Tuesday, April 28, 2020

USGS Find a Feature Challenges - Outdoor Learning Opportunities

Last week I wrote about the Learning from Home resources available from the USGS. While it's not specifically a part of the Learning from Home resources, USGS offers another selection of activities that can be used for "at home" learning. Those activities are called Find a Feature.

The USGS Find a Feature challenge is a series of photo challenges. Each challenge asks participants to photograph a type of geological or ecological feature in their neighborhoods. When they've found the feature and taken a picture participants can post it on social media and tag @USGS_YES

Applications for Education
Find a Feature includes supporting documentation for teachers, parents, and students. For example, the current challenge about water clarity includes explanations of what water clarity is and how it is measured.

You could easily create your own Find a Feature challenge that is more specific to your area than the general challenges offered by the USGS. You could create a private "find a feature" challenge by posting an assignment in Google Classroom and having students reply with a photograph.

Monday, April 27, 2020

How to Create & Manage Multiple Gmail Signatures - And Why You Might Want To

About six weeks ago Google introduced a new multiple signatures option in Gmail. The feature has been rolling-out to G Suite for Edu domains over the last few weeks. It appeared in my school's domain last week and a colleague emailed me to ask what what does and why he should care about it.

Why you might create and use multiple signatures.
The multiple signatures option lets you create a signature that you use when sending an email to students and a different one to use when sending an email to colleagues. I created a signature that reads, "Mr. Byrne, Computer Science" when I'm emailing my students. The one that I use when emailing my colleagues, parents, or vendors reads "Richard Byrne, Computer Science." I did this just to create consistency with my students because they call me Mr. Byrne in class and online.

In the following video I demonstrate how to create and manage multiple signatures in Gmail.

What's Inside Your Computer - Three Introductory Lessons from TED-Ed

Much like cars, many of us use computers without knowing what really makes them go. And much like cars you don't have to know what makes your computer run, but it can certainly be helpful to know the basics in order to make informed decisions about them. Of course, if you want to attempt to repair your computer then you'll definitely want to know what makes them work.

TED-Ed has a few videos that can help viewers understand the basics the components inside a computer and how they work. These videos are appropriate for upper elementary school and middle school students. High school students who don't have any formal background in computer science may also find these videos to be instructive.

Inside Your Computer
This video covers all of the basic components found in a computer today. The video focuses on the role of the CPU in the system.



How Do Hard Drives Work?
This TED-Ed lesson explains how a mechanical hard drive works. It's important to note that the video doesn't specifically say that the lesson is based on a mechanical hard drive. Solid State Drives (SSD) function differently so you'll need make that clarification for your students.



How Computer Memory Works
Through this TED-Ed video viewers learn about types of memory within a computer and how they function within the greater system of a computer.

ICYMI - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff - Webinar Recording

Every Friday afternoon I join Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning for Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff. If you missed the last episode, the recording now available here on Next Vista under "previously." You can also watch the recording as embedded below.


On a related note, Rushton Hurley and Susan Stewart host Activities Across Grade Levels every Thursday afternoon. You can find recordings of those episodes and register for the next session here.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting

At this point we've all had our fill of virtual staff meetings. Hopefully, all of yours are going as well as possible. But even the best virtual staff meetings still have "that one person" who doesn't quite understand the norms of a virtual staff meeting. That's what inspired my list of 5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting.

(This is meant to be fun. Please don't take it too seriously).

5 Things You Should Never Do In a Virtual Staff Meeting by richardbyrne