Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Week in Review - The Recombobulation Area

An appropriate sign after TSA
in Milwaukee. 
Good morning from Maine where I'm enjoying a nice cup of coffee while my dog sleeps next to me on the couch. It's a nice way to start a summer day. Put another way, drinking coffee at a leisurely pace feels like I've entered a recombobulation area. That's a term that I've borrowed from the TSA station in the Milwaukee airport. That's an appropriate name for the chaotic areas that are directly after security screening in airports. It's also an appropriate term for the first days after school gets out for the summer. I hope that all of you on summer break are enjoying it so far.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Six Types of Classroom Video Projects - And 18 Video Creation Tools
2. 4 Good Formative Assessment Tools for Classrooms That Aren't 1:1
3. Make Stop Motion Videos on Your Chromebook
4. How to Create a Word Cloud In Google Docs
5. The Four Things Students Need to Create Good Book Trailers
6. My Three Favorite Classroom Timer Tools
7. Leaving One G Suite District for Another? - Take Your Data With You

I am currently offering four online courses:
Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explanatory videos.

Practical Ed Tech Live - Episode 9

Yesterday afternoon I hosted the ninth episode of Practical Ed Tech Live in which I answered some of the questions that I get from readers every week. I also answer any questions that are sent in live on YouTube or Facebook. Episode #9 is embedded below.

The questions answered in the video can be read in this Google Document.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Group Discounts for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps

The first of this year's two Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps is just six weeks away. Group discounts are still available to school districts that are sending four or more people. A group of four can save $600 when they register together compared to the standard registration.

Registration for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camps includes 16 hours of hands-on professional development in small groups. Breakfast and lunch is included both days.

Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp - Save $600 or more when you register a group!

Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp - Save up to $2000 when you register a group!

Snap - A Great Way for Students to Try Programming

Earlier this week I Tweeted that anyone who is going to the ISTE conference in San Antonio needs to put Gary Stager's presentation titled Logo at 50: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas on his or her calendar. Understanding the development of Logo is key to understanding how many of the programming apps we have in classrooms today came to be. One of those programs is Snap.

Snap! is a drag-and-drop programming interface designed to help students learn to program. Snap! uses a visual interface that works in your browser on your laptop as well as on your iPad or Android tablet. To design a program in Snap! drag commands into a sequence in the scripts panel. The commands are represented by labeled jigsaw puzzle pieces that snap together to create a program. You can try to run your program at any time to see how it will be executed. After previewing your program you can go back and add or delete pieces as you see fit.

Snap! may remind some people of Scratch. That is because the Snap! developers call their program "an extended re-implementation of Scratch." The potential benefit of Snap! over Scratch is that teachers who have a mix of iPads, Android tablets, and laptops in their classrooms can have all of their students use the same programming interface.

Owl Eyes - Guide Students Through Classic Literature

Owl Eyes is a free tool that provides teachers with a good way to provide students with guidance while they are reading classic literature. Owl Eyes provides teachers with tools to insert annotations and questions into classic literature. Students can see the annotations and questions that their teachers add to the digital text. Teachers have the option to create online classrooms through which they can monitor their students' progress through a text and view their students' annotations and answers to questions. The texts available through Owl Eyes are mostly classic works that are in the public domain.

The short videos embedded below will help you get started with Owl Eyes. I highly recommend watching them in order to save yourself from some frustrating clicking without results.

Applications for Education
Owl Eyes could be a good tool for guiding students through some difficult classic literature. I would like to see its library expanded to include more texts that are accessible to younger students.

I couldn't find an option to upload my own texts on Owl Eyes. Until then, I will probably continue to use Google Docs to help students as they read difficult primary source documents. That process is outlined here.