Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Week in Review - The ISTE Prelude

Good afternoon from San Antonio, Texas where I have just checked-in at the ISTE 2017 conference. The conference doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, but there is already plenty of activity around the convention center. When I checked-in I was asked, "what are you looking for at the conference?" My answer was, "things that empower students to be creators and examples of students creating and sharing with the world." As it turns out, there is a strand of poster presentations directly related to that idea of students as publishers.

Of course, I'm here to report on the things that matter to those of you who cannot attend the conference. That's why I created this short survey to find out what you want me to report on. Please take one minute to submit a suggestion.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 12 Sites and Apps for Learning to Code
2. Convert Physical Sticky Notes Into Digital Notes
3. How to Print Google Forms
4. How Formatically Helps Students Format Essays in MLA Style
5. More Than 100,000 Interesting Historical Images to Download for Free
6. Collaborate With Students to Create Quiz Games
7. Create Mind Maps in Google Drawings

Individual and group registration is still open for the Practical Ed Tech Chromebook Camp and the BYOD Camp. Register with a group and get a great discount!

Four online courses starting in July:
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.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Four Online PD Opportunities Starting In July

In June I hosted four online courses for teachers and school administrators. In July I am offering four more online learning opportunities. A description of each course, its dates and times, and registration links are included below. If you’re a subscriber to the Practical Ed Tech newsletter be sure to use the discount code “subscriber” when you register.

The landscape of educational technology is constantly changing and it’s easy to feel like you don’t know where to start. The Practical Ed Tech Jumpstart was designed for you. This three week online course will walk you through a simple yet powerful framework for using technology in your classroom. You’ll come away from this course with a playbook of activities that you can adapt to use in almost any classroom setting from elementary school through high school. This three week course begins on July 11th at 7pm EDT. Learn more and register here.

Getting Going With G Suite
Getting Going With G Suite is a webinar series designed for teachers and administrators who are new to using Google Apps for Education. Getting Going With G Suite is a five week course covering everything you need to know to integrate Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Calendar, and Google Sites into your practice. Three graduate credits are available for the course through my partnership Midwest Teachers Institute and Calumet College of St. Joseph. Graduate credits require an additional fee and completion of weekly assignments. The next course starts on July 6th at 7pm EDT. Register here.

Teaching History With Technology
In Teaching History With Technology you will learn how to develop engaging and challenging learning activities through the use of tools like Google Earth and Maps, video production tools, primary source databases, and how to help your students become better researchers. This course features three interactive online meetings along with a discussion forum in which you can further interact with me and your classmates. The cost of the course is $97 including access to the live sessions, recordings of the webinars, handouts, and PD certificate. The next course begins on July 10th at 7pm EDT. Register here.

From Blog to Job – A Teacherpreneur Jumpstart
I’ve been earning money through my blog for eight years. I’ll teach you how to do it too! In this four week course I’ll give you the blueprints for developing an online presence through which you can earn money. All the questions that you’ve always wanted to ask about making money through blogs and social media will be answered for you in this course. Learn more and register here. The next course begins on July 2nd at 7pm EDT.

A Good App and A Good Site for Learning About Endangered Animals

WWF Together is a beautiful iPad app and Android app that features interactive stories about endangered animals around the world. Each of the interactive stories includes beautiful images and videos, facts about the animals and their habitats, and the threats to each of the animals. Some of the animals currently featured in the app are pandas, marine turtles, elephants, tigers, polar bears, bison, whales, gorillas, rhinos, and snow leopards.

In Pieces is a neat site that features the stories of 30 endangered animals around the world. Visit the site and you will be greeted by a little animation that comes together to form the shape of a whale. After the animation plays click through to see the stories of the 30 animals featured in the site. Each animal's story is told with text, images, and video. You'll learn about the threats to each animal, its native habit, and efforts to save each animal.

Applications for Education
After learning about the animals in the site and apps I might have students conduct their own research about endangered animals then put together visual reports about those animals. I would consider having students use Pic-Collage and Thinglink to make their own interactive displays about endangered animals. Tutorials for that process can be found here.


Get Inspired By These Videos

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

I love an inspiring video.

While I think it's inspiring that there are over two thousand short videos created by and for teachers and students everywhere on NextVista.org, we also have a resource page filled with videos on other sites.

These stories tell of inspiring young people, or an amazing teacher, or simply a moment that captures your heart.

We believe these sources of inspiration might be used to rally your team, or perhaps prompt important discussions with your colleagues.

Next Vista for Learning: Sources of Inspiration
http://nextvista.org/resources/inspiration/

Feel free to share what you find with others. All of us occasionally need a reminder that there are all kinds of wonderful moments happening all around.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dictate - Speech Recognition for PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook

Dictate is a free add-in for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Once you have Dictate installed you can speak to have text appear in your documents, slides, and emails. Simple voice commands let you insert punctuation, delete words, and start new paragraphs.

Dictate takes just a minute or two to install. Just download the installation file and run the installation wizard once to have Dictate appear in all three Microsoft products.


Applications for Education
Dictate could be a helpful add-in for students who need to speak to insert text into documents or emails.