED-Ed has a series of twelve video lessons called Moments of Vision. The videos in the series teach short lessons about inventions that may or may not have changed the world. For example, the invention of the stethoscope did change health care. The invention of the Popsicle, however, just makes summer days a little more enjoyable. Those are just two of the twelve inventions featured in TED-Ed's Moments of Vision series.

Ask your students to look around their homes or around your school for everyday items that many of us use. Then send them off to research and present the origins of those everyday items. Here are two items that come to mind as I look at my desk; screw top jars and tabs on soda pop cans.

Try Kami for Annotating PDFs

This afternoon during Practical Ed Tech Live I answered a request for a tool that can be used to annotate PDFs. One of the suggestions that I made was to try Kami.

Kami is a tool that you can use to draw, type, and highlight on PDFs. You can import PDFs into Kami from your Google Drive or you can import them from your desktop. Kami can be integrated with Google Classroom to make it easy to share annotated PDFs with your students and for them to share with you.

Learn how to get started with Kami by watching one of the tutorials embedded below.

Applications for Education
Kami could be used by students to annotate historical documents that have been scanned and saved as PDFs. For example, many of the featured daily documents from the U.S. National Archives are PDFs.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Grade Items in G Suite Side-by-Side With Otus Rubrics

Otus is a fantastic learning management system that is steadily growing in popularity in large part because of its easy of use and flexibility. Proof of that flexibility can be found in a forthcoming update that will let you view, comment, and grade any G Suite item (Docs, Slides, Sheets) on the same screen that you view a rubric in Otus. A short video of this feature be watched here.

Thursday at 1pm Central Time Otus is hosting a short, free webinar about how you can use Otus and G Suite together. Register here.

More about Otus:
Otus is designed to be a complete LMS (learning management system) for teachers. In addition to the gradebook you have options for sharing assignments and delivering quizzes directly to your students' inboxes. Otus provides teachers with a library of instructional resources (videos, texts, interactive review activities) that they can share with their students. Third-party resource providers are integrated into the Otus LMS. A couple of notable third party applications are Khan Academy and OpenEd. OpenEd offers thousands of math and language arts practice assessments aligned to Common Core standards. Otus is free for individual teachers to use. Otus can also be purchased for district-wide implementation which includes additional reporting tools for administrators.

The Kid's Guide To How the Internet Works

Our students have never known a world without the Internet. Before they use the Internet, it's a good idea to teach them what the Internet is and how it works.

The Kid's Guide To How the Internet Works is a free ebook designed for early elementary school students. The book is not comprehensive, but could be used as a supplement to a larger lesson about how the Internet works. The free ebook includes a few passages followed by review questions for students to answer. You can either print the ebook to give to students or have them view it and answer questions online.

Take a look at the videos from Planet Nutshell for more lessons about how the Internet works and Internet safety. Planet Nutshell produces short animated videos to explain products, services, and concepts. One of their series of videos is all about Internet safety for K-12 students. The series is called NetSafe and it has eighteen episodes covering topics like protecting personal information, responsible posting of pictures, and mobile location privacy. The videos are labeled with grade levels so that students in high school don't watch videos designed for K-3 students. A video for K-3 students and a video for high school students are embedded below.