Friday, December 13, 2019

Why Should You Read Lord of the Flies - A New TED-Ed Lesson

Why You Should Read Lord of the Flies is the latest video added to TED-Ed's "why should you read..." series. There are now more than thirty videos in that series. Why You Should Read Lord of the Flies follows the same pattern as the other videos in the series. The video covers the major plot points of the story and provides a bit of background on the author and the writing of the story. Those who are looking for discussion questions to use with the video will find them here.

Applications for Education
Why Should You Read Lord of the Flies doesn't reveal anything new or particularly insightful about the story or William Golding. That said, if you're having students read the book, this video provides a nice little introduction to the story.

Using Video as a Reflective, Collaborative, and Data Collecting Tool

The last presentation of the Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference was given by Brian Heyward who shared Using Video as a Reflective, Collaborative, and Data Collecting Tool. In his presentation Brian shared how video can be used to reflect on process/progress, collect data for informal/formal research, and to collaborate synchronously or asynchronously on the same tasks. Brian included some great tips for those wondering about how to manage and assess students' videos. The video of his presentation is now available to view here.

Using Makey Makey to Creative Assistive Technology - Webinar Recording

Yesterday afternoon Art Spencer gave an engaging presentation about some interesting Makey Makey projects that he's done with elementary school and middle school students. In the presentation Art does a great job of explaining what Makey Makey is and how his students have used it to create assistive technology devices for other students who have special needs. Watch Art's presentation here.

On a related note, Amazon has Makey Makey Invention Kits on sale right now at 29% off the regular price.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Taking Shape: Drawing Your Own Icons - Webinar Recording

This afternoon Tony Vincent gave a great presentation as part of the Practical Ed Tech Creativity Conference. His presentation was all about creating your own icons. In his presentation Tony explained why teachers might want to make their own icons, the benefits of making their own icons, and how the process fits into classrooms. Of course, he also showed us how we can create our own icons by using the tools that are available in Google Slides. If you missed his presentation, it's now available to view here.

Here's how Tony described his presentation:
Icons are an extremely effective form of communication. They are simple pictures that are immediately recognizable and universally understood. Icons tend to be simple drawings and are typically one color, making them easy to design if you break them down into shapes. Sure, there are millions of icons you can download, but there are advantages to making them yourself. When you draw your own, you can fill it with any color. And, you can customize your icon—you can change it to exactly meet your needs. Plus, it feels good to be creative with your visuals!

ScriptSlide - A Google Slides Add-on for Pacing Presentations

ScriptSlide is an interesting Google Slides add-on that takes the speaker notes in your Google Slides and displays them in a teleprompter-like screen that you can control with your phone. That might sound complicated, but it's not.

Here's how ScriptSlide works. First, write your presentation with speaker notes as you normally would. Second, enable the ScriptSlide add-on and click the "open ScriptSlide" button that appears in the sidebar. Third, scan the QR code provided by ScriptSlide to control the flow of the script as it appears on your computer's screen. Here's a little video that demonstrates how those three parts work together.

Applications for Education
At first I thought of ScriptSlide as being a tool for typical teleprompter settings like making a video in which you're speaking into a camera. Then I tried the remote control aspect and realized that it could be great for pacing the delivery of notes that you display in your classroom. Just tap the "next" button on your phone when using ScriptSlide to advance the notes that you're displaying in class.