Thursday, December 20, 2018

Learning About Microsoft's Tools for Inclusive Classrooms

Yesterday Mike Tholfsen Tweeted about Microsoft's Teacher Training Packs. Teacher Training Packs are collections of resources that are designed to help IT administrators, technology specialists, and curriculum directors lead professional development workshops centered around various Microsoft tools (most of which are completely free for educators).

There are three categories of Teacher Training Packs. Those categories are Inclusive Classrooms, 21st Century Classrooms with Microsoft Teams, and Unlock Office 365 for the Classroom. Within each category you will find three to five packs that you can use to lead professional development. Each pack provides a detailed plan for leading a professional development workshop, slides, activities, and to-do lists. At the end of your workshop participants can take a quiz to show understanding of the new tools and materials.

One of the Teacher Training Packs that grabbed my attention was Literacy Tools for the Inclusive Classroom. This Teacher Training Pack introduces workshop participants to the Immersive Reader and Dictate tools. The session is more than just "how to" as it is focused on leading discussions around how these tools can help students access documents and slides. If you're not familiar with any of Microsoft's accessibility tools, take a look at this short video that I created about Immersive Reader.

How to Create a Custom Flipgrid Code

If you're a Flipgrid user you already know that each of your grids is given a default code and URL. But did you know that you can customize that code and URL? You don't have to use the default code and URL. You can customize it by making one small change in the grid set-up process. In the following video I demonstrate how to make that change to set a custom code for your Flipgrid grids.

If you have never used Flipgrid, but you want to give it a try, I have a complete start-to-finish tutorial available right here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

How to Use Flipgrid on an iPad

Last week I published a detailed tutorial on how to get started using Flipgrid in your classroom. In that tutorial I focused on using Flipgrid in the web browser on Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS computers. Students can also use Flipgrid on iPads. The Flipgrid iPad app is intended for student use not for teacher use. The app lets students respond to topics that you have posted for them. Just like in the web browser, students can use the Flipgrid iPad app to record videos and add stickers to those videos.

Watch my short video to learn how your students can use Flipgrid on their iPads.

On a related note, if you're in the market for a new iPad, Amazon has current generation iPads on sale for just $229 right now!

How to Hide Google Classroom Assignments from Your Personal Calendar

Last week I received an email from a reader who needed a little problem with her personal Google Calendar. The problem was that every assignment that she posted in Google Classroom was also showing up on her Google Calendar. This isn't a big deal if you only have one Google Classroom. However, if you teacher many sections of a course and have many Google Classrooms, your personal calendar could quickly be overrun with events and reminders.

To remove Google Classroom assignments from your personal Google Calendar you need to log into your calendar then remove the check mark from the Classroom Calendars that appear under "my calendars." Watch my short video to see how to do this.

Learn more about Google Calendar and Google Classroom in my online course Getting Going With G Suite.

Three Places to Find Free Video Clips for Classroom Projects - And How to Share Them

On Sunday I published a fairly extensive guide to finding media for classroom projects. That guide was entirely text-based. A few folks have asked if I can include some video tutorials in it. Therefore, yesterday I recorded the following short video in which I show three places to find free video clips that you can download and share with your students to use in classroom projects.

Learn more about working with media and making videos in my upcoming course, Video Projects for Every Classroom.